Building a two-handed backhand from scratch (in 6 months)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by OrangeOne, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I want power from both sides. I crave it. My serve is a big weapon, no question. My western-FH is a big weapon, no question. My backhand is solid, the slice is excellent, reliable both offensively and defensively, and I have a good, but never great and not often powerful, one-handed topspin. I sometimes hit winners with it (had one applauded only yesterday - but only one), but not often at all, and I can sometimes force the play with it, but again, not often enough. I'm much more likely to force play with my slice backhand. I've had (and worked on) my one-hander for too long to feel that it has reached it's peak.

    I'm planning on building myself a two-hander. It's my tennis goal for the next 6 months, and I'm going to document my progress here. July to December, 2007, will be when I try and build myself a two-handed backhand.

    The journey will begin next week, after I play my comp final. Anyone out there at the 4.5+ level actually completed this goal? I'm happy to listen to success and failure stories alike. Remember, I'm building from scratch here, so I'm starting with a blank canvas, so any guidance will be appreciated.

    Edit: I'm also doing this because I feel like a big tennis challenge, and I don't really have the time or inclination to hit a lot of state-wide tournaments or anything like that. That said, maybe I will next year with my new two-handed weapon ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
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  2. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Your biggest obstacle is going to be being used to keeping your upper body quiet with the one hander. The two hander, you are going to get a lot of power from your trunk rotation.

    Choke up on your racquet with your off hand, and hit forehands with your off hand for a half an hour. Then add in your other hand. Concentrate on getting your weight leaning onto your front foot (Square stance) and pointing your shoulder at the oncoming ball.

    In the beginning your arms are going to out of sync with your body, starting out ahead of your body, and then when you focus on rotation, you are going to be flying open.

    Just concentrate, loose, smooth.

    When you want power, all you focus on is being quick through the hitting zone, no need to swing from your heels. Once your timing is spot on, you are just going to say to yourself, "Normal takeback, start the swing, then turn it on." You want to be very very quick with the racquet right through that about 2 foot hitting zone.

    You can see the different takebacks from one extreme to another by watching my video, and tonlars video. With him comming back immediately, and me tracking the ball with my takeback.

    J
     
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  3. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    JR - I almost feel like I should pay you for that advice. I know you coach (hell, I coach too - but not in the same league as most coaches on here, I only coach at the beginner-ish levels, I wouldn't go near trying to coach someone at anywhere near my level), anyways, that all seems exactly the sort of advice I was looking for.

    I'll be sure to go re-look at tonlars's video, I have watched yours many times already, right now I'm 'sucking up' anything I can about the two-hander. I love the idea of the lefty-attempt and then adding the right-hand, very very keen to try this :)
     
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  4. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Good advice, but does this also apply if he's using the both-wrists-straight style of Agassi, Kafelnikov, Safin, and Mardy Fish as well?

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    When you're hitting a two hander the cocked-racket-hand -- like Coria, Venus Williams, etc -- then it's more like a left handed forehand, assuming you're a righty, but with the locked wrist (V takeback style) it's not really like a left handed forehand at all.

    Personally, I think the locked wrist, V-takeback is better. The motion seems more efficient, reliable, and these guys tend to have much better down the line backhands (although Coria and Nalbandian have great down the line backhands, and so does Novak).

    You should probably decide which type of backhand you want to hit. Agassi, especially, he keeps his elbows straight and very close to the body, the motions are pretty different.

    Not sure why you're doing this if your backhand is as good as you say. My top spin one hander isn't super reliable, but when it's on it's by far my favorite shot to hit. I wouldn't want to hit a pedestrian looking two-hander no matter how good it was. I'm kind of lying but you get the drift.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
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  5. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Cool - there were photos added to your post between when I read it and when I pressed reply! :)

    Now - I will indeed look at the different types you and Jo11yR have described. I also went back and edited my OP, maybe I was glossing over my BH too much, I've made it sound a little more like reality :). The main reason to change is so I can be truly aggressive from both sides (and perhaps, also on the serve return).... or at least perhaps in the hope this is possible. Right now, I default to the slice unless I have enough time...
     
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  6. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    It is more to get your body and arm in sync with the rotation.

    The Agassi pic is a little rough because it is pretty obvious that he is stretching for something up out of his zone.

    Certainly some hit a two hander that is more like a onehander with an extra hand to support. And OO may just find himself doing that. But if he doesn't get his arms and body in sync he is gonna have a tough time getting consistency and power.

    You can see how I hit mine in my newly formed stroke library.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=140404

    J
     
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  7. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Yea, my backhand return of serve is pretty much bulletproof, and extremely offensive. And has been tested against 140mph serves.

    (My FH return is probably the weakest part of my game but that isn't what we are talking about)

    One other thing I forgot to add. Your right hand should stay pretty much continental, and your left should float to flatten out or add top. Once you get hitting reliably against feed balls, rotate from mild eastern left hand, to strong semi, and feel the difference.

    J
     
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  8. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Here are a couple of more.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Somebody posted a really cool story about Agassi practicing next to some 12 yo kid and coming over and telling him what he thought was wrong with his backhand. What I remember is that Agassi said that the way he/Andre hits it, he can never be jammed.

    I sort of hit a one handed version of Agassi's two hander in that my hitting arm/wrist and my racket form a slight "V" at contact. I'm pretty sure Fernando Gonzalez hits this way, and maybe Ljubicic. As opposed to guys like Gaudio, Federer, Horna, and the majority whose racket is parallel to the ground at contact.

    Another similarity my backhand shares with especially Safin's v-take back backhand is the follow through. I don't generate topspin on my backhand with my hand finishing high. Even when I'm trying to rip top spin, on the follow through, my arm and hand will be shoulder level at best, even lower sometimes, the top spin is generated by my hand turning, making the racket head turn upwards in a clockwise motion, even as my arm travels through the ball on a totally level plain.

    [​IMG]

    Safin does the same thing with two hands. Notice in the picture that his right hand is about the level of the ball still, it's just his racket head is now above the ball. The arm moves like you're trying to throw a frisbee, the top spin comes from turning your hand over, not from finishing with both hands over the shoulder.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
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  9. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Did it you mean "and feel that it's reached its peak?"
    I use my slice 80 to 85 percent of the time, and it's never really hurt me. It's rare that I meet somebody who can attack it consistently. Of course, the really good open level players would probably eat it up, but even when I've hit with really high quality player, especially the younger ones, it takes them a while to figure out.

    I'm not discouraging you. You might be making a good move and I know I've heard of at least one pro player who made the switch to two hands in the middle of his career. It may have been Peter McNamara. Not sure.

    But just saying that a two hander isn't going to automatically mean "powerful weapon." Maybe you just need to improve overall. I know how you feel, sometimes I feel like I want to make my forehand less deliberate, and whippier like some of today's younger pros, but then I realize I can still improve the forehand I already have, and that it's going to take forever for a new motion to even reach the level my forehand presently is, and so on.

    Just saying. Again, not discouraging you and I'm actually curious to see how this turns out.
     
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  10. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Just went over my stroke in the mirror, my wrists are cocked for the entire loop/takeback, then as the racquet drops to/below the level of the ball my wrists are pretty much locked and stay that way through the whole hitting zone. Once I have rotated my upper body so that my chest faces the target, (Maybe one or two frames later in your safin/agassi pics) = then the forearms and wrists break and I finish over my shoulder, with the racquet almost hitting me between the shoulder blades.

    In the Aggasi pic in your frist post, it is obvious that the ball is up out of hit strike zone, and he is getting up on top of it and driving it down, whereas in the second set his wrist has more break in it, showing that he is going to come up the back of the ball for more top. After the contact Agassi's wrist will lose that ****, and look much the same as Safin's pic.

    J
     
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  11. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I'm talking about the racket hand/wrist at contact, which, along with the straightness of the arm, is the main point of distinction between the two types of backhands I'm talking about. The people who **** their racket hand/wrist during contact, their racket head will almost always be parallel or below their hand on contact, whereas with Safin and Agassi's style, the racket head will always be above their hand, and very rarely parallel. Also, their arms straighter, whereas the cocked wrist folks their arms look more or less like their hugging an invisible person at contact, both elbows bent, curving in towards the hands.

    Kafinelkov's straight arm backhand.

    Venus with bent arms.

    Nalbandian sort of has a combination of the two.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
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  12. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^ Gotcha, I now understand what you are talking about. Just looked to me like Coria was getting a bit jammed.

    J
     
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  13. Final_Match_Point

    Final_Match_Point Semi-Pro

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    Wow, glad its not only me trying to do the same thing. Ive just started my change a few days ago. I was looking for more consistency with my backhand.

    For me, I found it helpful to use a continental on my main, and eastern on the other. It gives me good drive.

    Dont know how correct I am or not, but i like to snap my torso (does that make sense) first then follow through whit my left hand.
     
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  14. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    No, that is what I was explaining to OO. If your chest is flying open, and your arms lagging behind, you are out of sync. You will be more prone to spraying balls, and be sacrificing power and spin.

    Try staying together arms and chest and uncoiling so that when you hit the ball your contact point is in the middle of your chest, (Or a bit more realistically in line with your left shoulder. You want your chest facing the ball when you hit it, not the net.

    Your torso should be rotating just ahead of your arms, not first. As you rotate your upper body you are pulling your arms and racquet along and through.

    J
     
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  15. Final_Match_Point

    Final_Match_Point Semi-Pro

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    So its more of a pull rather than a push?
     
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  16. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Two ways to hit it. My strokes, forehand and backhand are pulling type strokes. But you can use a pushing type stroke aswell, it will just generate a bit flatter ball, and you will end up with less racquethead speed.

    Either way though, you need all of your body parts working together. I am not a big strong guy (6'3" 165lb) but I hit the ball harder than 99.9% of the tennis playing population. If you watch the video you see all of my weight on the front leg leaning into the shot, and the smoothness/timing.

    Even if you use a push stroke, you can't have your chest flying open.

    Also, watch where in the stroke I turn on the gas. Nice easy takeback/loop, following the ball in, nice and easy dropping the racquet down, then it becomes a blur as I whip the racquet through the hitting zone.

    J
     
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  17. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    Just come down to Melbourne and I'll teach you.
     
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  18. Peter Szucs

    Peter Szucs Semi-Pro

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    I was in a very very similar situation 4 years ago when i decided to switch from 1hbh to the two hander. It took me 6 to 12 months of hard work to get back to the same level overall from where i started.
    The most difficult part of the change is not learning to hit the two hander. You start from scratch so you will need a good trainer (who plays with 2hbh) to get the motion, timing etc in place. The more you get used to it the more everything else will fall apart... you will need to rebuild your complete game.. the way you move on court, your strategy, your rhythm, your patterns.. thats takes for a while. Good luck!
     
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  19. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I started tennis late (age 15) and my 2-hander became my biggest weapon (6.0 level when I played every day).

    My tips checklist:

    1. Always line up your feet toward the target. An open stance works ok on the forehand, but for a good 2-hander, disciplined footwork is key. When you run for the wide ball, try to put the brakes on by planting the left foot in the right spot so that you can step toward the target with the right foot. A closed stance is even harder with a 2-hander; square up to the target and results will follow.

    2. Eastern left hand and continental right hand is your best bet. I have coached many juniors with all types of 2hb grips. There are two common grip-related pitfalls that keep many top players from developing great backhands:
    A. Players with strong semiwestern left hands often struggle to develop a stroke with a flat enough swing plane. They tend to uppercut the backhand too much, resulting in a stroke that is ill-suited for returning big serves or hitting big shots under pressure.
    B. Players with eastern forehand for their right hand (bottom hand) a la Michael Chang or Andy Roddick often struggle to develop a 2hb with full extension of the left arm. Extending the left arm through the shot with this grip means contorting the right wrist into an awkward uncomfortable angle. The continental right hand allows a more natural full extension.

    3. Contact out in front! Most beginners tend to crowd the ball too much on the 2hb. I can't tell you how many players have thanked me for "fixing" their backhands simply by telling them to make contact further out in front of the body.

    4. Let the left arm lead the way. The best 2hbs are usually the ones that are essentially lefthanded forehands. Let the left arm guide the kinetic chain. If you get too much right arm into the swing, you may have a tendency to open up your shoulders too soon, resulting in an undesirable outside-in swingpath (like a golfer with a bad slice). If you let the left arm lead the way properly, your shot should naturally have a little hook on it due to a slightly inside-out swingpath (a la Nalbandian or Nadal).
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
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  20. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    If you haven't already, you might want to check out 'Calling all two-hand backhanders!' thread in 'tennis tips' section. There's quite a lot of info in there.
     
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  21. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I am at 4.25 (well i play with 4.0 and 4.5's) and i made the switch from 1hbh to 2hbh a week or two ago. I have used it against some players who didnt attack my BH too much and results are great.

    I still dont have the confidence to use it in tight situations (ie break point down, set point down etc) and thats what i am trying to build.

    I also dont generate enough power on the DTL BH (i didnt have it with one hander either). But cross courts , boy...my 2hbh rocks.

    I didnt focus on technique or etc. I just started hitting and it felt natural and comfortable. I miss the reach i have with 1hbh though and still occassionally struggle with timing.
     
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  22. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Two week checkup...how you doin with the 2 hander buddy?

    J
     
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  23. 1nYoFace

    1nYoFace Guest

    wow...I thought I was the only one switching from a one hander to a two hander. I switched about a few weeks ago. Everyone told me not to do it...but I just wanted to be more aggressive off both wings like you did. It's relieving to see that other people are also on the same journey as I am. Anyways, got any tips from your experience from switching?

    BTW, MY FIRST POST!!!
     
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  24. Big Fed

    Big Fed Banned

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    Im right with ya buddy.
     
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  25. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    Never bring women into this.(unless you're a women, but we're talking about mens stroke in this thread) Most professional WTA players have both arms bent at contact. (no ATP players do that)

    -----------------

    For men it's 1 of 2 things. Left arm straight right arm bent (for right handers) or just both straight.

    Safin/Agassi = Both arms straight

    Djokovic/Nalbandian = Bent right arm/Straight left arm

    Seems like most people have the bent right arm/straight left arm backhand on the tour, am i right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2007
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  26. Lendl's Forehand

    Lendl's Forehand New User

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    Personally I think you also have to concentrate on lowering your backswing. The reason being that with a one-hander you have more flexibility in the backswing and sometimes two handers will want to keep the racquet high in the backswing (fine for pros but if you are just starting you will often never get under the ball and will pound the net). Also the low backswing will help you with the topspin as you go from low to over the opposite shoulder. I switched a few years back and the two things I noticed that helped me the most were not flying open (I think Jo11y mentioned this), and a low backswing, at least in the beginning.
     
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  27. Lendl's Forehand

    Lendl's Forehand New User

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  28. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Usually when someone talks about crowding a ball, we are talking about hitting it too close to your belt buckle, not too far back in an early/late sense.

    I am not sure which trav is referring to, but I can tell you to experiment with different contact points to see what you have. I strongly advocate hitting well out in front as you can drive the ball better, and get more/heavier spin on it. Hitting out in front will be more of a drive while hitting it further back will be more of a bunt or make you have to be wristier to not be late on the ball. Obviously the more you want to drive the ball, the further out in front, the more top you want on it the further back.

    I say experiment, but start with your normal hitting, then keep hitting further and further in front until you get too much.

    As far as crowding the ball, just don't do it, get away from that ball so you can hit it with your arms extended, not so you are reaching for it, but comfortably extended.

    (I assume you watched my vids, and read my post reply to Fitzroy in my stroke inventory thread)

    J
     
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  29. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Update 1 - The first 2H training session (finally)

    Ok, the process finally commences.

    Over the last month, I haven't had time / energy / otherwise to dedicate much time to my 2HBH plan. I suppose I have, on occasion, when hitting, added a second hand more & more often to 'pressure returns' that I'd normally block-slice to see how it felt, but I certainly haven't spent any dedicated time.

    Until yesterday.

    After comp, I stayed at the courts with a few mates. Dug out the coaching basket, and we all decided to go to 'backhand school' :). They wanted work on their 1-handers, and I wanted some serious time to try out the 2H.

    I thought back to the discussions on here about the different styles, and had already decided that a 'loopier / high take-back' was for me. I have a western-FH, and figured that the BH should follow this path too.

    I approached the first bucket of balls with nervous excitement, and my mates hitting to me down the other end certainly had to duck on occasion as some balls sailed over their heads ;), but to my amazement, I was getting a good 40% over & in, and about half of those were solid enough. Much more surprising was my immediate feel for the shot, or moreso, the diagnostic feel. I knew quickly if I didn't get the loopy take-back (and thus didn't put any work on the ball and sent it sailing), if I hadn't moved forward enough, or if I was just lifting the body/head.

    I was also.... gobsmacked... by the end of the second basket as to the level of directional control I had. Certainly had no trouble directing balls to either mate (we were hitting in 2 on 1 formation), and by this stage I was getting at least 50%. I was on a beginners adrenalin-high, and decided to run with it.

    Time for basket three, and while one mate wanted a cool-down, the other was still on it, so I told him to thump for a few balls - and I still was probably putting 50% of these back into play. I was also getting a better feel for depth, and maybe 50% of the balls I was getting into play in general were of a good depth. Not nearly enough work on them, but still, we're talking about the first proper 2H session of my life here.

    Ok - that was the positives. The hard bits: I did struggle with the off-BH, but it was better by basket 3 than 1. I struggled to generate pace off nothing-balls, but once i reminded myself that this would come, i was better at just playing these back at 50% and going from there. I struggled with lower balls, and for now had to be content with flattening them out (of course, in a match scenario i'd just slice these with 1H as normal). I also felt a little constricted, but i think that's par for the course, and that I need to do some stretching too!

    Summary: session 1 was a riotous success, beyond my wildest dreams. I know that the learning curve will be steep, and I know some sessions will suck in comparison to this one. For now, I'm in love, and I can't wait to hit the courts again. Thanks to all those who have contributed so far!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2007
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  30. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    Has someone recomended lefty forehands yet? It did wonders for me when I was relearning the 2 hander after I had a broken wrist.
     
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  31. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Yup - JR did in one of his first posts. Yesterday I didn't want to do this as I had two mates at the other end of the court, and I still wanted them to get something out of the session too.

    When I go to the courts with just one mate next time, i'll work on this for sure. I did indeed focus my mind on making the left hand feel the 'dominant' part of the swing, and follow a lefty FH path. Proof of this, to some degree, was the mild beating my left hand took during the session, some mild bruising and pre-blisters were proof that my LH was involved in tennis like it never has been before!

    Thanks for the advice :)
     
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  32. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Haven't really took a close look at Fish, but I can say with confidence that Agassi and Safin are tophand dominant in their twohanded backhand.

    Agassi especially used to practice non-dominant forehands and would challenge players as he played lefthanded.

    If you look at Safin closely he is definetly tophand dominant in his stroke.

    So anyone, even if they use their hands equally can benefit from non-dominant forehands because they can increase their strength, coordination, and feel of how the torso provides the power in a twohanded shot.
     
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  33. ionutzakis

    ionutzakis Semi-Pro

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    I feel like I want to climb the walls, I'm desperate with my 2HBH. I can hit it safely back, looping style, but I can't hit winners ot go down the line. I hit with bith arms bent, hence the looping style.

    I tried left straight but I still don't get the hand of it, which grip is better for this style, eastern or sw for the left hand? (I'm right handed).
     
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  34. godprint

    godprint New User

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    i guess that answer for u would be which is more comfortable...seriously comfort and ease of swing would be the key to your own individual stroke...
     
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  35. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Second 2HBH session this afternoon

    And I'm already looking forward to it.

    I'll start with some lefty FHs, that much is decided.

    I'll have the following three-part mantra going through my head for the actual 2HBH hitting session:
    - Loopy take-back (whenever I got lazy and did a straight take-back, i put no work on the ball, got under it and the ball sailed)
    - Weight onto front foot - which will help me move forward
    - Accelerate through the hitting zone - to get used to taking advantage of the strength difference between this, and the more fluid one-hander

    If there's anything else specific I should focus on at this stage, feel free to tell me :)
     
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  36. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Be loose, be smooth, be quick through the hitting zone.

    Start hitting flat and add topspin as required.

    Get DOWN to low balls.

    Turn HARD and get that right shoulder pointed at the incomming ball.

    Did you read post #145 in my stroke inventory? Some good info in there.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=140404&page=8

    J
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
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  37. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    To me, it's all about footwork and preparation. If I can set up in time, then I can hit a pretty decent bh with pace and spin. But if I don't or I feel rushed, it's hard to adjust. I think on the fh, a lot of people can adjust to bad footwork and still hit a decent fh.
     
    #37
  38. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Very true and a good point to make indeed!

    To piggy back on JO11yRoger's comments about relaxing, one of the more toughest things to work on is developing your timing and relaxing.

    Footwork, preparation, relaxing, etc... are all good things. Considering these things, and working on timing the ball while doing these things, will really develop a 2hb into a very strong stroke.

    I find a lot of people do not transfer their weight on time or improperly which really messes up the stroke.
     
    #38
  39. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Session 2 Completed

    Well, session 2 continued the pattern. Another couple of baskets to the backhand saw some better consistency - probably heading towards 65-70% over and in, and a bit better ball-striking too. It also saw fewer balls driven hard into the fence on the full :)

    For what it's worth, I'm still completely convinced that this is the way forward for me.

    Certainly focused on this.

    The latter half of the session I focused on putting a little more work on the balls, but the whole time i've been forcing myself to have gentle spin on the ball wherever possible, i didn't want to start completely flat and get addicted to the 'flat 2Hander'.

    I'm 6'2.5", and yeah, i'm really noticing the extra effort required to get down and still keep the racquet parallelish to the ground, to the point where I've even noticed a 'new muscle pattern use' pain in my gluteus maximus (my butt ;)).

    This was what I wasn't doing, and maybe what I was needing to do. I was tending to hit cross-court shots too cross-court (and out), I felt a little random on the cross-court. Will focus on this next time.

    Am about to :). Thanks to you for the help so far JR, and to BB and all of the others, it's great having this level of support on a shot that I've never coached beyond the beginner-junior level, and rarely even then....
     
    #39
  40. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Session 3 (& Impromptu session 4)

    Ok, have now had 1 more structured session, and one other two.

    Session 3 was the same as the previous ones, a couple of mates up one end drilling to my new 2HBH. Consitency improved more, but as I get that R shoulder around to the ball, I know how much more work I have to do.

    On the positive side, a mate with a good 2H was at that session, and we did get a good few rallys going.

    Q: Is there anything specific I'm likely to be doing wrong if I struggle more on paceless balls?

    Session 4 was a non-comp match against a friend, who to be fair, I normally beat fairly comfortably. I got his approval for me to use the 2H in the match, informing him that the hit would probably be of slightly lower standard than usual. He didn't mind, and so off we went. Hit a few forcing-error shots with the 2H in the first game, and played generally ok. If I'm tired or lazy I tend to sky the ball, and if I overhit it either goes very long, or I wrap it into the bottom of the net. That said, a good 70%+ went back into play, and I did get to experience the feel of hitting a few winners with the shot too, which was great.

    The process continues tomorrow morning with session 5, and at this stage of 2 sessions a week, accounting for busy times and / or illness, i'm probably on track to get at least 40 sessions in over 6 months. Time to set some goals:

    Session 10: Be able to rally for 10 shots or more consistently
    Session 20: Be able to rally for 10 shots or more at solid rally pace
    Session 30: Be able to put-away mid-court balls with moderate consistency (and return 2nd serves)
    Session 40: Be able to return first-serves with moderate consistency
    Session 40(2): Play and win a comp match with the 2HBH.

    Seem like a reasonable set of measures?
     
    #40
  41. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Not focusing enough on being quick through the hitting zone.

    Slow takeback, quick through the hitting zone, natural deceleration.

    I got some good footage of a warmup and match between me and a national caliber 35s player (Who most folks on here will rate 2.5 lol) that I think would help you seeing me hit a 2hander off of balls with little pace on them. I will try to get the vids uploaded into my stroke inventory tomorrow or sat.

    J
     
    #41
  42. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Thanks, i'll look forward to it and i'll focus on the acceleration. Thanks again for the continuing help - if you're ever in Sydney the beers are on me!
     
    #42
  43. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Session 5 (casual hitting over 2 days)

    On the weekend, I had my normal comp match on sat morning (a good win, played better than I have for years to win 8-2), but comp isn't the time for the 2HBH for quite-some-months-yet.

    Time for the 2HBH is, however, for the hitting after comp. For about a year now i've been using this time to simply hit as many balls as possible, almost against whoever is around. If it's a quality hit - great - it's good for the game. If it's not - well hey, it's at least good for the fitness.

    So in the hitting after comp, I brought the 2HBH out, and it went well. Getting some solid strength out of it (most times not 'pace' yet, but strength is enough). Focus on getting racquet accelerating through the hitting zone... well it is producing some shanks, but hey, so does Fed :)

    Sunday was a hit-around with a couple of guys after going to the courts to watch a comp afternoon. Just a fun doubles set, but hey - time to bring the 2HBH out to these sets. It's going OK enough - and the rest of my game is strong enough - that using it in these type of sets will be the best way to give it match practice along this journey, before, hopefully, it gets real match practice early next year!

    One guy I was playing has a big serve, a hard kicker. We don't have a radar at the club, but i'll say it's in the 100mph range. You may laugh, but remember I'm a tall strong guy myself, I know what 100mph feels like, and in reality, this guy was the hardest server in a singles comp of 40+ people I was in earlier in the year - his hard kicker is probably as hard as my first serve flat-ball, and that ball isn't anything to sneeze at.

    Anyways, so he's serving at me in doubles. 3 times, out of the 3 times he served to my BH, I got the 2HBH over, away from the volleyer, and solid enough for it not to be a sitter by any means. It was an adrenalin-high that you don't often feel, really really fun.

    So the development continues. Next on the list - back to a solid drill session on the shot, maybe with some depth goals as the next focus.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
    #43
  44. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Make sure that when you focus on being quick through the hitting zone it does not lead to your arms getting ahead of your body. The whole motion needs to quicken, and it is tempting to just swing the racquet faster with your arms while your torso lags behind, which will be counter productive, produce shanks, and lose power. (Also result in hitting weak balls into the bottom of the net to your right in extreme cases)

    J
     
    #44
  45. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    How's that awesome two hander coming along Sparky?
     
    #45
  46. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    Yeah..I'm curious to see how the 2Her is coming along as well. After college tennis years ago, I switched from a two-hander to a one-hander because I really wanted to be a more natural volleyer. Granted, I was pretty competent in college but never natural. Now that I've gotten the feel, instinct and strength of using a 1-hander I've been thinking that I need to get back to the stability of my 2-hander. Besides, my doc has been complaining about how out of balance my musculature is since I've been hitting with one hand on the backhand side.
     
    #46
  47. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    That's right PW did and switched to an OS Prince & his ranking went way up. I think about switching, but you have to have a partner who's willing to hit you balls for at least a summer - or if you have the $'s a pro.
     
    #47
  48. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Wrong, Coria and Djokovic both have the bent/bent combination. Safin no one knows what the heck he does. He's all over the place.
     
    #48

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