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Ross K
10-27-2007, 02:18 AM
Okay, it's been well over a year since I abandonded the 1her for the 2her bh. However, after a huge amount of hard work, frustration and limited progress, I reckon it's probably time to throw in the towel and go back to the 1her - and especially since I played my last match with a 1hbh, and although somewhat rusty, it was to pretty good effect. It's a shame because - (and I know this view isn't the norm) - aesthetically I really do prefer the 2her. My fave players have always been the likes of Agassi, Safin and A-Rod. But the truth of the matter is I began playing with a 1her bh, and it looks like I'm just naturally better suited to this.

What I'd really appreciate here are just some insights, special tips or any invaluable advice you 1her bh connoisseurs consider well worth knowing.

Oh and FWIW, I noticed the other day my down the line was in relatively good shape, however, my cross court top spin drive was a bit weak and floaty (I really want to start ripping it cross court!)... and btw, I'm kind of experimenting with a full-eastern bh grip (similar to Henin and Gasquet - as discussed on a recent thread.) To be truthful though, I'm kind of winging it at the moment and operating through (somewhat distant) memory.

Cheers,

Ross

gerikoh
10-27-2007, 04:06 AM
i'm switching to pure 1bh but i just couldn't stick with it throughout the match. i guess i need lots of muscles hehe though i kinda like 2bh for it's stability and the added spin that i produce but i find it not good in terms of reaction as it's kinda slower. i'm with ya mate' ;)

GoochMoney
10-27-2007, 07:46 AM
I have been practicing a 2HBH and a topspin 1HBH because my slice 1HBH just doesn't get it done. It can be pretty aggressive at times and it is very consistent at several depths but the better guys in my league just eat it up and exploit it during the match.

Any tips on topspin 1 hander practice?

In)SpiRe
10-27-2007, 08:16 AM
I've got a pure 1HBH, some tips i can give you are:
1. Use the muscles in the back of your shoulders, not your wrist.
2. Hit low to high (Sit in the "seat")
3. Keep your eye on the ball and follow through high.
And dont worry abt getting topspin on it if your just trying to get it back. Go ahead and get consistent with your 1HBH b4 trying to get some good topspin on it.

metamike
10-27-2007, 08:29 AM
:P It all depends on your body type. I've played volleyball for a long time before tennis, so my right arm was so much stronger and better coordinated than my left one that 1hbh just came normally.

If your body is like that don't try to fight it, just go with a 1hbh. As for how to play with it...I don't really know how to explain it. Just play with a 1hbh experimenting new shots every single day until you can naturally maneuver the ball with as much spin, depth, and strength as you want all over the court.

In)SpiRe
10-27-2007, 08:38 AM
[QUOTE=metamike;1837032If your body is like that don't try to fight it, just go with a 1hbh. As for how to play with it...I don't really know how to explain it. Just play with a 1hbh experimenting new shots every single day until you can naturally maneuver the ball with as much spin, depth, and strength as you want all over the court.[/QUOTE]

Yea, i agree with him along with my other comment

Elyod Nanoc
10-27-2007, 08:41 AM
Agassi's backhand from different angles:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=k6yEemHtNNI
http://youtube.com/watch?v=XQ-vS3Tv9dU
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SNCbvlaifEU

Points to note
-Agassi keeps his arms straight all the way through contact
-The furthest back he gets is his right hand at his left hip
-Be sure to turn and try to use a closed stance
-Make sure to rotate your torso like Agassi does
-On the follow through end up more on the side of the shoulder instead of right next to your head, this'll help keep your arms straight

I think anyone that wants a two/one-hander should be able to learn that stroke if they know the correct form(s). So if you really want a two-hander you should try something like I listed above and get the stroke. Remember that the harder it is to get, the better you feel when you get it.
Note-Sampras switched his backhand and lost many matches because of this as a junior, but later on in his life..........7 Wimbledons.(No Guarantee on winning Wimbledon:D )

Hope this helps

stormholloway
10-27-2007, 10:28 AM
I doubt the above post will help considering he's looking for advice on the one handed backhand.

I would say Henin has a more extreme grip than Gasquet, and Gasquet perhaps slightly more extreme than Federer, but not by much. I love Federer's backhand the best. The swing itself is short and tight in its motion, but fluid and powerful at the same time.

My one hander has improved greatly and it's now my better side. Here's what I would do: forget about your takeback and the aesthetics of the shot for now. Focus on "pulling a sword out of your pocket". That's kind of what the shot is like. Your right palm is faced against your left pocket. The elbow straightens and the shoulder rotates so that the knuckles face your target.

One way to do it is to put your arm and racquet in the contact position that is ideal for you. Now work backwards and find out how to get your racquet face in the position with the stroke.

Ross K
10-27-2007, 02:11 PM
I doubt the above post will help considering he's looking for advice on the one handed backhand.

Yes. It is tips on 1hbh I'm after.

And BTW, I've studied Agassi in depth and for a long time, but I just did not get the results. Plus I'm not a kid (ie, I don't have years and years ahead of me to get accustomed.) I'm fed up of my bh being a glaring weakness. And having played again today using the 1her, even if it's very much a work in progress, I feel it fits into my game better (I was specially aware today of the major improvement in returning serve, as well as suddenly becoming far more of an all courter.) You see, as much as I've been in denial, the 1her seems to just comes more naturally and provides me with more possibilities and variety.

In short, I'm done with just pacing up and down the baseline with my often misfiring double-hander wishing I was Andre A!!!...

So... tips... insights... stuff like ''pulling the sword from the pocket'' (cheers Storm) or "using muscles in the back of shoulders, not the wrist" or "sit in the seat" (cheers In)SpiRe)... please keep them coming!...

BTW, any bits of advice specifically on a good cross court top spin shot would really be welcome. (Today I was focussed on lining up my right shoulder with the incoming ball... can't say it worked very well... though I sensed my grip wasn't right, not full-Eastern enough...) Annnyway!...

Thanks,

Ross

sharpy
10-27-2007, 02:41 PM
careful, ross with that new 1hbh.

It happens to everyone. the frustration of not improving. it's happening to me.

So you go out and try something new, a new grip, a new elbow angle, or radically, a completely new stroke.

And guess what? It feels great. It's like the guy who comes back from tennis after not playing for years. Damn. he's excited, he's "playing his best tennis." Reminicscing on his years on the high school team, he concludes, "I'm back to tennis. Now it's time to play like andre agassi!"

Unfortunately there's a catch. A couple of months into it, he finds that he's plateauing with his game. he's not really improving. That new stroke, grip, elbow angle suddenly doesn't feel so good anymore. Suddenly its all breaking down.

Trust me, think twice before switching backhands. I have the same problem with my forehand. Frustrated as hell. Changing it just makes it worse.

I know a bit while ago you were conversing with tricky about his complicated theory on the s/s pattern agassi 2hander :) Personally copying his stoke may have discouraged you from the 2hander. But always be careful before incorporating crazy things like that, like I have copied federer's forehand to only limited sucess based on tricky's explanations.

Welcome to the frustrating game of tennis.

I don't think there's any secrets/shortcuts. It's all about development.

Sorry if you were looking for 1 hander advice, but i think this was way more important than that. If anything the 1 hander is more complicated. Alot more subtle wrist/arm movements.

BravoRed691
10-27-2007, 02:44 PM
Yes. It is tips on 1hbh I'm after.

And BTW, I've studied Agassi in depth and for a long time, but I just did not get the results. Plus I'm not a kid (ie, I don't have years and years ahead of me to get accustomed.) I'm fed up of my bh being a glaring weakness. And having played again today using the 1her, even if it's very much a work in progress, I feel it fits into my game better (I was specially aware today of the major improvement in returning serve, as well as suddenly becoming far more of an all courter.) You see, as much as I've been in denial, the 1her seems to just comes more naturally and provides me with more possibilities and variety.

In short, I'm done with just pacing up and down the baseline with my often misfiring double-hander wishing I was Andre A!!!...

So... tips... insights... stuff like ''pulling the sword from the pocket'' (cheers Storm) or "using muscles in the back of shoulders, not the wrist" or "sit in the seat" (cheers In)SpiRe)... please keep them coming!...

BTW, any bits of advice specifically on a good cross court top spin shot would really be welcome. (Today I was focussed on lining up my right shoulder with the incoming ball... can't say it worked very well... though I sensed my grip wasn't right, not full-Eastern enough...) Annnyway!...

Thanks,

Ross

Well, i just want to offer a word of encouragement...keep trying it! like you've said, you're not a kid. So your not trying to be a pro or anything. Just keep messing with it. It took me a LONG time to hit a "passable" one hander (im opposite of you, started with a two hander). Don't abandone it, just keep messing with it.....o did i mention to just keep messing with it? LOL
GL buddy!

BR

Bagumbawalla
10-27-2007, 02:45 PM
Watch the ball intently and get into position early. With a 2 hander you do that because you have less reach, with the one hander it is because it takes more time/effort to to get the racket moving with one hand than two.

Shift your weight forward until at the point of impact your weight is on the forward foot and just beginning to tip (forward) off balance. Allow your arm motion to flow through the stroke without being overly stiff or forced.

Imagine the path the racket must take through the ball in order to go where you want-- and follow that imaginary line with your racket face.

The racket handle should feel solid in your hand without being a "death grip".

Timing and fluid stroke motion are the things you should be striving for. Have someone hit balls to your "comfort zone" while you hit 50 balls down the line and another 50 crosscourt. At impact, you want to feel the ball solidly on your strings as the racket travels THROUGH THE BALL in a low-to-high forward followthrough.

Good luck,

B

Ross K
10-27-2007, 03:31 PM
Thanks Bravo and Bagumbawalla - and cheers sharpy for making me laugh with your comments about the new grip/elbow angle/stroke/whatever, as well as tricky's influence re the Agassi bh thread!...

BTW though sharpy, I'm not sure I properly communicated the following:

1) I began as a 1her and was a 1her for at least, I dunno, 8 years or something - I only went to 2h bh about a year and a half ago.

And 2) I really am not very profficient at all with the 2her. As soon as I play someone good it always fold horribly under the pressure... it lacks variety, pace, spin, control, accuracy, and just about anything you'd care to mention!... which are some of the reasons I'm reexploring the 1her.

claycourtextraordinaire
10-27-2007, 03:45 PM
Ross, you'll never win wimbledon with a 2hander! haha. leave the dark side and come back to the force! you know you miss trying to hit all those non-existant federer angles!

fuzz nation
10-27-2007, 05:03 PM
I took to using the 2hbh in recent history so that I'd have an aggressive return to go for off that wing along with my trusty ol' slice bh. Otherwise, I think the one-hander is less restricted as long as I have time to set it up.

A guy was working with me last winter in a lesson and when he saw how good my slice was, he encouraged me to get after the one-hander (the topspin version). The cue that he gave me was to think about hitting more around the outside of the ball. I used a little more closed stance than for the 2hbh, started swinging with the idea of getting around the outside of the ball with a nice full follow-thru, and... BOOM, it clicked with a vengeance. I felt like a stellar student, he felt like a brilliant teacher, and all was right in the world for a day.

The first thing you need for a good shot is solid and consistent contact. Work on that first, even if you're putting the ball on (or over) the back fence, then you can start paying attention to where it goes and really getting dialing it in.

pmata814
10-27-2007, 05:16 PM
I switched to the 1hbh about a year ago because of back problems, and even though I prefer the 2hbh for several reasons, I am getting much better at my 1hbh. Some tips for the 1hbh:

Assuming you're right-handed:

1. Keep the left hand on the racquet as you take it back (this will ensure trunk rotation)

2. Take your right shoulder to your chin as you line up your shot

3. Step forward with your right foot.

4. Keep your right arm straight when you start your forward swing (I prefer to keep it straight even as I take back my racket but it's a matter of preference...the important thing is that it is straight when you start your forward swing so that you don't lead with your elbow.)

5. Make contact with the ball in front of the body (this is what step 3 was for)

6. Follow through towards your target.

Hope this helps and sorry for the long post. This is basically a very brief summary of an article on HITECHTENNIS.COM. It seems to be working really well for me. This article alone was worth the membership for me.

And the article on the Federer Serve on TENNISPLAYER.NET is worth that membership IMO

Ross K
10-28-2007, 01:39 AM
claycourtextroadinaire,

"Ross, you'll never win wimbledon with a 2hander!" How dare you be so rude! And besides, I based my 2her on Andy Roddick's, who's at least got to a Wimbeldon final, and with whom it could also be said "it lacks variety, pace, spin, control, accuracy, and just about anything you'd care to mention!"


fuzz nation,

OMG... I completely forgot that one!... 'hit round the outside of the ball'... cheers very much for reminding me.


pmata814,

Thanks. I do have a follow up Q though. Now I hope I'm understanding you correctly... Are you saying to keep arm straight when initiating forward swing. Is this right? Or do you just mean when contact is made? I certainly get what you're saying regarding not leading with elbow, but I'm not sure about starting off forward swing with a completely straight, totally unbent arm.

paulfreda
10-28-2007, 02:26 AM
I hit with a SW 1hBH and have for many years.
Get a hold of Tom Avery's tape on the BH. It is superb.

My one piece of advice which I have discovered over the years is that as awkward and closed as the SW BH grip feels, you can still keep the wrist very loose and be successful. As Roy Emerson says about the serve ... "stay loosey goosey"; so too if you have that feeling with the SW you will have the power of the strong structure of the SW [best hit with closed stance] and the flexibility of a FH. A great combination !
Get some video of Guga or Gaudio hitting.
Good Luck with it.

Ross K
10-28-2007, 04:00 AM
I hit with a SW 1hBH and have for many years.
Get a hold of Tom Avery's tape on the BH. It is superb.

My one piece of advice which I have discovered over the years is that as awkward and closed as the SW BH grip feels, you can still keep the wrist very loose and be successful. As Roy Emerson says about the serve ... "stay loosey goosey"; so too if you have that feeling with the SW you will have the power of the strong structure of the SW [best hit with closed stance] and the flexibility of a FH. A great combination !
Get some video of Guga or Gaudio hitting.
Good Luck with it.

Thanks for post, Paul. Yes, actually I think I would like to experiment with sw bh (as I seem to recall Bottle Rocket advising me recently on another thread.)

Yesterday I'm not sure at all what grip I was using on the bh side (I fear, unintentionally, it seemed to be slipping from something supposed to be near a full-eastern into continental mode - as it is indeed accustomed to for the 2her.)

Annnyway... as I use a sw fh already, the thought of not really having to change grips and just hit with the other side of the racquet face for the bh appeals to me... Yeeees... in fact, please do impart any more advise on this grip that you may feel worth knowing.


Also to everyone,

1) Do ppl advocate aiming buttcap at incoming ball? Or right shoulder leaning towards it? Or both? Or something different?

2) What do ppl think on initiating forward swing and keeping the r. arm straight through contact (as I believe I've been advised a few posts above^)?

Ross K
10-28-2007, 04:50 AM
Okay Been searching. Seen recent devisive thread on this very issue and now see the question of straight-arming the 1hbh (or locking elbow) is very much an issue of differing viewpoints. (BASICALLY, I DON'T WANT TO REOPEN THAT DEBATE THOUGH.)

Cheers again pmata814. I confess to being ignorant about this until I read your post. I will definitely try this.

Pusher
10-28-2007, 06:13 AM
Okay, it's been well over a year since I abandonded the 1her for the 2her bh. However, after a huge amount of hard work, frustration and limited progress, I reckon it's probably time to throw in the towel and go back to the 1her - and especially since I played my last match with a 1hbh, and although somewhat rusty, it was to pretty good effect. It's a shame because - (and I know this view isn't the norm) - aesthetically I really do prefer the 2her. My fave players have always been the likes of Agassi, Safin and A-Rod. But the truth of the matter is I began playing with a 1her bh, and it looks like I'm just naturally better suited to this.

What I'd really appreciate here are just some insights, special tips or any invaluable advice you 1her bh connoisseurs consider well worth knowing.

Oh and FWIW, I noticed the other day my down the line was in relatively good shape, however, my cross court top spin drive was a bit weak and floaty (I really want to start ripping it cross court!)... and btw, I'm kind of experimenting with a full-eastern bh grip (similar to Henin and Gasquet - as discussed on a recent thread.) To be truthful though, I'm kind of winging it at the moment and operating through (somewhat distant) memory.

Cheers,

Ross

The 1HBH is a great shot but you have to hit thousands of balls. You've gotten a lot of good advice and the problem I mostly see are players tend to push the shot. Keep the racquet head speed up and the head down and finish high. Practice a lot returning hard hit shots at the baseline where you have to take the ball early-same with high bouncers deep in the backhand corner-roll the racquet over the ball and hit it hard. The footwork is key with the one hander-don't set your feet too early-take lots of small steps to get your balance.

One handers will need to develop a good slice as well-work on it.

One handed service returns really require a lot of work.

Lionheart
10-28-2007, 06:41 AM
I´ve got quite a curious story imo.

When i started tennis i had a 2hbh, but for a year it was full of technical errors and it sucked. After my first year of playing (with a coach) i decided to go for a 1hbh, i played with it for another year and a half, it was progressing slowly but you could see it, neverless, it was a weakness. Now this last summer, i decided to try again the 2hbh and i started to get good at it from the start, i also started to practise with the competition guys from my club (national level team guys, with high national ranks in my country) and, because of the level of playing and training my level of play had a sudden jump to what i am now :). Well what im really trying to say is that using a 1hbh gave me better knowledge on how to move (because you have to move more with a 1hbh) and my 2hbh benefited from it. I think you can benfit from having played with both

Sup2Dresq
10-28-2007, 06:49 AM
Hey Ross,!!!

I'll chime in since i actually swtiched from a two hander to a one hander about a year and a half ago. I had similar problems with the cross courts. After talking with some high ranked pros after a hitting sessions to figure it out (thanks Michael and Daan), I realized that i was opening up too much. I would start like a two hander and swing that leg around which diminished accuracy, power and consistency. What i really should do, like the slice, is keep in the shot longer and not swing open until after the shot. It made huge sense and i should of picked up on it ages ago. Thats what a pro is for.

As for another tip. I read this in Tennis Magazine. If you want to increase your power, the article said to grasp the throat with your non hitting hand a bit so that your hitting arm has to pull it out of its grip. That builds up momentum and power.

Good luck Ross. Let me know how it goes. I had years of lessons and competitive play and its still hard for me at times.

Ross K
10-28-2007, 08:43 AM
Yo Pusher,

You've gotten a lot of good advice and the problem I mostly see are players tend to push the shot. Yep, that's me! As you refer to, I know well enough one problem I have is hitting it too timidly and not keeping the pace up. One handed service returns really require a lot of work Absolutely. Though I've always returned far better with a 1her than the 2her (one reason I've decided to go with the 1her.)



Lionheart,

An ironic tale, and I wouldn't neccesarilly be surprised if that happened to me, but I just need to put such stuff out of my mind and hone in on the 1her.



Hey, how's it going Sup2Dresq?!

I realized that i was opening up too much. I would start like a two hander and swing that leg around which diminished accuracy, power and consistency. What i really should do, like the slice, is keep in the shot longer and not swing open until after the shot. Given I've been hitting 2handed for 18 months or so, it's probably nailed on that this applies to me... cheers mate.

stormholloway
10-28-2007, 09:37 AM
If you return better with the one hander then you must stick with the one hander. The return is the true test of how instinctively you respond with that shot.

claycourtextraordinaire
10-28-2007, 12:20 PM
sup2, interesting tip. I'll try holding the throat of the racquet with my left hand tomorrow. momentum is my biggest problem esp 3 or 4 bh's into the rally, they get weaker and weaker, I'm sure footwork is partly to blame though because my running bh is always spot on as is the moving/running wide forehand but i don't have the same problem with the fh, i think my footwork is better on the fh, anyone else find that?

Ross K
10-28-2007, 04:05 PM
Right. Have done a hell of a lot of searching and reading up and somewhat hopefully scrutinizing film of Gasquet, Henin, Fed and Mauresmo and generally reaquainting myself with all this 1her info today. Result: brain ache!

I thought though, I'd leave these 2 Q.'s for you 1hers (one of which I'd previously posted)...

1) Do ppl advocate aiming buttcap at incoming ball? Or right shoulder leaning towards it? Or both? Or something different?

Plus also...

2) I'm not quite sure of the desired swing path after contact. Some seem to do this very exaggerated swing where the racquet moves up and forwards, and then juts right up in the air over one's head. And then there's one where the swing path appears far more a lateral and circular movement where the frame doesn't shoot up in the air but remains at around shoulder height having travelled, as I say, in a linear and circular route. What does this mean? Does anyone know? Does anyone care? I'm off to bed (I'm tired.) Christ, why did I ever think it was a good idea to change backhands?... OMG... I think I'm beginning to exhibit some of the early and classic symptoms of that dispicable disease otherwise known as backhander-insany-ga-ga-nut-nut-itas!... "Medic!"...

pmata814
10-28-2007, 05:38 PM
[

pmata814,

Thanks. I do have a follow up Q though. Now I hope I'm understanding you correctly... Are you saying to keep arm straight when initiating forward swing. Is this right? Or do you just mean when contact is made? I certainly get what you're saying regarding not leading with elbow, but I'm not sure about starting off forward swing with a completely straight, totally unbent arm.

I have been practicing my 1hbh by modeling it after Jose Acasuso, because that was the player used by Hitechtennis. He keeps the elbow straight (locked) pretty much throughout the entire swing. But the one thing that all pros have in common is that they all lock their elbow once the forward swing begins. It has been working very well for me. I think the best thing is for you to experiment and see what feels best.

Also, I do try to point the buttcap of my racquet towards the ball during my swing.

As far as the follow-through is concerned...think of your arm as a lever that lifts and extends away with your shoulder as the hinge.

And by the way...I'm so envious of you for finding the 1hbh return easier than the 2hbh. That's what I miss the most from my 2hbh.

Ross K
10-29-2007, 12:20 AM
I have been practicing my 1hbh by modeling it after Jose Acasuso, because that was the player used by Hitechtennis. He keeps the elbow straight (locked) pretty much throughout the entire swing. But the one thing that all pros have in common is that they all lock their elbow once the forward swing begins. It has been working very well for me. I think the best thing is for you to experiment and see what feels best.

Also, I do try to point the buttcap of my racquet towards the ball during my swing.

As far as the follow-through is concerned...think of your arm as a lever that lifts and extends away with your shoulder as the hinge.

And by the way...I'm so envious of you for finding the 1hbh return easier than the 2hbh. That's what I miss the most from my 2hbh.

Thanks for answering my queries so clearly.

On the ROS issue, as much as I tried and put a large amount of effort into being a 2her, among other elements, I always struggled with the 2her return (which btw, I was frequently being told was easier than a 1her.) I generally never quite got the feel for it. I too often hit the net or framed the shot. And it was also poor in terms of knowing quickly enough whether a particular serve required a 1h slice or not. I would say that when I did catch it, my lack of consistantly authorative as well as varied strokes was also a factor. Plus also, the basic, bottom line of the matter was I was just all around, plain slower with it than with the 1h.

By comparison, my 1her ROS just feels a whole lot simpler and effective (what with its access to far more options)... although I still need to master that cross court top spin of course.

scotus
10-29-2007, 12:54 AM
Ross, you'll never win wimbledon with a 2hander! haha. leave the dark side and come back to the force! you know you miss trying to hit all those non-existant federer angles!

Right, like Andre Agassi and Bjorn Borg.

Sup2Dresq
10-29-2007, 04:33 AM
Right.
I thought though, I'd leave these 2 Q.'s for you 1hers (one of which I'd previously posted)...



Plus also...

2) I'm not quite sure of the desired swing path after contact. Some seem to do this very exaggerated swing where the racquet moves up and forwards, and then juts right up in the air over one's head. And then there's one where the swing path appears far more a lateral and circular movement where the frame doesn't shoot up in the air but remains at around shoulder height having travelled, as I say, in a linear and circular route. What does this mean? Does anyone know? Does anyone care? I'm off to bed (I'm tired.) Christ, why did I ever think it was a good idea to change backhands?... OMG... I think I'm beginning to exhibit some of the early and classic symptoms of that dispicable disease otherwise known as backhander-insany-ga-ga-nut-nut-itas!... "Medic!"...

Hey Ross,

1) Taking a semi-quote from "Field of Dreams". If you turn the shoulder the buttcap will show.

2) Down the line and less angled shots tend to need the racquet swing to end up over the head as you impart top spin or as they say "you are lifting the ball". When i hit cross court i have a lot more time and will swing through and across almost aiming the racquet tip cross court. The follow through tends to end near shoulder height.

Hope that helps. Watch the pros and you may catch these little movements.

claycourtextraordinaire
10-29-2007, 10:32 AM
Hey Ross,

1) Taking a semi-quote from "Field of Dreams". If you turn the shoulder the buttcap will show.


Hope that helps. Watch the pros and you may catch these little movements.

I concur with everything in point no.2 but i don't have a clue what you mean in '1' please explain? are you talking abouT turning your shoulder when hitting cross court? what is this about the buttcap?

Sup2Dresq
10-29-2007, 10:52 AM
I concur with everything in point no.2 but i don't have a clue what you mean in '1' please explain? are you talking abouT turning your shoulder when hitting cross court? what is this about the buttcap?

Answering question #1:

Do ppl advocate aiming buttcap at incoming ball? Or right shoulder leaning towards it? Or both? Or something different?

Answer: If you turn the shoulder the buttcap naturally starts pointing. There are degrees where this may not happen (McEnroe i believe), but for most, a locked wrist and shoulder turn will naturally show the buttcap towards the incoming ball.

claycourtextraordinaire
10-29-2007, 11:06 AM
oh ok i understand, what's the general concensus on that? I don't think i do point the butt cap at the ball, at least not very often,i think my racquet stays more parallel to the ball (if the ball was coming in a wave parallel to the baseline) rather than pulling the racquet back like on the forehand. not totally sure though, i'll have a look when i hit later on.

Do many of you point the butt cap at the ball?

smoothtennis
10-29-2007, 11:29 AM
Ross good luck with that one hander, I too switched from a 2hbh, to a 1hbh after many years.

A funny thing happened however, which is worth mentioning. When I hit the 2 hander, I didn't understand technique or other things very well I'll admit that. I did hit the 2 hander pretty decent however. After I switched to the one hander, nothing worked at first. As I learned each new piece, I got better and better, until it was solid. I finally developed power the past few years.

Here is the funny thing. Without even practicing, I can hit a two handed backhand right now, better than I could before! And the reason is, as one other poster mentioned, I understand a lot more about contact zone, technique in general, stances, grips, etc now. I can take what I learned fixing my one hander and apply it to a two hander. But I am not switching don't get me wrong. It does take less effort to hit my one hander than the two, and the reach is better, and it's just a cool stroke, LOL!

People already provided more than enough tips for you to take to the court. My only advice, work on one or two of those at any given time. And I agree with one poster, that contact zone is the MOST KEY thing to find. Mine was late (too far back) or years, and I just didn't know it.

PS. I think that guy was kidding when he made the two-hander and winning Wimbledon comment. *wink*

stormholloway
10-29-2007, 11:32 AM
As for another tip. I read this in Tennis Magazine. If you want to increase your power, the article said to grasp the throat with your non hitting hand a bit so that your hitting arm has to pull it out of its grip. That builds up momentum and power.

That's a great tip. It never occurred to me to do that. Have you used that technique with any success?

stormholloway
10-29-2007, 11:36 AM
Right, like Andre Agassi and Bjorn Borg.

You can add Connors and Hewitt to that list.

Sup2Dresq
10-29-2007, 12:13 PM
That's a great tip. It never occurred to me to do that. Have you used that technique with any success?

Yes. Especially on Clay Courts where you have to provide just a little more power. Something about that slight tug that builds momentum. I still use it for my down the lines, which is my favorite shot and usually ends the point.

Another trick, my old college coach used to tell 1 handers, is to get the racket, on the downswing, to be really close to the body. He used to mutter, "try to brush the balls that are already in your short pockets". Websites like hitechtennis and tennis one will say the same thing. One Handers need to keep it close. I remind myself to brush the tennis balls in my pocket when i feel im losing stability and balance.

ho
10-29-2007, 12:19 PM
[QUOTE=smoothtennis;1840835]
People already provided more than enough tips for you to take to the court. My only advice, work on one or two of those at any given time. And I agree with one poster, that contact zone is the MOST KEY thing to find. Mine was late (too far back) or years, and I just didn't know it.
that probably summ it up, Ross, your problem as mine for years is too much analysing, too much reading tips. Be as simple as posible on the beginning. After only 4 weeks, I can hit winner on a 2hbh. just do a very simple rotation arm and body AS ONE UNIT. if you can do this, 2hbh is the most easy stroke, ( but i do not do for years, keep searching and reading). It's right there, a simple rotation of your body, that's it. you may say that it does not provide enough power. true. but if you hit at the right contact zone, it's a breeze. body rotation has the min and max speed, you have to hit at the max speed, by rotating forward from the hip first, then trunk latter. everything else will follow. NO HANDS !!! I wish someone tell me that my contact zone is too far out (i hit 1 hand for 20 years) in the last 5 years !!
As far as 1hbh, only thing i can tell you is it need a strong hand. hit hard and ball is not in the center, racket will buckle.

stormholloway
10-29-2007, 12:33 PM
Yes. Especially on Clay Courts where you have to provide just a little more power. Something about that slight tug that builds momentum. I still use it for my down the lines, which is my favorite shot and usually ends the point.

It's a great tip. For me I think it would be effective on returns and on shots that need quick preparation. The one hander takes a bit more prep time than most shots and sometimes you need to generate racquet speed quickly.

Another trick, my old college coach used to tell 1 handers, is to get the racket, on the downswing, to be really close to the body. He used to mutter, "try to brush the balls that are already in your short pockets". Websites like hitechtennis and tennis one will say the same thing. One Handers need to keep it close. I remind myself to brush the tennis balls in my pocket when i feel im losing stability and balance.

I agree totally. When it comes to power on this shot, you need to keep the racquet close to your core initially.

If you watch Federer, his racquet stays very close to his shorts until just before contact.

Ross K
10-29-2007, 02:05 PM
... Another trick, my old college coach used to tell 1 handers, is to get the racket, on the downswing, to be really close to the body. He used to mutter, "try to brush the balls that are already in your short pockets".... I remind myself to brush the tennis balls in my pocket when i feel im losing stability and balance...

Coincidentally I read this yesterday whilst undergoing my marathon search through the TT archives and instantly took note. The post in question referred to virtually brushing along your left thigh as you swung forward and how this really worked well for top spin shots. Although I've only been able to test this via shadow work at home, my impression is this little tip could be a real gem. It provides a certain momentum, rhthym and dynamic that I tend to associate with the fh, and it also gets you into that flattened or more horizontal figure 8 pattern (that I also associate with the fh.) It certainly feels well suited to the top spin drive... yep, I look forward to working on this.

Cheers Sup.

burosky
10-29-2007, 03:00 PM
Adding my .02 cents.

Start with the grip. The grip for a 2hbh (righty) is different for a 1hbh. This is because essentially the 2hbh is a lefty forehand with the left hand up higher on the grip usually an eastern grip with the right hand towards the butt of the grip for added support usually in a continental grip.

For a 1hbh, I usually tell my students to place the knuckle of the pointer finger on top of the grip. Place your palm flat on the racket face. Slide your hand to the butt of the racket. The knuckle of your pointer finger should be on one of the "corners" of the grip. Move the knuckle of your pointer finger to the left to place it on the "top" side of the grip. This will in effect make your fist be on the same plane as the racket face. Therefore, wherever you point your fist is where the racket face will point.

To strike the ball, imagine punching it from the opposite side of your hitting arm. The point of contact should be slightly in front of your front leg to ensure a square racket face at contact. This is the point where the racket face is actually facing the other side of the court squarely. Since you know the ball will be directly in front of you when you hit it, use your shoulders to direct your shot. Point your shoulders to where you want to direct the ball. This will make the shot more consistent instead of relying on where the racket face is facing at point of contact.

The spin you put on the shot is dependent on the swing path you take. Dropping the racket head below the point of contact and brushing up on the ball will produce top spin. Keeping the racket head close to the same level as the point of contact will produce a flatter ball. Notice I didn't say a flat ball because a true flat ball with no spin whatsoever is essentially the same as a knuckleball in baseball. I say flatter because all this means is it has less spin.

If you want to hit a slice backhand use the continental grip and start well above the point of contact. For a more penetrating slice, keep your follow through at same level as the point of contact. If you chop down on the ball, more often than not the ball will float. By the way, since you are not using your off hand anymore, where should it be? It should be behind you and used as a counter balance.

From experience, the most critical part here is the point of contact. This is something that may vary from player to player. Sure you can learn a new contact point but to keep getting used to new things to a minimum it is easier to just start with the grip. Depending on the ball flight, you might have to close or open up your grip. If the ball goes sailing up you probably need to close the racket face more. This means moving your pointer finger's knuckle to the left (if you are a righty) so as to make the racket face point more to ground at point of contact. Move your grip a little bit at a time until you get the desired results. Keep your arms loose. Grip the racket just tight enough so you don't let go. You can learn all this in progression by starting with dropped balls in front of you then moving on to balls hand fed from the same side of the court then to balls racket fed from the other side of the net. Getting to this point should give you some confidence to at least do a light, cooperative rally with another player. Once you get past this point, as your confidence builds, you should start using it for everyday play until it becomes second nature. Hope this helps. Good luck!

claycourtextraordinaire
10-29-2007, 03:04 PM
It's a great tip. For me I think it would be effective on returns and on shots that need quick preparation. The one hander takes a bit more prep time than most shots and sometimes you need to generate racquet speed quickly.



I agree totally. When it comes to power on this shot, you need to keep the racquet close to your core initially.

If you watch Federer, his racquet stays very close to his shorts until just before contact.


re: holding the throat with your left hand, I don't use my left hand when switching to the bh grip, i do it mid swing so i found holding the throat difficult.

re: pointing the butt cap at the ball, it worked okay in warm up but i didn't think about it during the match.

I'll try brushing/keeping the racquet close to my body tomorrrow.

Best bh of the day was an absolute screamer from deep in the court (and about 4 ft high) sent straight back down the line, just watched the ball, visualised where i wanted it to go and didn't think about much else :-D . Brian didn't have a prayer.v:D

Ross K
10-29-2007, 03:11 PM
What can I say? But many thanks Burosky. Many insightful pointers there ^... fantastic info!

ho
10-30-2007, 08:12 AM
What can I say? But many thanks Burosky. Many insightful pointers there ^... fantastic info!

Rossy, since your show yourseft a real student of the game, i force myself to post you one more time: As Smoothy said, you have enough knowleges, tips to accomplished either 1hbh or 2hbh. A man walk before he run. You are in process of walking, make sure that you walk good now, more tip, more insight leave it latter (they are all good). Work on fundamental, eliminate all complicated movement, concentrate only on TIMMING when you hit, where you hit. That's all either one hand or two hands. Many people run from 1 to 2 then go back to 2, 1 hands. that not too good for your game. Just walk slowly before you can run.

fastdunn
10-30-2007, 11:55 AM
my 1 hbh is a weapon and is better than my forehand.
here are my tips.

1. footwork. you've gotta master this first. put your weight into your front foot.
2. turn your shoulder toward your target. not more than that. even pros make too much shoulder turn when pressured.
3. swing 15-30 degree higher than tranjectory of your outgoing balls. this is not a modern stroke. you need nice smooth swing.

and even if you master 1hbh in practice, you will need some time to build some confidence in using it in real match. just keep trying in real match. you will go thru some frustration period for using it in real match...

I went thru that period and now i own my 1hbh and everybody fears my backhand. it's a joy to hit them.

good luck.

Ross K
10-30-2007, 01:37 PM
ho,

I'm hearing you my friend!


fastdunn,

Thanks for posting.

Kevo
10-30-2007, 08:03 PM
1) Do ppl advocate aiming buttcap at incoming ball? Or right shoulder leaning towards it? Or both? Or something different?

2) What do ppl think on initiating forward swing and keeping the r. arm straight through contact (as I believe I've been advised a few posts above^)?

1) No. You're not trying to hit the ball with the butt cap so there's no point in aiming it at the ball.

2) Don't worry about when you're arm is straight and when it's not. It's not important. What's important is where you make contact with the ball. On a 1HBH, you really have to hit the ball way out in front of your body. On the forehand and 2HBH, this isn't the case, and it takes a while to get used to that. If you hit the ball at the right contact point then the arm straightening takes care of itself. You won't be able to help it.

claycourtextraordinaire
10-30-2007, 09:08 PM
O.K. this thread has ruined my once perfectly fine one hander bh and i wish everyone on it the best of luck but i will not be back. my new one handed BH advice is to not think about it too much just watch the ball and whatever you do DON'T over-analyse it, or you will only hit one decent one hander all day and one decent two hander out of desperation because the 1-hander was sucking balls. Also, if this is your first visit to this thread then you should leave now :)

NickOlsen
10-30-2007, 09:23 PM
I have just gotten back into Tennis after 5 years. I have been getting a few private lessons around my 1hbh. It used to be a weapon, but when I started playing again, it was as inconsistent as anything. Im about to play an open state grade point tournament at the end of november :D You would be amazed at what time alone working with a quality coach will do.

1. Make sure your wrist is straight on take back. I was breaking it majorly without knowing.
2. Nondominant hand is cradling the racquet. This makes sure your that you are properly balanced, and that your shoulders fully rotate before the shot.
3. Contact point as far in front of you as possible. 99/100 your 1hbh will be off because of positioning and contact point.
4. Weight on the front foot at contact. Even to the point of the other foot dragging along the ground, or off the ground totally.
5. Full arm extension on follow through. Either on the left side of your head (wrist has not broken) or on the right side of your head (broken wrist). Which one of these you do is dependant on how much top you are putting on the shot.

Ross K
10-31-2007, 12:17 AM
Nick,

Cheers for that.


claycourtextroadinaire,

Hey Clay! Don't leave! From this moment on I promise we won't over-expose you to too much analysis and debate. Such imparting of 1her tips and advice shall be strictly monitored, supervised and dispensed with great caution. We'll even provide you with specially made glasses designed to filter out geeky tennis chatter... Come back Clay!... Come back!... !!!

smoothtennis
10-31-2007, 07:11 AM
1) No. You're not trying to hit the ball with the butt cap so there's no point in aiming it at the ball.

2) Don't worry about when you're arm is straight and when it's not. It's not important. What's important is where you make contact with the ball. On a 1HBH, you really have to hit the ball way out in front of your body. On the forehand and 2HBH, this isn't the case, and it takes a while to get used to that. If you hit the ball at the right contact point then the arm straightening takes care of itself. You won't be able to help it.

Pointing the butt cap at the ball is just a reference point for getting the head of the racket back into a good position, to allow a nice uncoiling through the contact zone.

The problem with not worrying about whether the arm get straightened out is that some guys I have helped with this stroke, never get it straight, and wind up with a slighly bent elbow at contact, which is not prefereable. I agree that if someone hit is way out front, they will naturally straighten it out. Some guys however...just don't quite get out far enough naturally. It is just something to be aware of, when 'developing' technique.

Ross K
11-18-2007, 12:59 AM
Just a little update here...

Having learnt the fundamentals and worked quite intensely for a while on that really pacy, topspin shot with the high takeback (as exemplified by Gasquet and Henin), I've found it pretty hard indeed to introduce it effectively into a proper match. Instead I was routinely doing a altogether slower, low-powered, overly careful version which wasn't causing anyone too much trouble. On more of a positive note though, this in turn made me look at my flat bh (for this I utillise a short, straight takeback, give it a very solid, firm and and relatively abrupt strike, ie not the long and raised followthru'.) At least the results with this have been encouraging. I should also add as regards ROS and in general I find it far easier to integrate the 1her than the 2. Basically, my game has become easier and more simplified, and as a result, better. That said though, I've a long way to go with the 1her until it's really a weapon... oh, and btw, as for my slice, it tends to be a little too floaty for my liking, and therefore I tend to use it purely as a last resort.

Please feel free to add your comments on anything 1her-related.

Ross

tricky
11-19-2007, 03:36 PM
Neat 1H BH tip of the day:


Federer has a textbook classical 1H-BH with Eastern grip. However, he does have one tweak, which gives him a heavier shot than other classical Eastern 1H BHs.

As he's preparing his unit turn, he inverts his racquet by pronating his forearm as much as he can. His racquet remains on edge, but now his wrist is very laid back.

When he starts his forward swing, this creates the amount of forearm rotation or wiping action onto the ball, thereby creating more spin without changing the swing plane. Therefore, he gets a heavier shot.
Okay, now onto a basic checklist for 1H BH . . .



1) First, you want to make sure your wrist is stable but free to rotate. To do this, while practice swinging, hold the racquet with just your index, 4th and 5th fingers. This will cause you to lay the wrist back enough to have a stable foundation, but enable your forearm to rotate through the shot.

2) Next, work on the 1H BH without any takeback whatsoever. This helps a lot in working out the stances, weight transfer and figuring out the contact zone.

2a) Is back perfectly straight when you step through the BH?

2b) Is racquet frame perpendicular to back fence before you initiate forward swing?

2c) Is front foot set before you initiate forward swing?

2d) Are you swinging to the sky with the elbow? Leading a classic Eastern 1H BH with the elbow helps to abbreviate the stroke, improve racquet speed, and above all, swing without opening up the body.

3) Then, add the takeback. The takeback should be a smile pattern, led with the elbow. If you do this correctly, then your body won't open up very much. Practice the smile pattern, leading with the elbow, a few times in order to get the feel down.

3a) Is racquet frame perpendicular to back fence before you initiate takeback? This is very important for both power and accuracy, because you need to have a proper unit turn before you initiate the arms. Without the unit turn, the feet can't give you the power.

3b) At end/height of takeback, is shoulder touching or just under the chin?

3c) Is your back still straight in your forward swing?
And checklist for a Gasquet-style BH. Just for Ross. ;)


1) First, move grip over to a grip between Eastern and SW BH grip. This swing is lateral (or across the body), and thus your wrist needs more support.

2) Second, without any takeback, "draw" the racquet like a sword. Finish, so that your racquet tip points to the top-right fence.

2a) Draw with the elbow or the shoulder.

2b) Your body will open up significantly.

2c) Your stance will be more open than in typical classical 1H BH.

3) Now, visualize the finish for the top-back fence.

3a) Your racquet tip may not actually point to the back fence, but this visualization will cause you to swing forward and then across. This is what you want.

3b) You will notice that the best footwork for power is to step forward (not turn with th ebody), as if you were a samurai drawing your sword from the sheath.

3c) Work on the footwork and the finish until this feels natural.

4) Now, add the back. The takeback should be a C/circular motion instead of a smile pattern. Like a forehand.

4a) Lead with the elbow or shoulder. This will keep the motion compact and give you better power and wiping action.

4b) Try to keep the armpit a little closed (imagine you're holding a ping pong ball in your armpit) as you take the racquet back. This help to keep the takeback abbreviated.

4c) During the backswing, the arm moves into the body.

5) Work through same checklist as step 3 in the "basic" section.

5a) Is racquet frame perpendicular to back fence before you initiate takeback?

5b) At end/height of takeback, is shoulder touching or just under the chin?

5c) Is your back still straight in your forward swing?

bad_call
11-19-2007, 07:09 PM
a lot of good info on the 1HBH in this thread. lately my 1HBH has moved up a gear...hope it stays in this gear for a while.

Tennis-Chris
11-19-2007, 07:19 PM
I have played with a one handed backhand my whole life and the single most important thing for me is to drive through the ball and counter with my right arm (I'm a lefty) which forces me to drive through.:mrgreen:

Ross K
11-19-2007, 10:55 PM
Thanks tricky for above ^

I shall carefully and properly study what I'm sure is some excellent advice later. For now though, just to quickly say...

The Federer tip reminds me of that thing A-Rod does right at the very start of his serve when he inverts his wrist or turns the racquet open and kind of addresses the ball with the frame before the the toss.

Secondly, the top spin motion I've been working on I might describe as a lateral and fairly flat figure 8 (where the racquet head brushes along the thigh), followed by a U shape (on its side) for the followthrough. Judging from the one time I've read your above post, I think this is more a Gasquet style, although you will also not be surprised to hear I've been looking at Henin's bh rather a lot.

On a more basic level though, I just need to get it so that a decent standard top spin bh comes fairly imediately to me, as opposed to the usual long time of toil and error it's presently taking before the timing, rhythm and desired pace kicks in.

Jonny S&V
11-19-2007, 11:31 PM
RossK, this'll sound wierd, but I love you!!! This thread got me thinking what is wrong with my backhand in general. I just got my slice back yesterday and all this new info makes me want to go to the courts and try topspin backhand out (even though it is about 1:30 in the morning :-( ). I would recommend this thread to any one-hander out there. :grin:

fastdunn
11-20-2007, 12:04 PM
I bet 95% of problem (for us non-pro, but not beginner) is from footwork and too much shoulder turn.

circusmouse
11-20-2007, 12:52 PM
I have found this to be about the most helpful trick for getting my 1hbh on track when it goes off:

http://tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/backhand/backhand.aspx?id=741

HappyChappy
11-20-2007, 12:56 PM
just imagine yu're b!tch slapping andy roddick after another loss to federer

tricky
11-20-2007, 03:18 PM
just imagine yu're b!tch slapping andy roddick after another loss to federer

Greatest tip ever. :D

The Federer tip reminds me of that thing A-Rod does right at the very start of his serve when he inverts his wrist or turns the racquet open and kind of addresses the ball with the frame before the the toss.

Yeah, it's the same trick. I always did that because it was a convenient way to lay back the wrist. And it's actually easy to add to serves, FH, and BHs.

Judging from the one time I've read your above post, I think this is more a Gasquet style, although you will also not be surprised to hear I've been looking at Henin's bh rather a lot.

Ahh, okay. So you ARE going for the Henin/Gasquet-style BH. :D

Kuerten, Henin and Gasquet's BHs are similar (both lateral); Gasquet's more abbreviated.

On a more basic level though, I just need to get it so that a decent standard top spin bh comes fairly imediately to me, as opposed to the usual long time of toil and error it's presently taking before the timing, rhythm and desired pace kicks in.

But it does sound like you want to go for the more exotic Gasquet/Henin variety, which is more difficult to execute than the classical "to the sky" style. That would require working with a different finish and all that.

Ross K
11-20-2007, 11:19 PM
Hey tricky, everybody,

You know what I want for Christmas?...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW_bxpi7FKw

Ross K
11-20-2007, 11:24 PM
And if Santa could also please get me this?...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMlxdZFW4Lg&feature=related

(Wait until later in the rally when the bh bomb is dropped!)

tennisace432
11-20-2007, 11:33 PM
santa isn't that generous.....

tricky
11-21-2007, 01:01 AM
Ross K --

If you want to learn a BH like this, the key thing is to start without the takeback. The difficult part isn't actually the arm, it's making sense how the body and feet work with this kind of style.

Normally you'd assume that you'd have to rotate your body a lot in order to swing the arm around. But that is not the case. Just as with a classical 1H BH, it's still about leg drive and weight transfer. Yes, the stance is more open; yes, your body opens up. But you still set up your unit turn with the feet; your back is still perfectly straight; you still drive the forward swing with your legs, and the weight still shifts toward your front foot. It's really important to get that down before you add in the takeback.

So, when you first try, hold the racquet around your hip, as you would first learning a classical BH without a takeback. Learn to finish with the racquet pointing toward the top part of the back fence. Learn to swing with the shoulder. It's a bit like drawing a sword from the sheath.

After you get the motion down into your muscle memory (which is not easy), then concentrate on the takeback.

mtnpaul
11-28-2007, 04:50 PM
I would say Henin has a more extreme grip than Gasquet, and Gasquet perhaps slightly more extreme than Federer, but not by much.

This is just a theory, but I find that a more extreme grip is better suited for a shorter person.

If you think about clay court players, many of them use an exteme western grip on the forehand side because the balls bounce so high. In a similar fashion balls to the backhand side of a shorter person bounce higher relative to where their shoulder is than it does for a taller person.

In any case most people have a problem handling high backhands. Of course one can adjust by taking the ball early, but that is typically a harder shot to execute.

I also hit a one handed backhand, but it needs a lot of work.

How to repressurize your tennis balls cheaply (http://blog.neodial.com/?p=25)
http://blog.neodial.com/?p=25

Ross K
11-30-2007, 11:50 PM
Inspired by that Murray vid that's going around I think it's high time I started putting more efforts into the slice shot. Although a 2her, his 1her slice is VERY pacy and accurate and low. For me, I tend to utilize my slice pretty rarely (too easy for opponent with it hanging up in the air like a balloon!) I usually prefer to the top spin drive option, and probably even when it's the wrong option.

zacinnc78
12-01-2007, 04:38 PM
u need a strong shoulder ....do the rotator cuff exercises ...u can opnly benefit from this and not just on backhand but every other stroke too

Ross K
12-02-2007, 12:31 AM
u need a strong shoulder ....do the rotator cuff exercises ...u can opnly benefit from this and not just on backhand but every other stroke too

Actually I have tried to 'put more shoulder' into my serve and fh, but haven't got round to it yet with my 1hbh. So then... what are these exercises you speak of?