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View Full Version : I'm debating, 1H or 2H Backhand


Mystikal
02-03-2009, 09:18 AM
What are pros and cons.

Right now I have a 1 Handed backhand, but I can't depend on it and its like a 25% to be a decent shot, but it has no pace at all.

What should I do?

dcjaybutchdc
02-03-2009, 09:23 AM
ask to be fed a basket to your backhand twice. one for each. then you will get an idea of what you like better.

pros and cons can differ with different people. some people have more control with 2h, some with 1h etc.

raiden031
02-03-2009, 09:28 AM
I have developed reasonably good ones of each. I used to hit with 2hbh but switched to 1hbh. Here is my experience with them.

2hbh
-----
felt too restrictive and I had trouble generating power.
was easier to develop consistency.
promotes more proper technique.
looks and feels boring.

1hbh
-----
took exponentially more practice to become dependable.
still a bit of a weakness in doubles return of serve.
easier to generate power and hit deep, penetrating shots.
better reach.
can promote poor technique.
looks better.
way more fun!

NOTE: My power issues with the 2-hbh might have been because I was a much less skilled player overall. I know that good players have no problem generating good power, but it just didn't work for me.

Bolivian Ace
02-03-2009, 09:31 AM
If you are patient enough it's worth developing a 1h. It's less demanding fisically, but you need to take your time to develop good technique, otherwise it's worthless.

soyizgood
02-03-2009, 09:43 AM
Without bringing out the trolls, I'll try to take this from a somewhat neutral perspective. This is not so easy especially since we don't have a video to analyze.

While the one-handed backhand provides for reach and flexibility, it comes with additional responsibilities and potential cons as well (high balls, earlier point of contact). The same can be said for the two-handed backhand for its pace and stability (slightly less reach, low balls).

The 1HBH requires you to bend your knees, transfer weight onto the front foot, and strike the ball in a fluid, delicate manner with a finish that fully extends your arm. While the feel might be good, timing is VERY critical to execute this stroke properly. The mindset for this stroke is to come out and meet the ball ASAP whether you hit a topspin or slice backhand.

Like the 1HBH, the 2HBH requires you to bend your knees and transfer weight onto the front foot. Unlike the 1HBH, you can strike the ball in a manner that is more to your comfort level. Meaning you can hit early and apply pace or topspin or hit a bit later to potentially freeze and deceive the opponent.

There are several major differences between the backhands. With the 2HBH, the power is coming primarily from the weak arm. You'd likely want to practice hitting some weak hand forehands in order to test the 2HBH out. Because this is practically a weak arm forehand, you need to step into the shot and turn your hips to generate the power. Hip turn is vital for a 2HBH while it is practically non-existent with the 1HBH. The finish for a 2HBH typically ends with the racquet head behind the shoulder.

In short, just try them both out. When done right, both backhands are very effective. The 2HBH tends to be easier to gain proficiency with, but the 1HBH can generate more topspin and can be an effective weapon IF DONE CORRECTLY.

Slicendicer
02-03-2009, 10:16 AM
What are pros and cons.

Right now I have a 1 Handed backhand, but I can't depend on it and its like a 25% to be a decent shot, but it has no pace at all.

What should I do?

Decide which style backhand YOU WANT to play with, then stick to it. Practice hitting as much as possible. Rent a ball machine and rip backhands
2x a week for 1 hour. Most good 1H players also have a good slice BH, make sure you practice it too. Return of serve is probably the weakest aspect of a 1HBH, use your slice to start the point. Good Luck.

oneguy21
02-03-2009, 11:05 AM
Whichever you decide to have, keep your one handed slice.

Djokovicfan4life
02-03-2009, 12:13 PM
Without bringing out the trolls, I'll try to take this from a somewhat neutral perspective. This is not so easy especially since we don't have a video to analyze.

While the one-handed backhand provides for reach and flexibility, it comes with additional responsibilities and potential cons as well (high balls, earlier point of contact). The same can be said for the two-handed backhand for its pace and stability (slightly less reach, low balls).

The 1HBH requires you to bend your knees, transfer weight onto the front foot, and strike the ball in a fluid, delicate manner with a finish that fully extends your arm. While the feel might be good, timing is VERY critical to execute this stroke properly. The mindset for this stroke is to come out and meet the ball ASAP whether you hit a topspin or slice backhand.

Like the 1HBH, the 2HBH requires you to bend your knees and transfer weight onto the front foot. Unlike the 1HBH, you can strike the ball in a manner that is more to your comfort level. Meaning you can hit early and apply pace or topspin or hit a bit later to potentially freeze and deceive the opponent.

There are several major differences between the backhands. With the 2HBH, the power is coming primarily from the weak arm. You'd likely want to practice hitting some weak hand forehands in order to test the 2HBH out. Because this is practically a weak arm forehand, you need to step into the shot and turn your hips to generate the power. Hip turn is vital for a 2HBH while it is practically non-existent with the 1HBH. The finish for a 2HBH typically ends with the racquet head behind the shoulder.

In short, just try them both out. When done right, both backhands are very effective. The 2HBH tends to be easier to gain proficiency with, but the 1HBH can generate more topspin and can be an effective weapon IF DONE CORRECTLY.

Agree with all of this, except that thing about the comfort level, or at least in my case. I like to take the ball way out in front of my body on both wings, personally. The legs were definitely the biggest issue with my backhand. It was just too flat because I had a tendency to golf the ball a bit with Gilles Simon style pencil legs, haha! I'm getting much more spin now though. Another tip that really helped me was to "let the racquet just swing itself". Now of course this is a physical impossibility from a technical standpoint. But by focusing on this concept I found it much easier to loosen up and just let the racquet drop below the height of the ball using the natural forces of gravity. From here on out the swing is a piece of cake. :)

Okazaki Fragment
02-03-2009, 12:15 PM
What are pros and cons.

Right now I have a 1 Handed backhand, but I can't depend on it and its like a 25% to be a decent shot, but it has no pace at all.

What should I do?

2H Backhands take up a lot of energy for me. In both the setup and swing. I can hit a lot harder with the 2 hander, though.

Vice Versa for 1H Backhand.

Djokovicfan4life
02-03-2009, 12:21 PM
2H Backhands take up a lot of energy for me. In both the setup and swing. I can hit a lot harder with the 2 hander, though.

Vice Versa for 1H Backhand.

I'm no expert, but you may not be getting enough shoulder rotation on your two hander if you feel that you're using too much energy. It's not easy to follow through with two arms and still stay fairly sideways towards the net. :)

Okazaki Fragment
02-03-2009, 12:44 PM
I'm no expert, but you may not be getting enough shoulder rotation on your two hander if you feel that you're using too much energy. It's not easy to follow through with two arms and still stay fairly sideways towards the net. :)

Maybe. The again, it might be because I tried to whack the ball as hard as I could to put as much topspin I can on it. The setup on the 1H is much easier.

Tennisman912
02-03-2009, 11:42 PM
A well executed one-hander is a thing of beauty. I would work on and take a few lessons. Get sideways. have a firm wrist. unit turn. extend through the ball and keep your back arm behind you as a counter weight. That makes a big difference. Practice.

I highly recommend you check fuzzyyellowballs.com. There are some good instruction videos there on the one-hander. Another website is videojug. There are a couple of great one hand tutorials by Fabian Seixa and Francis Rubeiro (and other shots). Be warned though. They make it look almost too easy. That is what good technique will do for you. Between those three sources, you should be own your way.

The key is learning the right feeling when you hit it correctly. That only comes with practice.
Good luck and practice.


TM

Hot Sauce
02-04-2009, 12:42 AM
Choose the backhand that suits your game.

Djokovicfan4life
02-04-2009, 01:38 AM
Maybe. The again, it might be because I tried to whack the ball as hard as I could to put as much topspin I can on it. The setup on the 1H is much easier.
I get the feeling that you have a very simple take back, judging by this response here. I agree that in reality the one hander is an incredibly simple stroke when executed properly and efficiently.
A well executed one-hander is a thing of beauty. I would work on and take a few lessons. Get sideways. have a firm wrist. unit turn. extend through the ball and keep your back arm behind you as a counter weight. That makes a big difference. Practice.

I highly recommend you check fuzzyyellowballs.com. There are some good instruction videos there on the one-hander. Another website is videojug. There are a couple of great one hand tutorials by Fabian Seixa and Francis Rubeiro (and other shots). Be warned though. They make it look almost too easy. That is what good technique will do for you. Between those three sources, you should be own your way.

The key is learning the right feeling when you hit it correctly. That only comes with practice.
Good luck and practice.


TM

Great stuff, especially the bit about extension up and through the ball. I just have one crucial idea to add here: weight transfer. The timing of your weight transfer is THE key to a great one handed backhand, at least in my case.

YMMV.

Matt

snr
02-04-2009, 07:21 AM
I was debating the same thing a few months back and even posted a thread here :P.

I finally settled on a 2hbh. The one I "started" with.

I could still hit with both, and IMO its still an asset for me to be able to get more pace on a ball that I can't get close enough to to execute a 2hbh, than if I were to do a 1h slice.

But the main reason why I chose it was just to really to be honest, skip the process of having to develop a very good 1hbh technique for returning a strong serve. Returning is something I find important and even my coach agreed that for beginning, learning how to return with a 2hbh would be easier.

Even a few months after deciding to "stick" with it though, my 2hbh was pretty crappy. The power was only remotely more than my 1hbh (which itself is pretty weak due to the fact that I don't commonly use it). However, it was around this time that I fixed my technique for the 2hbh and now, with hip rotation, it has decent power. My 2hbh is still right hand dominant (i'm right handed)... so I disagree with the "left handed" forehand idea. My left hand undoubtedly adds to the stroke, but it feels more in a supportive role. My left is bent through contact and only straightens out at the follow through.

The stroke for me is perfect to be honest..doesn't look as nice but hey, what the heck. A definite benefit of the 1h for me is to not have to use hip rotation day in day out...

Kevo
02-04-2009, 07:31 AM
I think in general I would recommend a 2HBH. It is much easier for most people to return serve with, and high balls are easier with it as well. I would recommend learning a 1H slice along with it though for those times when that is pretty much the only workable shot choice.

I can actually hit both shots pretty well, but I am more comfortable with 1H, and I have spent plenty of time working on it to make it a weapon. I still think a 2 hander is better for most though.

Some people never feel comfortable taking a full swing at the ball with 2 hands. For those people I would recommend a switch to a 1 hander. You really need to be comfortable swinging at the ball, and you won't have a decent backhand, either style, unless you can swing at the ball.

Since you have a 1 hander, but don't like it too much, I would say spend some time with the 2 hander and see if you can get comfortable swinging with both hands. Give it plenty of time so you can be sure one way or the other. If you just aren't comfortable with it, then you will simply have to put in the work on the 1 hander and make it work.

Mountain Ghost
02-04-2009, 08:10 AM
Stop messing around! Doing a “taste test” between a 1HBH and a 2HBH is not the answer. Either take some first class 1HBH lessons from a pro who really knows how to teach it, or switch right now to a 2HBH and continue on your self-taught path.

MG

soyizgood
02-04-2009, 09:16 AM
Stop messing around! Doing a “taste test” between a 1HBH and a 2HBH is not the answer. Either take some first class 1HBH lessons from a pro who really knows how to teach it, or switch right now to a 2HBH and continue on your self-taught path.

MG

MG, that's one of the problems with a 1HBH. I see so many people that take up a 1HBH by themselves and about 90% of the time the result is a poor, sloppy, inefficient, limiting backhand. Instead of getting lessons, they just get used to their acquired form and find ways to either limit their exposure or just slice away.

With a 2HBH, it's easier to pick up on your own. Granted the results can vary, but because the 2HBH is more flexible as far as gripping and timing go it's easier to keep the ball in play at least. It's also easier to detect flaws and make common sense corrections to a 2HBH.

From my experience when I first tried hitting a 1HBH on my own, I was beyond LOUSY at it. One day I mentioned to a friend I might try a 2HBH and he suggested I just go for it. Been with a 2HBH since. I have made so many tweaks and changes to my backhand over the years, but it continually gets better (been my best shot for a few years). Now I have a better fundamental idea of hitting a 1HBH and I have been slicing more. While I can appreciate a well-hit backhand (1H or 2H), I really think someone wanting to take up a 1HBH needs adequate lessons while a 2HBH can be mastered either with lessons or if self-taught with discipline.

Nellie
02-04-2009, 11:13 AM
I don't know enough to answer because I cannot tell how bad your 1 hander is.

But here are some thoughts:

1) if you are, for most part, a beginner (3.0 and below), you will likely pick up the two hander faster. However, if you do not get some instruction, it likely will not be very good either. Many of the problems with your shot (bad footwork and preparation, poor shoulder rotation, etc.) would easily continue if you changed the stroke.

2) you could try to fix your one-hander, and this will likely lead to better results in the short run

Horneto
02-04-2009, 04:16 PM
I played 2H BH when I was a kid (6-14 y.o.). After 19 years absent from the game, I want to give 1H a try when I get back to the game a few months ago. From my experience so far, I feel that 1H is more efficient. It takes many factors to hit 1H right, but once I get a feel of it it's not that difficult.

If you really want to go with 1H, I suggest you take some lessons from a pro. I am lucky to find a good local pro that pay attention to my swing. After 4 sessions of group lessons and countless practice swings at home :), i can hit 1H with decent pace and spin now.

Any way you go, you need more practice in a right way. Oh, don't forget to have fun doing it :).