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View Full Version : Changing from a good 2-handed backhand to a 1-Hander- My Story.....


Carlito
03-28-2008, 11:30 AM
The reason I am posting this is because i am seeing a lot of post from people asking for advice about one handers and also post about how one handers suck. Perhaps others can say why they changed and their experience.

I was about 14 in 1994 or so when I decided to change backhands. I had been playing since I was twelve. I was already pretty good for my age (varsity as a freshman, I think I was ranked around 60 or so in SoCal I used to beat a lot of adults who say they were 4.0+ etc.). I thought I had a good 2 hander, very consistent and good power.

The reason I changed was because I wanted to play a more attacking style. I was also serving and volleying alot and playing double. Also because the pros I really admired had one handers (Sampras, Becker, Edberg, Graf).

Changing was very very difficult at first. I was still playing with the two hander for matches and practicing the one hander on the side. One day I decide to commit to the switch. The first couple matches was rough. I think I lost in the first round of tournaments 4 out of 5 times. I was winning about 50% of my matches overall and losing to people I often beat. Things were not looking good but I decided to stick with it

One of the main reasons I had a tough time adjusting was I just wasn't strong enough yet. I figure the one hander uses a totally separate set of muscles that I just didn't normally use. Also it has to do with shoulder fleixibily and other physiological stuff like that Im sure. Also the Muscle memory wasn't there yet. I probably took 3 months just for me to feel like I could really hit the ball with any strength.

It took about 6 months for me to be able to say I had a "reliable" back hand meaning I could hit the ball back with out it getting clobbered right back to me. I ended up playing very defensivly and sliceing a lot of stuff back. Especially high balls. I just remember watching Graf play and all she ever did was slice the ball so I figured I could make it work for me. I would occasionally hit with top or flat but it was more of a choice not to due to a lack of confidence. This really wasn't that big of a problem because I was attacking the net more and didn't spend too much time on the baseline. By no means was the back hand a weapon but it wasn't a liablilty either.

It took almost a year for me to have the confidence to hit the ball with pace and eventually I made a conscious decision to hit the ball flatter or with topspin more often. I just took a lot of practice because it was definiety harder to hit a one-hander with pace than a two hander. But eventually I could hit every shot with the one-hander much better than I could before with the two hander.

Now my back hand is my best shot. I probably hit more backhand winners than forehand winners and I make very few unforced errors.

The benefits were better reach, more variety, and better disguise. It was also easier to trasition to the net. I also I eventually found it easier to return serve because I didn't have to decide if I should have one hand on the racket or two.

So for those of you who are thinking about changing, keep in mind that it takes a while to get good at it and your game will suffer at first (unless your two-hander suck as well), however I think it was worth it. There are people saying one-handers are not good for todays game. I think, a BAD one hander is not good for anyone's game. But with practice there is no reason you shouldn't be able to hit a one-hander as well as a two hander.

Caloi
03-28-2008, 11:45 AM
Interesting read. I was taught a two handed back hand as a kid probably due to (lack of) strength. I still use it at 35 and obviously much stronger. I'd like to practice a one hander more but just haven't. That is a goal of mine this summer.

Carlito
03-28-2008, 02:56 PM
Im sure most kids start with a 2 hander because they aren't strong enough to hit a one hander. But even as a teen or young adult, unless you have a workout to specifically train the muscles used to hit a one hander I would think it is highly unlikely that you have strength to hit a one-hander with significant pace. If you think about it, its not a motion that uses the muscles that you commonly use in everyday life. Unless your job is a pimp and you get a lot of practice b**ch-slapping your hoes.

TennisProdigy
03-28-2008, 03:29 PM
I'm glad this works for you, my backhand is my best shot too and I hit it with 2 hands. Similar to you it is more consistent and can be hit with more pace than my forehand. I have experimented with one handers before and IMO 2h bh have more reach than a one handed backhand. At least for me since I can slide on all surfaces when stretched out wide on the bh side I slide and can hit a solid shot with plenty of pace and depth. I could not see myself doing this with a one hander.

As for variety and disguise, I do not hit drop shots and slices with 2 hands thats for sure but I still use them quite a bit. I'll have to give the edge to 1 handed backhands in the category but 2h can change direction of the ball better than one handers can.

In my opinion the reason you were able to acquire such a great one handed shot is because your favorite players used one handers and thus gave you the motivation and desire to do it. I think if your favorite players used 2 hands you could have also developed a great 2h bh but what ever works is good. GL

Rickson
03-28-2008, 10:20 PM
The reason I am posting this is because i am seeing a lot of post from people asking for advice about one handers and also post about how one handers suck. Perhaps others can say why they changed and their experience.


Interesting read. I was taught a two handed back hand as a kid probably due to (lack of) strength. I still use it at 35 and obviously much stronger. I'd like to practice a one hander more but just haven't. That is a goal of mine this summer.


I think it's time to join the Society.


The One Handed Backhand Society (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=172774&page=7)

Moz
03-29-2008, 03:32 AM
The reason I changed was because I wanted to play a more attacking style. I was also serving and volleying alot and playing double. Also because the pros I really admired had one handers (Sampras, Becker, Edberg, Graf).



Well done on making the change effectively. I see lots of people who make their backhand worse by changing for cosmetic reasons.

Forgive me for saying so but it looks as though only one out of the four reasons you state is actually a good reason for changing.

Josherer
03-29-2008, 05:06 AM
You've seen the light and changed to a 1hbh.

Good on you! :)

daku10
03-29-2008, 08:18 AM
one hander is the way to go...good on you!

Rickson
04-01-2008, 03:22 PM
You've seen the light and changed to a 1hbh.



one hander is the way to go


Alright! Way to represent!

Ultra2HolyGrail
04-01-2008, 03:33 PM
You've seen the light and changed to a 1hbh.

Yup, he must of missed the light that shows him shanking backhands and returns like never before... I'm thinking he had a dream that he was federer and was ripping one handers :)

Rickson
04-01-2008, 06:31 PM
Yup, he must of missed the light that shows him shanking backhands and returns like never before... I'm thinking he had a dream that he was federer and was ripping one handers :)

Like 2 handers never shank.

limitup
04-01-2008, 08:08 PM
A good 1 hander has nothing to do with strength. Yes you need basic fitness, but people like Federer do NOT have "big" shoulders. I guarantee my shoulders are stronger than Federers, but his backhand is 100 times better than mine.

kirschbomb
04-20-2008, 12:31 PM
A good 1 hander has nothing to do with strength. Yes you need basic fitness, but people like Federer do NOT have "big" shoulders. I guarantee my shoulders are stronger than Federers, but his backhand is 100 times better than mine.

I think it's more about "muscle memory" than "strength".