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View Full Version : Why shouldn't you drop your wrist in backhand when you can in forehand?


New Daddy
05-22-2007, 07:44 AM
I've been taught by my coach not to drop my wrist (i.e., maintain the "v" between my forearm and my thumb) when hitting backhand, whereas do the opposite (i.e., flex the wrist toward the pinkie and, therefore, lower the head of the racket towards the ground) when hitting forehand.

What is the rationale? Why shouldn't I do drop my wrist when hitting backhand?

oldhacker
05-22-2007, 07:56 AM
Not sure you should be flexing the wrist significantly in that direction on either shot as once the wrist is flexed like that it is hard to lay it back - something you should do on forehand and 1HBH.

JCo872
05-22-2007, 08:10 AM
I've been taught by my coach not to drop my wrist (i.e., maintain the "v" between my forearm and my thumb) when hitting backhand, whereas do the opposite (i.e., flex the wrist toward the pinkie and, therefore, lower the head of the racket towards the ground) when hitting forehand.

What is the rationale? Why shouldn't I do drop my wrist when hitting backhand?

Are you hitting a one handed or two handed backhand?

tennis_hand
05-22-2007, 08:22 AM
if he is asking a 1HBH, the answer is simple: your arm can't rotate the same path reversely, otherwise you'll break your shoulder or you have a robotic arm that can rotate 360 degrees.

JRstriker12
05-22-2007, 08:32 AM
I've been taught by my coach not to drop my wrist (i.e., maintain the "v" between my forearm and my thumb) when hitting backhand, whereas do the opposite (i.e., flex the wrist toward the pinkie and, therefore, lower the head of the racket towards the ground) when hitting forehand.

What is the rationale? Why shouldn't I do drop my wrist when hitting backhand?

If you are hitting a one handed backhand, you want your wrist to be firm and keep that "V" postion because you will lose power on the shot if you try to generate spin or pace with your wrist. Also, without a firm wrist, your placement on your short will be inconsistent and spray all over the court.

Really, all the power from a one-hander comes from rotating your trunk and from the shoulder. The wrist and arm are mostly held in the same postion throughout the shot. One of my instructors said it should almost be like taking a sword out of a scarboard.

Check out Fed's backhand here for a good example: http://www.playerdevelopment.usta.com/pdmediabooks/players.asp

On the forehand, it's not so much dropping the wrist as pronation of the arm as you want to drop the head of the racket below the ball then brush up to produce topspin.

Vision84
05-22-2007, 09:37 AM
I was taught to drop the racket below my wrist for my backhand but not for my forehand. I use a 2 handed backhand with an eastern grip and a forehand with an eastern grip. I am going to start dropping my head on the forehand side and see what results I get. I began to do that in the past and got more topspin but I don't know why I stopped.

New Daddy
05-23-2007, 12:54 AM
I am hitting a one-handed backhand.

Ripper
05-23-2007, 06:31 AM
New Daddy, my guess is your coach wants to correct something YOU are doing wrong. And, for some reason, instead of explaining it to you, he could be saying this, to get you to, in this way, correct what he thinks should be corrected. For example, not long ago, my coach told me to shorten my backswing. I couldn't understand, because 99% of the pros have these huge backswings and that's what I was going for. Turns out he wanted me to understand that those huge backswings weren't for every situation. Coaches are humans and not always the best at communicating. Same for us, we don't always understand them. So, they look for ways around.

scotus
05-24-2007, 11:38 AM
For one-handed backhand (supposing eastern backhand grip or something close), keeping the wrist extended in a V-form is usually necessary for a fast-paced topspin backhand. If you keep your wrist in neutral position or flexed position instead, your racquet face will be too closed and you will send a lot of your backhands into the net. Of course, if you are just hitting a flat stroke, your wrist can be in neutral position.

See Justine Henin, for example. In all of her topspin backhand shots, her wrist is extended.

Having said this, try to keep the wrist extended without stiffening up your muscles too much. This can be accomplished by using your non-dominant hand to put your dominant wrist into the extended position during takeback (as you will see both Henin and Federer do when they take the racquet back to a position where the racquet stands almost upright). As long as your wrist is bent this way, your racquet face will be open enough for you to make solid contact with the ball yet impart plenty of top spin. But if you keep your forearm and wrist too stiff, then you will lose the racquet head speed. Keep the muscles relatively relaxed, and let your shoulder turn do the rest.