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JackB1
01-07-2012, 07:08 PM
What is the optimum "ready position" for guys that use a 2 hand backhand?
I recently found that the left hand on my backhand was not under the grip enough and so I made a change to my grip and my 2 hander improved, but my ready position now feels awkward and I feel slower to react to serves.

My coach told me I should have my right hand in my forehand postion (semi-western) and my left hand in a "eastern" position for a backhand. If the serve comes to my forehand, I just let go of my left hand...if it's to my backhand, I twist my right hand counterclockwise to make a full 2 handed backhand grip. Is this the preferred method? Maybe I need to practice it more, but it just feels awkward to me....like my elbows are pointing out to the sides and away from my body. I have been experimenting with these 2 other "styles"...

1) wait in the "full 2handed b/h position" and if it's a forehand, just spin the handle and let go of the left hand.

2) wait like the 1HBH players do, with my right had in the f/h grip and the left hand on the throat. If it's to my backhand side, twist the throat and quickly regrip both hands.

Should I just keep practicing the "preferred method" or is it personal preference? What do all you 2handers do?

user92626
01-07-2012, 08:40 PM
I do it like Nadal does. I'm a lefty as well.

Left hand in FH grip position. The other hand is around the cortex. It's easy to twist the racket into the 2hbh position when needed. If I really pay attention, I'll see that it's my left hand that feels the correct bevel to control the racket face. :)

thug the bunny
01-07-2012, 10:19 PM
When I first took up the 2hbh a few years ago, I debateed about how to get to the bh grip from the fh, but now I don't even think about it. I guess I hold it at ready with my sw fh grip, and left hand on the throat. If I get a bh, I use my left hand to rotate the stick so that my right hand is conti/eastern. I feel the bevel in my hand. Then I place my left hand at a sw (I guess this is a strong 2hbh grip), and pull it back, and fire. I like to put a lot of ts on the 2hbh when possible.

JackB1
01-08-2012, 08:21 AM
I do it like Nadal does. I'm a lefty as well.

Left hand in FH grip position. The other hand is around the cortex. It's easy to twist the racket into the 2hbh position when needed. If I really pay attention, I'll see that it's my left hand that feels the correct bevel to control the racket face. :)

what do you mean by "around the cortex"? You mean on the throat?

JackB1
01-08-2012, 08:24 AM
When I first took up the 2hbh a few years ago, I debateed about how to get to the bh grip from the fh, but now I don't even think about it. I guess I hold it at ready with my sw fh grip, and left hand on the throat. If I get a bh, I use my left hand to rotate the stick so that my right hand is conti/eastern. I feel the bevel in my hand. Then I place my left hand at a sw (I guess this is a strong 2hbh grip), and pull it back, and fire. I like to put a lot of ts on the 2hbh when possible.

I am going to experiment with this method, but I don't think many 2hand players do it this way....more the 1 handers. But I am going to try it because holding 2 hands on the grip just doesn't feel "right" to me.

Funbun
01-08-2012, 09:31 AM
First off, I'm a lefty too.

I used to use a SW forehand grip with my right hand as the typical eastern/SW for the backhand.

As I played more, I realized this really prevented me from doing slice returns on both wings if my opponent really beamed their serve, or kicked them away from me.

Now I use a Continental forehand and regular backhand grip. This will allow me to lunge-retrieve serves by using my Continental to make a desperate slice return, mostly to neutralize the serve. The better players I play tend to aim to my backhand, so I can ensure a relatively aggressive return on most serves. On forehand returns, I can simply rotate my hand on the takeback, or if I don't have time, just punch it back in my SW grip. To me, it makes more sense to have Continental for the the forehand side, since lunging forehand slice returns require little to no takeback at all.

Basically, the only real time I need to rotate my grip at all is during a topspin/flat forehand return. I am usually able to mini-loop takeback on easily-placed serves going to my forehand side, so the rotation is not really a problem at all.

user92626
01-08-2012, 11:43 AM
what do you mean by "around the cortex"? You mean on the throat?

Yeah it's the thingie at 7, 8" from the buttcap. It's an ideal place if you think about it cuz it's the mid point between moving your non dominant hand up for FH or down for 2hbh.

Champs990411
01-08-2012, 11:54 AM
I used to be a two hands on the grip player. Now I am changing my style to one a la Mardy Fish. Set the bottom hand, slide down the top, showtime. His BH seems to be OK.

Still two on for returns, though. Not enough time for the alternative.

rkelley
01-08-2012, 02:07 PM
I do right hand in continental, left up the throat to assist the grip change if I need it. I can take most serves to my bh with my regular 2hbh - no right hand grip change. If I get pulled wide on my bh side I can go one handed with the continental and still block it back. If my opponent nails the serve to my fh I can return with the continental on that side too.

For ground strokes I never have an issue changing grips, and once I go in towards the net all volleys, half volleys, and over heads are continental.

I've tried both hands on the grip but it just never felt right to me.

Cindysphinx
01-08-2012, 02:34 PM
I had a pro show me something really cool a few years back, and that is now my ready position.

RH is in the SW forehand grip.

LH is in the correct grip for a 2HBH (sorry, cannot remember the name of that grip).

The key is that when you know it is a BH, you loosen your right hand. The mere act of turning your shoulders for 2HBH will rotate the grip in your RH. You're ready to fire.

I was shocked that using the shoulder turn to set the grip works, but it does. Then you have one less thing to worry about.

tennis_pr0
01-08-2012, 02:39 PM
I did not read all the comments so I don't know if this was mentioned yet, but I think waiting in your standard backhand position would be best if you have a continental grip on the bottom hand. This way, you are ready to hit your backhand, and if you hit a forehand you just need to rotate your bottom hand a little. Also, the real benefit of waiting in the backhand grip is if you need to slice the ball, your bottom hand is already in the grip which you would slice the ball.

JackB1
01-08-2012, 04:23 PM
I had a pro show me something really cool a few years back, and that is now my ready position.

RH is in the SW forehand grip.

LH is in the correct grip for a 2HBH (sorry, cannot remember the name of that grip).

The key is that when you know it is a BH, you loosen your right hand. The mere act of turning your shoulders for 2HBH will rotate the grip in your RH. You're ready to fire.

I was shocked that using the shoulder turn to set the grip works, but it does. Then you have one less thing to worry about.

I know that is the "textbook" ready position, but it feels awkward because both your elbows are pointed outward.

Jay_The_Nomad
01-09-2012, 09:24 AM
+1 to what your coach said (top hand in 2hbh grip and bottom hand in fh grip).

Tennis_pr0's suggestion is also handy (receiving a serve with both hands in your 2hbh grip...assuming you use a continental grip for your bottom hand).

Generally, I adopt what tennis_pr0 suggested if I am receiving from a big server or a first serve. This way I can let go and chip on both wings.

If its a second serve or if I anticipate a weak serve, I would go with what ur coach said.

The only time I have the non-dominant hand on the throat is when I am inside the court either waiting to smash or rushing the net.

MrCLEAN
01-09-2012, 05:02 PM
I do right hand in continental, left up the throat to assist the grip change if I need it. I can take most serves to my bh with my regular 2hbh - no right hand grip change. If I get pulled wide on my bh side I can go one handed with the continental and still block it back. If my opponent nails the serve to my fh I can return with the continental on that side too.


Exactly what I do too. The only change I have to make is if I have a little time on the FH return, I can rotate the right hand down to a SW grip and let er rip.

spaceman_spiff
01-10-2012, 05:58 AM
I know that is the "textbook" ready position, but it feels awkward because both your elbows are pointed outward.

Why would you want your elbows pointing inward?

If you watch any other sport that involves an athletic stance (ski racers about to make a hard turn, soccer goalies anticipating a shot, etc.), they don't have their elbows pointing inward. They have their arms out for balance.

Since your hands need to be on your racket, the next best thing is to have your elbows out a bit.

If you really want to know which ready position is best, have your coach stand at the service line and whack serves at you from there. You'll quickly see why he's telling you to do the simultaneous FH/BH grip combination. It's just so much faster and easier to hit returns from either side from that starting point.

rkelley
01-15-2012, 07:12 AM
I do right hand in continental, left up the throat to assist the grip change if I need it. I can take most serves to my bh with my regular 2hbh - no right hand grip change. If I get pulled wide on my bh side I can go one handed with the continental and still block it back. If my opponent nails the serve to my fh I can return with the continental on that side too.

For ground strokes I never have an issue changing grips, and once I go in towards the net all volleys, half volleys, and over heads are continental.

I've tried both hands on the grip but it just never felt right to me.

So to contradict my own post, and in the continuing and never ending quest to improve at this silly game, I experimented this weekend on a weakness that's started to come up as I've started hitting with better players. It is return of serve. I used to consider this a strength, but against bigger servers I haven't been getting it done if I'm going to be honest with myself.

Yesterday I hit with my son and he was serving to me a lot. He's capable of bringing some serious heat (needs more consistency and still working on getting some topspin on those flat bombs to get some margin of error - but that's a whole 'nother conversation), so I decided to try both hands on the grip in a backhand (so for me, right cont, left SW).

Huge improvement. I was able to get around on some hard ones to my backhand, just lean into them and use his pace, and get a very solid return. He nailed a couple that I was able to drive back very offensively. Not having to slide my left hand down made a difference. On the forehand side, when the serve was too fast for a grip change, it was still easy to just let go with my left hand and block it back with a continental - easier than when I was holding the throat of the racquet.

I also checked out some youtube of Agassi, Djokovic, and Nadal and they seem to have both hands on the grip for the return of serve also, though I can't tell what grip they're holding. So I think I'm going to try this for a while and see how it goes. I'm going to try it in a rally situation too and see how that feels.

JackB1
01-15-2012, 07:57 AM
So to contradict my own post, and in the continuing and never ending quest to improve at this silly game, I experimented this weekend on a weakness that's started to come up as I've started hitting with better players. It is return of serve. I used to consider this a strength, but against bigger servers I haven't been getting it done if I'm going to be honest with myself.

Yesterday I hit with my son and he was serving to me a lot. He's capable of bringing some serious heat (needs more consistency and still working on getting some topspin on those flat bombs to get some margin of error - but that's a whole 'nother conversation), so I decided to try both hands on the grip in a backhand (so for me, right cont, left SW).

Huge improvement. I was able to get around on some hard ones to my backhand, just lean into them and use his pace, and get a very solid return. He nailed a couple that I was able to drive back very offensively. Not having to slide my left hand down made a difference. On the forehand side, when the serve was too fast for a grip change, it was still easy to just let go with my left hand and block it back with a continental - easier than when I was holding the throat of the racquet.

I also checked out some youtube of Agassi, Djokovic, and Nadal and they seem to have both hands on the grip for the return of serve also, though I can't tell what grip they're holding. So I think I'm going to try this for a while and see how it goes. I'm going to try it in a rally situation too and see how that feels.

Why not just leave your right hand in your normal grip instead of continental?

rkelley
01-15-2012, 08:40 AM
Why not just leave your right hand in your normal grip instead of continental?

When you say "normal" I assume you mean leave my right hand in my forehand grip? That's an option.

There are three schools of thought that I can think of:

- Right hand in continental. Ready for bh, which is the more likely ball, and the cont. is a good grip to stab at a hard ball to the fh. If I have a bit more time I can grip change on the fh side.

- Right hand in fh grip. bh isn't too compromised because my left hand controls the racquet on my 2hbh, so if I don't get the grip change all the way around on the bh side I should still be OK. More ready to be aggressive on the fh side. My fh grip is strong E, so it's a reasonable grip to reach for a ball when the serve is really hard.

- Do both depending on the situation.

Limpinhitter
01-15-2012, 09:51 AM
I know that is the "textbook" ready position, but it feels awkward because both your elbows are pointed outward.

That is the textbook ready grip because it works best for most people. Your elbows don't have to be pointed out unless you want them to be.

JackB1
01-15-2012, 12:36 PM
I am amazed and how many here don't use the "textbook" method!

Are there any 2HBH guys that wait for serve with their left hand on the throat or is that not advised?

Ballinbob
01-15-2012, 02:56 PM
I have my right hand conti grip and then my left hand backhand grip. Like others have said that helps with being able to chip/slice back returns, but you have to get used to switching fast to your forehand grip if it comes that way

6-2/6-4/6-0
01-15-2012, 04:07 PM
I am amazed and how many here don't use the "textbook" method!

Are there any 2HBH guys that wait for serve with their left hand on the throat or is that not advised?

I have used a 1hb for years, but since I am not playing as much as I used to when it was a very effective shot for me, and because of the spin that poly string allow players, I have been playing around with switching to a 2hb this winter. I have an eastern forehand, so I just add the second hand on in a semi-western forehand as I'm preparing the takeback and go. To return serve, I still use the Edberg 'dance around back and forth all over the place so that you're already moving when they hit the ball' return preparation so I have just been doing the same thing with my left hand further down the throat than I usually did with the 1hb.

I'm really uncertain which way I'll go at this point. I love the versatility of the 1hb, but the consistency of the 2hb is definitely better when I'm hitting it well.

JackB1
01-15-2012, 07:52 PM
I have my right hand conti grip and then my left hand backhand grip. Like others have said that helps with being able to chip/slice back returns, but you have to get used to switching fast to your forehand grip if it comes that way

I tried this in a match tonite and it worked pretty well. It makes sense when the majority of serves are going to your backhand as most people do. You can always adjust according to where your opponent is serving to most.

thanks to everyone for their recommendations. Its been interesting so far :-)

Ballinbob
01-15-2012, 07:57 PM
I tried this in a match tonite and it worked pretty well. It makes sense when the majority of serves are going to your backhand as most people do. You can always adjust according to where your opponent is serving to most.

thanks to everyone for their recommendations. Its been interesting so far :-)

yeah this thread has been a very good read. I'm going to experiment with the other grip method. Who knows,it might work out for me. But yes, since most people serve to the backhand anyway, that setup I mentioned works great for me.

Good luck:)

JackB1
01-16-2012, 08:46 AM
yeah this thread has been a very good read. I'm going to experiment with the other grip method. Who knows,it might work out for me. But yes, since most people serve to the backhand anyway, that setup I mentioned works great for me.

Good luck:)

I found a key is to keep your lower hand very loose on the racquet, since that is the one that would be rotating if its a forehand. This grip helped my backhand a lot, since I was already preset to hit them. In the past my 2hbh would sometimes be weak and floaty because the racquet face was too open.
when I used to use the "textbook" position where my right hand is in f/h semi western and my left hand is just holding on above it, I didn't have enough time to get a proper 2hbh grip and the face would be too open. I found it easier to preset my b/h and to rotate my right hand if I need a forehand. I am also using this grip in between points...not just for serve returns.

spaceman_spiff
01-23-2012, 05:16 AM
When you say "normal" I assume you mean leave my right hand in my forehand grip? That's an option.

There are three schools of thought that I can think of:

- Right hand in continental. Ready for bh, which is the more likely ball, and the cont. is a good grip to stab at a hard ball to the fh. If I have a bit more time I can grip change on the fh side.

- Right hand in fh grip. bh isn't too compromised because my left hand controls the racquet on my 2hbh, so if I don't get the grip change all the way around on the bh side I should still be OK. More ready to be aggressive on the fh side. My fh grip is strong E, so it's a reasonable grip to reach for a ball when the serve is really hard.

- Do both depending on the situation.

As several of us have said, go with Option 2.

If it goes to your FH, you're already set. If it goes to your BH, your weak hand is already set and controls the racket on the takeback and your strong hand can change naturally during the shoulder turn (as mentioned in Cindy's post). So, it adds no extra time to your swing.

Personally, I like that ready position so much, I use it in rallies as well. After hitting a BH, I change my right hand back to a loose FH grip without changing the left. After hitting a FH, I set my left hand back to the BH grip again while leaving my right as it is.

It really helps when hitting on the rise, especially against big hitters.

Magic of tennis
02-10-2012, 01:16 PM
I am amazed and how many here don't use the "textbook" method!

Are there any 2HBH guys that wait for serve with their left hand on the throat or is that not advised?

I don't know who wrote that text book but like other players said, it is best to keep your right hand where you usually keep for FH and your left hand should be eastern grip or which ever you prefer. It is much faster and consistant to receive serve. Only time I put my left hand to throat is when the ball is coming to my FH side during rally to make sure my FH grip is correctly positioned or to correct grip slightly.

papa
02-11-2012, 05:41 AM
Well, this is something thats dependent on many factors and you will see many approaches. Some prefer to "cheat"/favor the weak side which often is the backhand. Some like the racquet up, some prefer it down more, many hold the racquet in the backhand qrip while many (as I've mentioned) move their feet or positioning to favor the backhand side - the higher players get the more these weaknesses are telegraphed but they are there in all players.