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athiker
12-29-2011, 08:20 PM
I hit my fh w/ a good bit of topspin so I know I obviously need to hit more from low to high than I'm doing currently on my 1HBH so what I'm asking for is some mental cues or checkpoints to make this happen on the backhand side.

My bh is decently consistent as it is for my level but I know it can be better...heavier and more consistent. As I watch the ball move away from me I'm always surprised it seems to have very little if any topspin b/c I try to hit it low to high with topspin...it just doesn't seem to happen. Thx.

toly
12-29-2011, 08:55 PM
I hit my fh w/ a good bit of topspin so I know I obviously need to hit more from low to high than I'm doing currently on my 1HBH so what I'm asking for is some mental cues or checkpoints to make this happen on the backhand side.

My bh is decently consistent as it is for my level but I know it can be better...heavier and more consistent. As I watch the ball move away from me I'm always surprised it seems to have very little if any topspin b/c I try to hit it low to high with topspin...it just doesn't seem to happen. Thx.
Try to use supination and external shoulder rotation.


Definitions:

1. Supination is - Forearm clockwise rotation.

2. External shoulder rotation is – Upper arm clockwise rotation.

3. Arm supination = #1 + #2.

pvaudio
12-29-2011, 09:12 PM
^^^ Those are literal cues, not mental cues. That's like telling someone to use pronation on their serve without explaining what it is.

athiker, try this. Unlike with a 2HBH, start with the racquet at shoulder level or higher. This will force you simply by necessity to drop the racquethead to create a low-high stroke. I agree that supination and ESR are crucial for spin, but if the swing path isn't even moderarely low to high, you're missing the main component. After you do this, make sure of the following:

1. Shoulders are somewhere between perpendicular to and facing the net (aka, shoulder turn)

2. Racquet face is parallel to the rear curtain at takeback

3. Step into the ball with your weight moving forward. Front foot should be pointed at the left net post, or at the very least, greater than shoulders' width from your rear foot. The front foot should not parallel to the baseline.


Afterwards, the swing, if your mechanics are correct, will then take care of itself.

fuzz nation
12-30-2011, 04:12 AM
I also hit a 1hbh and I think that much of the puzzle with that stroke is its timing. Compared with pretty much every other stroke, the setup and initiation of the swing for a one-hander needs to happen much sooner to still get a loose, full release through contact. With less time to wind up (due to delayed preparation), there's less time to get that racquet swinging faster to make more spin.

If I want to get the racquet going sooner or at least soon enough, I like the idea of showing my shoulder blade to the ball - this is just the back of the shoulder on my racquet arm. I need to do this right away, even while I'm still moving my feet, so that more of my move is already set to swing forward on time. If that shoulder move is delayed, I'm dead, but if I'm "on the ball" and show my shoulder blade immediately, it's a whole lot easier to release through the ball with a full rip. That gives me any pace or spin I want with that stroke.

papa
12-30-2011, 04:24 AM
I also hit a 1hbh and I think that much of the puzzle with that stroke is its timing. Compared with pretty much every other stroke, the setup and initiation of the swing for a one-hander needs to happen much sooner to still get a loose, full release through contact. With less time to wind up (due to delayed preparation), there's less time to get that racquet swinging faster to make more spin.

If I want to get the racquet going sooner or at least soon enough, I like the idea of showing my shoulder blade to the ball - this is just the back of the shoulder on my racquet arm. I need to do this right away, even while I'm still moving my feet, so that more of my move is already set to swing forward on time. If that shoulder move is delayed, I'm dead, but if I'm "on the ball" and show my shoulder blade immediately, it's a whole lot easier to release through the ball with a full rip. That gives me any pace or spin I want with that stroke.

Yeah, this is a good idea with some - the problem can be keeping the arm straight as it comes into the ball with this approach. Some players do hit the 1HBH with a slightly bent arm but I don't care for it.

Questions are what do you do about opening up too early, can you hit CC with this approach with power and don't you find yourself crowding the ball too much?

Kurte954
12-30-2011, 04:52 AM
In addition to what's already been suggested, make sure you're hitting the ball far enough in front of you. Watch some vids of pros to get an idea where you should make contact. This video helped my 1hbh a lot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq3Pi1KIkT8

Good luck

mikeler
12-30-2011, 05:25 AM
Try using a SW grip like Henin.

vincent_tennis
12-30-2011, 06:04 AM
Try using a SW grip like Henin.

How would he drive low slices then? -,-

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/303700_10150966795125481_681290480_21968270_147656 6813_n.jpg
Contact

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/378924_10150966085115481_681290480_21965266_131382 2153_n.jpg

mikeler
12-30-2011, 06:15 AM
^^^ I don't use SW for slices. The OP asked about topspin so that is what I geared my response to.

vincent_tennis
12-30-2011, 06:17 AM
^^^ I don't use SW for slices. The OP asked about topspin so that is what I geared my response to.

-,- 10 char

sm01
12-30-2011, 06:57 AM
I have had a similar situation and greatly increased my TS. I recommend that you obtain Doug King's DVD on the 1 handed topspin bh from Tennis One--Excellent step by step breakdown of how to generate TS.
One tip that was particularly useful was his analogy on the initiation of the forward motion of the stroke--like drawing a sword from a scabbard. So hold your racquet like its in a scabbard next to your non-hitting arm hip and pull it up and forward. What that does is reposition your wrist to get the racquet head really low. When I started doing that and pulling the racquet across my body, with the strings parallel to the ball flight path, and only squaring up at the last moment by virtue of shoulder rotation, my TS became explosive.

athiker
12-30-2011, 09:32 AM
Thanks for all the responses...will try these tips out and hope for improvement next time out. Appreciate it.

BevelDevil
12-30-2011, 08:49 PM
Try using a SW grip like Henin.

Actually, Henin uses what can be described as an "Extreme Eastern grip", which is the index knuckle on the corner formed by Bevel 1 (top bevel) and Bevel 8 (top back slant bevel). She does not put her knuckle on Bevel 8; that's a very extreme grip.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_nXc8A6kbmeY/TF96iz41DkI/AAAAAAAAABA/WuGfmBd6Gnw/s800/01_justine_henin_backhand%20mod2%20crop.jpg
The red rectangle is Bevel 8.


I highly recommend the Extreme Eastern to everyone who is not tall. If you're short, I think it's mandatory. The transition is easy and the improved results are immediate.

Just as the standard forehand grip in modern tennis is the SW, I think the standard grip for the 1hbh should be the Extreme Eastern. The only reason it isn't is because people who are unhappy with their Eastern 1hbh end up switching to the 2hbh.

Xizel
12-30-2011, 09:40 PM
Modern forehand and one handed backhand shouldn't be interchangeable. The one handed backhand already has enough preparation issues as is compared to the two handed backhand and Eastern forehand.

Roy125
12-30-2011, 10:03 PM
^^^
I heard that extreme eastern backhand grip=semiwestern backhand grip.

West Coast Ace
12-30-2011, 10:09 PM
Thanks for all the responses...will try these tips out and hope for improvement next time out. Appreciate it.One more if you're interested. (Assuming you're right handed): just think about getting your left shoulder below the ball - this will force you to hit up on the BH and get plenty of top.

Xizel
12-30-2011, 10:23 PM
^^^
I heard that extreme eastern backhand grip=semiwestern backhand grip.

I heard that an extreme Eastern backhand grip is more extreme than an Eastern backhand grip and it requires more preparation time to hit more out in front. Is this not true? What I also heard and have repeated in that post is that JUST an Eastern backhand grip already requires great timing, and a more extreme grip would require EVEN better timing. Please correct me if this is false. Thank you very much.

mikeler
12-30-2011, 11:56 PM
^^^
I heard that extreme eastern backhand grip=semiwestern backhand grip.


I'm not expert on naming different grips. Just look at what she uses. Also agree that shorter people will get more benefit from this grip.

BevelDevil
12-31-2011, 12:19 AM
^^^
I heard that extreme eastern backhand grip=semiwestern backhand grip.

Perhaps someone was using a different definition of "Extreme Eastern". Since I'm defining it as Bevel 1/8 (which other people have also defined it as), then it is not the same as the SW forehand. The SW forehand is bevel 4, which is the opposite of bevel 8. Thus, a SW forehand = SW backhand.

This type of backhand grip is way too extreme for most people.

In any case, Henin uses 1/8 which is not the same as the SW forehand. It is, however, fairly close, so someone can use the same side of the racket and have a very small grip change (one-half of a bevel).


I heard that an extreme Eastern backhand grip is more extreme than an Eastern backhand grip and it requires more preparation time to hit more out in front. Is this not true?

Yes it is more extreme. You have slightly less time to react since you are hitting out in front.

However, the same thing could be said about the SW/W forehand grip. Yet it has been decided that the benefits of the extreme forehands outweigh the slight loss in time. If this were not true we would still be using continental forehand grips!



What I also heard and have repeated in that post is that JUST an Eastern backhand grip already requires great timing, and a more extreme grip would require EVEN better timing. Please correct me if this is false. Thank you very much.

I've heard this more about "preparation" rather than "timing".

I'll address each:

"Preparation" (in particular, footwork) applies to the topspin 1hbh because

i) if you get to the ball too late you can't dig it out the same way you can with a 2hbh. This has an easy solution though: If you get to the ball when it's too low, just slice it.

ii) when the ball is coming in high you have to move. If you don't back up enough for the ball to drop lower (or move in enough to hit on the rise), you will have to contact the ball around chest/shoulder height, which is the weakness of the Eastern 1hbh grip. However, if you use an Extreme Eastern you will be able to handle the high balls more easily, thus you won't have to back up.

iii) when the ball is landing deeper than you're ready for you're in trouble. This is a legitimate weakness: A 2hbh can "improvise" a little better when the ball gets behind the optimal contact point. Whereas, a 1hbh will have to resort to a slice block back (using continental) or try to brush up with the Eastern/EE grip and hope the ball makes it over the net. This problem is indeed magnified by using an Extreme Eastern grip.

iv) when you are caught in an open stance you are, supposedly, in more trouble than if you use a 2hbh. I'm not sure if this is true, and if it is, I don't think it's by much.


As for "Timing"-- I think people say this because typically the 1hbh has a big loop (unless you swing like John McEnroe), whereas many 2hbhs are compact, or can be easily made to be compact. But for the most part I think a 1hbh can also be made more compact when needed.


So even if these concerns are somewhat true, why bother with a 1hbh, in particular, with an extreme 1hbh? Because it's easier to rip the ball, and that benefit outweigh the aforementioned problems. (I also feel that the swing takes less energy.)

As I've mentioned in many threads, do you think Henin would have had anywhere near her success if she used a 2hbh? I don't think so. No matter how perfect her 2hbh technique was I don't think it could match the consistent power of her 1hbh.



One more if you're interested. (Assuming you're right handed): just think about getting your left shoulder below the ball - this will force you to hit up on the BH and get plenty of top.

isn't that too low?

pvaudio
12-31-2011, 08:27 AM
^^^
I heard that extreme eastern backhand grip=semiwestern backhand grip.
This is true. Rotation of the wrist by 180 degrees creates either of these two grips

pvaudio
12-31-2011, 08:29 AM
One more if you're interested. (Assuming you're right handed): just think about getting your left shoulder below the ball - this will force you to hit up on the BH and get plenty of top.
Couldn't disagree more. All this is going to do is promote lateness and minimal weight transfer. What a true 1HBH involves is having the lead shoulder low as you take a step into the ball, set your weight, and then swing through it. If your lead shoulder is higher than the rear (by your definition it must be), yes, you'll have topspin, but you have no drive and will have your weight on the wrong foot. Just look at the picture of Henin. Note her shoulders.

spacediver
12-31-2011, 08:40 AM
My understanding is as follows:

Just after takeback (during that crucial and brief period where the racquet lags behind due to the initiation of the forward swing, and where all that lovely loading and stretch-shorten-cycle stuff happens) keep a loose wrist and elbow. This will allow the weight of the racquet to naturally pronate the forearm around elbow joint and to radially deviate the hand around the wrist joint. This will in turn inspire supination of the forearm and ulnar deviation of of the wrist during the forward stroke, which will greatly add snap and topspin to your stroke.

fuzz nation
12-31-2011, 08:46 AM
Yeah, this is a good idea with some - the problem can be keeping the arm straight as it comes into the ball with this approach. Some players do hit the 1HBH with a slightly bent arm but I don't care for it.

Questions are what do you do about opening up too early, can you hit CC with this approach with power and don't you find yourself crowding the ball too much?

Not a strong endorser of a bent arm myself, but I haven't seen pictures or video of my own stroke. Don't want to be a hypocritical weenie!!!

It would be fun to talk this stuff over on a court where we could do a better analysis of things, but off the top of my head, I'd say that I personally open up too early when I don't complete my back-swing. That means that I either don't get my stance properly closed up, don't finish my shoulder turn (show the back of my shoulder to the ball), or both. I guess it's more the case that I remain too opened instead of closing down and opening prematurely.

If I stay too opened like that, that's when I'll crowd the ball and pull the racquet more across the front of me as well as across the back of the ball left-to-right. This is probably a case of using my two-hander positioning when I set up for my one-hander. With decent positioning (not crowding the ball!) and a closed setup, I'm actually fine with going down the line or cross-court. My cross-court shot just demands catching the ball slightly earlier - not as easy to do when an incoming ball is really moving and I have very limited setup time.

fuzz nation
12-31-2011, 09:02 AM
.
One tip that was particularly useful was his analogy on the initiation of the forward motion of the stroke--like drawing a sword from a scabbard. So hold your racquet like its in a scabbard next to your non-hitting arm hip and pull it up and forward.

I like that idea a lot for helping to find the proper orientation for the starting point of the forward swing. I can even use the image of quickly putting a sword into its scabbard for getting the back-swing completed even sooner under fire. It can allow for a bent arm and a compact motion in that phase of the shot to get the racquet set to fire in a big hurry.

My power and spin can really thrive with my one-hander when my follow-through is full and deliberate, too. The image I like to refer to when I want that to happen is the idea of skydiving when it's time to pull the ripcord and open the chute... and not go splat! You don't pull that cord casually, right? You'd take it all the way out with a full extension of the arm. I like that idea for swinging to a full finish with my one-hander.

toly
12-31-2011, 10:06 AM
My understanding is as follows:

Just after takeback (during that crucial and brief period where the racquet lags behind due to the initiation of the forward swing, and where all that lovely loading and stretch-shorten-cycle stuff happens) keep a loose wrist and elbow. This will allow the weight of the racquet to naturally pronate the forearm around elbow joint and to radially deviate the hand around the wrist joint. This will in turn inspire supination of the forearm and ulnar deviation of of the wrist during the forward stroke, which will greatly add snap and topspin to your stroke.
Wow, this is great explanation. Thanks.:):):)

spacediver
12-31-2011, 10:33 AM
:)

I should also add that it's probably more accurate to say that the lag is brought about more by a forward weight shift and perhaps some hip rotation, rather than the actual forward swing.

West Coast Ace
12-31-2011, 11:12 AM
...but you have no drive...I didn't say anything about not pushing off the back leg.

papa
12-31-2011, 11:30 AM
Not a strong endorser of a bent arm myself, but I haven't seen pictures or video of my own stroke. Don't want to be a hypocritical weenie!!!

It would be fun to talk this stuff over on a court where we could do a better analysis of things, but off the top of my head, I'd say that I personally open up too early when I don't complete my back-swing. That means that I either don't get my stance properly closed up, don't finish my shoulder turn (show the back of my shoulder to the ball), or both. I guess it's more the case that I remain too opened instead of closing down and opening prematurely.

If I stay too opened like that, that's when I'll crowd the ball and pull the racquet more across the front of me as well as across the back of the ball left-to-right. This is probably a case of using my two-hander positioning when I set up for my one-hander. With decent positioning (not crowding the ball!) and a closed setup, I'm actually fine with going down the line or cross-court. My cross-court shot just demands catching the ball slightly earlier - not as easy to do when an incoming ball is really moving and I have very limited setup time.

I think it would be great to all get together on court and discuss many of these issues - sure, we'd have our differences but it would be a wonderful experience.

Actually, this morning I happened to help with a High School off- season program involving about ten kids of various levels. I found the "lack" of instruction given was surprising - at least to me. Some may conclude that I talk a lot but unless the player understands what they are doing and why they are doing it, you won't make much progress. I think its important to hit a lot of balls but the player has to understand what they are doing - why some things work and why some don't.

Very often as coaches we have an unique observation which many others don't see/understand. Players most often don't realistically see what they are doing and as a result make the same error/mistake time after time. I don't like this but I see it too frequently and this morning was a perfect example. I just can't see the logic of hitting hundreds of balls wrong.

I saw some kids this morning, during a serving practice, who just kept missing badly. With same corrections, many of these kids came around quickly - not perfect but hitting the ball with pace and hitting spots.

gregor.b
12-31-2011, 11:37 AM
I hit my fh w/ a good bit of topspin so I know I obviously need to hit more from low to high than I'm doing currently on my 1HBH so what I'm asking for is some mental cues or checkpoints to make this happen on the backhand side.

My bh is decently consistent as it is for my level but I know it can be better...heavier and more consistent. As I watch the ball move away from me I'm always surprised it seems to have very little if any topspin b/c I try to hit it low to high with topspin...it just doesn't seem to happen. Thx.

The f/h and the 1 hb/h are different animals in the respect that the forehand is generally accepted to be a singular circular stroke from shoulder turn and racket release through takeback and follow through. The 1 hbh is not. For it to be effective, it is more two separate strokes. First being the shoulder turn/takeback,second being the release through follow through. You don't swing low to high per se. It is actually high (racket head tip at shoulder height or slightly above) to low to high. The higher the takeback, the greater the more you can use gravity to help accelerate the racket head. Then, you can decide how low to take the racket head to get the required amount of spin. I guarantee you will get more than enough spin providing you get the racquet head speed (there are other factors like arm/shoulder strength and weight/balance of racquet and racket face angle etc ).

passive_aggressive
12-31-2011, 12:08 PM
Actually, Henin uses what can be described as an "Extreme Eastern grip", which is the index knuckle on the corner formed by Bevel 1 (top bevel) and Bevel 8 (top back slant bevel). She does not put her knuckle on Bevel 8; that's a very extreme grip.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_nXc8A6kbmeY/TF96iz41DkI/AAAAAAAAABA/WuGfmBd6Gnw/s800/01_justine_henin_backhand%20mod2%20crop.jpg
The red rectangle is Bevel 8.


I highly recommend the Extreme Eastern to everyone who is not tall. If you're short, I think it's mandatory. The transition is easy and the improved results are immediate.

Just as the standard forehand grip in modern tennis is the SW, I think the standard grip for the 1hbh should be the Extreme Eastern. The only reason it isn't is because people who are unhappy with their Eastern 1hbh end up switching to the 2hbh.

Does any pro (male or female) use a *true* semi-western backhand grip where the base of the index knuckle is on the FLAT of the 8th bevel? Does Kuerten use that grip or is he extreme eastern as well? (Guga was quite tall so I don't see why he'd need to).

I've tried to hit like this - you really need to contort your wrist, and the contact point would probably be over my head - any balls coming at shoulder height downwards would be impossible.

Your so-called 'extreme eastern' where the base of the index knuckle is on the corner between the 1st and 8th bevels offers much more flexibility with regards to contact height with just a 1/2 bevel grip change. It really makes a HUGE difference to the feel/mechanics of the shot.

BevelDevil
12-31-2011, 12:27 PM
regarding pronation: from what I see pros doing (as well as what I do) they use their left hand to pivot the rackethead down to make their right arm pronate, almost like they are cocking back their arm. This has helped me a lot.


Does any pro (male or female) use a *true* semi-western backhand grip where the base of the index knuckle is on the FLAT of the 8th bevel? Does Kuerten use that grip or is he extreme eastern as well? (Guga was quite tall so I don't see why he'd need to).

I've tried to hit like this - you really need to contort your wrist, and the contact point would probably be over my head - any balls coming at shoulder height downwards would be impossible.

Your so-called 'extreme eastern' where the base of the index knuckle is on the corner between the 1st and 8th bevels offers much more flexibility with regards to contact height with just a 1/2 bevel grip change. It really makes a HUGE difference to the feel/mechanics of the shot.

I don't know anyone who uses the bevel 8 grip.

Yeah, the 1/2 bevel change is huge.

westcoast777
12-31-2011, 03:03 PM
Bend your knees, ten dollars please...
More knee bend.

athiker
12-31-2011, 04:07 PM
I read all the replies carefully and kept and will keep them in mind. Thank you for all of the discussion!

I played today and I have to say the easiest thing to focus on while on the court playing sets is the "scabbard" idea. I think it really helped me to remember to let the racquet head drop and then incorporate a more low to high swing path.

I think I was prepping okay (can always be better) before as far as shoulder turn, but just wasn't letting the racquet head drop far enough. The scabbard idea is a great simple easy to remember mental cue...just what I was looking for. I saw some definite topspin improvement today. Initially I think I actually lost a little accuracy side-to-side, but I seemed to get that under control later. Thinking about it I guess its a touch longer swing now than what I was doing before.

Bending knees and keeping a calm/still head can of course always be improved...I need constant reminders of that! Thanks again...and feel free to continue the discussion and more tips are welcome.

Dellon
01-01-2012, 01:04 AM
[QUOTE=BevelDevil;6201064]regarding pronation: from what I see pros doing (as well as what I do) they use their left hand to pivot the rackethead down to make their right arm pronate, almost like they are cocking back their arm. This has helped me a lot.



True! this means keep both hands on teh racquet during takeback and then use the left hand to bring the head of the racquet down and then hit the ball ... u can also use the left hand to pull the racquet back so that your right hand is loose and relaxed, and then as you press the raquet head down the arm will pronate and coil like a spring which you will release when you hit the ball :)

TennisMaverick
01-01-2012, 02:22 AM
Actually, Henin uses what can be described as an "Extreme Eastern grip", which is the index knuckle on the corner formed by Bevel 1 (top bevel) and Bevel 8 (top back slant bevel). She does not put her knuckle on Bevel 8; that's a very extreme grip.

I highly recommend the Extreme Eastern to everyone who is not tall. If you're short, I think it's mandatory. The transition is easy and the improved results are immediate.

This grip encourages excessive supination, which is exactly why she is no longer playing. When the ball is high, higher than one's armpit, the better and safer shot is the slice OHBH.

Xizel
01-01-2012, 09:22 AM
I heard that an extreme Eastern backhand grip is more extreme than an Eastern backhand grip and it requires more preparation time to hit more out in front. Is this not true?

Yes it is more extreme. You have slightly less time to react since you are hitting out in front.

However, the same thing could be said about the SW/W forehand grip. Yet it has been decided that the benefits of the extreme forehands outweigh the slight loss in time. If this were not true we would still be using continental forehand grips!

Again, I believe the backhand and forehand aren't interchangeable. That comparison of the extreme one handed backhand grip to the SW/W grip is off because the base Eastern grip is not the same as each other, despite naming.

The base Eastern backhand grip requires you to hit farther out in front than the Eastern forehand grip, a la SW. The forehand also has more margin for timing errors with more extreme grips due to it being the dominant side with stronger muscles (the forearm flexors vs forearm extensors for backhand), which enable greater control over the racquet and allow shots like a last second flick passing shot, a regular in today's game. The backhand can't do this as well, which is why you have the slice when all else fail.

BevelDevil
01-01-2012, 11:55 AM
This grip encourages excessive supination, which is exactly why she is no longer playing. When the ball is high, higher than one's armpit, the better and safer shot is the slice OHBH.

I read that her injury was caused by a partially torn ligament from a fall at Wimbledon. Perhaps her 1hbh antagonized the injury, but I don't think it caused it. We also don't know if her using an regular Eastern grip would have protected her arm (I don't think so).

Second, as far as I can tell the extreme grip itself doesn't cause more supination, rather it is hitting the ball too high in the strike zone. But the Extreme Eastern grip naturally closes the racket face more and thus raises the strike zone. So what is "high" to a regular Eastern is more "normal" to an Extreme Eastern. I was supinating much more when I was hitting with an eastern grip because I was forcing the rackethead to close on very high balls. I don't do this anymore (or as much) with an Extreme Eastern.

Third, tennis elbow will be less likely with an Extreme Eastern grip since you are hitting further out front.

So overall, it seems the Extreme Eastern is more effective and more healthy.

Fay
01-10-2012, 10:04 PM
Bend your knees, ten dollars please...
More knee bend.

Did you come from figure skating? ... this is what a lot
of coaches said years ago, LOL :-)

Fay
01-10-2012, 10:05 PM
You all can laugh but the biggest improvement in my FH and 1-H BH came when I started bringing my racquet way higher to start ... as in having the racquet like a halo on either side and then letting gravity accelerate my swing. Much easier to get more top spin this way for me.