View Full Version : Backhand confusion

01-03-2012, 11:46 PM
Hi I tried searched for how to switch from a one hander to a two-hander but couldn't find any useful posts usually found two to one handed. I love my one-hander but it's becoming to much of a liability when I'm in big points. Thank you

fuzz nation
01-04-2012, 06:24 AM
One thing I'm wondering about is whether you'll have an aptitude to even hit a decent two-hander. In my opinion, we all take to one style or the other more readily and you noted how you love your one-hander. That's usually rather significant in my book. If you haven't had any serious instruction with your one-hander lately, that may save you a whole lot of frustration with the process of getting comfortable with the two-hander.

If you go the route of hammering out a two-hander, I think a great start is to have a hitting partner give you some slow feeds (hand feeds may work best) so that you can hit some off-hand forehands. That just means if you're a righty, you're looking to hit some lefty forehands. The idea is to get that arm engaged so that you can use it to drive the two-hander. You'll be able to hit with less of a closed stance than with a one-hander and you should also find that the most comfortable contact point for a two-hander doesn't need to be so far out in front of you as with the one. You're driving the racquet with your trailing arm instead of your leading arm.

While the one-hander benefits from a weight transfer ahead of the forward stroke, the two-hander primarily "fires" with a shoulder turn. As soon as those shoulders are turned to the side, the stroke is pretty much ready to go. Focus on that quick, deliberate shoulder turn so that you can develop a stroke that can set-and-shoot very quickly under fire.

I love hitting a one-hander for my best rally stroke, but I also rely on a two-hander to bail me out when a hot incoming ball gets "in on me". Much easier to fight off that sort of shot with a two-hander, but when I have enough time to set up, my one-hander gives me more of everything. Just something to consider if you find that your two-hander isn't an ideal fit. In either case, you'll also want a backhand slice to be able to deal with more shots on that wing.

01-04-2012, 06:48 AM
+1 on fuzz nation's post.

Just to emphasize a couple of points:

Hit some lefty forehands. 2hbh are usually better if the left hand is in control. You're going to need to reprogram a life time of controlling the shot with your right hand.

The contact zone will be closer to your body and shorter than on your 1hbh. That shorter contact zone is really important to be aware of, especially if you keep trying to reach out to your old 1hbh contact zone because you'll be making it even smaller.

Remember to turn your shoulders. You can get a lot of power with almost no shoulder turn when you have to, especially if you're blocking back power coming into you, and this is one of the big advantages of a 2hbh. But it's easy to get lazy on not get your shoulders turned when you have the time. If you don't turn your shoulders you also shorten the already short contact zone and you lose max power.

Grips are important. The standard for the right (dominant) hand is continental. The left can be E. fh or SW fh. The left hand grip will affect the topspin you can get. Just like with the forehand, topspin will be a bit easier with the more western grip. There are other grip combos that can work, but I think these are the most pop.

Arm structure at contact is a big deal too. Most men use a left straight, right bent. I think most women are both bent. Some hit with both straight. I can't think of anyone, except maybe Borg, who hit with right straight and left bent. Borg's bh was great, but the entire stroke is different than a typical 2hbh. Borg's was really a 1hbh with some help from the left hand.

The shot has a lot of aspects of being a lefty forehand, but ultimately it's more complicated than that. The right hand is important for power and control. So longer term beware if you take your right hand too much out of the stroke. You'll lose power and stability.

01-04-2012, 02:04 PM
There are different types of 2hbhs: front-arm dominant (like a 1hbh with the other hand on the racket), rear-arm dominant (like a 'left' forehand with the other hand on racket), and any type of mix of the two.

If you are used to a 1hbh you might want to try a front-arm dominant shot, which typically involves keeping the front arm straight like you would a 1hbh. Bottom hand continental.

Btw, what kind of grip do you use on your 1hbh?

01-04-2012, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the tips guys I'll go out tomorrow and try some of those righty forehands, keeping the contact zone closer to my body.

Bevel I keep my index knuckle on bevel one

ps. im a lefty

01-04-2012, 09:29 PM
I have a 1hbh but have been working on a 2hbh as well. I have found that the contact point is not as in front as the 1hbh. It almost feels like i drag my body into the forward swing and contact a little later.. the other thing is having to really rotate into the shot, so have to really turn the hips into the shot. Quite a different sensation to keeping the hips closed like the 1 hander

Its a stroke that i still struggle with.. sometimes it feels quite natural, other times it feels like the most awkward shot on the planet... suffice to say im not totally comfortable with it yet

01-04-2012, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the tips guys I'll go out tomorrow and try some of those righty forehands, keeping the contact zone closer to my body.

Bevel I keep my index knuckle on bevel one

ps. im a lefty

So you used an Eastern grip on tour 1hbh. Have you ever tried an Extreme Eastern, with knuckle rolled back by half a bevel? (This puts your knuckle on the corner formed by intersection of Bevel 1 and the next bevel behind it)

Before you dump your 1hbh, maybe you should give it a try.

Also, if you plan on doing the 2hbh, before you commit to practicing the rightie forehands you should keep in mind that this will promote a very "nondominant-arm" (for you, right arm) backhand. There's nothing wrong with this, in fact, it's a common type.

But keep in mind that Andre Agassi considered his backhand to be heavily a function of his dominant (front) arm. So, in a way, it was more like a 1hbh with an extra hand on it. More specifically, he kept his front arm mostly straight at contact. He initiated his forwardswing by "pulling" the racket forward with his front arm (as in a 1hbh). Only just before contact would his rear hand "push" the racket so it pivoted outwards.

So if you are interested in an Agassi-style backhand, I don't think doing rightie forehands will help you achieve that.