PDA

View Full Version : Should I go to a 2hbh?


Eph
02-12-2009, 03:33 PM
When I was playing, I was hitting in a 1hbh which was fine. I had a moderately good backhand. I started playing better players who hit faster, and I haven't been able to keep up. My balls go to the left because I'm so behind on the swing - I think that's a timing issue though, no? When I do hit it though, it's usually flying high above the heads. Sometimes I have an excellent cross court shot. On softer shots/volleys my 1hbh is fine, it's just on fired shots.

When I hit with the 2hbh, I have a bit more control and it looks like a slider (I was a pitcher) if I follow the ball path.

So, should I switch or is this merely a timing issue which I need to fix with coaching?

Thanks!

<3tennis!!!
02-12-2009, 03:46 PM
yes,imo i think you should go to the 2hbh. i tried a 1hbh for a while but in the end it was just way too inconsistent and the timing like you said is just not there. the 2hbh has now become my best shot by an absolute mile(only like 2 or 3 ues from that side per set usually) which imo is quite good. it is just such an easy shot to execute and quite easy to get better at.

LeeD
02-12-2009, 03:57 PM
Depends if you're strong enough, prep early enough, and big enough to always hit the one hander....
You could be 5' tall and 70lbs, for all we know, and in that case, use two hander!
Then again, what do YOU want to use? How old are you? How long can you wait for instant gratification?

Eph
02-12-2009, 04:03 PM
I'm 6'2" in the 200s and in my 20s. I don't like instant gratification - tends to mean I didn't work hard enough. I have lots of time since I can't play for 5 more months. I'm guessing it has to do with my footwork, grip, and timing.

Is it possible to improve, or better yet, what's the reason most people are playing with a 2hbh? I saw an interview today with Sampras where he said he made the switch to 1hbh because it's more effective for a serve and volleyer (I guess he was comparing with a baseline player). I like to think of myself as a serve and volleyer player. So I want to hit with a 1hbh but am questioning it as I see most players today playing with a 2hbh and wondering if I'm doing something wrong.

soyizgood
02-12-2009, 04:08 PM
With a 2HBH you tend to get more control and stroke stability. You do need to have good footwork, but you have the flexibility in hitting early or later. You can hit a 2HBH and mix-in a 1HBH slice to get the best of both worlds.

The 1HBH takes a lot of work to get out the bad habits and to implement solid mechanics. Getting lessons for this is practically a requirement. When learned properly, it can be a good stroke.

That said, I wouldn't have the time, patience, or willingness to play with a 1HBH even though I can hit with both it and the 2HBH. A good 2HBH allows players to focus more time on improving their volleys, serves, and forehands. Opponents are less likely to deploy the Nadal strategy of hitting everything to the backhand when facing 2HBH players.

It seems you're comfortable with the 2HBH. That's a promising development as I know folks that honestly cannot hit one.

Here's one link to help you out: http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-master-the-double-handed-backhand

LeeD
02-12-2009, 04:08 PM
Eph...
If I were you, I'd take the 1/2 step gained with a one hander, shorten your backswing, turn your shoulders fully and mostly with your feet, and continue with a one hander. Slice when rushed, hit flat or topspin when you have time to prepare and turn.
Two handers can be an instant cureall for errant one handers. One handers are almost never a cure for errant two handers.
But, that 1/2 step each direction means you're saving a full step every time you are run out wide. And you will learn to chip down the line and hard slice crosscourt, to mute the opposing players hard shots.
Use an Eastern backhand grip for drives when you have time, and use your normal VOLLEY grip for slices when you are rushed.

aimr75
02-12-2009, 04:43 PM
Depends if you're strong enough, prep early enough, and big enough to always hit the one hander....
You could be 5' tall and 70lbs, for all we know, and in that case, use two hander!
Then again, what do YOU want to use? How old are you? How long can you wait for instant gratification?

Henin is a small woman and she handled the 1 hander fine

S H O W S T O P P E R !
02-12-2009, 04:49 PM
The 1HBH is a dying shot, please do not switch! The 1HBH isn't as consistent as the 2HBH but it's much more rewarding. You have the weapon of disguise because you could either drive the ball or slice it. When a 2HBH player slices, you know what he's going to do. Keep working at it and eventually you will see that the 1HBH is much more rewarding to use.

LeeD
02-12-2009, 04:50 PM
and how does one Henin apply here, to a 6'2" OVER 200 lbs MALE player?
Henin...steroids (:twisted:), short career, abberation.
Most big guys can swing one handed pretty solid and controlled. Most little people find the two hander an instant gratification.
Use what you want, but we haven't seen OP's one hander yet.

aimr75
02-12-2009, 05:08 PM
and how does one Henin apply here, to a 6'2" OVER 200 lbs MALE player?
Henin...steroids (:twisted:), short career, abberation.
Most big guys can swing one handed pretty solid and controlled. Most little people find the two hander an instant gratification.
Use what you want, but we haven't seen OP's one hander yet.

i was referring to your statement small people cant effectively hit a one hander

Eph
02-12-2009, 05:27 PM
The 1HBH is a dying shot, please do not switch! The 1HBH isn't as consistent as the 2HBH but it's much more rewarding. You have the weapon of disguise because you could either drive the ball or slice it. When a 2HBH player slices, you know what he's going to do. Keep working at it and eventually you will see that the 1HBH is much more rewarding to use.

Yes, this does seem like a major advantage. Now I just have to make it effective.

junbumkim
02-12-2009, 05:37 PM
and how does one Henin apply here, to a 6'2" OVER 200 lbs MALE player?
Henin...steroids (:twisted:), short career, abberation.
Most big guys can swing one handed pretty solid and controlled. Most little people find the two hander an instant gratification.
Use what you want, but we haven't seen OP's one hander yet.

Henin on steroid? wow......

Although size matters, but it's not a determining factor in whether you should use one hander or two handers.

soyizgood
02-12-2009, 06:29 PM
Most big guys can swing one handed pretty solid and controlled.

Tell that to Kafelnikov (6'3"), Safin (6'4"), Del Potro (6'6"), Monfils (6'4"). Ivanisevic (6'4"), Ancic (6'4"), Querrey (6'5"), Berdych (6'5") as well.

And how come just about all the top tall girls (Ivanovic, Venus, Sharapova, Safina, Dementieva, Hantuchova) on the WTA use 2HBH? I guess they're anomalies too, huh?

Mick
02-12-2009, 06:48 PM
do it if it feels natural to you. if it doesn't then maybe you should stick with a 1hbh.

Djokovicfan4life
02-13-2009, 01:30 AM
The 1HBH takes a lot of work to get out the bad habits and to implement solid mechanics. Getting lessons for this is practically a requirement. When learned properly, it can be a good stroke.



This is not true, provided that the player learns it correctly to begin with. In reality, the one hander is a very simple stroke when executed well.

OP, if you are late then you may want to take a look at your back-swing. Is it big and loopy? Many timing issues with the one hander are usually linked to this. We can't all be Richard Gasquet. Look for Bungalo Bill's posts regarding the "smile" pattern.

Also, weight transfer is crucial to the one hander. Make sure to prepare with the weight loaded on the LEFT leg and then step in with the right as you begin your forward swing. Don't do what most beginner-lower intermediate players do and crossover with the right foot during their preparation. This is a killer when it comes to generating power and spin.

How you use your legs is critical to generating topspin. The left leg collapses as you begin the swing. This drops your racquet head below the ball and insures that you're not "golfing" the ball. You've had knee surgeries before, I if remember correctly? If so, this may be a problem for you. But the two hander uses the legs as well, so.....................

Matt

yellowoctopus
02-13-2009, 07:33 AM
Eph...
Two handers can be an instant cureall for errant one handers. One handers are almost never a cure for errant two handers.


Very well put.


...And you will learn to chip down the line and hard slice crosscourt, to mute the opposing players hard shots.


LeeD made a great point. I rarely see a lot of players with double-handed backhand chip and charge that well--most seems to employ a significantly longer stroke when trying to 'chip'.

For me, after switching to a single-handed backhand in my late teenage year, I noticed right away that my slice and volley improved--I don't know why but the switch benefited my game greatly. The switch took a while but definitely worth it.

LeeD
02-13-2009, 08:09 AM
For you airheads who say all these giant sized PROFESSIONALS are using two handers, so two handed backhands must be better, or at least equal.
All of them learned to play as little childern (rats, brats, tykes), and THEN, they needed the two hander to play the ball. They kept the two hander thru the years because it's easier to refine something that works than to learn a whole NEW technique. Easier meaning they kept their tennis at a high level thru the formulative years, not needing some time to switch.
Eph is a fully grown 6'2" x OVER 200 pound MAN. Not a tyke, not a weaklling.
As a big guy, movement is something to be saved, by hitting harder and dictating the point, rather than shovel the ball back, which is what you do when you first LEARN the two hander. A 6'2" 200 lbs MAN does not need to retrieve or react to your ball, he can make it happen, dictating the action.
Also, just how good is Eph gonna get? Certainly not 7.0, not 6.0, maybe not 5.5.
At 5.0 levels, a decent slice can pass anyone, at that level.

Eph
02-13-2009, 08:12 AM
5,5/6,0 if I get what I want ; )

LeeD
02-13-2009, 08:24 AM
Good goal.
But you won't get there hitting like DonaldYoung!
You need the big shots, the 125 serve and the forehead high second serves. You need the massive 90 mph groundies, a solid approach down the line low and skidded, a sure volley, and a putaway overhead.
You will not win by running the balls down, by angling soft low balls, by using touch and deception.
Simple fact.... you are a big guy. Look at any 200 lbs pro, and they don't win by attrition, they win by big first strike POWER tennis.
A two hander is great for a gazelle like Nadal, but better to learn to slice defensive backhands while you work on the big strong forehands. The slice backhand is easy and quick to learn. The driving two hander takes more prep and footwork than you need to have time to learn.
But in the end, what style of play do you want to achieve?

LeeD
02-13-2009, 08:29 AM
Good goal....
I'd honestly say.... only about 2% of the players ever get close to a true 5.5 to 6.0 level, and that would only last a few 3 years at most.
Basically, you need good form, style, technique.
You need the time to hit 6 hours a day, 6 days a week MINIMUM.
You need work on most of your strokes, so easy dat above.
You'd need at least 3 years of the above.
You'd need good shoes, courttime, practice partners, some coaching, balls, etc. to continue your practice habits.
You also need to be blessed with great athleticism, great spring in the legs, unreal hand eye, and already be a good all around athlete.
Tough roe to hoe.

Mick
02-13-2009, 08:38 AM
You need the time to hit 6 hours a day, 6 days a week MINIMUM.

that is mighty tough, if you have a job and other things to take care of.
also, i think the hitting partners must be high level players too because i don't think you could practice with 3.5, 4.0 hitting partners 6 hrs a day, 6 days a week for 3 years and expect to become a 5.5, 6.0 player.

LeeD
02-13-2009, 08:53 AM
If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
Of course you need better partners constantly.
One thing I mentioned about me me me me :):):)
I always had top pros players and easily two level above amateurs helping me with my game. Product of living in the big city and social skills.
Can't get good without a support group, either serious or casual.
Can't ignore any advice, but choose what you heed wisely. Some famous coach's for instance, always tell me remedial wrong things.
Some drunken, has been, who played with cigarettes in one hand, and a beer at the net, gave some excellent advice.
Gotta be smart, be selective, and have the natural skills....... just for 5.5.

Jay_The_Nomad
02-13-2009, 08:56 AM
My 5 cents is that you should stick with the 2 fister.

I don't think the 1/2 step you save by using the 1bhh really helps all that much... because if you get a fast ball from the opponent in which you'll benefit from taking a 1/2 step less to reach the ball, chances are 2 or 1bh, you'll be slicing it (1 handed) back eitherway.

If the ball isn't that fast, you should be stepping around the shot for an 'inside-out' forehand.

Saving energy here really shouldn't be a consideration because you're young and really should be fighting fit.

If you hit with the 2 hander, even if you're late on the backswing, you'll survive. WIth a 1hander, you're in a heap of trouble.

I also think its a lot more difficult to find the angles with a onehander.

And finally, with a onehander, as another poster mentioned, its absolutely necessary to have a coach to fine tune your stroke because if your technique is poor, you run the risk of injury.

Also, even at 6`2, you'll find lots of problems returning heavy topspin on the backhand... you'll either have to step further away from the baseline (which negates the 1/2 step benefit) or you can take it on the rise. I see plenty of players take the ball on the rise with the 1hbh, but it is often a rather neutral non-agressive shot.

LeeD
02-13-2009, 09:09 AM
Good post!
In the end, it's Eph's call.
Graf's slice was sooo good, she didn't need her excellent topspin one hander.
Feds one hander can beat everyone except a certain lefty.
Eph, at 6'2" tall, won't need a good topspin one hander until he reaches at least 4.5 level, then it's something that should be practiced.
I seriously don't think anyone above 5'10" tall really NEEDS a topspin backhand drive, as an Eastern grip slice provides pace, power, and speed, while a conti slice gives more spin, lower skids, and better depth placement. For return of serve, up to 5.5, a low slice is more than good enough. Depth and placement up to the returner.
More weapons is nice, but takes more time to learn.
And nobody really expects to attain 5.5 levels WITHOUT spending 6 hours a day, 6 days a week, at least 3 years worth.
If work gets in your way, then just accept LOWERED expectations. Be real.

Eph
02-13-2009, 10:29 AM
When I start hitting again, I'm going to play with the 1hbh and get coaching quick.

You really think practice 6h a day 6 days a week is required for 5,5 level tennis? I travel frequently, but am a researcher working on my degree for the next two years so I have time, but not 6h. Maybe 3h a day. When I wasn't injured like I am now, I was hitting 1-2h a day. It was serves and against a wall since I couldn't find a hitting partner and I moved out of Boston. Now I've found a few, and I'll most likely move back to Boston in the fall for more variety.

I expect myself to be down to 240 (about 275 now) in the next ~5 months. Hoping to work myself back down to what I was when I was a baseball player (could have spent time in the farm leagues, if I wanted) and a ski racer: 190 - all muscle. I was "blessed" with 6 knee surgeries in the past 5 years which has slowed me down and buttered me up. Since I can't play tennis these next five months, I am focusing on being a better mental player and also getting in better shape.

I'll welcome any suggestions.

Chris

LeeD
02-13-2009, 10:45 AM
Well, being a former baseball prodigy shows enough athletic skills.
All those knee surgeries just implies FIRST STRIKE, aggressive tennis dictating all the points. Little retrieval, reacting, or scrambling.
Can't you still hit at night? Two handers can be aggressive and strong, quickly and easily learned.
My idea of 5.5 is being able to consistently go 3-5 rounds in qualifying tournaments to PRO level events. That includes beating Div ONE top 5 players, and almost all Div 11 or lower singles players. For sure, not all the time, but at least competitive against any and all.
Also means only OPEN events, competitive with all the players except maybe the winner and his finalist.
If 6 hours a day is not realistic, be aware...EVERY Div 1 player practices close to that. Most coached high school players practice that much.
I don't see how anyone can hit all the various shots off all the various pace and spin until they have hit at least that much.
But you're bigger and stronger than me, maybe you can dictate the points using your size and strength better than me.
Hope so, it's a long road to anything resembling 5.5 tennis.

junbumkim
02-13-2009, 10:48 AM
When I start hitting again, I'm going to play with the 1hbh and get coaching quick.

You really think practice 6h a day 6 days a week is required for 5,5 level tennis? I travel frequently, but am a researcher working on my degree for the next two years so I have time, but not 6h. Maybe 3h a day. When I wasn't injured like I am now, I was hitting 1-2h a day. It was serves and against a wall since I couldn't find a hitting partner and I moved out of Boston. Now I've found a few, and I'll most likely move back to Boston in the fall for more variety.

I expect myself to be down to 240 (about 275 now) in the next ~5 months. Hoping to work myself back down to what I was when I was a baseball player (could have spent time in the farm leagues, if I wanted) and a ski racer: 190 - all muscle. I was "blessed" with 6 knee surgeries in the past 5 years which has slowed me down and buttered me up. Since I can't play tennis these next five months, I am focusing on being a better mental player and also getting in better shape.

I'll welcome any suggestions.

Chris


With two hander, you will need a better mobility. It's pretty easy to get into two hander preparation, but you need to be quick with your feet to get into position if you are stretched.

And from your video and post, I don't think movement is one of your strength - in fact, I would think it would be your weakness.

There are a couple of options. You can stick with one hander and use slice on a difficult shot.

Another option is to use two hander and incorporate slice when you have to move a lot.

There sound the same, but its implications are slightly different for your opponent and you. I can go into more details if you want.

If you are having a timing problem with one handed backhand, it might not go away as you go up the level...At least, it is my case....

And, you do need to develop a topspin groundies from 3.0 and above. Body size and having topspin backhand have NO relationships.

Eph
02-13-2009, 10:54 AM
What videos have you seen of me other than my service videos? I realise I'm not the fastest guy out there, but when I was known to last (have to I guess to pitch 6 innings). Slow and steady.. : )

Please go into more detail, especially w.r.t. the 1hbh as that's how I'm leaning.

>>All those knee surgeries just implies FIRST STRIKE, aggressive tennis dictating all the points. Little retrieval, reacting, or scrambling.<<

Lee, what do you mean by this? I don't think the knee surgeries inhibit me - other than by gaining weight which can go away..

LeeD
02-13-2009, 11:20 AM
We can NEVER recapture our youth.
6 knees in 5 years means you will NEVER come close to your old speed.
Couple that with advancing age, you are now over 250 lbs., means you can gain weight pretty easily, meaning you will never be a retreiver/pusher/counter puncher SUCCESSFULLY.
Your best chance is to use your 6'2" height and leverage, your former fast ball ability, and take the initiative on all points.
I can't explain it any better, so maybe you should think a bit before really committing to a 5.5 goal in tennis.

junbumkim
02-13-2009, 11:22 AM
What videos have you seen of me other than my service videos? I realise I'm not the fastest guy out there, but when I was known to last (have to I guess to pitch 6 innings). Slow and steady.. : )

Please go into more detail, especially w.r.t. the 1hbh as that's how I'm leaning.

>>All those knee surgeries just implies FIRST STRIKE, aggressive tennis dictating all the points. Little retrieval, reacting, or scrambling.<<

Lee, what do you mean by this? I don't think the knee surgeries inhibit me - other than by gaining weight which can go away..

I could definately notice that you were a pretty big guy, which doesn't really help your mobility. And you mentioned knee surgeries, which also wouldn't help your mobility.

If you stuck with one hander AND end with timing difficulty on tough-shots (you may just be fine), then your opponent can really exploit that. He won't really have to move the ball around that much, and just press your bh side and you will make an error.

If you were mobile or quick, you can use slice or block those shots back and look to use your forehand. Gonzo has gone using a lot of slice backhand b/c that gives him time to set up his forehand.

With two hander, if you can handle pace better than with your one hander, it's not as easy to exploit your bh. The opponent has to make sure that the ball is not within your range to exploit your movement. This is under the condition that your 2 bh becomes reasonably good.

Even with one hander, you may have to resort to slice on a lot of shots, then you might be better off using two hander if you can generate more pace and handle pace better.

Even though you want to play first strike tennis, you still need to ability to retrieve shots and stay in the rally. You need to construct the point to a degree and have to be in a reasonable position to strike.

No one really can tell you how you are going to end up with thses strokes. Even my analysis is based on a few assumptions, which may or may not be wrong.

Unless you are playing at pretty high level, reaching 5.5 would be pretty difficult. I think people can reach 4.5 even when they start late and aren't quite athletic with proper coaching and practice. But to get to 5.0 or 5.5, I think you need to start at reasonable age and need some tough competition and decent coaching to develop your game.

Again, this is just my point of view and what I have seen from other people. Some who has had exclusive experience of teaching WIDE RANGE of players could tell you if it is an realistic goal.

Remember, you are not playing tennis to reach "certain level", but to enjoy the game.