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View Full Version : Need some 1H Backhand Tips


roihxd
02-01-2009, 05:14 PM
I've been playing for about 5 years now, and although I consider my forehand to be above average, my backhand is terrible. Terrible. When I was still in HS, my coach told me during my second year that if only I had SOME sort of backhand, I would make varsity with no problem. Although I still made var a couple of years later, my backhand still stinks like crazy. My backhand is kind of like Gonzo's backhand, except I slice a lot more than he does and they stay low only maybe half the time.

I think one of my major problems is that I keep my weight on my back foot instead of my front foot and swing up, not across. This results in often hitting the ball straight to the net or straight out. I also found that I often get jammed by the ball on my backhand side and resort to a weak slice instead of moving my feet to get into a better position.

My question for you gurus here at the TW forums is if any of you 1-handers have any tips or suggestions that might help me improve my backhand. Whether it be drills or little things to keep in mind when playing, I would certainly appreciate it.

Cheers.

Djokovicfan4life
02-01-2009, 05:19 PM
Here you go: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=236777&highlight=keys+topspin+backhand

LeeD
02-01-2009, 05:39 PM
For me, numero uno is a stable, consistent upperbody posture before, during, and after the stroke.
Once the foundation is consistent, so will your shots, since it's easier to learn and replicate the swing than it is to learn and replicate the groundwork.
With consistent posture and footwork, you can swing for top, flat, or slice, and it all works just fine.
Without your foundation, you can have all 3 swings, but every stroke will be inconsistent.

Djokovicfan4life
02-01-2009, 05:42 PM
For me, numero uno is a stable, consistent upperbody posture before, during, and after the stroke.
Once the foundation is consistent, so will your shots, since it's easier to learn and replicate the swing than it is to learn and replicate the groundwork.
With consistent posture and footwork, you can swing for top, flat, or slice, and it all works just fine.
Without your foundation, you can have all 3 swings, but every stroke will be inconsistent.

Yes, and getting in position before the ball bounces is a very important factor to this.

roihxd
02-01-2009, 05:59 PM
Thanks for your inputs. I now have another question: How do you fight off shots coming at you with tons of spin? I find it to be really hard to hit a high shot using a 1-handed backhand, and often resort to, again, a slice. Is it a good idea to move back and let the shot drop a bit before hitting it? Or should I try to get it off the bounce before it gets too high?

Djokovicfan4life
02-01-2009, 06:02 PM
Thanks for your inputs. I now have another question: How do you fight off shots coming at you with tons of spin? I find it to be really hard to hit a high shot using a 1-handed backhand, and often resort to, again, a slice. Is it a good idea to move back and let the shot drop a bit before hitting it? Or should I try to get it off the bounce before it gets too high?

Personally, I find that my troubles on high balls to my backhand come strictly from footwork issues. I seem to forget to step in on those balls and I arm the ball as a result. This may or may not apply to you, however.

Ideally, you want to take the ball at waist height contact every time. So working on hitting on the rise will pay dividends for you in the long run. Think about moving into the court as well when moving to the ball, not just side to side. You will cut down the angles and keep the ball more in your strike zone this way.

I also have a thread in the Odds and Ends section on the one handed backhand if you're interested. I put a post from a very knowledgeable person on the first page regarding the keys to a great one handed backhand.

LeeD
02-01-2009, 06:05 PM
As usual, depends.
If you have GuiermoVila's backhand, you hit it chin high and watch your opponent weep and wilter.
If you can't hit high balls, why not slice hard crosscourt, using a full Eastern back or even Western backhand grip?
If you retreat and wait for a dropping ball, you are setting yourself up for a long and strenuous running day.
If you shorthop like AndreAgassi, plan on losing lots of matches for the next 5 years.
If your opponent just likes to hit heavy top AT you, well, make him run and scramble by VOLLEYING his high shots to either side of his court, making him run and dig up the low, skidding ball.

Djokovicfan4life
02-01-2009, 06:19 PM
I love the eastern gripped slice, personally, but you're smoking some good stuff if you think you can slice with the SW backhand grip.

Kevo
02-01-2009, 07:51 PM
My first question would be if you know how to hit a 1HBH, or if you've just gotten by with something that sort of resembles a 1HBH if you squint at it from the right angle.

Once you know the stroke, practicing off a backboard is a great way to get a lot of practice in. It allows you to set the pace and work on form or footwork as you choose just by changing the pace and distance from the backboard.

jmjmkim
02-01-2009, 10:31 PM
Thanks for your inputs. I now have another question: How do you fight off shots coming at you with tons of spin? I find it to be really hard to hit a high shot using a 1-handed backhand, and often resort to, again, a slice. Is it a good idea to move back and let the shot drop a bit before hitting it? Or should I try to get it off the bounce before it gets too high?

The grip is so, so important. I had troubles hitting a high backhand with topspin or even flat. I could therefore only slice the high backhands. Now, with the proper grip, I find myself pounding with confidence, balls that are even slightly above my eyebrows. During these times, I notice that my forefinger knuckle is at the 12:00 to 1:00 part of the grip. Try it.

roihxd
02-02-2009, 08:18 AM
The grip is so, so important. I had troubles hitting a high backhand with topspin or even flat. I could therefore only slice the high backhands. Now, with the proper grip, I find myself pounding with confidence, balls that are even slightly above my eyebrows. During these times, I notice that my forefinger knuckle is at the 12:00 to 1:00 part of the grip. Try it.

Sounds interesting. I'll definitely give that a try next time. Thanks a lot.

Frank Silbermann
02-02-2009, 06:58 PM
Taking a high backhand from the baseline, on a good day I can hit it quite firmly with a continental grip and only a little bit of backspin. The high speed flat trajectory, combined with the bit of backspin, causes the ball to skid through. Since the coefficient of dynamic friction is less than half the coefficient of static friction, it comes though with surprising pace.

This approach doesn't work so well, however, when the high ball is near the service line. There, the downward trajectory makes the ball dig more into the ground, so the ball is less likely to skid (so it loses more pace to friction). Also, a merely "firm" shot is kind of a waste in this situation; with any kind of accuracy the net shouldn't be an obstacle anymore, a high, short ball is one you should really murder.

The trouble is that it is difficult to get a great deal of leverage on a high backhand if you hit one-handed, and with the two-hander it is difficult to raise the racket head high enough. I've come up with a solution that works pretty well for me. I start by taking a two-handed grip, putting my non-dominant hand in an extreme-eastern to semi-western grip -- that gives me the leverage on the racket head. Then, to gain racket height, I release my dominant hand. In this way I am able to take the ball at the top of the bounce and still put all my weight into it.