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View Full Version : Slow-paced, loopy balls and the topspin 2HBH... suggestions?


Bud
12-22-2009, 04:34 AM
As some quick background... I switched to a 2HBH full-time back in September of this year (2009). So, I've been using it exclusively now for 3 full months.

I notice when receiving a low-paced, non-spinny ball to my BH (i.e. pusher ball)... my form can break down a bit using the topspin 2HBH. I feel more pressure hitting a slow ball than a higher-paced, heavier ball. It's as though I get too complacent (or think too much) and my technique breaks down.

My natural tendency is to push this ball back deep with little spin (which I really dislike doing). I feel if I try to put decent topspin on it, it's either going into the net (racquet face collapses) or long (opens too much). It's like a complete lack of feel when hitting such a slow-paced ball. My FH side is the complete opposite... I can do virtually anything with such a ball.

I've worked on my technique by simply tossing a ball up in the air... letting it bounce a couple times then hitting it over the net with the 2HBH... trying to find decent net clearance, depth and spin. I focus on bending my knees to get low, pointing the butt cap at the ball, swinging from low to high, hitting on the outside of the ball and using my core to generate most of the power.

I have to say, this is working pretty well as my match play is getting better when receiving this type of ball. I'm beginning to occasionally 'feel' the shot when I hit it (then desperately try and process quickly what I did differently). Gradually, I'm becoming more confident it's going where I desire with pace, spin and depth.

Am I simply impatient and want it too quickly... as it does seem to be slowly evolving?

I'd like to hear any stories and/or tips from others who have/had the same issue with their 2HBH.

- - - - -

See this thread for more background/info on my transition to the 2HBH from the 1HBH:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=289725

aphex
12-22-2009, 04:50 AM
As some quick background... I switched to a 2HBH full-time back in September of this year (2009). So, I've been using it exclusively now for 3 full months.

I notice when receiving a low-paced, non-spinny ball to my BH (i.e. pusher ball)... my form can break down a bit using the topspin 2HBH. I feel more pressure hitting a slow ball than a higher-paced, heavier ball. It's as though I get too complacent (or think too much) and my technique breaks down.

My natural tendency is to push this ball back deep with little spin (which I really dislike doing). I feel if I try to put decent topspin on it, it's either going into the net (racquet face collapses) or long (opens too much). It's like a complete lack of feel when hitting such a slow-paced ball. My FH side is the complete opposite... I can do virtually anything with such a ball.

I've worked on my technique by simply tossing a ball up in the air... letting it bounce a couple times then hitting it over the net with the 2HBH... trying to find decent net clearance, depth and spin. I focus on bending my knees to get low, pointing the butt cap at the ball, swinging from low to high, hitting on the outside of the ball and using my core to generate most of the power.

I have to say, this is working pretty well as my match play is getting better when receiving this type of ball. I'm beginning to occasionally 'feel' the shot when I hit it (then desperately try and process quickly what I did differently). Gradually, I'm becoming more confident it's going where I desire with pace, spin and depth.

Am I simply impatient and want it too quickly... as it does seem to be slowly evolving?

I'd like to hear any stories and/or tips from others who have/had the same issue with their 2HBH.

- - - - -

See this thread for more background/info on my transition to the 2HBH from the 1HBH:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=289725


you're doing the right things...give it a bit of time...3 months is nothing

mikeler
12-22-2009, 05:17 AM
When I started playing tennis again 6 years ago, my forearm was too weak to hit my 1 handed backhand so I used a two hander for about 6 months. The straw that broke the camel's back in getting me to go back to the 1 hander was exactly the shot you describe. I loved playing hard hitters but the pushers were eating me for lunch on the 2 hander.

LeeD
12-22-2009, 08:37 AM
Those softer, slower, loopier shots make us MOVE OUR FEET more to get into position, with full shoulder turn, watch the ball and smooth long contact point. Fast movers are easy, you just turn and hit the ball.
So maybe more manuevering of your feet to get into position, as the contact point is much smaller than it would be for a fast moving ball. The ball is rising and dropping within little distance, so you have to move into perfect position to hit it back hard and slight topspin.
Lazy old me, I choose to slice the high arcing slow moving balls. The slice makes the hitter dig the return off their shins, and the ball skids sideways a bit too. Hard slice.

Funbun
12-22-2009, 08:37 AM
I've been playing with a 2HBH all my life, occasionally pulling off a 1HBH when I have a ball I need to put in my pocket in my other hand. Ironically, I've yet to misaimed a 1HBH shot.

Nowadays, I use the open stance 2HBH (like Nadal's), and I find it to be absolutely difficult. I'm switching back to the closed stance now, though. I remember I was able to pull off really powerful backhands in the closed stance, and I'm going to try it out next time I hit the court. Maybe it's my lazy footwork.

LeeD
12-22-2009, 08:53 AM
Not necessarily footwork, but can be.
Your grip influences how well you hit openstance shots. Like a forehand, if you employ SW on the oft hand, or W grip, you should be able to hit openstanced 2hbh's with ease and solid contact.
If you use conti or ebh grip on your oft hand, then closing your stance would allow a longer contact point, to handle slower or dropping balls, as well as fast movers.
Height of the ball at contact is also important. W grips need higher contact point, while conti grips naturally work better with lower balls.

EP1998
12-22-2009, 11:05 AM
I've been playing with a 2HBH all my life, occasionally pulling off a 1HBH when I have a ball I need to put in my pocket in my other hand. Ironically, I've yet to misaimed a 1HBH shot.

Nowadays, I use the open stance 2HBH (like Nadal's), and I find it to be absolutely difficult. I'm switching back to the closed stance now, though. I remember I was able to pull off really powerful backhands in the closed stance, and I'm going to try it out next time I hit the court. Maybe it's my lazy footwork.

The feet are important as is the racquet preparation. And the grips. With a closed stance backhand, if you want a lot of spin, you really have to get your grip way around and get your shoulders rotated. It is not easy. If I am feeling good and playing a lot, I can really get my grip around quickly, engage my core, feel the pull and hit a heavy backhand. It is just hard, make that impossible, for me to do it again the next day because it takes a lot of physical and mental effort. Hitting swinging volleys starting with your racquet back already is a good way to practice it (have someone feed you swinging volleys with your racquet in position, almost like baseball). then you can get the feel for the shot and the sidespin without worrying about the preparation and feet.

Power Player
12-22-2009, 11:38 AM
This is a tough shot to deal with and use a 2hbh. I step back diagonally so I can step back into the shot when it is coming down and get my weight into it. The toughest part is deciding if I want to hit that or a slice. Many times, the slice is the better decision.

ayuname
12-22-2009, 11:41 AM
If you can, you could do both BH's. Normally, I am a 1HBH, but sometimes I'll crack a 2HBH.

Bud
12-22-2009, 01:43 PM
This is a tough shot to deal with and use a 2hbh. I step back diagonally so I can step back into the shot when it is coming down and get my weight into it. The toughest part is deciding if I want to hit that or a slice. Many times, the slice is the better decision.

So, I'm not alone having trouble with a no pace ball to the 2HBH :)

I can recall a time, however, when my FH was the same... I'd deplore no pace shots. Now, I can handle any shot to the FH... so I figure if I just keep at it, it will eventually click.

Cindysphinx
12-22-2009, 01:44 PM
First, I like your idea of drop feeding to yourself. If you can hit a dead ball like that, rally balls are a breeze. I spent some serious time this summer drop feeding, and it really helped.

Second, one thing that helps me on those dead balls is to make sure I am close enough to the ball, with arms slightly bent. Then I think of extending through as I hit (rather than just whipping the racket around myself).

Third, I found some of my 2HBH troubles came from not going out wide enough to really square up on those balls. Instead, I wouldn't go wide enough and would wind up reaching -- which means the ball is going to lack topspin and will fly long.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear the transition is going so well for you!!

FloridaAG
12-22-2009, 02:07 PM
No real advice for you other than practice - I personally love drilling pusher balls with my 2HB - My key is simply to focus on the shot as much or more than on a harder ball - I think people do not position themselves properly or focus enough when it is coming in soft which then leads to not being able to drill the shot.

Bud
12-22-2009, 02:27 PM
First, I like your idea of drop feeding to yourself. If you can hit a dead ball like that, rally balls are a breeze. I spent some serious time this summer drop feeding, and it really helped.

Second, one thing that helps me on those dead balls is to make sure I am close enough to the ball, with arms slightly bent. Then I think of extending through as I hit (rather than just whipping the racket around myself).

Third, I found some of my 2HBH troubles came from not going out wide enough to really square up on those balls. Instead, I wouldn't go wide enough and would wind up reaching -- which means the ball is going to lack topspin and will fly long.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear the transition is going so well for you!!

Thanks Cindy... will give it a try :)

No real advice for you other than practice - I personally love drilling pusher balls with my 2HB - My key is simply to focus on the shot as much or more than on a harder ball - I think people do not position themselves properly or focus enough when it is coming in soft which then leads to not being able to drill the shot.

I think it does come down to body position, footwork and taking the time to swing the racquet... rather than taking the ball too quickly and whipping the racquet around.

mg.dc
12-22-2009, 03:05 PM
With regard to point construction:

This kind of ball -- no pace, no spin -- sounds like an excellent opening to run around it, and with your forehand, rip a deep, big-pace, big-spin ball to your opponent's backhand. Now the point is yours to dictate. Perhaps keep the entire court open for your forehand, and continue going to your opponent's backhand. End the point when the time is right: a weak, short ball.

I like to think I'd run around this kind of ball even if it brought me over to the next court. To be sure, this requires a lot of intensity (I'm thinking here of Nadal).

But if you just want to continue to practice your backhand response to these balls, sounds like trail and error (constant feedback and analysis) is the right way to go.

Bud
12-22-2009, 03:42 PM
With regard to point construction:

This kind of ball -- no pace, no spin -- sounds like an excellent opening to run around it, and with your forehand, rip a deep, big-pace, big-spin ball to your opponent's backhand. Now the point is yours to dictate. Perhaps keep the entire court open for your forehand, and continue going to your opponent's backhand. End the point when the time is right: a weak, short ball.

I like to think I'd run around this kind of ball even if it brought me over to the next court. To be sure, this requires a lot of intensity (I'm thinking here of Nadal).

But if you just want to continue to practice your backhand response to these balls, sounds like trail and error (constant feedback and analysis) is the right way to go.

I like your suggestion and I do run around many of them and hit the inside out FH (if ever in danger of losing the set or match)... However, I see other people with 2HBH's cream these balls and I want to be like them :)... it's such a pretty shot when performed correctly. I can easily push these balls back deep in the court... but it just feels like a weakness when I'm hitting the shot. I like to identify any weaknesses in my game and try and improve them.

Mick
12-22-2009, 03:52 PM
recently, i discovered that the slow pace balls sometimes were more effective than the fast pace ones. it seems that certain players are not used to return such a ball.

LeeD
12-22-2009, 03:55 PM
Slower paced balls usually have a sharper trajectory, so you have to move to get into proper hitting position. Laziness rewards the hitter of the slow ball.
Hard hit flatter balls are easier for most players to handle. The strikezone is much longer, the ball comes to you, and you only have to prepare in time.

Mick
12-22-2009, 04:00 PM
Slower paced balls usually have a sharper trajectory, so you have to move to get into proper hitting position. Laziness rewards the hitter of the slow ball.
Hard hit flatter balls are easier for most players to handle. The strikezone is much longer, the ball comes to you, and you only have to prepare in time.

thanks for the explanation, LeeD. it makes sense.

Logan71
03-07-2012, 01:23 PM
I just wanted everyones thoughts on this so I thought I would use the OP's original thread.

Lee.D points out the difficulty of a slow paced ball whether it's high or lower.They drop through your contact as opposed to coming on a line toward your contact point.

I had real problems with this last season after a 3 year haitus not playing much.The ball drops almost vertically sometimes mid-court waiting to be punished.

What are the main keys to this shot for you?

Power Player
03-07-2012, 01:26 PM
Footwork, eye on the ball and prep.

Bud
03-07-2012, 01:42 PM
I just wanted everyones thoughts on this so I thought I would use the OP's original thread.

Lee.D points out the difficulty of a slow paced ball whether it's high or lower.They drop through your contact as opposed to coming on a line toward your contact point.

I had real problems with this last season after a 3 year haitus not playing much.The ball drops almost vertically sometimes mid-court waiting to be punished.

What are the main keys to this shot for you?

Footwork, eye on the ball and prep.

Nearly 3 years later and I now love this type of ball to my BH (especially midcourt). I can hit it hard and flat or with TS. Amazing what nearly 3 years of hard work will do :)

- -

Try not to let the ball drop. Take it on the top of the bounce by getting into position early. If you prefer to let it bounce (especially if the ball if coming in very deep), then loop it back cross-court.. thinking high-percentage tennis.