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unsung
05-17-2006, 09:54 AM
Hey guys, so.... I am thinking about switching to a two-handed forehand (!)

I've been playing for a few months... have a decent two-handed backhand- good control & I can get good pace if I time it right and really swing at the ball. It feels a zillion times better than my forehand.

I'm trying to learn Eastern forehand, but it feels really awkward- I rarely get a shot that feels like it *pops* off the racquet. Most of the time, I feel like I'm kind of just pushing the ball or tapping it back to the opponent. (If I swing hard at it, it goes up really high, then drops near the baseline.. but it's not a nice arc over the net).

It's hard to take a really good swing at it unless I close the racquet face and do the windshield wiper thing... but when I do that, it feels like I'm just skimming the ball, and it barely skims over the net and doesn't land very deep. (Although, doing it that way gives ok control over direction of the ball) Anyway, that method just doesn't seem like it's the right technique.

I've played around w/ the semi-western forehand a little bit, but I can't seem to hit through the ball or get any kind of control over direction. It just flies up w/ a weird spin.

Since my two-handed backhand works ok, I wonder if switching to a two-handed forehand might be a good idea? I've tried it w/ my Rhand on bottom & it feels pretty good. If I do it that way, I wouldn't have to switch grips for forehand/backhand.

But, the two-handed forehand looks kind of ugly :| ... I don't know, should I keep going trying to improve my one-handed forehand? Or switch to two-handed?

sureshs
05-17-2006, 10:10 AM
There are two 2-handed forehands depending on whether dominant arm is up or below the non-dominant one. Santoro (I hope I got the name right) - you know the guy with the funny style - has a FH which is actually a lefty BH. I don't remember how Seles did it.

HellBunni
05-17-2006, 10:33 AM
Hey guys, so.... I am thinking about switching to a two-handed forehand (!)

I've been playing for a few months... have a decent two-handed backhand- good control & I can get good pace if I time it right and really swing at the ball. It feels a zillion times better than my forehand.

I'm trying to learn Eastern forehand, but it feels really awkward- I rarely get a shot that feels like it *pops* off the racquet. Most of the time, I feel like I'm kind of just pushing the ball or tapping it back to the opponent. (If I swing hard at it, it goes up really high, then drops near the baseline.. but it's not a nice arc over the net).

It's hard to take a really good swing at it unless I close the racquet face and do the windshield wiper thing... but when I do that, it feels like I'm just skimming the ball, and it barely skims over the net and doesn't land very deep. (Although, doing it that way gives ok control over direction of the ball) Anyway, that method just doesn't seem like it's the right technique.

I've played around w/ the semi-western forehand a little bit, but I can't seem to hit through the ball or get any kind of control over direction. It just flies up w/ a weird spin.

Since my two-handed backhand works ok, I wonder if switching to a two-handed forehand might be a good idea? I've tried it w/ my Rhand on bottom & it feels pretty good. If I do it that way, I wouldn't have to switch grips for forehand/backhand.

But, the two-handed forehand looks kind of ugly :| ... I don't know, should I keep going trying to improve my one-handed forehand? Or switch to two-handed?

I say work on your forehand. Two-handed has less reach. And the forward is usually the strong side to most players. You just need more practice, maybe take a lesson or two. The semi-western is easier to learn in my opinion. Your shots fly up probably because you meet it too low/late, try to meet the ball around wist high and a little in front.

lucky leprechaun
05-17-2006, 10:34 AM
First thing is how it feels, and if it feels good I'd go ahead and give it a try, for goodness knows its about a stable a stroke as you can get. For me it felt like strangling a monkey with both my hands tied behind my back. Just to let you know, the racquet component may be a big factor if you want to pursue it, both jan michael gambill and seles used extended length, and probably bigger headed racquet than what they would have naturally used I think had they been uni-handed.

wyutani
05-17-2006, 11:16 AM
two-handed forehand? bad idea mate'...there's always a disadvantage. you gonna lack reach if you use double-handed...for backhand maybe it's ok...why dun you train single handed, try...

Golden Retriever
05-17-2006, 11:21 AM
I am on the same boat. My 1HFH sucks but my 2HFH is great. However playing with 2 hands on both sides kind of takes the fun out of the game. I am still not giving up on my 1HFH but I definately will switch if I run out of options. I am quite a strong guy so I should be able to hit with 1 hand. However girls do benefit more from the 2HFH in my opinion. So if your a girl, I would recommend you to switch. If your a guy, I would not recommend anything. Just go with your instinct.

ta11geese3
05-17-2006, 05:05 PM
Have you tried using an educated wrist release on your fh with your sw grip? It really helps...

Also, if you're just tapping the ball over, perhaps your racquet is too high powered?

Bungalo Bill
05-18-2006, 09:54 AM
Hey guys, so.... I am thinking about switching to a two-handed forehand (!)

I've been playing for a few months... have a decent two-handed backhand- good control & I can get good pace if I time it right and really swing at the ball. It feels a zillion times better than my forehand.

I'm trying to learn Eastern forehand, but it feels really awkward- I rarely get a shot that feels like it *pops* off the racquet. Most of the time, I feel like I'm kind of just pushing the ball or tapping it back to the opponent. (If I swing hard at it, it goes up really high, then drops near the baseline.. but it's not a nice arc over the net).

It's hard to take a really good swing at it unless I close the racquet face and do the windshield wiper thing... but when I do that, it feels like I'm just skimming the ball, and it barely skims over the net and doesn't land very deep. (Although, doing it that way gives ok control over direction of the ball) Anyway, that method just doesn't seem like it's the right technique.

I've played around w/ the semi-western forehand a little bit, but I can't seem to hit through the ball or get any kind of control over direction. It just flies up w/ a weird spin.

Since my two-handed backhand works ok, I wonder if switching to a two-handed forehand might be a good idea? I've tried it w/ my Rhand on bottom & it feels pretty good. If I do it that way, I wouldn't have to switch grips for forehand/backhand.

But, the two-handed forehand looks kind of ugly :| ... I don't know, should I keep going trying to improve my one-handed forehand? Or switch to two-handed?

You really should be addressing this to TennisMastery. None of us know this stroke better than he does. He studies it, teaches it, and has way more knowledge than any of us on this stroke.

Hopefully, he can help you and us learn more about this unique stroke, we just have to wait patiently. :)

Tennismastery
05-18-2006, 10:54 AM
Hey guys, so.... I am thinking about switching to a two-handed forehand (!)

I've been playing for a few months... have a decent two-handed backhand- good control & I can get good pace if I time it right and really swing at the ball. It feels a zillion times better than my forehand.

I'm trying to learn Eastern forehand, but it feels really awkward- I rarely get a shot that feels like it *pops* off the racquet. Most of the time, I feel like I'm kind of just pushing the ball or tapping it back to the opponent. (If I swing hard at it, it goes up really high, then drops near the baseline.. but it's not a nice arc over the net).

It's hard to take a really good swing at it unless I close the racquet face and do the windshield wiper thing... but when I do that, it feels like I'm just skimming the ball, and it barely skims over the net and doesn't land very deep. (Although, doing it that way gives ok control over direction of the ball) Anyway, that method just doesn't seem like it's the right technique.

I've played around w/ the semi-western forehand a little bit, but I can't seem to hit through the ball or get any kind of control over direction. It just flies up w/ a weird spin.

Since my two-handed backhand works ok, I wonder if switching to a two-handed forehand might be a good idea? I've tried it w/ my Rhand on bottom & it feels pretty good. If I do it that way, I wouldn't have to switch grips for forehand/backhand.

But, the two-handed forehand looks kind of ugly :| ... I don't know, should I keep going trying to improve my one-handed forehand? Or switch to two-handed?

There are two schools of thought that I might provide you here: one is, continue working on your one-handed forehand with proper swing and grip mechanics (perhaps under the watchful eye of a competent pro); and the other is to use the two-handed forehand as a learning tool...something that is different enough from your one-handed technique so as to not go back to the muscle memory of your old habits.

Many pros and tennis individuals have little working knowledge of the two-handed forehand and thus we hear a lot of negativity towards the shot by such people. (We used to hear this with the two-handed backhand a couple decades ago!) This is unfortunate as the shot has a great deal of merit--both among several pros who currently use it, and as a learning tool for players struggling to gain mastery of a quality and dependable forehand.

For those who don't know, there nearly as many two-handed forehand players on the WTA tour (women's) as there are one-handed backhands! I'm not saying that the two-handed forehand will ever be the dominant stroke nor am I saying that it gives players an advantage at this level. What I am saying is that it obviously isn't keeping players from reaching the higher echilons of professional tennis among those who use it. (Women: Seles, Bartolli, Sheng, Li, and others...and men such as Santoro, Sluiter, Gambil, and a few others)...all having reached top 50, 25 and even top 10 for some, in their respective tours in the world.

Now, the question is, are you hitting the two-hander in such a way that you can maximize your improvement on the stroke? As a learning tool, I have had many players who simply had a terrible forehand--for whatever reason; self taught, taught wrong, developed bad habits, or have a propensity to incorporate faulty swing elements from previous experience (or lact thereof) use the two-handed swing pattern to ingrain a new swing element or to help them learn not to use detramental swing charicteristics.

The Two handed forehand offers stability, balance, less chance of wristy movements, and a more compact swing pattern. It obviously has less reach, (which is exactly what they said about the two-handed backhand 30 years ago!), yet, the slightly less reach is nominal in match play. The two-handed swing does encourage better footwork since a player can't just reach out and slap the ball as they could with one-handed swings.

Since I could write a book on this subject (hey, I have!), I don't believe I could provide justice to those interested here in this forum. However, you may learn more about the two-handed forehand from my articles found at www.tennisone.com or you may purchase my book, TENNIS MASTERY found here at www.tenniswarehouse.com. (My book does contain the most comprehensive study on the two-handed forehand in the world.)

Thank you to those who are open minded to the prospect of using this stroke. I guarantee those pros and players who study and teach or learn the stroke will learn as I have the valuable aspects such an additional learning concept can provide.

Hope this helps a little.

travlerajm
05-18-2006, 11:05 AM
There are two schools of thought that I might provide you here: one is, continue working on your one-handed forehand with proper swing and grip mechanics (perhaps under the watchful eye of a competent pro); and the other is to use the two-handed forehand as a learning tool...something that is different enough from your one-handed technique so as to not go back to the muscle memory of your old habits.

Many pros and tennis individuals have little working knowledge of the two-handed forehand and thus we hear a lot of negativity towards the shot by such people. (We used to hear this with the two-handed backhand a couple decades ago!) This is unfortunate as the shot has a great deal of merit--both among several pros who currently use it, and as a learning tool for players struggling to gain mastery of a quality and dependable forehand.

For those who don't know, there nearly as many two-handed forehand players on the WTA tour (women's) as there are one-handed backhands! I'm not saying that the two-handed forehand will ever be the dominant stroke nor am I saying that it gives players an advantage at this level. What I am saying is that it obviously isn't keeping players from reaching the higher echilons of professional tennis among those who use it. (Women: Seles, Bartolli, Sheng, Li, and others...and men such as Santoro, Sluiter, Gambil, and a few others)...all having reached top 50, 25 and even top 10 for some, in their respective tours in the world.

Now, the question is, are you hitting the two-hander in such a way that you can maximize your improvement on the stroke? As a learning tool, I have had many players who simply had a terrible forehand--for whatever reason; self taught, taught wrong, developed bad habits, or have a propensity to incorporate faulty swing elements from previous experience (or lact thereof) use the two-handed swing pattern to ingrain a new swing element or to help them learn not to use detramental swing charicteristics.

The Two handed forehand offers stability, balance, less chance of wristy movements, and a more compact swing pattern. It obviously has less reach, (which is exactly what they said about the two-handed backhand 30 years ago!), yet, the slightly less reach is nominal in match play. The two-handed swing does encourage better footwork since a player can't just reach out and slap the ball as they could with one-handed swings.

Since I could write a book on this subject (hey, I have!), I don't believe I could provide justice to those interested here in this forum. However, you may learn more about the two-handed forehand from my articles found at www.tennisone.com or you may purchase my book, TENNIS MASTERY found here at www.tenniswarehouse.com. (My book does contain the most comprehensive study on the two-handed forehand in the world.)

Thank you to those who are open minded to the prospect of using this stroke. I guarantee those pros and players who study and teach or learn the stroke will learn as I have the valuable aspects such an additional learning concept can provide.

Hope this helps a little.

I've always had a forehand that was significantly worse than my 2hb. In high school, I even found that I could hit better forehands when I held onto my right wrist with my left hand. It seemed to help me keep the right swingpath.

David L
05-19-2006, 08:01 PM
Hey guys, so.... I am thinking about switching to a two-handed forehand (!)

I've been playing for a few months... have a decent two-handed backhand- good control & I can get good pace if I time it right and really swing at the ball. It feels a zillion times better than my forehand.

I'm trying to learn Eastern forehand, but it feels really awkward- I rarely get a shot that feels like it *pops* off the racquet. Most of the time, I feel like I'm kind of just pushing the ball or tapping it back to the opponent. (If I swing hard at it, it goes up really high, then drops near the baseline.. but it's not a nice arc over the net).

It's hard to take a really good swing at it unless I close the racquet face and do the windshield wiper thing... but when I do that, it feels like I'm just skimming the ball, and it barely skims over the net and doesn't land very deep. (Although, doing it that way gives ok control over direction of the ball) Anyway, that method just doesn't seem like it's the right technique.

I've played around w/ the semi-western forehand a little bit, but I can't seem to hit through the ball or get any kind of control over direction. It just flies up w/ a weird spin.

Since my two-handed backhand works ok, I wonder if switching to a two-handed forehand might be a good idea? I've tried it w/ my Rhand on bottom & it feels pretty good. If I do it that way, I wouldn't have to switch grips for forehand/backhand.

But, the two-handed forehand looks kind of ugly :| ... I don't know, should I keep going trying to improve my one-handed forehand? Or switch to two-handed?

First thing I would say to you is, lose the eastern grip. As good as Sampras' forehand was, it would have been much better without the eastern. Eastern grip is a hinderance in the modern game. Persevere with the semi-western. I would also advise you to stick with the single hander. Good things come to those who wait. This is not going to happen overnight.

Rather than laying down specifics, which is hard when one cannot see the person, here are some guiding principles.

1.Stroke should be relaxed and it should flow. If it feels like too much hard work, then the technique or timing is wrong.

2.Racket should be roughly perpendicular to ground on contact with ball.

3.Racket should swing from below the ball, to and through the ball, extending up and over the ball after contact, but the follow through is about inertia not premeditation.

4. Some imagery. Think in terms of creating a moving wall for the ball to rebound off. Another one that works well. Imagine your racket has a net instead of strings. Imagine you are trying to catch the ball in the net by meeting it and swinging through. Kind of like catching a butterfly, but remember, perpendicular, low to high, all that business.

5. Don't over analyse your body mechanics. Think more in terms of what you want the ball to do and what the racket must do to achieve this. The body tends to obey, when you decide what you want the racket to do. Think basic physics(actions and reactions). With any unfamiliar grip, it might take a little while for you to know what your racket is doing, without looking at it. Take time to get aquainted.

Check out some of these links to help you understand more about the forehand, and the other strokes.

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step8.html

http://www.teachingtennis.com/site/forehand.htm

Hope this helps.

Bungalo Bill
05-20-2006, 12:51 AM
First thing I would say to you is, lose the eastern grip.

Very interesting comment. Could it be that the SW is not taught properly to those that have trouble with the forehand? Is this the reason why some may think they can't hit a good forehand?

Let's let TennisMastery explain his rationale and what his research shows.

My stance is anyone can learn to hit a solid forehand. Careful look as to the back swing, elbow position, and how the shoulders rotate and when are what keeps me here, but when it comes to other good coaches insight there may be more to this puzzle then meets the eye.

TM? Any thoughts?

Golden Retriever
05-20-2006, 10:32 AM
Try a more powerful racquet. That might be just what you need.

metsjets
05-20-2006, 12:26 PM
you body generates more power with a one handed forehand than any other stroke. it's just a fact.

unsung
05-20-2006, 04:12 PM
Try a more powerful racquet. That might be just what you need.

I've been thinking about this. When I borrowed my tennis pro's racquet for the first few lessons, I seemed to hit much more solidly- it was a 4 3/8, while right now I'm using a 4. It was also a bit heavier. I wonder if my lighter, smaller racquet is screwing up my form somehow by letting me swing faster and twist up my wrist in weird ways... lol

chiru
05-20-2006, 04:34 PM
key to easter forehand imo, left foot forward, closed stance if you can prepare makes this shot lethal.

Tennismastery
05-20-2006, 04:45 PM
Very interesting comment. Could it be that the SW is not taught properly to those that have trouble with the forehand? Is this the reason why some may think they can't hit a good forehand?

Let's let TennisMastery explain his rationale and what his research shows.

My stance is anyone can learn to hit a solid forehand. Careful look as to the back swing, elbow position, and how the shoulders rotate and when are what keeps me here, but when it comes to other good coaches insight there may be more to this puzzle then meets the eye.

TM? Any thoughts?

I agree with Bill that anyone can (or should) be able to hit a solid conventional forehand. Unfortunately, many people have a variance in the propensity to fully execute the forehand for a variety of reasons. Either they physically can't emulate the patterns consistently, they don't have ample control to know what they and their racquet are doing, or they just can't gain comfort with proper mechanics due to many reasons...the most definative being that they have previous 'muscle memory' that is so ingrained they can't make the transition away from such grooved swing components...or they have what I call 'ticks' which are nuances during the swing which they don't have conscious control over.

I know that all good pros meet individuals who meet some of these criteria for failing to gain a solid forehand. This is where the two-handed forehand has great value. (And, no, it doesn't work for everyone!) However, for those with many of the problems I just mentioned, it can serve to superceed some of the ingrained patterns and provide the catilyst to learn a new set of swing charicteristics.

Obviously, if a pro or an individual can overcome problems and gain success with a conventional one-handed forehand, by all means it should be the course of action. If, however, as I have witnessed from teaching so many players, there are a number of players who simply have so much detramental 'stroke baggage' that they need to have a unique learning pattern made available.

I can only tell all of those interested, I have many adults, those between 30 and 75, who use the two-handed forehand with far greater success than they ever found with their one-handed. These are players who had played for years, if not many decades, and now are enjoying their ability to be more aggressive with consistency, hit more effective shots with consistency, hit with greater spin and proper spin than they ever had with consistency, and have passed their friends who have remained entrenched using the same old strokes that fail to progress as these players have.

So, in conclusion, I am in full agreement that there are ways to correct forehands that are faulty using conventional wisdom and techniques. However, if those methods fail, no one, and I mean no one, should short-change the option of the two-handed forehand.

It is interesting to note that without a single exception, those who knock the two-handed forehand have never ever taught the stroke. I have trained many pros with the stroke, and they are all firm believers (now!) as I am that it is a truly great took to have in your bag of teaching tricks.

Tennismastery
05-20-2006, 04:54 PM
you body generates more power with a one handed forehand than any other stroke. it's just a fact.

Power without control is useless. You don't see golfers, baseball players, hockey players, etc., swing with one hand...it is because they depend on precise control within the power of the stroke. The slight decrease in potential power using two hands has not prevented several players who use two hands on both sides from becoming world-class players.

A player can use one hand and use a lot of wrist and generate incredible racquet head speed for even more power...but we don't teach players to use the wrist...why? Because it sacrifices control for increased pace.

I have seen hundreds of players generate MORE pace with said control with two hands... it is not a fact (that one handed swings are more powerful) under this criteria as it applies to the sport of tennis.

Except for many top ranked players and those at the world-class level, few, if any hit shots as hard as they can. Because of this, any stroke that provides a relatively greater amount of power is irrelavent unless the player were in fact trying to swing with all their potential power and if control were not part of the equation.

If a player can gain confidence from control, they will natually swing with more aggressive, competent power. Thus, even though the stroke method used may have less potential for power, if the stroke method provides the player with confidence, they will usually be able to stroke with more power than if they used an arguably more powerful--yet less controlable--swing pattern.

siber222000
05-20-2006, 06:41 PM
hm.. i used a two handed forehand b4.. DONT DO IT, it has so many disadvantages.. such as reach... dam... dont do it!

Tennismastery
05-20-2006, 08:35 PM
hm.. i used a two handed forehand b4.. DONT DO IT, it has so many disadvantages.. such as reach... dam... dont do it!

So, you are the definitive answer to anyone who would explore this shot? The one handed forehand has many disadvantages too...too much wrist, difficulty in maintaining a congruent swing path, slapping at the ball, rolling the racquet face, etc.

Just because you were incapable of developing the shot, don't catagorize everyone in the same lack of competency.

Who knows, if you currently have a solid one-hander, it may have something to do with you using the two-hander at one time.

I'm not saying it is for everyone...not even for a minority. However, such close-mindedness is exactly what people said about the two-handed backhand thirty years ago. (No reach, no power, a women's shot only.)

I have seen it work far better for many players. (Hey, maybe you learned it wrong?)

Anyway, as with any forum, those of you who read these post must decipher the ignorant with the experienced.

siber222000
05-20-2006, 11:00 PM
well ok, maybe i jumped to conclusion quickly. anyway, when i first tried two handed forehand.. it was all good, like spin and the power... but dunno y as time passes by, it like failed me... well ur right, maybe i did learn it wrong way, but as you see... not many people uses two handed forehand... maybe someone with a racquet such as head protector racquet, also two handed backhand is a whole different thing as two handed forehand. well u don't have to listen to me, but if u choose a path of two handed forehand, good luck cuz i know what will happen if u dont learn it perfectly. :mrgreen: So, you are the definitive answer to anyone who would explore this shot? The one handed forehand has many disadvantages too...too much wrist, difficulty in maintaining a congruent swing path, slapping at the ball, rolling the racquet face, etc.

Just because you were incapable of developing the shot, don't catagorize everyone in the same lack of competency.

Who knows, if you currently have a solid one-hander, it may have something to do with you using the two-hander at one time.

I'm not saying it is for everyone...not even for a minority. However, such close-mindedness is exactly what people said about the two-handed backhand thirty years ago. (No reach, no power, a women's shot only.)

I have seen it work far better for many players. (Hey, maybe you learned it wrong?)

Anyway, as with any forum, those of you who read these post must decipher the ignorant with the experienced.

Golden Retriever
05-21-2006, 07:22 AM
Tennismastery, may I ask you this one question? How come the 2HBH feels so natural to me but the 2HFH feels so unnatural? I have had good results with the 2HFH but it felt so unnatural that I had to give it up.

Tennismastery
05-21-2006, 09:40 AM
Tennismastery, may I ask you this one question? How come the 2HBH feels so natural to me but the 2HFH feels so unnatural? I have had good results with the 2HFH but it felt so unnatural that I had to give it up.

I have found that about half of the players I have introduced the two-handed forehand to, find it unnatural, or a better term for me is uncomfortable. This is because the top hand, (left hand for right-handed players) is stretched out and requires the player to implement more of the unit turn than they are used to or familiar with. (Which is one of the nice learning points of the two-handed forehand...it teaches players to use the upper body more in the coil of the kinetic chain and reduces the backswing.)

As with anything unfamiliar, players must practice such aspects until they do become comfortable. And, with some, it simply doesn't work as well...which is the beauty of the two-hander...it doesn't prevent a player from developing the swing mechanics of a good conventional one-handed forehand. The aspects of a shorter back swing, greater unit turn, more stable stroke pattern, and the footwork patterns that the two-handed forehand promote are all ideal for a conventional one-handed forehand. Even open, neutral and closed stances work exceptionally well with the two-handed forehand.

As you saw, you had good results with the stroke...however you didn't overcome the unnatural feel of the stroke for whatever reason. Perhaps you didn't 'buy' into the shot with complete conviction, didn't practice it enough, or used a two-handed forehand method that didn't help you achieve the right feel.

As I have discussed with Bill on many occasions in the past, I am not saying that the two-handed forehand is for everyone...nor is it necessary for a player to become exceptional on the forehand side. (Which is obvious since most top players still use a one-handed forehand). My stance on the topic is that the two-handed forehand is a good learning tool, especially for those just starting out, for those trying to overcome bad habits, as well as the fact that for many who indoctrinate themselves with the stroke, it can be a weapon.

With any discussion about technique, (ie: one hand versus two handed backhands, pinpoint versus platform stance on the serve, full loop verses more conservative backswings, etc.) there will some who do better with one over another. The real test of a good pro is to recognize which methods will be best for the student. But, if the pro has no working knowledge of some of these techniques (such as the two-handed forehand which many pros simply don't have a clue as to how to teach it as well as what can be achieved by it), than they obviously can't offer different patterns to their student that may help them.

Bungalo Bill
05-21-2006, 09:53 AM
I have found that about half of the players I have introduced the two-handed forehand to, find it unnatural

Well TM, you know I respect you a lot. I think your insight in tennis is incredible. If I ever make it down your way, I will be sure to stop by.

Back to topic, as you know, I am a bit "set" on onehanded forehand only. When teaching kids, they tend to grab the racquet and start firing. With careful guidance, they can begin hitting the ball pretty good. How do you address the twohanded forehand at this age? Say 6 - 8 years old? It is "natural" for some kids to hit a twohanded forehand. Are you letting them and guide them to hit it right?

As with anything unfamiliar, players must practice such aspects until they do become comfortable. And, with some, it simply doesn't work as well...which is the beauty of the two-hander...it doesn't prevent a player from developing the swing mechanics of a good conventional one-handed forehand.

This might answer my question above. Let's say I take my 7 year old out, bite my lip :), and let him hit a twohanded forehand. In your findings, you don't see an issue if he eventually improves his strength and moves to the onehanded forehand?

The aspects of a shorter back swing, greater unit turn, more stable stroke pattern, and the footwork patterns that the two-handed forehand promote are all ideal for a conventional one-handed forehand. Even open, neutral and closed stances work exceptionally well with the two-handed forehand.

Hmmmm...need to learn more about this.

As you saw, you had good results with the stroke...however you didn't overcome the unnatural feel of the stroke for whatever reason. Perhaps you didn't 'buy' into the shot with complete conviction, didn't practice it enough, or used a two-handed forehand method that didn't help you achieve the right feel.

Yes, just goofing around I tried it, and it really felt horrible. Because I can't hit it, it would be difficult for me to teach someone this. Did you wait to "master" the shot before teaching it?

As I have discussed with Bill on many occasions in the past, I am not saying that the two-handed forehand is for everyone...nor is it necessary for a player to become exceptional on the forehand side. (Which is obvious since most top players still use a one-handed forehand). My stance on the topic is that the two-handed forehand is a good learning tool, especially for those just starting out, for those trying to overcome bad habits, as well as the fact that for many who indoctrinate themselves with the stroke, it can be a weapon.

True.

With any discussion about technique, (ie: one hand versus two handed backhands, pinpoint versus platform stance on the serve, full loop verses more conservative backswings, etc.) there will some who do better with one over another. The real test of a good pro is to recognize which methods will be best for the student. But, if the pro has no working knowledge of some of these techniques (such as the two-handed forehand which many pros simply don't have a clue as to how to teach it as well as what can be achieved by it), than they obviously can't offer different patterns to their student that may help them.

I be one of them. I wouldn't know how to critique it, hit it, or develop a player with it. Plus, there is not enough information on it that allows a coach to study it, break it down, and position their advice around it.

Glad you are here!

DoubleHanded&LovinIt
05-21-2006, 09:57 AM
Bill, some good questions!

TennisMastery, a great point about the two-hander being a great learning tool--just ask Rafael Nadal! However, I can't think of any other examples, at the pro tour, in which a player successfully transitioned from a two-handed forehand to a one-handed forehand. But still an interesting point. Your articles on the topic at tennisone.com are great and John over at tennisplayer.net has been generous about letting members on his site know about your expertise with the two-hander (version: forehand).

Tennismastery
05-21-2006, 11:56 AM
Bill, some good questions!

TennisMastery, a great point about the two-hander being a great learning tool--just ask Rafael Nadal! However, I can't think of any other examples, at the pro tour, in which a player successfully transitioned from a two-handed forehand to a one-handed forehand. But still an interesting point. Your articles on the topic at tennisone.com are great and John over at tennisplayer.net has been generous about letting members on his site know about your expertise with the two-hander (version: forehand).

Hi DH & L,

Thanks for your comments. My comments about there being few examples of pros on tour (or most anywhere else, for that matter) is simple to analyze...if few players are introduced to it in the first place (two-handed forehand), there obviously would be few examples of it occuring on tour or anywhere else for that matter. The true 'test' of this stroke being a better way to learn would be to train say 200 players; 100 with conventional stroke patterns, 100with the two-handed. (My 32 years experience of teaching both patterns...the last 17 incorporating the two-handed forehand as I saw a need...has already given me the answer!)

And, I still agree that most good pros can indeed teach MOST players with a conventional forehand technique without needing or exploring the two-hander. (We still do this all the time!) However, having taught in three states for a long time and observing thousands of players as well as dozens of teaching pros, I can say without question that having the knowledge of the two-hander as well as using it to train beginning juniors, is a benefit worth having.

What is interesing is the number of two-handers that are on tour compared to the so-few of players taught the stroke it would seem that there is a high proponderence of players that have made it fairly high even as so few had ever been taught the stroke at any point. It can always be argued that those who do use the stroke, could they have become better without the two-hander? Of course, we will never know...just as we can't ask the question of whether the current or past one-handers on the backhand would have been better if they had learned with two...or vice versa. (ie: If those with two would have been better if they had gone one handed.)

My staff and I conclude that those who are taught the two-handed AS A WHOLE gain what we would call a very 'skilled stroke pattern' faster and with better control and with better spin than those who are taught only the one-hander. This is a very generalized statement and can be found to have exceptions as with any stroke pattern taught.

My daughter is a classic example. She is 7, she is not the most gifted athlete with marginal hand-eye coordination. However, we introduced her to the two-handed forehand when she was 5 and she immediately produced topspin and a repetitive swing pattern that was far superior to her contemporaries who were taught by other pros. (And, I really did not work with her that much!) She can hit one-handed fairly well as a result of her learning the two-haned, but without the consistency that she has with her two-handed. And with two hands, she can take harder hit balls and not have the racquet be torque in her hand. She also rallies well from behind the baseline even as she is not that strong.

This is perhaps a lot more information that anyone probably was looking for on this subject, but, I feel a need to educate those who might be interested.

Tennismastery
05-21-2006, 12:21 PM
Well TM, you know I respect you a lot. I think your insight in tennis is incredible. If I ever make it down your way, I will be sure to stop by.

Back to topic, as you know, I am a bit "set" on onehanded forehand only. When teaching kids, they tend to grab the racquet and start firing. With careful guidance, they can begin hitting the ball pretty good. How do you address the twohanded forehand at this age? Say 6 - 8 years old? It is "natural" for some kids to hit a twohanded forehand. Are you letting them and guide them to hit it right?



This might answer my question above. Let's say I take my 7 year old out, bite my lip :), and let him hit a twohanded forehand. In your findings, you don't see an issue if he eventually improves his strength and moves to the onehanded forehand?



Hmmmm...need to learn more about this.



Yes, just goofing around I tried it, and it really felt horrible. Because I can't hit it, it would be difficult for me to teach someone this. Did you wait to "master" the shot before teaching it?



True.



I be one of them. I wouldn't know how to critique it, hit it, or develop a player with it. Plus, there is not enough information on it that allows a coach to study it, break it down, and position their advice around it.

Glad you are here!

Bill, I have a mutual admiration for your knowledge of the game. Would welcome the chance to chat in person with you. John Y. has great things to say about your knowledge of the game as well!

I will try and answer your questions from my experience. Remember that even as I have recommendations, I concur with you that such advice is given with humble understandings that it isn't the only way nor that it isn't without exceptions.

I have seen how easy it is for the two-handed forehand to transition to a top-level one-handed forehand at every age. (Provided the two-hander is taught the way I address it in my book and at TennisOne in my articles--with the grip and hand position of the dominant hand staying where it would be with a conventional one-handed forehand.) It is a lot like the two-handed backhand...almost without exception, those taught the two-handed backhand find it fairly easy to transition to a one-handed backhand if they are so inclined. Yet, it is very difficult for almost any one-handed backhand player to try to learn the two-handed backhand if, indeed, they know that their one-handed backhand is suspect.

I can hit and demonstrate the two-handed forehand. However, I don't hit it in play...simply because I have played for 35 years using one hand on both sides...I often get asked, 'why don't I hit the two-handed backhand or forehand since I teach both.' My answer is simple, I hit both the forehand and backhand correctly and with success. Personally, I think I would have been a better player in college using two hands on both sides. (Coming from a background of badminton growing up, I used a lot of wrist on my groundstrokes that was hard to overcome and develop more effective groundies...as you might suspect, I was a serve and volley player and most of my success has been in doubles.)

You can see me demonstrating the two-handed forehand at www.practicehit.com (when I spoke on the shot at the So. Calif. USPTA convention a few years back.) As you can see from that clip, there is no shortage of racquet head speed. It was interesting too, that at that convention, I had a couple highly ranked girls (Lauren and Jena Ritz) and a couple college players as well as some solid club players come on the court and demonstrate their two-handed forehands. (I didn't know they were coming--except for the Ritz girls.) And, these players all demonstrated very powerful, effective forehands for the 100 or so pros in the audience. Each player attested to the negativity that they had to endure in using the stroke yet they all managed to become top-level players. In answer to your question, both the Ritz girls started with the two-handed forehand and backhand...with Lauren keeping the two hands on both sides and Jena going one hand on both sides! (I personally feel that Jena could be stronger with two hands as she tends to be a little late on some of her strokes.)

My goal is to simply get pros to not be as afraid to teach this shot as they see the need. My book, Tennis Mastery, offers the most indepth teaching of the two-handed forehand of any book.

Thanks for all your kind words about my work! You're pretty well respected here and at TennisPlayer.net as well! I'm sorry I don't have as much time as I would like to respond to more of the posts here...(55 hours a week at my club takes its toll! on top of a family and having a wife who is a doctor!)

Bungalo Bill
05-21-2006, 12:21 PM
Hi DH & L,

Thanks for your comments. My comments about there being few examples of pros on tour (or most anywhere else, for that matter) is simple to analyze...if few players are introduced to it in the first place (two-handed forehand), there obviously would be few examples of it occuring on tour or anywhere else for that matter. The true 'test' of this stroke being a better way to learn would be to train say 200 players; 100 with conventional stroke patterns, 100with the two-handed. (My 32 years experience of teaching both patterns...the last 17 incorporating the two-handed forehand as I saw a need...has already given me the answer!)

And, I still agree that most good pros can indeed teach MOST players with a conventional forehand technique without needing or exploring the two-hander. (We still do this all the time!) However, having taught in three states for a long time and observing thousands of players as well as dozens of teaching pros, I can say without question that having the knowledge of the two-hander as well as using it to train beginning juniors, is a benefit worth having.

What is interesing is the number of two-handers that are on tour compared to the so-few of players taught the stroke it would seem that there is a high proponderence of players that have made it fairly high even as so few had ever been taught the stroke at any point. It can always be argued that those who do use the stroke, could they have become better without the two-hander? Of course, we will never know...just as we can't ask the question of whether the current or past one-handers on the backhand would have been better if they had learned with two...or vice versa. (ie: If those with two would have been better if they had gone one handed.)

My staff and I conclude that those who are taught the two-handed AS A WHOLE gain what we would call a very 'skilled stroke pattern' faster and with better control and with better spin than those who are taught only the one-hander. This is a very generalized statement and can be found to have exceptions as with any stroke pattern taught.

My daughter is a classic example. She is 7, she is not the most gifted athlete with marginal hand-eye coordination. However, we introduced her to the two-handed forehand when she was 5 and she immediately produced topspin and a repetitive swing pattern that was far superior to her contemporaries who were taught by other pros. (And, I really did not work with her that much!) She can hit one-handed fairly well as a result of her learning the two-haned, but without the consistency that she has with her two-handed. And with two hands, she can take harder hit balls and not have the racquet be torque in her hand. She also rallies well from behind the baseline even as she is not that strong.

This is perhaps a lot more information that anyone probably was looking for on this subject, but, I feel a need to educate those who might be interested.

How would you suggest a coach go about studying this?

Tennismastery
05-21-2006, 01:57 PM
How would you suggest a coach go about studying this?

Bill, check the post prior to the one you responded to. I think I covered some of what you are asking about in that post.

Bungalo Bill
05-21-2006, 02:04 PM
Bill, check the post prior to the one you responded to. I think I covered some of what you are asking about in that post.

I did, I think your post was not there as I posted. Thanks TM.

TennisParent
05-21-2006, 02:19 PM
Bill/TM, Very interesting posts. My younger daughter 11 y/o played in a tournament a couple of weeks ago and made friends w/ another kid who hit 2 hands off each side, she fell in love with the concept and in practice w/ her sister started screwing around hitting it this way. I was not immediately in favor of this, but noticed she does hit with noticeably more topspin than with her normal fh-not surprising she hits relatively flat bec of her "obsolete":) eastern grip. Don't know wether to just forbid this or see what happens. One adverse thing I have noticed is that her fh volley even one handed has gone haywire for some reason since she started messing around. The comments are so true about not having as much information to go on as far as how to help someone develop this stroke.

Tennismastery
05-21-2006, 03:07 PM
Bill/TM, Very interesting posts. My younger daughter 11 y/o played in a tournament a couple of weeks ago and made friends w/ another kid who hit 2 hands off each side, she fell in love with the concept and in practice w/ her sister started screwing around hitting it this way. I was not immediately in favor of this, but noticed she does hit with noticeably more topspin than with her normal fh-not surprising she hits relatively flat bec of her "obsolete":) eastern grip. Don't know wether to just forbid this or see what happens. One adverse thing I have noticed is that her fh volley even one handed has gone haywire for some reason since she started messing around. The comments are so true about not having as much information to go on as far as how to help someone develop this stroke.

Tennis Parent,

If you haven't, check out my two-handed forehand articles found at www.tennisone.com. These should help you understand the different aspects of using the two-handed forehand so-as to help your daughter progress while avoiding some of the pitfalls that can hinder her development.

Regarding her volley. It is a different shot and one should not affect the other unless she is not clear on proper volley technique. We do see some players employ some groundstroke techniques (especially when they use eastern grips on the volley), that need to be addressed. Unless, of course, you are working on a swinging topspin volley...which two-hands can be useful too.

Drill her in hitting the proper one or two-handed topspin, followed by her transition to a conventional volley immediately on the next shot. If she still has trouble making this transition, work on each shot independently, then work on trying to transition correctly until she can do it without conscious thought.

Hope this helps!

Bungalo Bill
05-21-2006, 03:12 PM
Tennis Parent,

If you haven't, check out my two-handed forehand articles found at www.tennisone.com (http://www.tennisone.com). These should help you understand the different aspects of using the two-handed forehand so-as to help your daughter progress while avoiding some of the pitfalls that can hinder her development!

Would love to read them but for some reason I keep getting sent to the "sign-on" page. If you are allowed to, it would be great if you could email it to me. My email is active here at TW.

TennisParent
05-21-2006, 05:14 PM
Tennis Parent,

If you haven't, check out my two-handed forehand articles found at www.tennisone.com. These should help you understand the different aspects of using the two-handed forehand so-as to help your daughter progress while avoiding some of the pitfalls that can hinder her development.

Regarding her volley. It is a different shot and one should not affect the other unless she is not clear on proper volley technique. We do see some players employ some groundstroke techniques (especially when they use eastern grips on the volley), that need to be addressed. Unless, of course, you are working on a swinging topspin volley...which two-hands can be useful too.

Drill her in hitting the proper one or two-handed topspin, followed by her transition to a conventional volley immediately on the next shot. If she still has trouble making this transition, work on each shot independently, then work on trying to transition correctly until she can do it without conscious thought.

Hope this helps!

Thanks, I know it should not affect her volleys, that is what puzzles me, seems like she is swinging more than before, part of her messing around w/ her sister is volleying two handed and that may have affected her. Her return of serve of that side however is much improved, but this is the time of the year when they play a lot of tournaments, so I hesitate to tinker too much, especially just after she has made a great deal of progress overall before this, her "Connors" type flat forehand drove her opponents nuts and she went all the way to the finals of the tournament she was playing in. I am intrigued by this concept though as I have had limited success trying to get her to switch to sw on her one handed forehand for greater consistency, her older sister easily switched from efh grip to sw using the power v grip/wonder wedge product. Thank you for the drill tip, we wil do this next time out!

Tennismastery
05-21-2006, 05:35 PM
Thanks, I know it should not affect her volleys, that is what puzzles me, seems like she is swinging more than before, part of her messing around w/ her sister is volleying two handed and that may have affected her. Her return of serve of that side however is much improved, but this is the time of the year when they play a lot of tournaments, so I hesitate to tinker too much, especially just after she has made a great deal of progress overall before this, her "Connors" type flat forehand drove her opponents nuts and she went all the way to the finals of the tournament she was playing in. I am intrigued by this concept though as I have had limited success trying to get her to switch to sw on her one handed forehand for greater consistency, her older sister easily switched from efh grip to sw using the power v grip/wonder wedge product. Thank you for the drill tip, we wil do this next time out!

When I want to get my students to go more semi western, they do it automatically when you get them to WANT more topspin. One of the ways to try to do this is to have your daughter stand right up next to the net where you drop balls between her and the net and have them bounce so they do not get up above the net tape. Try to get her to use a severe grip, even a full western, and hit nearly vertical until she can get this ball over the net. Her swing path will eventually become a true wiper swing with tremendous topspin. (Don't be surprised if she misshits a lot of these shots initially!)

However, if she is playing tournament tennis, you may want to wait until the off season to get her to try something new.

Oh, and almost any player who uses two hands on a volley will overswing! So, get her back on a good one-handed volley technique and you should be able to nip that in the bud!

Good luck to you and her!