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View Full Version : Time to turn to a 2HBH ?


isilra
12-12-2012, 02:17 PM
I just can't do it with my 1 handed backhand. Always liked 1h style more, when i'm on my day i hit some brutal shot but i can never play good continuously. I don't know if the problem is grip, positioning or something else but one thing i'm sure is my backhand sucks so badly when compared to my forehand and it effects my game, also psychology. I'm thinking about switching to a 2 hander but i have never hit a 2 handed backhand in my life. I'm wondering if it will be easy to learn it or not. At least worth trying ?

LeeD
12-12-2012, 02:32 PM
It's hit like an eastern forehand lefty side, if you're righthie.
Turn sideways, straight takeback to start with, always closed stance.
Most folks, after 50 tries, hit it better than their 1hbh topspin.
Keep your 1hbh slice for low or wide balls, or when you're lazy or need to change pace and spin.

isilra
12-12-2012, 02:41 PM
It's hit like an eastern forehand lefty side, if you're righthie.
Turn sideways, straight takeback to start with, always closed stance.
Most folks, after 50 tries, hit it better than their 1hbh topspin.
Keep your 1hbh slice for low or wide balls, or when you're lazy or need to change pace and spin.

I don't have any problems with slices or low balls, actually i feel very confident when hitting them but when it comes to send some rally balls with backhand, more than %70 of the shots goes to the net or flying behind the baseline. Thanks for encouraging me, i'm changing to a 2 hander.

LeeD
12-12-2012, 02:47 PM
Yeah, for most players, 2hbh is best for waist high to upper chest high balls, so anything else, you can hit either way. Low balls are tough 2 handed, unless you can bend your knees like a 19 year old.

JRstriker12
12-12-2012, 03:05 PM
I just can't do it with my 1 handed backhand. Always liked 1h style more, when i'm on my day i hit some brutal shot but i can never play good continuously. I don't know if the problem is grip, positioning or something else but one thing i'm sure is my backhand sucks so badly when compared to my forehand and it effects my game, also psychology. I'm thinking about switching to a 2 hander but i have never hit a 2 handed backhand in my life. I'm wondering if it will be easy to learn it or not. At least worth trying ?

It's worth a try. For some the switch is fairly easy, especially if you're close to being ambidextrous. 2hbh is really close to a lefty forehand with another hand on the stick.

I tried to switch from a one hander to a two hander. Didn't go smoothly for me. I feel too constrained on the swing, plus I'm very right-side dominant. Getting used to the spacing was kind of hard as I needed an extra step to be closer to the ball.

Being a 4.0 with 4.5 probably being my ceiling on tennis (based on my age lack of time to practice) the time required to get my 2 hander up to 4.0 level of play wasn't worth it for me. I just decided to work on the one hander I had.

But I do have a few friends who switched and play very well.

Another thing to consider - almost all players have a weaker side. Even guys with strong 2 handers may still have a much better forehand.

LeeD
12-12-2012, 03:17 PM
I actually find the spacing for 2hbh almost exactly the same as for a topspin 1hbh. It's the slice that gives you the reach. The topspin 1hbh is hit well out in front, with a big angle of racket to forearm, and taken quite close to the body.

Mick
12-12-2012, 03:23 PM
I just can't do it with my 1 handed backhand. Always liked 1h style more, when i'm on my day i hit some brutal shot but i can never play good continuously. I don't know if the problem is grip, positioning or something else but one thing i'm sure is my backhand sucks so badly when compared to my forehand and it effects my game, also psychology. I'm thinking about switching to a 2 hander but i have never hit a 2 handed backhand in my life. I'm wondering if it will be easy to learn it or not. At least worth trying ?

i was like you a few years back then I had tennis elbow and it forced me to learn how to hit a 2hbh. Without that injury, i don't think i could have learned that shot because at the time, my 1hbh was better so there was no reason for me to learn how to hit a 2hbh.

LeeD
12-12-2012, 03:37 PM
Possibly because I"m a lefty, and most lefties are somewhat ambidextrious, I found 2hbh the easiest shot ever to pick up....at the C level, or 3.5 level of play. I did have to have a topspin lob and a harder flat 2hbh for higher levels, but that's a given and just needed practice.
Even today, 25 years after using my 2hbh, my rightie forehand is my strongest and most consistent single stroke I can hit.

Mick
12-12-2012, 03:48 PM
when I had TE, I tried to play left handed. Wow. I sucked so bad. It made me appreciate what I could do with my right hand.
Luckily, (after many months) one fine day TE went away and I picked up how to hit a 2hbh.

LeeD
12-12-2012, 04:06 PM
I wished I had a decent lefty forehand.
Never did, still inconsistent and much weaker than my overall game.

isilra
12-12-2012, 04:14 PM
It's worth a try. For some the switch is fairly easy, especially if you're close to being ambidextrous. 2hbh is really close to a lefty forehand with another hand on the stick.

I tried to switch from a one hander to a two hander. Didn't go smoothly for me. I feel too constrained on the swing, plus I'm very right-side dominant. Getting used to the spacing was kind of hard as I needed an extra step to be closer to the ball.

Being a 4.0 with 4.5 probably being my ceiling on tennis (based on my age lack of time to practice) the time required to get my 2 hander up to 4.0 level of play wasn't worth it for me. I just decided to work on the one hander I had.

But I do have a few friends who switched and play very well.

Another thing to consider - almost all players have a weaker side. Even guys with strong 2 handers may still have a much better forehand.

Well when i had a problem with my shoulder, i tried to play with my left arm and i wasn't bad at all. An inner voice has told me to be a guy without backhands but 2 forehands, but i was not in the mood to chase fantasies, decided to be a normal guy instead :) So i think it will be easier to switch to a 2 hander regarding to what you say.

When i shadow swing at home with my racquet, i feel uncomfortable just when i try to hit with straight arms. When i use double bend arms, (especially left one) it feels natural. Any disadvantage of using double bend 2 hander compared to a straight arm 2 hander ?

isilra
12-12-2012, 04:18 PM
Possibly because I"m a lefty, and most lefties are somewhat ambidextrious, I found 2hbh the easiest shot ever to pick up....at the C level, or 3.5 level of play. I did have to have a topspin lob and a harder flat 2hbh for higher levels, but that's a given and just needed practice.
Even today, 25 years after using my 2hbh, my rightie forehand is my strongest and most consistent single stroke I can hit.

Wow, you claim that you are a lefty and you are using a rightie forehand ? Very interesting. That means you have chosen having a 2 handed backhand over having another possibly succesful forehand, right ?

LeeD
12-12-2012, 04:39 PM
Don't think about HOW you hit the 2hbh. Don't think about straight arm or bent arm.
Just hit the ball so you're comfortable, work on it more, don't worry about your elbows.
As a lefty, all my life as a kid, teacher's and adults tried to turn me into a rightie, so rightie works also.
My current rightie forehand is stronger and more consistent than my lefty forehand, but I don't use it for playing. Instead, a 1hbh topspin or slice takes care of that side.
My right hand has always been lots stronger than my left. Grip strength is around 85 for left, 125 for right, in the 2 fireman tests I took...33 years ago.

JackB1
12-12-2012, 04:49 PM
I switched about 2 yrs ago and it took a long time to get comfortable with it. I am very right side dominant, but switched due to TE Issues and it instantly helped. Funny thing is, I have a great b/h slice, so you would think I would have a decent 1 handed TS b/h, but I don't and I end up slicing about 80% of my backhands. I am always tempted to try and improve my 1handed t/s b/h, but give up after trying it a little.

Mick
12-12-2012, 05:08 PM
I switched about 2 yrs ago and it took a long time to get comfortable with it. I am very right side dominant, but switched due to TE Issues and it instantly helped. Funny thing is, I have a great b/h slice, so you would think I would have a decent 1 handed TS b/h, but I don't and I end up slicing about 80% of my backhands. I am always tempted to try and improve my 1handed t/s b/h, but give up after trying it a little.

i think the bh slice is a more versatile shot. If you hit it well enough, it's good enough for most circumstances unless you have to play someone who can hit the ball like Nadal :)

rkelley
12-12-2012, 08:31 PM
I just can't do it with my 1 handed backhand. Always liked 1h style more, when i'm on my day i hit some brutal shot but i can never play good continuously. I don't know if the problem is grip, positioning or something else but one thing i'm sure is my backhand sucks so badly when compared to my forehand and it effects my game, also psychology. I'm thinking about switching to a 2 hander but i have never hit a 2 handed backhand in my life. I'm wondering if it will be easy to learn it or not. At least worth trying ?

I can't say if you should switch, but try it. Life is short. It may work great for you. A couple of things to remember:

- Most people have the most success treating it as a left handed forehand. There are other ways to hit it, but from what I've heard this is what most high level players are doing. It's what I do.

- Assuming you're hitting your 1hbh correctly, the 2hbh will have a contact point that's closer to your body.

- The contact zone is shorter than a good one hander.

- I like to keep my right hand soft on the racquet right up until I start my swing. I find I get more whip by letting my left hand control the racquet up to contact and then my right hand helps whip the racquet through the contact zone. Agassi talks about doing the opposite - obviously his bh is better than mine, but I could never get that to work consistently.

- A lot of coaches say to extend the left arm through contact - good advice IMO.

Practice on a wall for a while. You'll get it. It will feel more contrained than your one hander, but when it's right you do get that same feeling of whipping the racquet.

isilra
12-13-2012, 02:55 AM
I can't say if you should switch, but try it. Life is short. It may work great for you. A couple of things to remember:

- Most people have the most success treating it as a left handed forehand. There are other ways to hit it, but from what I've heard this is what most high level players are doing. It's what I do.

- Assuming you're hitting your 1hbh correctly, the 2hbh will have a contact point that's closer to your body.

- The contact zone is shorter than a good one hander.

- I like to keep my right hand soft on the racquet right up until I start my swing. I find I get more whip by letting my left hand control the racquet up to contact and then my right hand helps whip the racquet through the contact zone. Agassi talks about doing the opposite - obviously his bh is better than mine, but I could never get that to work consistently.

- A lot of coaches say to extend the left arm through contact - good advice IMO.

Practice on a wall for a while. You'll get it. It will feel more contrained than your one hander, but when it's right you do get that same feeling of whipping the racquet.

Well i'm pretty sure i'm not hitting my 1hbh correctly, so i don't think it will be a problem :) I'm used to take the ball closer to my body so maybe that was my problem. Hope it helps with my new backhand. Thanks for other valuable advices, i'll try to apply them.

PhrygianDominant
12-13-2012, 03:16 AM
I went from having a good forehand and a 1hbh that was sometimes brilliant, but often a liability. I was forced to slice quite a bit, or reverted to slice under pressure. With my 2hbh, I am more solid off that wing, can return serve much better, and overall have a better game. I love 1hbhs, but my 2hbh is world's better now than my 1hbh ever was.

At the beginning however it was not like this. I switched back and forth, hit a lot of slice, was really frustrated, but I stuck with it by working on my footwork and watching the ball, and now my 2 hander is sometimes more reliable than my forehand.

McLovin
12-13-2012, 03:37 AM
The irony of this conversation is that every player I've met that hits a 2HBH wishes they could hit a 1HBH. The grass is always greener...

I will say that, having hit a 2HBH all my life and toying with a 1HBH for a few months, the only place a 2HBH is superior is the aggressive return of serve. It is easier to make the split-second grip change from FH to BH, you have more stability for those 120MPH serves and can drive kickers above the shoulder.

Other than that, I'd take a solid 1HBH over a 2HBH any day.

USS Tang
12-13-2012, 03:38 AM
I'm a rightie. On the left side, I use a one-hand backhand. On the right side, I use a left-hander's 2HBH (left hand below right hand). It means switching bottom hand on the racket, but it works for me.

mikeler
12-13-2012, 04:32 AM
The irony of this conversation is that every player I've met that hits a 2HBH wishes they could hit a 1HBH. The grass is always greener...

I will say that, having hit a 2HBH all my life and toying with a 1HBH for a few months, the only place a 2HBH is superior is the aggressive return of serve. It is easier to make the split-second grip change from FH to BH, you have more stability for those 120MPH serves and can drive kickers above the shoulder.

Other than that, I'd take a solid 1HBH over a 2HBH any day.

I have a friend who I'll ask "Is it time for your annual switch to the 1 hander?".

As someone who started with a 2 handed backhand and then switched to a 1 hander for a decade, switching back to a 2 hander for tennis elbow was not very difficult. There are times I still hit the 1 hander out of instinct though and then my arm reminds me not to do that again for awhile.

samarai
12-13-2012, 05:14 AM
From a health standpoint, every competitive one handed backhander at our courts deals with TE on a regular basis. That's enough reason for me to stay with the 2 handed backhand.

JRstriker12
12-13-2012, 06:47 AM
The irony of this conversation is that every player I've met that hits a 2HBH wishes they could hit a 1HBH. The grass is always greener...

I will say that, having hit a 2HBH all my life and toying with a 1HBH for a few months, the only place a 2HBH is superior is the aggressive return of serve. It is easier to make the split-second grip change from FH to BH, you have more stability for those 120MPH serves and can drive kickers above the shoulder.

Other than that, I'd take a solid 1HBH over a 2HBH any day.

Count me as surprised McLoving. I thought most two handers saw the one hander as out dated. I'd also add stability when rushed or late on your shot to your list IMHO...

After toying around with a 2 hander, I've considered just adopting a 2HBH return and keeping the one hander for everything else.

mikeler
12-13-2012, 07:08 AM
For me:

1 hander is better for:
a) Low balls
b) More topspin
c) Little bit extra reach
d) More pace than 2 hander

2 hander is better for:
a) High balls
b) Return of serve
c) Redirecting hard shots
d) Scooping balls up that land near my feet

Hi I'm Ray
12-13-2012, 07:17 AM
I just can't do it with my 1 handed backhand. Always liked 1h style more, when i'm on my day i hit some brutal shot but i can never play good continuously. I don't know if the problem is grip, positioning or something else but one thing i'm sure is my backhand sucks so badly when compared to my forehand and it effects my game, also psychology. I'm thinking about switching to a 2 hander but i have never hit a 2 handed backhand in my life. I'm wondering if it will be easy to learn it or not. At least worth trying ?

I've used both. If you are not comfortable with one style of BH it might be time to try the other out. It will take a lot of time and practice of the PROPER technique to find out which one suits you better.

Alchemy-Z
12-13-2012, 07:20 AM
I switch to the 2 hander just for hitting top spin and also taking care of high bouncing balls.

I still slice/drop shot/block back/lob one handed on the back hand side.

but when I am in a rally corner to corner I can rely on my back hand now where I could not before...and I have got to where I can generate more pace on it than I ever did with my 1 hander and my DTL shot is frequently an option now where before I had to be really feeling good about the shot to make it.

McLovin
12-13-2012, 07:28 AM
Count me as surprised McLoving. I thought most two handers saw the one hander as out dated.

Ask Auzzie. I bet he'd love to have a nice topspin 1HBH.

For me:

1 hander is better for:
a) Low balls
b) More topspin
c) Little bit extra reach
d) More pace than 2 hander

2 hander is better for:
a) High balls
b) Return of serve
c) Redirecting hard shots
d) Scooping balls up that land near my feet

Agree on all counts.

anubis
12-13-2012, 10:22 AM
There's nothing wrong with playing a 1HBH and only proper instruction from a teaching pro could really determine if a 1HBH is more of a liability for your game than anything we can say.

However, 1HBHs take more time to prepare than 2HBHs. If your footwork isn't up to scratch, and/or if you're not getting your body fully turned in time, along with proper racquet take back (with both hands), then I can see how a lot of your backhands fail.

If you think that you're not going to have enough time to properly set up, during a rally, then just hit a slice. Save your 1HBH for when you've got enough time to prepare.

JRstriker12
12-13-2012, 11:04 AM
Ask Auzzie. I bet he'd love to have a nice topspin 1HBH.



I'm shocked once again. Both of you guys have sweet 2 handers.

rkelley
12-13-2012, 11:14 AM
I've hit a 2hbh for 35 years and it's pretty decent, but hitting a nice 1hbh is so cool.

mikeler
12-13-2012, 12:08 PM
I've hit a 2hbh for 35 years and it's pretty decent, but hitting a nice 1hbh is so cool.

Blasting a 1 handed topspin backhand down the line is pure tennis bliss.

aimr75
12-13-2012, 01:41 PM
Blasting a 1 handed topspin backhand down the line is pure tennis bliss.

pummelling a 2 hander feels pretty damn good too.. :)

I think for the most part i have switched to a 2 hander.. essentially the more times im using the 2hbh, the less im inclined to think about going back to the 1hbh.. when i do go back i find less directional control with the 1hbh and is more prone to spraying..

mikeler
12-14-2012, 04:38 AM
pummelling a 2 hander feels pretty damn good too.. :)

I think for the most part i have switched to a 2 hander.. essentially the more times im using the 2hbh, the less im inclined to think about going back to the 1hbh.. when i do go back i find less directional control with the 1hbh and is more prone to spraying..

Still not the same hitting the 2 hander DTL winner. Feels like you are cheating a little with the extra hand. :)

10isfreak
12-20-2012, 10:51 AM
Still not the same hitting the 2 hander DTL winner. Feels like you are cheating a little with the extra hand. :)

Teeing off with a one handed backhand is easier than with a forehand -- a lot easier. I never got to hit as powerful strokes as with my backhand and nothing ever felt so good as that... but consistency always call me back to a 2 handed backhand.

The day I figure it out and manage to teach myself something decent, I keep it for a life time.