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View Full Version : Switching to 2HBH-Middle aged Rec Player


Logan71
09-19-2011, 08:43 AM
Hi everyone just wanted to know your opinion.I have been back playing regular for the whole summer now after playing a bit sporadically the last 3 years.Love as much as I ever have.
However I have run into a bit of a problem.I'm an all court player by definition.Between 30-35 I used to practice quite regulary,now due to work and family I'm reduced to playing for a couple of hours a week.This means working on my strokes isn't really viable now.My game is pretty good all round considering.
I have though run into an issue with my single handed backhand,it's inconsistent,also now I'm nudging 40 getting into position each time is quite demanding,and physically it gets a bit tough too,because the same shoulder is being used to hit the serve and forehand and backhand.The issue came to a head just a month ago,I have Crohn's disease,had a relapse the same week I had played,didn't know at the time but I nearly collapsed on court going down 11-9 that's games BTW in the third set.
Anyway I gave the 2HBH a whirl,I have used one before when I had TE.My reasoning is to make life a bit easier,less running as I used to run around the forehand a bit.The timing is easier,more time to prepare with a later contact point,I'm getting older.I have really good slice and drop shot,and volley on the backhand side anyway so it's just the topspin drive which is the change.
The experiment went well,the guy I play always manages a set off me,but this time I won in straights only the second time I have managed that.I was less tired,my legs were fresher,and my shoulder wasn't aching for a couple of days afterward.

I'm ready for the calls of sacriledge form the 1hbh club,I'm sorry guys.

LeeD
09-19-2011, 09:45 AM
You'll find.... as you start to lose legs....
First, you slice your backhand deep to opponent's backhand, so you don't have to run around your backhand.
Second, you run farther against equal or smart opponent's, who know you need an extra half step to hit the 2hbh.
Three, you end up adopting a 1hbh slice, deep and to opponent's weaker hitting side, so you don't have to run so much.
2hbh is good for service returns against guys without wide serves.
2hbh can make volleying a tough decision making proposition.
I've played 2hbh thru all my competitive years, and when the legs started failing, adopted a deep slow slice, 1hbh for groundies.

Logan71
09-19-2011, 10:06 AM
You'll find.... as you start to lose legs....
First, you slice your backhand deep to opponent's backhand, so you don't have to run around your backhand.
Second, you run farther against equal or smart opponent's, who know you need an extra half step to hit the 2hbh.
Three, you end up adopting a 1hbh slice, deep and to opponent's weaker hitting side, so you don't have to run so much.
2hbh is good for service returns against guys without wide serves.
2hbh can make volleying a tough decision making proposition.
I've played 2hbh thru all my competitive years, and when the legs started failing, adopted a deep slow slice, 1hbh for groundies.

I've been playing since I was 13 and the slice was all I could ever hit.Never had coaching during those years.I stopped when I got into Football and took up playing again at 29.The topspin backhand was something I then learned through a manual and the internet.
I had a rebound net where I hit topspin single handers religiously for a couple of years.I would say during that time I made less errors than my forehand.
I love hitting it,but it's costing more points these days.The slice backhand is very much part of my strategy and I always use it defensively when I'm on the run or out wide.
The 2 hander is no different for me when I'm in a neutral rally in a cross court situation.Less reach yes,but later contact offsets that,and correct footwork is a must in any stroke.
On the backhand side on a short ball I often hit a slice approach with conti grip and volley with the same grip.
On the 2 hander I use conti for the right hand and modified eastern for the left.
I want to pursue the experiment for a while so it's interesting to hear your thoughts.Thanks

JackB1
09-19-2011, 10:35 AM
There's no right answer here. I don't really know if switching to a 2HBH will make your games "less tiring"? I switched from 1 to 2 when I had some bad TE. The 2hander is more steady but I could hit the 1 hander harder, but like you, it's way less consistent. You could just use a slice for most of your backhands and just a 2 hander to block back serves or higher balls on your backhand side. There are plenty og guys at the 3.5-4.0 level that primarily slice their backhands.

Logan71
09-19-2011, 11:46 AM
There's no right answer here. I don't really know if switching to a 2HBH will make your games "less tiring"? I switched from 1 to 2 when I had some bad TE. The 2hander is more steady but I could hit the 1 hander harder, but like you, it's way less consistent. You could just use a slice for most of your backhands and just a 2 hander to block back serves or higher balls on your backhand side. There are plenty og guys at the 3.5-4.0 level that primarily slice their backhands.

I hit it well when my muscles are fresh in the first couple of sets.It's more a back and shoulder tiring as opposed to an aerobic loss of fitness.When the lactic acid builds up,coiling up and unwinding for a couple of hours,and using the forearm to steady the face.
It starts to go off.Although this is less of a problem on an even balanced racket as opposed to a head heavy one.

JackB1
09-19-2011, 12:07 PM
I hit it well when my muscles are fresh in the first couple of sets.It's more a back and shoulder tiring as opposed to an aerobic loss of fitness.When the lactic acid builds up,coiling up and unwinding for a couple of hours,and using the forearm to steady the face.
It starts to go off.Although this is less of a problem on an even balanced racket as opposed to a head heavy one.

I actually think the 2 hander requires more from your body then the one hander. More shoulder and leg drive. One handers feel easier to execute.

Devilito
09-19-2011, 12:18 PM
I found hitting a 1hbh a lot less tiring than a 2hbh. I could come over more balls out wide with a 1hbh than a 2hbh. A 2hbh often requires faster speed to get into position as it has a shorter reach. So even if you hit a 2hbh if you're being pulled out wide often you might see yourself slicing the majority of your shots. With a 1hbh i come over a lot of shots even if i'm pulled out wide making it actually easier for me as i get older. In terms of consistency and in-frequent playing. A 2hbh is just more consistent as it’s less prone to breaking down and less dependant on good timing and proper form.

imissjustine
09-20-2011, 07:22 AM
I too am thinking of trying a 2HBH. I never thought I would say that as I am a great fan of the single hander and think if executed correctly it is the most beautiful shot in tennis (look at Federer, Henin, Gasquet). But needs must and my single hander is just not consistent enough for topspin shots. I can slice ok with it, but for power shots, especially hitting down the line I'm coming round to the idea of a 2HBH. I'm 38 so it will be interesting to see how the change goes and if I'm able to adapt.

user92626
09-20-2011, 09:42 AM
Since I've seen too many inconsistent 1 handers, including the disappointed performances at pro level, it was just a matter of time for my frustration and dissappointment to set in and I kinda dislike that stroke with a passion. :)

If you can see how the 1 hander can be exploited at the Pro level, it's exponentially worse at recreational level. It cannot be a thing of beauty if it shanks or produces an UE at every 3 shots!

Logan71
09-20-2011, 10:26 AM
Since I've seen too many inconsistent 1 handers, including the disappointed performances at pro level, it was just a matter of time for my frustration and dissappointment to set in and I kinda dislike that stroke with a passion. :)

If you can see how the 1 hander can be exploited at the Pro level, it's exponentially worse at recreational level. It cannot be a thing of beauty if it shanks or produces an UE at every 3 shots!

That's the thing it has intoxicating allure.Others have commented on my backhand and it does look good,but after struggling with it all summer I decided I needed to ask myself do I want to keep the ball in play and create pressure or do I want to miss and give points away between DTL passing shots whipped winners cross court?

I'm just not nailing my contact point regulary.It's very precise,you have to be early.As I said earlier it made me tougher to beat playing the two hander.Return of serve was stronger,and I opened up the court more when I went cross court.

LeeD
09-20-2011, 11:40 AM
Remember, you only have to convince yourself to try it, not us or others.
I used 2hbh for 3 years of C to A level tennis tournaments. Coming back to tennis 15 years later, at an age of 40+, was tough to make the necessary extra half step, and tougher to swing out on every ball. A penetrating slice can take care of most problems, and a sliced DTL pass is very effective, when mixed with a sliced DTL lob.

Logan71
09-21-2011, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I'm just trying to mentally think out loud on the board as none of my friends is obsessed with tennis like me.

Had a knock up with my young son and practiced both backhands,very revealing and helpful,nothing like experiential learning.

junbumkim
09-21-2011, 12:57 PM
Two hander isn't really going to solve your movement issue. One hander takes a little longer to prepare and you have to meet the ball more out in front, but two hander requires more footwork to get into the position, which means you have to be quicker on your feet.

SeriousSummer
09-21-2011, 03:07 PM
I've gone back and forth between one- and two-handed backhands for years. Neither is good; neither is terrible.

I've finally settled down to a system of sorts where I use both. I return serve (unless its very wide) with two hands. When I need to hit a passing shot and have time to set up, then I hit two handed (my topspin is much more reliable) and once and awhile I mix in a two handed topspin in a long rally.

Everything else I hit one handed, normally flat or sliced, although I do hit a mild topspin down the line with one hand to try for a winner as a deceptive play if my opponent camps in his backhand corner.

I'd say that if you have a good one hander, don't switch entirely, but maybe mix in a two-handed return where its useful.

thug the bunny
09-22-2011, 10:55 AM
I just can't hit a hard TS 1hbh. I think it may be the hardest shot in tennis, and I envy those who can do it, as I agree that the 1hbh is the prettiest looking stroke. I can't even hit a hard skidding slice 1hbh like I did when I was young. So, I went with the 2hbh, and after a few months of looking like a jack*****, it started to work. Now I don't fear the backhand side, and look forward to hitting nice hard TS shots with it. I don't know about letting the OP run less, but a good 2hbh will definitely make his opps run more.

LeeD
09-22-2011, 01:23 PM
That's one VERY overlooked point on this forum!
If you can make your opponent run hard and far, you won't have to run as hard nor as far to get to his return.
That goes for rackets, setups, conditioning, or philosophy.

bad_call
09-22-2011, 06:23 PM
I found hitting a 1hbh a lot less tiring than a 2hbh. I could come over more balls out wide with a 1hbh than a 2hbh. A 2hbh often requires faster speed to get into position as it has a shorter reach. So even if you hit a 2hbh if you're being pulled out wide often you might see yourself slicing the majority of your shots. With a 1hbh i come over a lot of shots even if i'm pulled out wide making it actually easier for me as i get older. In terms of consistency and in-frequent playing. A 2hbh is just more consistent as itís less prone to breaking down and less dependant on good timing and proper form.

well said...er posted.

Frank Silbermann
09-22-2011, 07:19 PM
...The issue came to a head just a month ago,I have Crohn's disease,had a relapse the same week I had played,didn't know at the time but I nearly collapsed on court going down 11-9 that's games BTW in the third set.If you have Crohn's disease, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminthic_therapy
http://www.disinfo.com/2009/05/hookworm-therapy-as-treatment-for-crohns-disease/
http://boingboing.net/2009/05/26/is-crohns-disease-on.html
http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=6008

Logan71
09-22-2011, 09:38 PM
If you have Crohn's disease, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminthic_therapy
http://www.disinfo.com/2009/05/hookworm-therapy-as-treatment-for-crohns-disease/
http://boingboing.net/2009/05/26/is-crohns-disease-on.html
http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=6008


It's ok I've had it for 12 years and it's under control.I had been in remission for that entire time.The match was a couple of days before the relapse.

Now on steroids for a couple of months and I'm pleased to say I'm back on court healthy and well and won my next match in 3 straight sets,it's all good.

Thankyou for taking the time though to post:)

Limpinhitter
09-23-2011, 07:28 PM
It's ok I've had it for 12 years and it's under control.I had been in remission for that entire time.The match was a couple of days before the relapse.

Now on steroids for a couple of months and I'm pleased to say I'm back on court healthy and well and won my next match in 3 straight sets,it's all good.

Thankyou for taking the time though to post:)

A 2hb takes more footwork to get in to position to hit the ball than a 1hb slice. IMO, the 1hb slice is the easiest shot in the game both in terms of technique and the effort needed to hit it, and the most consistent shot in the game. If your legs are an issue, IMO, you'll get more bang for the buck working on and perfecting your 1hb slice than trying to learn to hit a 2hb.

thug the bunny
09-23-2011, 07:40 PM
A 2hb takes more footwork to get in to position to hit the ball than a 1hb slice. IMO, the 1hb slice is the easiest shot in the game both in terms of technique and the effort needed to hit it, and the most consistent shot in the game. If your legs are an issue, IMO, you'll get more bang for the buck working on and perfecting your 1hb slice than trying to learn to hit a 2hb.

Yes, but what if you want to get a BH that has some balls? I feel that a 1HBH TS shot needs exquisite timing and technique, whereas a 2BHB you can just whack without as much investment into tehcnique.

Logan71
09-23-2011, 09:34 PM
Hi guys just an update.

I have been out to hit up a few times since the original post.The issue for me has nothing to do with the slice backhand.
I've been playing the slice backhand since I was 13 when I started playing this great game.It's always been part of my play.
I hit all sorts of shots with it.That shot is intact and not part of what I'm suggesting.
My issue is topspin,the offensive choice between Two hands or one.Which is going to be easier to hit when I want to step in and hit.
I personally feel having had a few sessions alternating between the two that with a one handed topspin drive that you are forced to slice more.You have to arrive early be prepared because the contact point is out in front and the window for error is narrow due to the one hand.
If you are late there is no second hand to save the stroke,and that's when you go defensive and the ball can be manipulated back into play with the slice.

With the Two hands you now have a larger window for contact,in fact you don't have to be as consistent in the contact zone.Those two hands give you more room for error because of that back hand on the racket handle.

I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing for your technique I'll leave that debate for the some of the coaches on here,but it's one of the reasons why it's an easier shot to hit and through actual play I have more control over the shot.
I also found I hit more offensive shots on average with two hands.One hand it seems to me you just have to accept that sometimes you are just not going to get there every time to hit offensive topspin drives.We have all hit cross court backhands in drills,and I have done these.In fact It's pretty easy,I can hit them really well,but tennis is a moving game,and sometimes no matter how well you move there isn't time to get set up properly.
That also goes for the two hander,so the footwork isn't the important thing for me here,I have to run whether I'm 20 or 40.
The fact for me as rec player is this.With two hands on a topspin shot I get more balls in play.I also mentally feel that when I'm moving to my backhand side whether I'm running fairly fast or just gliding there I have an even choice of whether to slice or hit topspin.
With one hand I feel that because of the high premium on being correctly positioned for the one handed topspin I have less of a choice when I get to the ball whether I can hit it,then slice becomes a default shot rather than a choice of shot selection.

Sorry to be long winded but the last two posts actually kind of sum up the dilemma for me.
If I was to compare it as a choice of 2 pro's and the style of play,do I want to be Feliciano Lopez where I'm slicing an awful lot and only hitting topspin drives when I can or a more metronomic consistent style as shown by Mr Djokovic these days?