Is this do-able / safe?

I used to play some squash when I was younger (about 20 years ago) but have recently decided I want to start playing tennis with some friends.

Thing is, my right arm is injured and won't be better anytime soon.

So I'm considering playing left-handed.

Considering I was never that good at playing tennis to begin with, does that mean playing left-handed might not seem that bad?

Also I heard that you can be more prone to injury with your none-dominant arm, is this true?

2 Answers 2


It is certainly do-able successfully for some people. Famously, Rafael Nadal uses his non-dominant hand.

Occasionally, tennis coaches instruct their student to switch to their non-dominant arm in order to re-learn or un-learn technique. When we use our dominant hand we can often overcome poor technique with better coordination and strength, which itself can lead to injury.

If your dominant arm is actually injured it seems extremely unlikely that it will be worse for your body to play with your non-dominant arm than your dominant. The realistic choice should be not playing at all vs non-dominant.


Playing with your offhand/non-dominant hand is totally fine. Look only at people like Luke Jenson as an example of someone that did this. There is nothing inherently wrong with using your off hand. Also, many racquet sports ask you to use your non-dominant hand.

However, realize you've trained your dominant hand for most of your life. It is has received years of training in your sport as well as functionally as your primary manipulation hand since birth. This means it's hand a large amount of time to acclimate to the needs that you've trained into it, such as quick movements, fine motor control, and force absorption. Thus, it's pretty good at many things now.

Your non-dominant hand will not be as primed for these tasks yet. However, it can be! You will want to treat it as being completely beginner at the sport and realize that some extra practice and work with the hand should be done. Make sure not to overdo it, as you'll be used to pushing yourself really hard with you dominant hand.

The goal with your training should be to ease into it. Do not go fast, otherwise injury is possible. But if you slowly ramp up your practice and training it should be a great change of pace. Even if not as optimal as your dominant hand at first.

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