View Full Version : I have a weird backhand, but it works... should I switch?

08-26-2004, 05:00 AM
I have a two handed backhand. The weird thing is, I don't switch my semi-western forehand grip to hit my 2 handed backhand. The racquet is indeed in a continental position, but I never switch the grip.

My backhand is very powerful, as I've gotten many compliments about it. My forehand is strong too but I guess my backhand stands out more since it's unexpected. It's not a slice backhand like you'd expect, nor is it flat. It is indeed a topspin backhand.

If you want to imagine how I hold the racquet, hold it in a semi-western grip with your right hand and hold the racquet with your left in a continental grip.

The only problem I see is that I put more strain on my right wrist... however I've done this for 11 years and haven't had a wrist problem ever. I have tried switching to a real backhand grip, but as you can imagine, it's hard to correct.

My question is this. Should I bother switching? It has served me well for years and I don't play in tournaments anymore. I just play recreational 3 times a week though I'll probably play intermural when I go back to college.

08-26-2004, 10:03 AM
Your grip enables you to swing out and brush without worrying about your face opening up but you still have the stability with the left hand. Keep the grip but be careful. If your wrist begins to hurt or get strained, listen to your body and stop. You should continue as long as you feel it is safe.

08-26-2004, 10:43 AM
Sounds like it's working for you, don't change it if it ain't broke. I use the same grip on both sides too, except it's eastern, and have tried rotating it forward (continental forehand position on the backhand side) but felt like it was more limiting on my options of hitting loopier balls and just a pain to constantly be switching grips. Recently I have rethought if I should try to close it up again to see if I can get more power, but overall my backhand is pretty nice, so I think I will leave it alone. I should try and open it up even more like how you are doing with being continental on both sides just for giggles and see how it feels.

08-26-2004, 11:43 AM
well.. actually My grip is different on both sides, just that the way I hold the racquet is the same. I hope that makes sense...

Forehand: eastern/semi-western
backhand: continental

As I said, I twist my wrist so that the eastern/semi-western grip turns into what a continental grip would look like in respect to the court. I hope this make sense... cause it's hard for me to explain. As to why I twist? I don't know. After playing for 10+ years, it's just natural now.

08-26-2004, 11:48 AM
yeah, you don't change your grip but keep your right hand in the same position on the racquet so the racquet is closed (SW) on the forehand side but open (continental) on the backhand side.

08-26-2004, 01:03 PM
Wow, I thought I was the only one. My backhand is similar. The effect of not changing the right (or dominant hand) grip is that the shot is essentially more of a left handed forehand than a conventional two handed backhand. Due to the angle of the right wrist that hand doesn't do much more than stabilize the racket. All the power, spin etc comes from the left arm. One weakness I have found is on real slow high balls it is hard to generate pace because you can't take the racket as far back (due again to the angle of the right wrist). ANd that also helps returning hard serves or groundies...shorter takeback.

I say don't switch. I know how you feel, my backhand is my best, hardest and most consistent shot. I'll post a vid sometime and see if you can even tell I'm using a bizzare grip.

08-26-2004, 03:37 PM
Natsus, you seem to know the answer to your question already before asking... If you're not playing tournaments, and indeed are satisfied with your current level, then it makes no sense to change.

On the other hand...

08-27-2004, 02:07 AM
Is your semi-western forehand grip like Andy Roddick?

08-27-2004, 04:05 AM
Is your semi-western forehand grip like Andy Roddick? I thought Roddick used a full western forehand grip.

08-27-2004, 06:18 AM
You're right, I did know the answer, but what I didn't know is whether it'll hurt me in the long run. I figure someone in here has done the same thing and would give me some words of wisdom. I'm glad to see that someone else does the same thing as me as I thought I was the only one :D

Actually my forehand isn't a semi-western. I checked the charts earlier and it's more of a eastern/semi-western grip.

norcal, I know what you mean. The benefit of this grip is that low balls are easier to return because your wrist is more natural there. The downside is exactly what you said. High slow balls are hard. I end up using my body to bring the racquet back more and swing with both my body and my arm. It's highly unconventional, but it works.... and it doesn't look as weird as it sounds.

I do certainly want to improve my game. I am definitely not satisfied with how I hit and want to be more consistent. My question really is to see if this is one of the things I should correct. Thanks for the responses.

08-27-2004, 03:40 PM
Well if you do want to improve your game then the weird double handed backhand grip has to go, in my opinion. The sooner you break this bad habit, the better. I know exactly what you're talking about because when I was younger, until around the age of 13, I used to hit it with a forehand grip too, getting good results. But it limits your progress in too many ways, I feel. Obviously if it's the best part of your game then you want correct the weaknesses first. But sooner or later, you'll find out that conventional technique can get you much higher, even if it's difficult to make the transition at first.

09-02-2004, 08:21 AM
A big difference between a 1hbh and a 2hbh is that a 2hbh doesn't take as much of a backhand grip as a 1hbh if at all. I found good success with the 2hbh when I used an eastern/eastern grip as opposed to the eastern backhand grip I use on the 1hbh. A square face on the 2hbh leads to less framing and messups so don't worry about tilting your racquet on the 2hbh, it just isn't necessary, unless your backhand's like Coria's.

Bungalo Bill
09-02-2004, 09:54 AM
That is the beauty of the twohander it is a very personal backhand. I would guess that with that grip combination you are very tophand dominant in the stroke even if it doesn't feel that way.

As long as it doesn't hurt I don't see why you would change. The twohander is one of the few strokes that has much room for variation.