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paraeljuego
08-21-2007, 02:14 PM
Im a rightie and broke my wrist in June. I had nothing to do and started to watch the French Open and Wimbledon every day. This game got me hooked and I started to read up and watch videos for hours. I'd sit in front of the TV practicing my strokes.
Since my wrist is still very weak I decided to try out the one-hand backhand. Thing is, when I just bounce and hit the ball in front of me, I can hit a pretty hard topspin shot. But when I get into a rally with a partner, I either frame or totally miss it and look dumb.

kingkong
08-21-2007, 03:58 PM
footwork .

habib
08-21-2007, 04:19 PM
Im a rightie and broke my wrist in June. I had nothing to do and started to watch the French Open and Wimbledon every day. This game got me hooked and I started to read up and watch videos for hours. I'd sit in front of the TV practicing my strokes.
Since my wrist is still very weak I decided to try out the one-hand backhand. Thing is, when I just bounce and hit the ball in front of me, I can hit a pretty hard topspin shot. But when I get into a rally with a partner, I either frame or totally miss it and look dumb.

Welcome to the world of the one-handed backhand - the most demanding groundstroke in tennis. To summarize, you're basically running into the fact that your legs and your feet are at least as important to this shot as any part of your upper body, because your preparation and positioning have to be near-perfect to pull it off.

nasastevo
08-21-2007, 04:38 PM
A common misconception on the 1HBH is where one makes contact with the ball... It's much earlier than you would think. You really contact the ball WAY out in front of your right leg (if you're right handed). I hit mine a good 2 feet in front of me! Obviously this is a rough estimate, since it is not always the same. This is referring to a drive, not a slice or drop shot. When you're hitting on the wall, do you drop the ball, let it bounce, and then drive it? Next time, try bouncing the ball slightly away from yourself (in front of you), that way it forces you to move your feet. Also, try taking a few balls earlier during your rallying/hitting. You won't be sorry. A firm wrist is extremely important. The wrist is practically locked at impact. I love my 1HBH, but it took ALOT of practice learning the timing and mechanics. Stick with it. You'll get there.

Sean Dugan
08-22-2007, 10:10 AM
Save yourself a lot of unnecessary grief and immediately switch to a two handed backhand.....but learn to hit a one handed BH slice approach and a one handed BH volley. You'll have the best of best worlds.

habib
08-22-2007, 10:19 AM
Save yourself a lot of unnecessary grief and immediately switch to a two handed backhand.....but learn to hit a one handed BH slice approach and a one handed BH volley. You'll have the best of best worlds.

Why?

10 chars and all that

WildVolley
08-22-2007, 10:54 AM
Save yourself a lot of unnecessary grief and immediately switch to a two handed backhand.....but learn to hit a one handed BH slice approach and a one handed BH volley. You'll have the best of best worlds.

Weird, I started with a 2hbh and a 1hbh volley, and over a decade later, I've switched to a 1hbh only.

Here's my advice to hit the 1hbh better. Make sure to really switch the grip. Prepare early. A closed stance usually makes it easier to hit, the exception is on returns of serve, because you don't have time. Hit out in front. Make sure your arm is straight on contact. Don't over-rotate.

Having played both 1h and 2h backhands, I really doubt that switching will instantly cure all problems. I see plenty of beginner-intermediate players with terrible 2hbhs. However, if you have weak arms or hands, the 2hbh is a lot easier to learn.

Sean Dugan
08-22-2007, 11:12 AM
Simply because the one handed backhand is so difficult for most people to master unless they start playing tennis at 10 and have a coach constantly yelling at them to turn earlier, make a complete shoulder turn, hit the ball at least 1.5 feet in front of their leading foot and control their rotation.

It is very rare to seen anyone who started playing as an adult who has a really good one handed bh drive. Even the effective ones are technicallly ugly. Almost without exception, the people with pretty one handed bh drives usually starting playing seriously as yutes...and had considerable coaching.

It is so much easier to hit a drive and return serve with a two hander. You can take the ball later and you don't have to make as full of a shoulder turn; both buy you some time and you can rotate through which is more natural. At the upper levels, say 4.5 and above, it really makes a difference.

When I used to teach tennis, I would never let anyone who was just starting to play (or played at a low level) hit a one handed bh drive; I always taught two handed for bh drives, and later, added one handed bh slice and volleys. Once they mastered the grip changes and got used to hitting with two hands, their 2 handed bh was generally as good or better than their forehand.

Your mileage may vary. ;o)

Sean Dugan
08-22-2007, 11:15 AM
Weird, I started with a 2hbh and a 1hbh volley, and over a decade later, I've switched to a 1hbh only.

Here's my advice to hit the 1hbh better. Make sure to really switch the grip. Prepare early. A closed stance usually makes it easier to hit, the exception is on returns of serve, because you don't have time. Hit out in front. Make sure your arm is straight on contact. Don't over-rotate.

Having played both 1h and 2h backhands, I really doubt that switching will instantly cure all problems. I see plenty of beginner-intermediate players with terrible 2hbhs. However, if you have weak arms or hands, the 2hbh is a lot easier to learn.

Much easier said than done, I think.....and with a 2 hander at least they have some hope of one day having a decent bh. With the vast majority of the people I see playng with one handers, they have absolutely no hope.

burosky
08-22-2007, 01:49 PM
Simply because the one handed backhand is so difficult for most people to master unless they start playing tennis at 10 and have a coach constantly yelling at them to turn earlier, make a complete shoulder turn, hit the ball at least 1.5 feet in front of their leading foot and control their rotation.

It is very rare to seen anyone who started playing as an adult who has a really good one handed bh drive. Even the effective ones are technicallly ugly. Almost without exception, the people with pretty one handed bh drives usually starting playing seriously as yutes...and had considerable coaching.

It is so much easier to hit a drive and return serve with a two hander. You can take the ball later and you don't have to make as full of a shoulder turn; both buy you some time and you can rotate through which is more natural. At the upper levels, say 4.5 and above, it really makes a difference.

When I used to teach tennis, I would never let anyone who was just starting to play (or played at a low level) hit a one handed bh drive; I always taught two handed for bh drives, and later, added one handed bh slice and volleys. Once they mastered the grip changes and got used to hitting with two hands, their 2 handed bh was generally as good or better than their forehand.

Your mileage may vary. ;o)

I have to disagree. By adults I assume you mean people 19 and over. I've had several people use the one handed backhand and quite successful with it. Granted they don't look exactly like Henin's but for their level they are pretty up to par. Just because the one handed backhand seems to be more difficult to learn doesn't mean it should be discouraged from being taught. Just like the other ways of executing a stroke, each has it's own advantage and disadvantage. It all depends on what the student is comfortable with.

habib
08-22-2007, 02:24 PM
I have to disagree. By adults I assume you mean people 19 and over. I've had several people use the one handed backhand and quite successful with it. Granted they don't look exactly like Henin's but for their level they are pretty up to par. Just because the one handed backhand seems to be more difficult to learn doesn't mean it should be discouraged from being taught. Just like the other ways of executing a stroke, each has it's own advantage and disadvantage. It all depends on what the student is comfortable with.

Well stated. There's no doubt that the one-hander is more difficult to learn and execute, but much of this stems from the required preparation and not from the stroke itself. This is also why one-handers at the higher end of the NTRP scale are generally far more competitive with their two-handed peers than thsoe at the lower end.

WildVolley
08-22-2007, 07:23 PM
Much easier said than done, I think.....and with a 2 hander at least they have some hope of one day having a decent bh. With the vast majority of the people I see playng with one handers, they have absolutely no hope.

There's an old guy I play with who took up tennis about a year ago. He's very enthusiastic, but his backhand is terrible. He started with a 2hbh and now has switched to a 1hbh. I can't really say one is better than the other. I don't know what his pro is trying.

I haven't hit many 2hbhs in a while, but when I did, it involved much more torso rotation than my 1hbh. That's really my only concern for teaching the 1hbh to older guys. The old guy just chops with his 2hbh without much shoulder turn.

As I see it, the 2hbh allows you to hit later, allows hitting with bent arms, and the second hand can really add stability of the shot and help control the racquet face. The downside is that it does constrain reach and makes the transition to net more difficult.

When I coach (high school players), I have left it up to the player to choose their own backhand (it's terrible that my team has so many beginners!). The vast majority of high school players are using the 2hbh. I don't have a problem with that. Even most touring pros who hit 2hbh, use the 1hbh when hitting slice.

Frank Silbermann
08-22-2007, 08:39 PM
On the plus side, the standard expected for your backhand is lower than for your forehand. That's why so much strategy involves hitting to your opponent's backhand -- on the serve, for approach shots, when in trouble, etc.

I've known plenty of people who learned tennis as adults who developed nice one-handed backhand slices. You won't have to make a topspin passing shot if you get to the net before your opponent. If neither of you like the net, then just keep hitting hard, low, semi-flat slices -- it will drive those westerners crazy.

Sean Dugan
08-22-2007, 09:23 PM
I guess the context of my entries here assumed that we were talking about someone with some degree of talent and athleticism. If the student has neither, you're just humoring them anyway and it doesn't matter much what you do as an instructor; they are still going to suck. ;o) (Racquet back, bend your knees, fifty dollars, please.)

There are no absolutes, but I think the 2 hander is much more forgiving and for most beginners and lower level players, it is the way to go. I converted many 3.0/3.5 students from one to two handed bh's with great results.

If I were to teach beginners again (God forbid!), I'd tell them all to lose the pathetic late turn, no shoulder turn, all arm, elbow leading, over rotation one handed bh and go for the two....Some of these guys don't even change grips for gosh sakes. I used to cringe in pain just watching them hit one handers. ;o)

That being said, if I had a younger very athletic student who was committed to learning all the things one has to do correctly to hit a technically solid one hander.....and had a lot of time and money to devote to the cause......I'd go along for the ride. I think I could make him/her a better player much faster with a 2 hander though. I just don't see where the one hander really buys you anything...assuming one learns how to slice one handed and volley one handed. The two handed return of serve is definitely advantageous over the single handed version and one could argue so is the two handed baseline drive for most players....Federer, Gasquet, Haas types excluded, of course. To each his own bh. ;o)

cliff
08-23-2007, 02:39 AM
You can study some really good clips in slow motion at www.procomparetennis.net its a free site.
Check out Henin's bh or Haas or Henman there are loads of good examples to look at.

Mountain Ghost
08-23-2007, 09:50 AM
I guess the context of my entries here assumed that we were talking about someone with some degree of talent and athleticism. If the student has neither, you're just humoring them anyway and it doesn't matter much what you do as an instructor; they are still going to suck. ;o) (Racquet back, bend your knees, fifty dollars, please.)

The great thing about such telling confessions is that there’s no need to lay out any evidence for the jury. They can all tell when that person is a complete IDIOT!

MG

habib
08-23-2007, 09:52 AM
I guess the context of my entries here assumed that we were talking about someone with some degree of talent and athleticism. If the student has neither, you're just humoring them anyway and it doesn't matter much what you do as an instructor; they are still going to suck. ;o) (Racquet back, bend your knees, fifty dollars, please.)

There are no absolutes, but I think the 2 hander is much more forgiving and for most beginners and lower level players, it is the way to go. I converted many 3.0/3.5 students from one to two handed bh's with great results.

If I were to teach beginners again (God forbid!), I'd tell them all to lose the pathetic late turn, no shoulder turn, all arm, elbow leading, over rotation one handed bh and go for the two....Some of these guys don't even change grips for gosh sakes. I used to cringe in pain just watching them hit one handers. ;o)

That being said, if I had a younger very athletic student who was committed to learning all the things one has to do correctly to hit a technically solid one hander.....and had a lot of time and money to devote to the cause......I'd go along for the ride. I think I could make him/her a better player much faster with a 2 hander though. I just don't see where the one hander really buys you anything...assuming one learns how to slice one handed and volley one handed. The two handed return of serve is definitely advantageous over the single handed version and one could argue so is the two handed baseline drive for most players....Federer, Gasquet, Haas types excluded, of course. To each his own bh. ;o)

Safin, Nalbandian, Agassi types excluded as well, then? The way I see it, the one-hander is harder to learn, no question (though for me it was by FAR the most natural of the two strokes, and I started the game up at 22). However, IMO the payoff in the end is greater. It's exactly the more athletic players you mention above who eventually benefit from a one-hander, because the biggest differences - preparation, timing - are easier for them to perfect. The one-hander, though lacking in the same stability and forgiveness, has a higher ceiling for power and spin generation (more efficiency in transferring power and generating racquet speed). Mind you, it won't be a great shot for a baseline grinder (guys like Robredo excepted, right?), but for a versatile and/or aggressive baseliner, I think it's the better choice.

paraeljuego
09-03-2007, 08:40 PM
You guys been good and have helped.
My forearm is quite strong if I say so myself and I am pretty athletic, play quite a lot of sports and my problem was not getting low enough.
I would do too much concentrating on my arm and wouldn't focus on footwork also. And now, my 1HBH is developing and my slice is gettin so 'clean' :)
I know my backhand won't come instantly but one day hopefully soon, 'it gon be good'

NamRanger
09-04-2007, 08:12 AM
I guess the context of my entries here assumed that we were talking about someone with some degree of talent and athleticism. If the student has neither, you're just humoring them anyway and it doesn't matter much what you do as an instructor; they are still going to suck. ;o) (Racquet back, bend your knees, fifty dollars, please.)

There are no absolutes, but I think the 2 hander is much more forgiving and for most beginners and lower level players, it is the way to go. I converted many 3.0/3.5 students from one to two handed bh's with great results.

If I were to teach beginners again (God forbid!), I'd tell them all to lose the pathetic late turn, no shoulder turn, all arm, elbow leading, over rotation one handed bh and go for the two....Some of these guys don't even change grips for gosh sakes. I used to cringe in pain just watching them hit one handers. ;o)

That being said, if I had a younger very athletic student who was committed to learning all the things one has to do correctly to hit a technically solid one hander.....and had a lot of time and money to devote to the cause......I'd go along for the ride. I think I could make him/her a better player much faster with a 2 hander though. I just don't see where the one hander really buys you anything...assuming one learns how to slice one handed and volley one handed. The two handed return of serve is definitely advantageous over the single handed version and one could argue so is the two handed baseline drive for most players....Federer, Gasquet, Haas types excluded, of course. To each his own bh. ;o)


The two handed backhand is more comfortable, but on a faster surface the one handed backhand player is at his best, and we do live in America. Pro results show that one handed backhand players win the faster slams more often then the slower slams. Examples : Federer, Sampras, Edberg, Mcenroe, Laver, Graf, Navatliovra, etc.


Of course there are some exceptions to the rule, but if you look back in history, you see two handed backhand players mainly winning the French / Australian Open more often the the one handed backhand players (although they do have their fair share).


There are advantages to the one handed backhand, such as reach. Another is versitility. You can really generate a crazy amount of spin with the one handed backhand. It's alot harder with the two handed. Also it is a SUPERB shot on the defense because of the reach you have with it.