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View Full Version : Painless one handed backhand?


James Brown
03-31-2004, 07:36 PM
When i normally hit my one hander i'm very..how do I put it, almost robotic? Get the right grip, get ready, step in, full swing (but i dont *break* the wrist). My coach has been telling me I need to kinda..break the wrist or flick it, whatever you wanna call it because my balls come in with odd spin and pace (not topspin :>). So ive tried it lately and it has helped me develop elbow problems (golfer's) and wrist pain. The elbow thing is probably because my arm isnt strong enough and I made a sudden switch to a one handed backhand due to left hand injury.

So im hoping you guys can give me some advice on how to hit a proper top spin one handed backhand thats painless. and maybe throw in some elbow exercises ?

Thanks in advance guys.

brijoel
04-01-2004, 12:17 AM
do not let your wrist break! that more than anything will start to give you wrist pain.
remember to use your shoulder turn primarily to hit the ball not your arm. this means keep your arm straight and simply push out to the ball. more than anything else when trying to reduce pain, make sure you are taking the ball early enough and allowing the momentum of the racquet to hit the ball and not having to force through the ball because you swung late.
as far as spin goes, make sure you are getting under the ball to have a good low to high motion to actually produce the top spin. that and using the "windshield wiper motion" with your wrist should produce more spin than you could possibly need. i recently adjusted my OHBH grip closer to an almost semi-western grip from an eastern grip and this really made me learn to get waaaay under the ball to actually take advantage of the extra spin potential from the grip.

to be perfectly honest, if you are a little edgy looking in your swing, who cares? you just started to use this swing right? its gonna look a little awkward and feel awkward for that matter till you get used to the proper mechanics of it all.

Bungalo Bill
04-01-2004, 06:34 AM
I think Brijoel gave you some excellent advice.

Well there you have it folks. I have said over and over again, if you tinker with the "so called modern" techniques someone is going to wind up getting hurt. I do not mean dont try anything but it is a timeless technique that in tennis the wrist needs to stay fixed but have some elasticity for very minor movement to help in fluidity and shock absorbsion.

The shoulders are key in the onehander. But there is also a dillema with the shoulders as well. You must use the shoulders for power, but you must not over use them to throw off your swing path. You should use the shoulders for power but break them at either when they are perpendicular to the net, or at a little more facing a 45 degree angle, any more then that and you risk over rotation. Your non-dominant arm should help stop the rotation.

There are two variations for the onehander. For both variations the racquet is driven by the butt outward and the forearm is extended until the arm is nearly straight. Where the two variations differ is when the arm is straightened out. If it is straightened during the rotation (Type A), the shoulder must provide the source of power. If it is straightened out during the acceleration stage (Type B), the forearm extension is an additional source of power. The simplest variation is Type A where the arm is straightened out during the rotation stage since from that point onward, the motion is more stable because there are fewer moving parts.

I would advice against two things for now, the windshield wiping for "extra" topspin and the extreme grip. With an extreme grip you take a big chance on shearing the ball because it takes extra strength, timing, and speed to get that racquet head around. Also, the windshield wiping method can have a negative effect on your elbow and wrist which you're already having problems with.

It is obvious that Brijoel is an advanced player and most likely has developed his skills in the onehander.

Just be lower then the ball and and go through it, keep the racquet head on a straight course into the ball. Dont spin away. Take a backswing that is no more then your shoulder turn.

Step into the ball to keep the racquet path straight and on track. Stepping into the ball is not for power - it is used to maximize your chances for a clean contact.

Get your racquet about 12 inches below the ball. Use your legs and your upward swing to provide the lift and topspin on the ball. One force is not more then the other, they are equal in force and angle of rise.

brijoel
04-01-2004, 12:20 PM
bungalobill, i didnt mean for him to try and take on my grip, and swing. lol
i was merely trying to show some real world experience for the need to get below the ball in an exaggerated situation to show how important it really is for the spin.
as far as the windshield wiper motion, as long as you arent forcing it, it shouldnt cause any extra problems. it should be a natural progression forward into the ball as you rotate your shoulders into the shot as well. however, you are very much right, in that it is a slightly more difficult thing to master in terms of timing of the stroke. i merely mentioned it because he was asking how to correct spin.
as usual though, you are the resident king of tennis mechanics, lol.

~bows~

bungalobill, where in so cal are you, and are you currently teaching anywhere?

Bungalo Bill
04-01-2004, 12:30 PM
bungalobill, i didnt mean for him to try and take on my grip, and swing. lol
i was merely trying to show some real world experience for the need to get below the ball in an exaggerated situation to show how important it really is for the spin.
as far as the windshield wiper motion, as long as you arent forcing it, it shouldnt cause any extra problems. it should be a natural progression forward into the ball as you rotate your shoulders into the shot as well. however, you are very much right, in that it is a slightly more difficult thing to master in terms of timing of the stroke. i merely mentioned it because he was asking how to correct spin.
as usual though, you are the resident king of tennis mechanics, lol.

~bows~

bungalobill, where in so cal are you, and are you currently teaching anywhere?

I am slowly trying to get out of teaching. Living in So. Cal. and raising a family is a little tougher then I want it to be. Plus, my game sucks from feeding balls, my knees hurt from standing, I am out of shape, and the weather is wearing me out. I want to go the opposite way!

Who knows, I will continue to provide feedback on TW and welcome the chance to see all of you improve your game. I have a degree to fall back on so I am feeling out my options, I just want to make sure my family is taken care of. Tennis teaching is hard for that.

I didnt think you were giving him advise to develop your stroke. I was just afraid he might want to! It is obvious you're a seasoned player and that is great, we need people like you on this board helping the advanced player. I hope you don't think I was commenting negatively against you, I just wanted to make sure he didnt go run off and try your advanced technique too soon - especially while he is a bit injured.

brijoel
04-01-2004, 12:48 PM
lol, no worries bungalo, i just was making sure you didnt think i was telling him to do that.
i used to teach back when i was lived in texas, and loved it. the guy i worked for was starting a family and was getting really stretched with time and money for that matter, so i completely understand what you are saying. i on the other hand am not even 20 yet, hehe, so the family thing has never been an issue. ;)
you are right however i didnt take into account that he's a bit sore when suggesting the wiping motion, rather than just leaving it with the original idea of pushing the racquet out to the ball as you come up to it. that prolly is more than enough spin and would make it much easier to get timing down, not to mention it should help to relieve part of the cause of the pain.

ucd_ace
04-01-2004, 01:15 PM
Yeah, I agree with what these guys have said. Breaking your wrist will lead to more arm trouble and can be accountable for the odd spin.