View Full Version : Hand Coming Off 2-Handed Backhand
10-22-2009, 08:13 PM
During my last two tennis matches, I've noticed that my left hand will let go of the racquet during the follow through of my two-handed backhand. I've never noticed this happening before and would like opinions on what stroke flaw leads to this.
It may be nerves or getting tight at certain points in the match. I was sort of guiding forehands in and also shanking lots of backhands. I settled my backhand down and was relying on it to keep me in the match. It was around that time that I noticed my left hand flying off the grip during the follow through. I am right handed.
As best I can tell, the hand flies off the racquet right after contact is made as the follow through begins. Very frustrating and not sure why I am doing this all of the sudden.
10-22-2009, 08:15 PM
I would purposefully do that when I was using a really low powered flexible racket and a lot of topspin. I don't think it is bad for you stroke. It adds a lot of spin and pace unless you are doing it wrong.
10-23-2009, 12:03 AM
I think it's because you're not using your top hand effectively throughout the stroke. You should be extending your non-dominant arm through your target for as long as you can. This aids in control and penetration. If you're pulling or snatching your bottom hand away from your top hand, chances are you're also snatching your racket head away from the ball.
Mishitting is an indication that you're changing the plane of your swing path too sharply during contact, so drive through it more with that top hand using it to keep the racket stable through your contact zone.
If you perform these functions correctly, you will be able to draw a straight line from your shoulder, through your arm and racket, towards your target.
Something like this.^^^
10-23-2009, 12:48 AM
There's nothing wrong with letting go with your non-dominant hand (left hand for right handed players).
There is a lot more variation on 2 handed backhands. Borg comes to mind as a player that let go with the left. Its like a 2 hander with a 1 handed follow thru.
I sometimes have students open the fingers on the left for a few ball feeds to ensure they use the dominant hand control and to get thru the swing line with the left instead of pulling around. Hands should feel balanced thru the hit.
10-23-2009, 07:58 AM
I've thought this through and will pay more attention next time I play a match. I think without the pressure of matchplay, it is less of a problem. For instance, when practicing with a ball machine I hit the backhand pretty smooth and consistently.
I haven't played in tournaments since the early 90s and it is just getting back into the feel of competitive tennis. I think Quikj might be right on with this one. I think I am guilty of jerking the racquet head up too quickly in an attempt to help the ball over the net. As a result I am hitting shanks and/or pulling my left hand off the racquet way too soon.
I agree with 4sound to a point. I have seen others be quite successful with pulling the hand off the racquet, but I cannot do it. It is too distracting and the resulting shots are poor.
10-23-2009, 11:22 AM
As a general rule try not to muscle thru the backhand with your forearms and wrists. (easier said than done, especially if your not in position & late)
90% of shank/mishits comes from the racket swing line coming around the body too much instead of forward thru the ball path.
If you haven't already done so, have someone video tape you so you can really see yourself objectively.
10-23-2009, 12:11 PM
Yep, a little video will tell a whole lot.
It could be the case that you're actually trying to hit a right hand dominant backhand, but using your left hand more to stabilize the racquet and get it moving forward through contact. This is an interesting sort of a hybrid stroke that I noodled with myself a few years ago, but unless you've tried to construct this sort of a shot for yourself, it probably didn't happen spontaneously.
You may just need to get your left arm to be a bit more in command of your two-hander. I like to focus on extending that arm through contact, but also on extending to a full follow through so that I don't decelerate through the hitting zone. If your left hand is coming off the racquet, it sounds like it's only along for the ride and in that case, I'll bet that you're not getting good leverage or a good release of the racquet through the hitting zone. Easy for the racquet head to wander without the left hand powering it I think.
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