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Tour90
02-25-2004, 09:49 AM
I've been hitting a on-handed backhand for quite sometime now. I usually hit the high loopy shots, and when I swing my racquet feels like it's horizontal to the ground. I'm not sure if i'm producing a lot of topspin and I think that's why my shots are so high. I really want to hit with more pace and get the ball closer to the net so that the ball isn't in the air for like 2 seconds. Anyone know how to solve my problem?? Any help would be nice. Thanks

@wright
02-25-2004, 11:09 AM
Here are a couple tips that help me:

1. Make sure you have a nice shoulder turn
2. Get down for the shot, and if the ball is low, get REALLY low
3. Try to have your weight moving forward as you hit(weight transfer=power)
4. Swing your racquet with your arm really loose, the more power you want, fling your arm faster
5. Make sure your feet are in the right position, you don't want to be reaching for the ball and hitting it out of place
6. Hit a bunch of balls to learn exactly where you want contact to be made, then remember and visualize that spot to duplicate it every time.

bfonz7
02-25-2004, 12:03 PM
Great tips awright.

I recently switched to a one-hander, and at times it goes bad. But when i get prepared early, and really visualize hitting a good shot it usually happens.

My college coach is amazed that since fall camp, i have changed my backhand so dramatically and having sucess with it. it can only get better from here 8)

Puma
02-25-2004, 12:05 PM
I agree with @wright,

1. Get low
2. Shoulder turn
3. Weight shift into the shot

and

4. Learning to release the racket. Forearm rotation is key. If the butt of the racket is pointing nearly at the ball before impact, it should be pointing in the opposite direction at some point after impact. This may get somewhat misaligned due to the upward motion of the arm and racket, but forearm rotation will produce more than adequate power.

C_Urala
02-25-2004, 09:02 PM
The most impotant thing is to find your hitting zone. It depends on the grip you use. If you meet the ball too far, your racket will be open at the impact and the ball will go high.

Japanese Maple
02-26-2004, 10:19 AM
Hitting a one-handed bh with more power:

1) Get really coiled in the backswing,its not enough to simply turn
your shoulders. You must lift the racquet upright with both arms
with your hitting shoulder under your chin and really feel your
back,stomach, and shoulder(core muscles) really stretched with
noticable tension-must have tension to be coiled. Philippoussis
is an excellent model of how to coil.

2) As you step foreword to meet the ball out front snap your hips
just before contact to release your core muscles that you have
coiled. Watch the hips rotate when baseball players hit the ball-
very similar.

3) As you make contact with the ball snap your non-hitting arm
straight back and try to pinch your shoulders together while
expanding your chest to further accelerate your racquet on a
straight line into the ball.

4) Drive the racquet head straight foreword with a slight upward
motion and a rotation of the tip of the head from pointing
downwards to slightly upwards as you make contact-make sure
the racquet face is vertical throughout.

5) For practice and feel purposes to flatten the ball out and hit
closer to the net with more pace drive the racquet straight
foreword with full extension towards the net as far as you can
go but stop(this is key) your follow-through with your racquet
hand no higher than your hitting shoulder with the racquet
straight up. This will give you the feel of full extension and
driving the ball on a lower tracetory.

polakosaur
02-26-2004, 10:49 AM
i assume you use a tour 90 cause of your name, i use it to i suggest you build some muscle its hard to get the drive without the stability of big muscles to hold down the racquet, i also suggest going to a wall and just stroking the ball working on a smooth motion or use a ball machine for a smooth motion, remember to hit through the ball solidly

Bungalo Bill
02-26-2004, 11:21 AM
The onehanded backhand is little art and more skill.

Most people do not get low enough with their center of gravity to make a meaningful onehanded backhand. I can remember teaching a student and his idea of getting lower was dropping the racquet head. The onehander compared to the forehand can not afford a dropped racquet head, you must bend your knees. The timing of the onehander is a bit more precise then the twohander. Mainly because your trying to time about 5 different body segments as compared to a twohanders two body segments.

My suggestion below agrees and supports the other posters comments above. They are as follows:

1. Grip: Eastern backhand grip

2. How low can you go: Get low by bending your knees and lowering your center of gravity.

3. The hard part: In order to have a successful dependable onehander, you must be able to lift your center of gravity with your legs as the forward swing starts and slightly before impact. Be careful not to jump or hop up off your feet as that will alter the swing path and produce errors. I have no issue with jumping or hopping off, however, it needs to be because you are being pulled off the ground from your center of gravity rising quickly, instead of forcing yourself off the ground. You must time this lifting with a rising racquet and the shift in weight going to the front foot.

I think James Blake (although it is not his strength) has an excellent ability to transfer a rising center of gravity over his front foot for the backhand and he is smacking the backhand now. Sometimes he transfers so powefully and subtly, he gets pulled off the ground!

You should make contact right when your weight (or center of gravity) is on top of the front foot.

Be careful not to cross over too much with your feet. A big cross over step usually happens because the players backswing causes the butt cap to point to the side fence instead of forward and at the ball. The racquet must be lower then the contact point!

This is a huge tip for onehanders! Most onehanders reference their contact point from the height of the ball as it clears the net - you see their racquet on the backswing get no lower then their waist (because their center of gravity is too high). However, according to their reference point (ball over the net) they think they are below the ball only for the ball be framed or poorly hit because "they" are too high. What usually happens is the body/brain senses the racquet face is in the wrong position, the wrist turns up to compensate, the racquet head drops, and a poof ball goes over for safety or a mistake is made.

Your backswing only needs to be with mainly your shoulders and prepared early to bring the racquet forward immediately.

Watch out for a hitch in your swing. It is when you make the shoulder turn, then you raise your arms. This takes exceptional timing and most people on this board are not going to have Henin or SCUDS backhand. Keep in mind, the pros level ball is traveling fast and when they take those big backswings, that is talent and practice that few of us will ever achieve.

My suggestion is practice to bring your racquet back with the butt cap pointing towards the ball at the same time with the shoulder turn only. Then condition your muscles to WANT to bring the racquet forward from that position. You will notice your hitting hand will barely have moved from its central position near the navel. Practice that - later as you get more comfortable you can take a bigger cut.

Also, most people do the coil but forget to prepare the muscles for the forward swing. By the time they need to start the forward swing, the brain finally sends the signal, that millisecond or nanosecond is all a onehander needs to mistime the ball.

Always prepare your backswing for the forward swing.

tennisdad
02-26-2004, 01:11 PM
I can attest to Bill's recommendation. The big change in my 1hbh came when I finally learned to get myself down (knees & butt) under the ball and come up through it as he explained. Before I was line-driving them into the net too much - or having them sail long. It will help give you consistency and a heavier ball (spin + pace).

@wright
02-26-2004, 01:25 PM
And don't let all these technical recommendations get you down, the one hander feels fantastic when you can rip it with confidence! Work on these things and you'll be hitting it like a pro in no time.

Bungalo Bill
02-26-2004, 04:12 PM
@wright,

you couldnt be more correct! lol

Tour90
02-26-2004, 05:45 PM
Thank You all for helping me. I'll definitely work on bending my knees, visualizing, turning my shoulders, coiling up, and time my swing.


Thanks Guys

Japanese Maple
02-27-2004, 12:01 AM
Bungalo Bill - I think your message makes the one-handed bh
sound too complicated and alot like a book I read by Vic Braden
20 years ago. Most people do not coil properly with their core
muscles and do not rotate their hips correctly just before contact.
Lowering your center of gravity sounds great in theory but its not
totally reality on the tour. Pros do flex and extend their knees but
only to initiate the hip and core rotation-they are not as concerned
about lowering their center of gravity. The tip about the backswing
being timed to the height of the ball over the net makes no sense
at all and only complicates things further-lets keep things simple!
You sound like you must have a 2 hand backswing because your
description of a one hand bh is way too complicated and cerebral.

Rock em Sock em Robots
02-27-2004, 09:36 AM
Bungalo Bill - I think your message makes the one-handed bh
sound too complicated and alot like a book I read by Vic Braden
20 years ago. Most people do not coil properly with their core
muscles and do not rotate their hips correctly just before contact.
Lowering your center of gravity sounds great in theory but its not
totally reality on the tour. Pros do flex and extend their knees but
only to initiate the hip and core rotation-they are not as concerned
about lowering their center of gravity. The tip about the backswing
being timed to the height of the ball over the net makes no sense
at all and only complicates things further-lets keep things simple!
You sound like you must have a 2 hand backswing because your
description of a one hand bh is way too complicated and cerebral.

Your an idiot Maple if you dont understand that bending your knees allows your center of gravity to drop. There is nothing complicated about that explanation.

I want to ask you two questions Maple. Are you on tour? Do you have a better explanation?

I have practiced this Vic Braden Method and it works very well. If anything it gets the person to get lower (which lowers your center fo gravity by the way) and rise as you hit that helps withthe lift of the ball.

You don't think players on tour do this? That has got to be the most ridiulous comment ever on this board. You ought to get your head examined. What level are you -1.0?

Stinkdyr
02-27-2004, 10:01 AM
watch Justine HH. see it, know it, live it. she rox.

Bungalo Bill
02-27-2004, 10:10 AM
Now, now,

Maple has a point. My information can "sound" a bit complicated. But it isnt. But I will agree with Rock em, you posted a difference to my post with no solution.

You said "you read a book 20 years ago". Well, anyone can read a book and say it didnt work.

There is a great deal of good information that has been written 20 years ago that still applies today. I don't post anything on this board that hasn't been tested, PRACTICED, and used in match situations.

Most of us will never be pros on this baord and are looking for ways to improve our game. But most posters here will agree that I post a variety of things for players to use both "modern" and "old school". The bottom-line is they have to work, afterall, when "old school" was going full blast, a lot of "new ideas" came out then as well and a lot of them didnt hold water or the test of time. My suggestions are TIME tested solutions for players. If you haven't tried it then how do you know?

Your question about whether I hit a twohander or onehander is not valid either, as I have to hit both well in order to teach them properly to a student. When I play a tournament I will hit mainly with a twohander for my own personal reasons. But that is my preference on play.

Rock em is right. There is nothing complicated about lowering your center of gravity - nothing. ALL the pros do it, so your wrong about that as well. It only takes bent knees to lower your center of gravity while lowering your butt. Based on the films I have studied they are still bending at the knees - even after 20 years!

If you read Vic Bradens book 20 years ago - that would make you about 40 years old? ;) Also, this information has been so time tested that it was repinted in the book "World Class Tennis Technique Book". Does World Class Tennis now mean Club Tennis or Pro Tennis?

Moving on: So how do you practice this lowering of your center of gravity and rising properly to hit. The first thing you do is do not use your arm to hit the ball. Place the arm in the position that it is in when it meets the ball and leave it there. As balls are fed to you very slowly. Lower your butt by bending at the knees to get the racquet below the ball, then as the ball is almost near your strings, lift with your legs and make contact. The sensation you will feel is that your hitting with your legs and the ball is lifting over othe net with your legs. At first you wont feel a thing because the brain is still trying to understand what it is doing. Keep training the brain and all of a sudden you will feel it. Then engrain it. Then use it.

Japanese Maple
02-28-2004, 12:24 AM
Rock em sock em and Bungalo Bill I believe you are the same person! Don't be so sensitive. I never said that the pros don't
bend their knees and extend them as they hit the ball(please read
my earlier post), but they are definitely not concerned about lowering their centers of gravity and overly lifting the body as they
make contact-the pros today are coiling and torquing their bodys
with full backswings. I am definitely not an idiot but I did have no success following Vic Bradens advice about getting below the ball
with your body and racquet and simply lifting up as I made contact
with the ball-old school! Its obvious that you do not hit a one-handed bh because you are not relating your own hard earn experiences hitting thousands of one handed bh but merely regurgitating what
is in a book!

Bungalo Bill
02-28-2004, 10:45 AM
Wow, Japanese you really have a problem. I feel sorry for you. First off, your taken Vic's instruction on the legs way out of context.

Pros are not concerned about a lot of things in their strokes as most of them can do most things unconsciously. But film and pictures do not lie. I really dont need to defend this as everyone can see this happens in tennis.

I didnt know you could be a different person, but now that you brought it up, indifference started happening on this board when Eric started to post. Are you Eric?

If Vic's methods didn't work for you do you have a better way? If you do share it.

I am not set on any way of instruction. I have learned many different "tips" from many different people. I have taken what I beleive is good instruction and offer it freely to people on this board. If it doesnt help anyone then please tell me as I will find other techniques that will help.

No one here invents anything in tennis. Everyone picks up things that they learned from someone else - including you. Unless you have a patent on "new technique" you have learned it from someone else, and that someone else learned it from someone else. That tennis. Nothing new under the sun.

I do not use Vic's instruction on everything but there are certain things that I saw as effective in teaching someone aspects about a stroke. To get the brain to accept a movement. If you have a problem with Vic's instruction dont take it up with me, take it up with Vic. Just give me your email address and you can talk to him directly.

Meanwhile lets be supportive and encourage various instructional tips and guidance. It is not all coming from one source but many different sources.

jun
02-29-2004, 12:00 AM
Among all the conflicts about how to hit the stroke and stuff.......

I thought one agreement was "Bend your knees" and "Get down".....But....I guess not.....Maple, how do you plan to defend that "Bending knees is not "reality"?

Tour90
02-29-2004, 07:40 AM
I didn't intend for this to be like this, and Bungalo Bill, your method works so well for me. It really helps to get low.

Japanese Maple
02-29-2004, 07:59 PM
Jun-please read all my posts concerning the one-handed bh. I never said that you do not bend and flex your knees to hit the shot, but all this talk about center of gravity just complicates the
stroke. There is so much more to hitting a penetrating flat bh than
worrying about lowering your center of gravity. Tour 90 I will guarantee you if you incorporate the recommendations that I have
stated as compared to the other advice which is all good-you will
greatly improve the pace and penetration of your shot. Try
everything and see what works. Good luck!

C_Urala
03-01-2004, 03:13 AM
First of all, I don't like words like 'idiot'. There was no need in using it in this thread.

Maple. Could you please provide a link to your recommendations? I just failed to find them.. Sorry.

Eric Matuszewski
03-01-2004, 06:39 AM
Just read this thread, was bored, ( I don't read all the posts, only ones I think I can help out on) and I am shocked. I'm being referenced in a thread I haven't even posted on. There's got to be some way to check this out and prove I AM NOT JAPANESE MAPLE.

Anybody who has ever taken a lesson with me knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I couldn't be this poster. I don't mean this to criticize whomever he or she is.

A central mechanical technique I believe in is leg drive/hip turn. To do this you have to be squated down before you drive with the legs. THIS IS GREAT OLD SCHOOL ADVICE!!!!!

Without knee flexion, extension can not happen. This seems so basic, I feel silly saying it.

Also, If you want to get to know me your welcomed to call the club and I'll get back to you when I have some time. I think you'll all find that I am anything but "Indifferent" and am in fact very passionate about helping people.
Thanks Sincerely,
Eric Matuszewski

Eric Matuszewski
03-01-2004, 07:10 AM
A good quote I like to keep in mind. It might have been a fortune cookie....

"All wisdom is plagiarism"
You can apply it to alot of life, not just tennis.

A Story...
It brought me great saddness in my teens when I first heard Dr. Martin Luther King, "dismissed" as a plagiarist. He was truly a great man, just reading "Letters from Birmingham Jail" brought tears to my eyes.
He had such passion to make the world a better place. If someone else had thought the exact same thing as him before, what is the harm in repeating it in speach. He no doubt understood the fortune cookie.

I pray...
Lets all try our best to keep our focus on helping others.

Dear Bill, do you really think I opened a pandoras box?

Eric Matuszewski
03-01-2004, 09:31 AM
At the time of Maple's post on Sat 12:24pm California time which translates to 4:24 New Jersey time, I was on Court teaching a High School Prep class at Princeton Racket Club.

18 students , 3 pros and about 5 parents can attest to me being right there teaching serve technique at the time.

The club has no internet capabilities.

I had been on court since 9 am working hard and very tired but giving these kids my all.

It is thus IMPOSSIBLE that I could be Japanese Maple.

not that I think anybody really cares about all of this (I think this is in general a waste of words, time and board space), but I feel it's important to keep the facts straight.

Bungalo Bill
03-01-2004, 09:32 AM
Eric,

When I signed up with the USPTA, I not only signed up to help people play tennis based on my experience but I also acknowledged a "Code of Ethics" that I need to act as professional as possible in my suggestions. I am not perfect at this. And when I am not, I am the first to apoligize.

But I am glad you brought clarification to the bending your knees from your perspective. That is a true sign of your professionalism. I appreciate that.

I think Japanese Maple just took the Vic's drill out of context thinking that this is "all" you need to do to hit a onehander. I think all of us know that it is not. Also, I think a lot of us know that a coach does not need to hit thousands of balls to effectively teach a stroke to someone who wants to learn it. I do believe a coach needs to be able to hit an effecitve stroke for demonstration purposes etc. which requires a bit of practice to develop it to a certain level.

What I gave as help is only a drill to show someone who is evolving that the legs play a role in the shot and for them to "feel" or "teach" the brain to accept the lowering of the butt through bending the knees.

No I dont think you have opened Pandoras box, I just think that Japanese took the drill out of context. It could be from the fact that this communication medium can easily be misinterpreted since we cant see each others faces and lacks the ability for people to explain themselves.

Eric Matuszewski
03-01-2004, 09:46 AM
Bill, I see your logged on,
2 thoughts:

How much help can we give through this medium. There is so much more I can do in person, the medium is frustrating me.

Ever notice the way Agassi walks around between points.
My girlfriend once said he looks like he's waddling (like a duck).

My theory is that he has made such a habit of keeping slight leg flexion that he even does it between points.

Eric Matuszewski
03-01-2004, 09:51 AM
Tony Robbins says,
Decide not to be perfect.
Your never gonna be perfect.
Because your this thing called a HUMAN BEING.

from Lessons in Mastery by Anthony Robbins. Audio cassettes available at most book stores.

The best coach I've EVER gotten advice from. You can apply him to most anything, even tennis.
Eric Matuszewski

Bungalo Bill
03-01-2004, 10:03 AM
Lol,

Yes I do notice that! Very funny. I agree, I think he practices som much with leg flexion that it has now become a "permanent" thing. I also heard that he doesnt stretch or that stretching is not very important to him.

In fact, I have TiVO, and it recorded a "one set" new format tennis match. This tournament is only for one day, one set is played with the winner moving to the next round, and the players are allowed to contest a close ball using the computerized replay. Agassi came out first, with that familiar stiff legged, bent at the knees walk. :)

Eric Matuszewski
03-01-2004, 10:23 AM
Bill,
Any evidence out there that maintaining a degree of flexion could lessen chance for injury? It's been a gut feeling, but I don't have any proof besides just looking at the Anatomy and Physiology of the Joint.
Tivo is an awesome tool for tennis learning. I go over my girlfriends parents house and edit/make cool mix tapes with it.

I'm watching Safin v. Agassi (again) god this match is awesome. I gotta find a way to get as interested in chemistry 2. I'm putting myself so behind with all the tennis stuff.

Bungalo Bill
03-01-2004, 11:24 AM
Dont know if there is any evidence.

TiVO is a great learning aid. Rewind, slo-mo, step frame, etc. is great to aid in seeing that the pros have all the basic elements in a stroke but can do it much faster, and for longer periods of time.

Safin vs. Agassi is probably one of the best matches I have ever seen as well. At 44, I think I would have had pulled all kinds of muscles with the amount of running and hitting they did. :)

Japanese Maple
03-01-2004, 07:11 PM
To clear up any confusion and make sure that I am not losing my
mind I reviewed articles saved from Tennis magazine on the bh over the last
ten years, reviewed Bollettieri's bh video, and most importantly reviewed the Tennis 2000 video featuring in slow motion the bh's
of Lendl,Korda,Muster,Edberg,Sampras, Becker, and Noah. Guess
what !(rockem sockem robot please pay particular attention)- they
all start their swings forward with knees flexed in an athletic stance
and as they drive their body weight forward onto a flexed front knee they actually stay down throughout contact and the follow-through. They do not quickly raise their butt and center of gravity to gain lift from their legs to apply pace and spin to the ball. Is this
clear enough for you RockemRobot? The pro's certainly do not come off their feet because they have lowered their center of gravitys and quickly rise up as they hit the ball-they definitely stay
down-the video does not lie. The goal of the onehanded bh is not to see how low you can get and how quickly you raise up upon hitting the ball-this is not reality on the tour ! Also, as the pro's
loop their swings downward from a high,coiled position they in fact
often times drop their racquet heads with the tip downwards to hit both topspin and a driving flat with a more upright swing of course
to hit topspin. In fact, staying down throughout contact with a dropped racquet head was recently pointed out in Tennis Magazine
showing Justin Henin-Hardennes backhand-you should check it out
Rockem Robot, you just might learn something. In closing, for the majority of strokes in tennis you want to be in an athletic stance with your knees bent but particularly on the bh your goal should not be to see how low you can get and lifting upright as you hit the ball to the point that you may even come off the ground-this
technique is most definitely not tested,practiced, or used in match
situations by the pros-this is not reality!

Bungalo Bill
03-01-2004, 11:06 PM
There again Maple your taking things out of context. No one here said the "goal" for the tennis shot is to get as low as you can and raise as quickly as you can.

And by the way, I have studied more film then I would like to know. It is very clear that when you hit a ball there is a rising center of gravity - it is a natural response. The key word here is rising. Not quickly rising, not still, but rising naturally as a player completes his stroke.

You offer nothing near the calibur that Bradens research has contributed to tennis over the years. Braden is one of the most prestigious fundamentalist that tennis has ever known. Much of todays research stems from his findings and many players do not give him credit for what he has done. Most important is he is a good man, and a man of integrity. He does not bring up something because it is made up or false which you have indicated.

When I studied film that contained stick figure models of some of the top professional tennis players it is 100% clear that there is a rising center of gravity that is NATURAL to the stroke. I am was a big skeptic when I first met Braden. I dont agree with everything he says but certain things I learned he proved and that is enough for me.

The main purpose of the drill that you failed to grasp, is simply to learn and feel that the legs are an important aspect in a tennis shot. You have made a lot of acusations about how I play and coach and my knowledge of this game. You made a claim that a drill is invalid because it didnt "work" for you. That is just too darn bad.

Bungalo Bill
03-01-2004, 11:30 PM
I will be curteous to you Maple, here are some videos to prove the point. Watch the players butts. They go down and up. A good coach watches players butts. Butts dont lie. If a player says to a coach "I am bending my knees" the coach has a very easy way to see if they are.

http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-Backhand%20side%20view.swf

In this clip Guga hits a lower ball. His center of gravity drops low and stays steady and just after he rises to finish his stroke.

http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-xcourt%20backhand.swf

Agassi, which I studied a lot of film on proves the case.

http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-Open%20stance%20forehand%201.swf

Keep in mind, the rising center of gravity is natural in the stroke.

Again, this is a drill. It is meant to teach something about a stroke. Some players will have less and others more. The important point is to realize the role of the legs in the stroke. This drill isolates the legs and allows the player to "feel" their legs in the shot. Is this "old school" Maple. lol

Mush Mouth
03-02-2004, 11:10 AM
This is one big thread. I also think Japanese Maple took this all out of context. I havent been on for awhile but I see all the familiar names on the board - especially BB! BB you have been a big influence on my game. You and Mahboob and several others have truly raised my game. I could have spent hundreds of dollars on lessons trying to get only half the information you provide and I am thankful you provide it freely. You didnt need to prove your point. A lot of us already know what you were talking about and know what you mean. I always look for your posts and read it first. Thanks for providing the links. They are excellent. Haas is one of my favorite players. By the way, are you suppose to raise everytime you hit the ball?

Thanks BB your a blessing.

Bungalo Bill
03-02-2004, 11:28 AM
No, some balls you will rise slightly after the shot is made because you need to stabilize your body for the shot. See the Guga video. But after the shot there is a clear rise from the shot.

The rise is NOT forced it happens because your legs act sort of like a spring from the forces and energy stored in the muscles of the thighs. It just happens and you feel rythymic and fluid.

The other thing this exercise does not do is ADD spin or power to the ball. At least in terms of not by itself. That is another misunderstanding Maple had with this drill. The drill is very good for understanding how the legs can help lift the ball over the net for you without playing around with your grip or wrist position. It is a sensation your looking for it is part of the overall system of hitting a ball.

It is also helping to eliminate or reduce opposing vectors. One body part going up while the other is going down. If you look closely at Haas you will notice as his center of gravity rises his arm is also rising to meet the ball. These vectors are congruent. In other words, his arm is going up and forward while his body is going up. They match.

The other thing to know- lifting is slight - not forced. It is a rythym, a feeling, a sensation. Hope that helps.

Japanese Maple
03-02-2004, 01:54 PM
The onehanded backhand is little art and more skill.

Most people do not get low enough with their center of gravity to make a meaningful onehanded backhand. I can remember teaching a student and his idea of getting lower was dropping the racquet head. The onehander compared to the forehand can not afford a dropped racquet head, you must bend your knees. The timing of the onehander is a bit more precise then the twohander. Mainly because your trying to time about 5 different body segments as compared to a twohanders two body segments.

My suggestion below agrees and supports the other posters comments above. They are as follows:

1. Grip: Eastern backhand grip

2. How low can you go: Get low by bending your knees and lowering your center of gravity.

3. The hard part: In order to have a successful dependable onehander, you must be able to lift your center of gravity with your legs as the forward swing starts and slightly before impact. Be careful not to jump or hop up off your feet as that will alter the swing path and produce errors. I have no issue with jumping or hopping off, however, it needs to be because you are being pulled off the ground from your center of gravity rising quickly, instead of forcing yourself off the ground. You must time this lifting with a rising racquet and the shift in weight going to the front foot.

I think James Blake (although it is not his strength) has an excellent ability to transfer a rising center of gravity over his front foot for the backhand and he is smacking the backhand now. Sometimes he transfers so powefully and subtly, he gets pulled off the ground!

You should make contact right when your weight (or center of gravity) is on top of the front foot.

Be careful not to cross over too much with your feet. A big cross over step usually happens because the players backswing causes the butt cap to point to the side fence instead of forward and at the ball. The racquet must be lower then the contact point!

This is a huge tip for onehanders! Most onehanders reference their contact point from the height of the ball as it clears the net - you see their racquet on the backswing get no lower then their waist (because their center of gravity is too high). However, according to their reference point (ball over the net) they think they are below the ball only for the ball be framed or poorly hit because "they" are too high. What usually happens is the body/brain senses the racquet face is in the wrong position, the wrist turns up to compensate, the racquet head drops, and a poof ball goes over for safety or a mistake is made.

Your backswing only needs to be with mainly your shoulders and prepared early to bring the racquet forward immediately.

Watch out for a hitch in your swing. It is when you make the shoulder turn, then you raise your arms. This takes exceptional timing and most people on this board are not going to have Henin or SCUDS backhand. Keep in mind, the pros level ball is traveling fast and when they take those big backswings, that is talent and practice that few of us will ever achieve.

My suggestion is practice to bring your racquet back with the butt cap pointing towards the ball at the same time with the shoulder turn only. Then condition your muscles to WANT to bring the racquet forward from that position. You will notice your hitting hand will barely have moved from its central position near the navel. Practice that - later as you get more comfortable you can take a bigger cut.

Also, most people do the coil but forget to prepare the muscles for the forward swing. By the time they need to start the forward swing, the brain finally sends the signal, that millisecond or nanosecond is all a onehander needs to mistime the ball.

Always prepare your backswing for the forward swing.

Bungalo Bill/Rockemsockem Robot/Mush Mouth- I think you have taking my questioning of lifting up personal as an attack on your knowlegde and wisdom. I've have read many of your posts before
and for the most part everything is sound and informative . I am
glad you have soften your stance on this issue of getting low and lifting as you hit the bh, at least you didn't mention that you have the feeling of sitting in a chair like I read when I first started tennis.
I would hate for a new player to get frustrated trying to lift up out of a chair to generate power and get frustrated and quit the game.
Interestly, Tennisone is featuring the strokes of James Blake and they actually criticize them because his rising up as he hits causes
balance problems. Also, in the book World Class Tennis Technique there is a great shot of Richard Krajicek staying down as he hits a one-handed backhand. In addition , I spoke with a well respected area pro who was on the ITF World Class Junior Team training with
Guerton,Arthurs,Lapenti,Black Brothers,Arazi,Paes, and is currently one of the regional chairmens for junior development and he concurred that you do not want to lift up noticeably or quickly as you hit a world class modern back hand. Of course, as you transfer your weight forward, and rotate your hips your gravity will
come upwards slightly, especially if you straighten your front knee-but slightly is the key word. Regarded Vic Braden, I actually met him at a tennis tournament in Toronto and found him to be very warm,enthusiastic, and obviously knowledgeable-He has been a great ambassador for tennis and I have read many of his writings.
In closing, if someone makes a statement that I feel is incorrect and could lead to problems for someone's game, I feel obligated to point this out as I would hope they would do the same with me. Clearly, I will always place credence on what I see versus what someone says and I prefer to study the pros in person and in video
to get the most accurate and current information regarding the modern game. If someone has a problem with that well that is just to darn bad!

Tour90
03-02-2004, 03:51 PM
I didn't realize that my question could lead to this, this is awesome! Carry on.........

Bungalo Bill
03-03-2004, 10:20 AM
The onehanded backhand is little art and more skill.

Most people do not get low enough with their center of gravity to make a meaningful onehanded backhand. I can remember teaching a student and his idea of getting lower was dropping the racquet head. The onehander compared to the forehand can not afford a dropped racquet head, you must bend your knees. The timing of the onehander is a bit more precise then the twohander. Mainly because your trying to time about 5 different body segments as compared to a twohanders two body segments.

My suggestion below agrees and supports the other posters comments above. They are as follows:

1. Grip: Eastern backhand grip

2. How low can you go: Get low by bending your knees and lowering your center of gravity.

3. The hard part: In order to have a successful dependable onehander, you must be able to lift your center of gravity with your legs as the forward swing starts and slightly before impact. Be careful not to jump or hop up off your feet as that will alter the swing path and produce errors. I have no issue with jumping or hopping off, however, it needs to be because you are being pulled off the ground from your center of gravity rising quickly, instead of forcing yourself off the ground. You must time this lifting with a rising racquet and the shift in weight going to the front foot.

I think James Blake (although it is not his strength) has an excellent ability to transfer a rising center of gravity over his front foot for the backhand and he is smacking the backhand now. Sometimes he transfers so powefully and subtly, he gets pulled off the ground!

You should make contact right when your weight (or center of gravity) is on top of the front foot.

Be careful not to cross over too much with your feet. A big cross over step usually happens because the players backswing causes the butt cap to point to the side fence instead of forward and at the ball. The racquet must be lower then the contact point!

This is a huge tip for onehanders! Most onehanders reference their contact point from the height of the ball as it clears the net - you see their racquet on the backswing get no lower then their waist (because their center of gravity is too high). However, according to their reference point (ball over the net) they think they are below the ball only for the ball be framed or poorly hit because "they" are too high. What usually happens is the body/brain senses the racquet face is in the wrong position, the wrist turns up to compensate, the racquet head drops, and a poof ball goes over for safety or a mistake is made.

Your backswing only needs to be with mainly your shoulders and prepared early to bring the racquet forward immediately.

Watch out for a hitch in your swing. It is when you make the shoulder turn, then you raise your arms. This takes exceptional timing and most people on this board are not going to have Henin or SCUDS backhand. Keep in mind, the pros level ball is traveling fast and when they take those big backswings, that is talent and practice that few of us will ever achieve.

My suggestion is practice to bring your racquet back with the butt cap pointing towards the ball at the same time with the shoulder turn only. Then condition your muscles to WANT to bring the racquet forward from that position. You will notice your hitting hand will barely have moved from its central position near the navel. Practice that - later as you get more comfortable you can take a bigger cut.

Also, most people do the coil but forget to prepare the muscles for the forward swing. By the time they need to start the forward swing, the brain finally sends the signal, that millisecond or nanosecond is all a onehander needs to mistime the ball.

Always prepare your backswing for the forward swing.

Bungalo Bill/Rockemsockem Robot/Mush Mouth- I think you have taking my questioning of lifting up personal as an attack on your knowlegde and wisdom. I've have read many of your posts before
and for the most part everything is sound and informative . I am
glad you have soften your stance on this issue of getting low and lifting as you hit the bh, at least you didn't mention that you have the feeling of sitting in a chair like I read when I first started tennis.
I would hate for a new player to get frustrated trying to lift up out of a chair to generate power and get frustrated and quit the game.
Interestly, Tennisone is featuring the strokes of James Blake and they actually criticize them because his rising up as he hits causes
balance problems. Also, in the book World Class Tennis Technique there is a great shot of Richard Krajicek staying down as he hits a one-handed backhand. In addition , I spoke with a well respected area pro who was on the ITF World Class Junior Team training with
Guerton,Arthurs,Lapenti,Black Brothers,Arazi,Paes, and is currently one of the regional chairmens for junior development and he concurred that you do not want to lift up noticeably or quickly as you hit a world class modern back hand. Of course, as you transfer your weight forward, and rotate your hips your gravity will
come upwards slightly, especially if you straighten your front knee-but slightly is the key word. Regarded Vic Braden, I actually met him at a tennis tournament in Toronto and found him to be very warm,enthusiastic, and obviously knowledgeable-He has been a great ambassador for tennis and I have read many of his writings.
In closing, if someone makes a statement that I feel is incorrect and could lead to problems for someone's game, I feel obligated to point this out as I would hope they would do the same with me. Clearly, I will always place credence on what I see versus what someone says and I prefer to study the pros in person and in video
to get the most accurate and current information regarding the modern game. If someone has a problem with that well that is just to darn bad!

Japanese,

I havent softened anything. I continue to teach the drill as I know how to use the drill. I also know WHY I am using the drill. I continue to add to my comments mainly because you didnt "get it".

My comments are valid and current. I am glad you do a lot of research, so do I. Your comments towards me about not knowing how to hit a onehander, nor should I teach it if I havent hit a thousand balls, and your reference about me being "old school" and my recommendations invalid based on your personal experience - are personal. Why wouldnt I take it any other way?

I emphasize getting low on this board because most people dont and I want to sink in. So I play up on it. If you read your posts you took the drill way out of context. It is just a drill.

The chair drill is an excellent drill. Again, you have no clue again. There are many ways to hit a ball. Tennisone isn't the only authority.

As a tennis coach, I have many drills at my disposal to use to get a point across to a student. One drill may work for the student and another may not work. But just because it doesnt work for one doesnt mean it is a bad drill. That is like saying "if I cant hit with a Western grip it is a bad grip and no one should use it!"

Japanese I admire your spunk and your determination. But your efforts to convey your message or have someone explain more thoroughly what they are saying was inappropriate. I think the other commentors were simply expressing that your approach to constructive feedback was unacceptable.

It is clear based on the information I have provided that pros do get low and rise as needed to hit the ball. This is a natural phenomenom. My teaching continues based on my research and findings. I rarely base things on "my experience" because what may work for me may not work for someone else. I have to be very careful with that.

Remember a lot of these "new teaching" have been around a long time. They are being marketed now. For example, the pulling of the butt cap. This teaching has resurfaced into popularity but this has been around for years. Another "new" thing is making an L with your wrist. Not everyone agrees with that. Not all onehanders agree you need to hit with a straight arm. However, you have to take the two items and have them in your teaching arsenal. Maybe a player cant hit the ball with his arm straight but hits it real well with it slightly bent and sends his arm forward like flinging a frisbee. Is he wrong? Old school? Should I say thats the old way? Heck no, I need to be versitle and provide drills and practice methods to mature what his body says is right for him.

Again, no softening here, I have seen too much proof that the drill has helped many many players. You will see it again!

Japanese Maple
03-03-2004, 11:26 AM
Bungalo Billy/Rockem Sockem Rotor/MushMouth-my gosh you might
be right-maybe" I didn't get it", that your recommendation was only
a drill. All along I was responding to your comments as if they were actually an integral part of the stroke which if this was true
would definitely be erroneous information that would lead to years
of frustration. Well, if your comments were only meant to be used
in practice to create a sensation, please,please except my
apology. I must admit I have never seen a teaching pro in all my
years of receiving and reading about tennis instruction ever use
the "sitting in the chair" drill, do you have a patent on this teaching
technique, you must because noone else uses this technique.
In closing, we will just have to agree to disagree-your comments
and instruction are always appreciative and entertaining, and in
the time you took to respond to my messages you could have used
my recommendations and the other posters to go out on a court
and learn how to truly hit the modern, ballistic, backhand! Good luck!

Bungalo Bill
03-03-2004, 01:57 PM
Friends again! Yeah! Thanks for your spunk and your willingness to challenge me! Makes me sharper! I acutally am in contact with Pat Dougherty often on the subject. It is a great stroke, for those that can execute it. I have a couple students that hit it very well that way. One the other hand, I know of a couple of my friends students that hit it the classic way and rip it.

I have both methods to teach. But on the onehander no matter what you choose - it all starts from the ground up.

lol, no i dont have a patent on the drill. and i dont use it all the time either. it is in my library of useful drills to get my point across if other things (simpler things) arent working.

By the way, when I drill this, the player is taking a swing, he is just learning to time his swing with a rise. The chair drill is wonderful to feel how much tension in the thigh muscles are needed in order to feel the "getting" low feeling. Your butt has to go down (in the chair) and you cant droop the racquet and as the ball is coming towards you, you have to somewhat rise out of the chair to hit the ball. Very useful drill.

bhallic24
05-28-2011, 07:05 PM
The onehanded backhand is little art and more skill.

Most people do not get low enough with their center of gravity to make a meaningful onehanded backhand. I can remember teaching a student and his idea of getting lower was dropping the racquet head. The onehander compared to the forehand can not afford a dropped racquet head, you must bend your knees. The timing of the onehander is a bit more precise then the twohander. Mainly because your trying to time about 5 different body segments as compared to a twohanders two body segments.

My suggestion below agrees and supports the other posters comments above. They are as follows:

1. Grip: Eastern backhand grip

2. How low can you go: Get low by bending your knees and lowering your center of gravity.

3. The hard part: In order to have a successful dependable onehander, you must be able to lift your center of gravity with your legs as the forward swing starts and slightly before impact. Be careful not to jump or hop up off your feet as that will alter the swing path and produce errors. I have no issue with jumping or hopping off, however, it needs to be because you are being pulled off the ground from your center of gravity rising quickly, instead of forcing yourself off the ground. You must time this lifting with a rising racquet and the shift in weight going to the front foot.

I think James Blake (although it is not his strength) has an excellent ability to transfer a rising center of gravity over his front foot for the backhand and he is smacking the backhand now. Sometimes he transfers so powefully and subtly, he gets pulled off the ground!

You should make contact right when your weight (or center of gravity) is on top of the front foot.

Be careful not to cross over too much with your feet. A big cross over step usually happens because the players backswing causes the butt cap to point to the side fence instead of forward and at the ball. The racquet must be lower then the contact point!

This is a huge tip for onehanders! Most onehanders reference their contact point from the height of the ball as it clears the net - you see their racquet on the backswing get no lower then their waist (because their center of gravity is too high). However, according to their reference point (ball over the net) they think they are below the ball only for the ball be framed or poorly hit because "they" are too high. What usually happens is the body/brain senses the racquet face is in the wrong position, the wrist turns up to compensate, the racquet head drops, and a poof ball goes over for safety or a mistake is made.

Your backswing only needs to be with mainly your shoulders and prepared early to bring the racquet forward immediately.

Watch out for a hitch in your swing. It is when you make the shoulder turn, then you raise your arms. This takes exceptional timing and most people on this board are not going to have Henin or SCUDS backhand. Keep in mind, the pros level ball is traveling fast and when they take those big backswings, that is talent and practice that few of us will ever achieve.

My suggestion is practice to bring your racquet back with the butt cap pointing towards the ball at the same time with the shoulder turn only. Then condition your muscles to WANT to bring the racquet forward from that position. You will notice your hitting hand will barely have moved from its central position near the navel. Practice that - later as you get more comfortable you can take a bigger cut.

Also, most people do the coil but forget to prepare the muscles for the forward swing. By the time they need to start the forward swing, the brain finally sends the signal, that millisecond or nanosecond is all a onehander needs to mistime the ball.

Always prepare your backswing for the forward swing.


this is a wonderful wonderful set of tips. I think the most important one in this whole section is GET LOW. I'll say it again.

GET LOW!!!!!

When you get low and then lift, and incorporate your big thigh/leg muscles into your shot, it is incredible the difference it makes. All of a sudden your balls loop right over the net instead of into them like a line drive. And you hit a ball that is just so much heavier.

If you don't get low or below the ball when you hit, you will never hit a good 1hbh because you can't brush up on it.

dozu
05-28-2011, 07:19 PM
going hand in hand with the 'get low', is the 'axis tilt' that many overlook.

the the racket travels from low to high during the forward swing, but the swing is done AROUND the body. To do both at the same time, there must be an axis tilt (spine tilt) away from the the target.

I don't like the 'lift' concept too much.... the legs naturally unwind, and the swing feels circular, instead of 'lifting from low to high'... human upper body is not built to 'lift', it's built to turn.... but if the spine is tilted, a circular turn becomes a low to high lift.

If the above makes sense.