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View Full Version : Common mistakes on the one handed back hand.


kiteboard
02-15-2012, 10:21 PM
#1: The most common mistake made is no coil. Not coiling your shoulder back, not lining up your hips with the doubles alley, not closing off your stance with an attacking plant foot, not facing the side fence with the plant foot, not taking your frame backwards with the non dominant arm or leaving the non dominant hand at the throat at take back. This results in a too open, powerless stance, which robs kinetic potential. If there is no voltage backwards in the preparation, there will be no force available in the impact of the ball with the string bed! This is all taken care of with a disciplined yet relaxed and powerful unit turn way ahead of time. The stance has to close off if possible for more power. The hips are parallel with the doubles alley or even more closed off. The plant foot is pointed towards the side fence. The shoulder has to coil backwards, and the frame has to reach way back around our bodies, yet remain fluid and relaxed. So we close off and reach way back. (Given time.)
There is also the mental unit turn, and the mental coil. The will to strike a flat shot, or a superior rpm top spin shot, is a mental thing, and its coiled purpose is just as important as the physical coil. A flaccid passive mind will never produce a weaponized back hand. Do not mistake relaxation for passivity! There is a way to relax while ready to strike. The coil is a relaxed yet tense state, like a snake in a coil on the ground. We wait in our coil like the brown snake coiled up in the brown yellow grass, to strike out with full force once the target arrives in our contact point.

#2: Lifting our hitting foot up at impact takes us off the ground and interrupts our weight transfer. We have to stay grounded to hit the most powerful back hands and derive our forceful acceleration from the ground in timed footwork. If you drive up off the plant foot too early, it straightens your front leg out, lifts your front shoulder up and your chin, sends the ball out long, and takes away your planted weight, and moves your head, shoulders, and frame upwards too early before the impact of the ball. All that is fine if the ball has already been struck and our weight transferred properly. Very bad if the impact has not yet occurred. It’s not impossible to hit great shots by lifting off too early, but it’s a lot harder. This results in a more difficult transition of force.
Federer is often guilty of this mistake against Nadals high shots to his back hand. Djokovic hits flatter and lower shots so Federer has less trouble with him. There is also a lot of fluid in your head, and this has to be kept still as possible during the impact for accurate/powerful strikes. A simple thing to concentrate on is keeping your chin stable and even. When we are grounded, with our knees bent, weight down, shoulder and hips “dragging” the frame, our full pathway is open to nail the shot. This is taken care of by remembering to keep your weight down, knees bent, hitting foot heel down into the ground before impact with the ball. The hips open up first, the shoulder next, and the frame comes very last and very fast.

#3: Fear of missing the shot results in no frame speed, no aggression, no voltage into the weight transfer. If you feel the foot steps fear makes behind you, it’s too late. Your shot will miss, or have nothing on it, or you will “lead arm” it, with hesitation, chopped up rhythm, and uncertain emotion and “jam” yourself. Fearless play is the only way to relax and achieve full acceleration into any tennis shot. Relax the upper body, and keep the lower body moving fast into the shot: hit/ then relax the shoulders, and arms, and hands, after impact and sprint to the next plant. It’s the “drunken monkey” or fearless snake, upper body, and samurai speed on the lower body. Fast feet always, and immediately relaxed/fluid upper torso will give your unit turn unrivaled speed when you open up on your guns. The proper unit turn is like a sneeze; it’s so powerful when opened up.

#4. Abbreviating the follow through results in a chopped shot, which is sometimes what we need, ie, on a short ball, when the foot speed into the shot and the shorter court requires us to hit far shorter than we normally would. Usually, stopping the follow through will result in a less powerful, shorter shot, as you are chopping down the full kinetic potential with a short follow through!

#5: Feeling the back hand as a non weapon results in a passive match play attitude. It also results in a passive practice routine, where we are simply keeping the ball in play in a “lull” mode, and our shots lay up for easy hitting. If you don’t attack the shot in practice, with a fully forceful accelerated strike, you will not be able to do it in a match, either.
#6: Not defending our contact point, that is, not waiting for the ball to arrive at its optimum strike point. Sometimes we do this on low balls, and sometimes on high balls. No matter the height, the contact point follows an arc in front where your arm forms a “bar”, and the elbow is locked at impact. Our string bed has to be at the right angle as well, and the ball has to be on the right area of the bed. It’s all related to one thing: protecting the ball and its contact point. The best protector is the best attacker.
#7: Trying to kill EVERY BALL. Even the best players have a “lull” mode, where they don’t do anything with it but keep it in play, and a medium mode, which is just designed to maneuver the opponent around and keep him running. Most shots are hit in competition in these modes and let their opponents take the risks and beat themselves. Only kill the easy ones, or the ones which will result in you losing the point anyway if you don’t put something on it.
#8: Falling backwards off the ball resulting in your shoulder lifting and the ball going long. This is a common clay courters mistake which they train them to do on their forehands for more depth and spin, but they play much father back off the baseline than hard courters do. If you fall back off your one hander, it changes your whole attacking angle and makes it more passive. The true pathway for a nailed shot is to transfer your weight forward, not backwards! It causes too much “brush up” and will also land shots too short rather than add spin/rmp heaviness.
#9: Not adjusting to depth or height or spin changes. Short low balls call for small quick steps, like the master of small steps: Jimmy Connors. They also call for bent knees and making sure you get under the ball with the bed. Deep, higher balls call for a higher start point with the non dominant hand and a higher coil pathway. The unit turn is often disregarded in both these situations. Line up your non dominant hand at the same height as the incoming shot. Defense of your contact point in front of your shoulder forms a arced “shield” shape in front of you. Place your arm out in front of you up at head height, and then drop it down. See how it forms an arc? That is your contact point, closer to you on both high balls and the low balls, and further out in front at waist heights. So on the higher balls and the lower balls, we wait for the ball to come to us a little longer to obtain the right “arm bar.”

The whole point of the unit turn, the foot work, the coil, and arm bar, and hips opening up fast, is to wait for the ball to arrive at the right point. So it’s all really an exercise in “waiting” in a very fluid yet fast way. The faster you can arrive at this point, with big coil, the better shot you will be able to hit. That’s why the best players always seem to have so much time. They arrive very quickly and they wait for a longer time. When they are put under emergency situations, they are so used to uncoiling very fast that they handle it better.

Everything starts with the right footwork, the unit turn, the mental unit turn.

Zachol82
02-15-2012, 10:38 PM
I feel like the most common mistake on the one handed backhand is that you're not putting your other hand on the racquet as well. Give it a try!

ATP100
02-16-2012, 12:04 AM
#1......Footwork, period.

KenC
02-16-2012, 12:45 AM
#1......Footwork, period.

+1. I would also add a tendency to over-rotate the shoulders resulting in sprayed balls. I would also add a tendency to bend at the waist for low balls instead of using a good knee bend. I would also add a tendency to not practice using 1HBH specific drills. Try keeping a rally going just in the alley with a 1HBH and then do CC practice by putting a hula hoop a couple feet in from the baseline and sideline and try to drop balls in it. Sometimes I put up another net to add 2 or more feet to the net to practice getting the ball up higher over the net while keeping it safely in. This encourages great topspin on the 1HBH.

Although the 1HBH is definitely higher maintenance, it is also capable of becoming a serious weapon. A big common mistake is not training the 1HBH enough so that it can't be picked on in a match.

BevelDevil
02-16-2012, 01:17 AM
I would also add a tendency to over-rotate the shoulders resulting in sprayed balls.

Definitely a top 3 mistake.

I'd say it's "top 2", but I wonder if "inappropriate grip" might be in 1 or 2.



I would also add a tendency to bend at the waist for low balls instead of using a good knee bend.

do you think this is a more common mistake for 2hbhs?



Although the 1HBH is definitely higher maintenance,

Interesting point. Yet another mark against the 1hbh.

Why do you think this is the case?

KenC
02-16-2012, 04:37 AM
Interesting point. Yet another mark against the 1hbh.

Why do you think this is the case?

I personally think the 1HBH is more complicated than a 2HBH. I tend to be a little jealous of those who hit a 2HBH and never seem to have to practice it. I occasionally find something has gone wrong, i.e., I get lazy and stop doing something important, and have to then spend a few hours with my hitting coach to get it back.

I personally wouldn't ever change to a 2HBH as I seem to be able to do a lot of damage with mine as is, it just needs a periodic tune-up to stay at a decent level of performance. Note that I am a lefty and I have to hit CC rallies against my opponent's FH. I cannot afford to have a problem with my 1HBH and it has to be at least as strong as my opponent's FH until I can change direction safely. A bad 1HBH day is fatal.

tennis_pr0
02-16-2012, 05:15 AM
I think the first thing you mentioned is the most important. I know I was not coiling over with my shoulder enough, which was because I was not pulling the racquet back far enough with my non dominant hand, and also, releasing from this position too soon which resulted from leading with the elbow too much and too much arming of the ball, instead of releasing straight from the coil position into the ball, so another words holding the coil position longer.

tennis_pr0
02-16-2012, 05:19 AM
Number two is a good one too, this has to do with the timing of the preparation footwork, timing the ball correctly so the transfer of weight from back to front happens in a fluid motion. This is the timing of the initial setup step, which for a right handed player is getting his weight planted on the left foot, then at getting ready to hit the ball, stepping over with your right foot and going forward from the left foot into the ball.

sureshs
02-16-2012, 07:03 AM
Lifting up the back foot is good for hitting BHs which come into the body

kiteboard
02-16-2012, 04:15 PM
I think the first thing you mentioned is the most important. I know I was not coiling over with my shoulder enough, which was because I was not pulling the racquet back far enough with my non dominant hand, and also, releasing from this position too soon which resulted from leading with the elbow too much and too much arming of the ball, instead of releasing straight from the coil position into the ball, so another words holding the coil position longer.

Footwork is all related to the coil. You cannot coil well without it, so they belong together.

Limpinhitter
02-16-2012, 05:54 PM
Just imitate this backhand. Use an Eastern grip to accomodate higher bounces of non-grass courts:

http://i1247.photobucket.com/albums/gg634/Limpindrummer/HoadBackhand-2-1.jpg

Xizel
02-16-2012, 06:33 PM
I realize that a hop interrupts weight transfer, but it makes high balls tremendously easier to hit.

BevelDevil
02-16-2012, 08:24 PM
I'm reminded of another common mistake:

Believing that the purpose of weight transfer is to "bump" the ball with your body, as might be done on a classic forehand. This tends to promote a pushing action as a player tries to use their forward momentum to hit the ball.

The real function of weight transfer is to help uncoil, establish a stable point of rotation, and prevent over-rotation. Power is not generated by the act of moving forward into the ball, as witnessed by the fact that, on the most powerful 1hbh shots, at contact the player is no longer moving forward and is often falling/leaning backwards.

kiteboard
02-16-2012, 09:21 PM
Not to me, as falling backwards will cause too many errors. All my best bh are hit with full wt. forwards, never back. In the Lew Hoad shots, you can see his hitting heel rising off the ground, and his follow through does not go all the way but stops with a straight arm, and the grip is old school. Too many mistakes there to be a modern bh. At least he is closed in stance.

guitarplayer
02-16-2012, 10:50 PM
Paralysis by Analysis

Xizel
02-17-2012, 05:46 PM
Not to me, as falling backwards will cause too many errors. All my best bh are hit with full wt. forwards, never back. In the Lew Hoad shots, you can see his hitting heel rising off the ground, and his follow through does not go all the way but stops with a straight arm, and the grip is old school. Too many mistakes there to be a modern bh. At least he is closed in stance.

If this was directed towards me, I don't fall backwards. I fall even with where I was or forward. I suppose it depends on which foot you hop off of. I shift my weight from the back foot to the front foot, but initiate a hop with my front foot as I transfer the weight. It's like Federer moving forward to hit a topspin backhand return.

onehandbh
02-17-2012, 07:32 PM
Can you have someone record a video of your backhand and post it?

#1: The most common mistake made is no coil. Not coiling your shoulder back, not lining up your hips with the doubles alley, not closing off your stance with an attacking plant foot, not facing the side ...

kiteboard
02-17-2012, 07:47 PM
It's been done on tennisplayer.net. My bh is posted on the site in last month's issue. (Hitting with h22.)

TheCanadian
02-17-2012, 08:43 PM
Opening up too much, too soon. Remembering to stay sideways and keeping your head down. Finnish high. Hitting the ball too much in front of your body and not enough to the side.

tennis_pr0
02-17-2012, 10:07 PM
Opening up too much, too soon. Remembering to stay sideways and keeping your head down. Finnish high. Hitting the ball too much in front of your body and not enough to the side.

Yes hitting the ball too far in front will result in pushing the ball with the arm

southend
02-17-2012, 11:20 PM
I think the first thing you mentioned is the most important. I know I was not coiling over with my shoulder enough, which was because I was not pulling the racquet back far enough with my non dominant hand, and also, releasing from this position too soon which resulted from leading with the elbow too much and too much arming of the ball, instead of releasing straight from the coil position into the ball, so another words holding the coil position longer.

I think I know the answer but like golf, I don't do as at least I think I should:

So your point of contact on the backhand is much closer to the lead foot vs the contact point on the forehand. Six inches vs six inches to 1 1/2 feet in front of the lead foot, respectively??

kiteboard
02-17-2012, 11:48 PM
The bh contact is a full shoulder width (whatever your shoulder width is) in front of the lead foot compared to the fh contact. (The fh is a shoulder width behind the bh for a one hander, who must hit further out in front than a two hander. (Non dom. hand restricts full extension, as does a lesser coil and a later contact point.)

Any great shot is all about the coil, the unit turn, both physical and mental. A passive coil for either will produce a passive shot, not a dynamic one. The force applied to the rear is equal to the force applied to the front. Those who talk about hitting too far out in front have not coiled well to start with, so their force peters out because it was non existent to start with. Look at how far Guga coiled back off plant foot, and Gasquet, and Puerta, and Almagro, and Henin, and any pro with a lot of one handed winners. Huge coil, transmitted extremely quickly for all of them.

The bigger fh, serves, volleys, all have bigger kinetic pathways than lesser hitters do. Why can some coil more than others? They intend to. They unit turn faster, further backwards off the plant foot, more hip rotation, farther back coils, faster releases due to more power stored in rear positions. And more mental speed/power/coil. More mental intention to crush, kill, destroy, smash, cut in half, mangle the shot with relaxed yet blazing speed.

Chyeaah
02-18-2012, 12:05 AM
#1......Footwork, period.

+1. 1HBH is all about footwork then you just whip across your body. With a 2HBH you can force your racquet into position and still get the ball over with decent speed, with a 1HBH if your footwork isnt in the correct place all you can do is lob or shank.

KenC
02-18-2012, 12:40 AM
kinetic pathways

This reminds me of something my hitting coach sometimes says about the BH. It has a kinetic chain just like every other power stroke. Whereas the serve has a kinetic chain that goes "up the mountain" the 1HBH has a kinetic chain that goes more "across the prairie" because of the closed stance. But still there is the central core of a kinetic chain that starts with footwork, then a core trunk rotation that ultimately whips the arm.

kiteboard
02-18-2012, 10:03 AM
This reminds me of something my hitting coach sometimes says about the BH. It has a kinetic chain just like every other power stroke. Whereas the serve has a kinetic chain that goes "up the mountain" the 1HBH has a kinetic chain that goes more "across the prairie" because of the closed stance. But still there is the central core of a kinetic chain that starts with footwork, then a core trunk rotation that ultimately whips the arm.

Could not have said it better myself. Listen to this guy. Articulate and brief. Must be a writer! Wow, what a great job.

kiteboard
02-18-2012, 10:06 AM
+1. 1HBH is all about footwork then you just whip across your body. With a 2HBH you can force your racquet into position and still get the ball over with decent speed, with a 1HBH if your footwork isnt in the correct place all you can do is lob or shank.

Oily coil is all about footwork first, no bs on that one. Also defending the contact point as an arced shield, like a roman gladiator shield, in front, with the curved shield closer to you up high and down low. Learn to wait for the ball to come in a little more, and make your timing extremely precise, and watch what happens when people see you hit. They will begin to sense that you are a cut above.

JonC
01-29-2014, 12:43 PM
I think there is a misconception about weight transfer. To hit a drive you would uncoil into the ball but to hit a loopy topsin shot you would transfer the weight up and slightly back. You actually end up with your weight moving back on a heavy topspin shot. There is no way to get a good brush on the ball if your weight is moving into the ball and this can be proven by watching the pros as they fall back off their one hander or trying it yourself.

Topspin Shot
01-29-2014, 12:52 PM
I think there is a misconception about weight transfer. To hit a drive you would uncoil into the ball but to hit a loopy topsin shot you would transfer the weight up and slightly back. You actually end up with your weight moving back on a heavy topspin shot. There is no way to get a good brush on the ball if your weight is moving into the ball and this can be proven by watching the pros as they fall back off their one hander or trying it yourself.

http://media.tumblr.com/271533b07a6ed99193eecfd8039780b1/tumblr_inline_mga46paWcX1qldf7x.jpg

BTW, there is no need to fall backward to hit topspin. All you need is your strings facing the target and moving upward at contact.

sabala
01-29-2014, 03:10 PM
Whatever happened to Kiteboard anyway?

arche3
01-29-2014, 05:22 PM
Kiteboard imploded when people made fun of his bh.... he rage quit.

ReopeningWed
01-29-2014, 05:52 PM
There is also a lot of fluid in your head

Like brain fluid?

sabala
01-29-2014, 07:33 PM
Kiteboard imploded when people made fun of his bh.... he rage quit.

Lol, nice - actually I was thinking of Limpinhitter - he's the one who totally hated Fed's backhand slice I think?

Shroud
01-29-2014, 11:15 PM
why all this talk about closed stance? Why can't one hit a 1HBH with an open stance?

Say Chi Sin Lo
01-30-2014, 12:08 AM
Common mistakes on the one handed backhand:

Listen to a bunch of idiots on TT instead of getting a coach?

LeeD
01-30-2014, 11:48 AM
We CAN hit topspin backhands with an open stance, but sidespin is added, and we don't get court penetration.
Return of serves often happen with open stance and topspin.
Kiteboard hits with a strong SW grip backhand, no need to change grip to his forehand, so his contact point would be more forward than most of ours.
Kiteboard is an electrician who's working for his pension, so has to work more than most. He's around 54 now.
And yes, he's around 4.5, a hard hitter, who doesn't embrace the idea of a flat first serve.

Shroud
01-30-2014, 09:42 PM
We CAN hit topspin backhands with an open stance, but sidespin is added, and we don't get court penetration.
Return of serves often happen with open stance and topspin.
Kiteboard hits with a strong SW grip backhand, no need to change grip to his forehand, so his contact point would be more forward than most of ours.
Kiteboard is an electrician who's working for his pension, so has to work more than most. He's around 54 now.
And yes, he's around 4.5, a hard hitter, who doesn't embrace the idea of a flat first serve.

Sounds like my BH.

Agree mostly but why would added sidespin inhibit court penetration? It doesnt seem to on the forehand.

I've been told I hit a "heavy ball" on the backhand and thought some of that if not most had to do with the sidespin component.

LeeD
01-31-2014, 09:39 AM
Sidespin takes away ball speed to add the sidespin.
A "heavy" ball has little to do with spin (after 4.0), but lots to do with PLACEMENT.
You, during our rallying, hit wide CC topspin backhands to my forehand corner. I was hitting my shots to you. That's why.
Notice Ming. He could barely hit with us, when trying to hit up the middle. His game is deep CC shots, hitting without thinking, not rallyballs up the middle.