calling all two-handed backhanders!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ross K, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Question time, folks... (Apologies for all these two-hander posts! I'll get there eventually and quit pestering everybody, I promise!)

    With your 2hbh, having executed takeback with the racket, is this the precise mechanics of what you do with the forward motion into the ball: rotate shoulder and racket into the ball (pointing the butt-cap at incoming ball in the process.)

    I'm guessing this is what most ppl do. How about you? If not, what else exactly is happening on that forward motion into the ball?


    Cheers everyone
     
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  2. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    I have a 2h bh which works pretty well, but I don't think I'm qualified to give you advice. :(
     
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  3. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    the butt cap points to the ground, then the racket face drops(perpendicular to the ground) goes below the ball level and goes up and over to create topspin. I excel a lot between racket drop to contact point of the ball to create racket speed.

    i think the butt cap pointing only used for 1 hand forehand and backhand.
     
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  4. fearless1

    fearless1 Rookie

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    Hiitting 2hb flat is generally when the butt cap is most likely to point in the general direction of incoming ball.

    If you mean rotate the shoulders then the arms and racquet will follow into the ball...NO!

    If you mean swing the racquet into the ball with the arms and the shoulders will follow...YES!

    What specific problems or difficulties are you having with your 2hb?
     
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  5. gb.tennis.junky

    gb.tennis.junky Rookie

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    spadesss's comment about the butt cap is interesting and refers to sharapova's and safin's backhand technique.

    as for myself, my mentor, is Agassi. his technique is simple and very efficient.
    the butt cap is indeed pointing towards the oncoming ball, because you're going to hit it flat and transfering your weight into the shot.
    and agassi also keeps his arm quiet and very relaxed and bent until the execution of the shot.

    as for the foward motion, it's a pendulum motion. which focuses on weight transfer and hitting in front of you, using your opponent's pace.
     
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  6. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    my style and tecnhique is weird and unorthordox (sp?). i think its simple for me. i have very little to almost no backswing. its like swinging from the hip almost. i figured the less i have to do/setup, the less can go wrong and think about. at times, i do "muscle" the ball. the 2hbh is better than my forehand some people say. i have the same style with both open and close stance. of course i tried to hit close when possible, it gives me more power and better weight tranfers.
     
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  7. gb.tennis.junky

    gb.tennis.junky Rookie

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    well it doesn't matter your technique is weird and unorthodox, as long as it's what you feel comfortable with. i never suggest to dramatically change someone's technique, i don't want them to go against nature if you see what i mean.
    but i'll give you a little advice to compensate your short backswing, to give your ball more pace, you need more shoulder turn and torso turn and hip turn on a 2 hander. sorta like twisting a rubber band, to store energy and then unleash it during your forward swing
     
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  8. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    fearles1 and spadesss,

    Just to clear up a few things (it's a little bit complicated), before getting to your replies, and a few new questions, if I may...

    I'm coming at this from having been told that my hunch (about the butt-cap facing the ball) was correct, and that the precise mechanics of this were, at approx the end of the takeback phase and the start of the forward swing, the shoulder and racket rotates (which makes the butt-cap line up with the incoming ball.) I arrived at this 'hunch' after taking the often-repeated advise to think of the two-hander as essentially a left-hand fh (ie, it's a left-hand dominated shot) very literally; basically, I began to perform my 2hbh pretty much like it was a modern fh, including this vital componant - rotating the shoulder and racket into the shot (which, just like on my fh, results in that butt-cap pointing right at the incoming ball - it lines up the shot.) Anyway, having been told by someone (a reliable and respected source, I believe, known to folks on these boards) that my hunch was right, and that with practise, I might now find myself hitting a lethal, S.Williams-esque bh, well, I was ecstatic. This tip did/does appear to work for me,and it really seemed like a turning point (in what has been a real struggle changing from 1h to 2hbh.) Now, by making the OP, I was merely seeking confirmation that this rotating from the shoulders and pulling into the ball - which, I repeat, seems to have had a beneficial impact on my 2hbh - was common practise. (And in the unlikely event that it wasn't, I wanted to know what else ppl were doing.) So then, that's the background to the original post...

    spadesss,
    I think I know what you mean (although I've never thought in terms of butt-cap pointing to ground!)
    I'd like to ask you though, if during the phase you call 'racket drop to contact point' your butt-cap isn't facing and lining up to the incoming ball, what's happening technically speaking regarding your shoulder, racket, and elbow during that forward swing?
    What arm position do you use - straight arms taken straight back and down, high and loopy, shoulder height with small loop - what?
    Btw, I, too, was previously of the view that butt-cap facing incoming ball wasn't for 2h, only 1hbh and fh.
    Btwlastly, what can you tell me about your stance preferances on crosscourt and dtl shots - general stance advice.

    fearless1,
    Intrigued to hear your theory of butt-cap facing ball might really be for flat shots (that's the sort of thing that sounds right - although playing today, I must say I didn't notice my ability to perform topspin loopers was particularly impaired... not that I've properly sorted out my 2hander yet...oooh nooo...)
    As to your other point about what I mean exactly, I hope I've answered this above.
    Is it poss for you to go into more technical detail regarding 'swing the racket into the ball with the arms and the shoulders will follow?'
    What arm position do you use - straight arms taken straight back and down, high and loopy, shoulder height with small loop - what?
    My two-hander problems: well, it's a generally maddening, no authority-no conviction, ****-poor excuse for a shot (which is why I'd been hunting down inspirational tips on a prev post), although, it was a lot better today when I was working on 1 - allowing left-hand to dominate shot. 2 - stopping the rack face opening too much. And 3 - lining up incoming ball with but-cap... !... To be more specific, I somehow seem to be hitting across myself and making a crappy, long, floaty bh return, or, when put under pressure, it nose-dives into the net.
    Btw, what can you tell me about your stance preferances on crosscourt and dtl shots - general stance advice.

    Anyhow, a lot there to digest (I seriously hope it's not too much, fellas.) Thanks so so much for your responses. I look forward to any little bit of feedback you may care to share.

    RK
     
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  9. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    gb.tennis.junky,

    Damn! How much do I love this: 'the butt-cap is indeed pointing towards the oncoming ball'... (Let me get this straight... are you saying the great AA himself performs this very technique?... only... I think you are!)

    Oweing to fact that I was busilly writing the longest post in the history of TT (!), I missed your earlier contributions until just now.

    How very VERY interesting... The correlation between my OP regarding buttcap pointing at ball and how Aggassi does likewise, as well as the other Aggassi tips/technique you touched upon, well, it's immediately got me thinking maybe I should try and emulate his style?

    Any Agassi links or further tips you might wish to share would be massively appreciated.

    Well, whoopie-do!... SO I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG EH?!
     
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  10. BlankenshipBabaganoosh

    BlankenshipBabaganoosh Banned

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    in your nightmares
    2 HBH guys have ruined the sport.
     
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  11. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Pendulum motion eh?... weight transfer?... hmmm...

    Oh go on,gb, I'm dieing of curiosity now! How does he execute this in terms of stance? What's the story on foot positions? What do I need to know!? Please fill me in about this pendulum motion!
     
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  12. gb.tennis.junky

    gb.tennis.junky Rookie

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    haha! i'm glad to see you all excited there! :)
    well, since you seem to be so interested, i'll give you this link:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.jericho.bc.ca/tennis/AndreAgassiBackhand/ArmsClose.jpg&imgrefurl=http://groups.msn.com/TennizFriendzSingaporeTFS/tennisanalysis3.msnw&h=293&w=225&sz=11&hl=fr&start=25&tbnid=zcIK4er-bhlA5M:&tbnh=115&tbnw=88&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dandre%2Bagassi%2Bbackhand%26start%3D18%26ndsp%3D18%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Dfr%26rls%3DDVFC,DVFC:1970--2,DVFC:fr%26sa%3DN
    it's one heck of a long link!
    but it'll reveal some of the secrets of one of the game's greatest backhand.
    enjoy!
     
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  13. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    yes, the follow through is very important as well as torso turn. i do all that.
     
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  14. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    my open stance...
    facing net, bring racket to my left right side of body (i am righty), shoulder turn and body/shoulders perpendicular to the net, butt cap pointing to the ground, then butt cap is pointing to my waist, racket face facing net and perdendicular to the ground, as ball is coming toward me, i bring the racket below the ball level and brush up to apply topspin. very little backswing here, boths knees are bend and i push off from left to right and up with torso turn and all. i make sure i have good follow through. timing and pointof contact is very important. i used this when the action is quicker and i don't have to supply own generate my own power. its almost as i am just reflecting the ball back using my opponents power. i wasted very little time geting ready for the next shot.

    my close stance...
    i do the same thing except the stance is close but here i have a bigger backswing. this is more of a power shot due to a bigger back swing. if i have time, i use this stance. the power transfer from back leg (left) to front (right). momentum would bring me toward the court.

    i am not sure how to explain my arm motion. its the low to high, above the shoulder.

    i prefered close stance when possible, for both cross or dtl. the reason due to timing.
    if i hit close, it indicates to myself that i have time, which means less rush and better preparation for me. by able to hit close and open, it leaves me a lot of options.
    the open is for the quick band bang shots when i don't have to generate my own power. when i am lazy or tire i also used open.

    i hope i did a good enough job explaining my weird shots.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
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  15. patrick922

    patrick922 Semi-Pro

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    yeah i have a good 2handed backhand but i dont wanna give advice because i dont think i am qualified and that i dont know what i would be saying lol
     
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  16. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    There is actually one other piece before the rotation. The left arm works as a lever that lifts upward which brings the racket forward. Then you rotate into contact and then extend through the ball and across your body. I'll show you what I mean with a video later.
     
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  17. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    #17
  18. fearless1

    fearless1 Rookie

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    Ummm...where to start....and keep it short and simple? OK....

    There are essentially two types of 2hb styles, bent arms versus straight arms. More specifically, both arms bent (to varying degrees) versus primary arm straight with secondary arm somewhat bent. I once read someone's description of both arms bent looking like "chicken wings" style. For straight arms, let's use gb's "pendulum" terminology.

    Chicken Wingers: S Williams, Monica Seles, Kim Clijsters, etc.
    The swing plane of CW style 2hb's is predominantly horizontal. A good analogy would be the small hockey figures found on push-rod tabletop hockey games. The figure rotates around a single pivot point and the figure’s hockey blade swings in a horizontal plane when shooting or passing the puck. Since you mentioned having a S.Williams-esque style, your description of shoulder rotation driving the racquet into the ball would be consistent with chicken wing style (assuming I'm reading you correctly).

    Pendulumers: Agassi, Connors, Safin, Hewitt, etc.
    The swing plane of pendulum hitters is predominantly diagonal. The style is very similar to 1hb, just using two hands though.

    Chickens and Pendulums at a Glance

    Chicken Pro: Very easy to learn. Just take the racquet back, point the butt at the ball, swing forward and voila, CW 2hb.

    Chicken Con: Compact swing offers less power for effort expended since there is less leverage from bent arms and shorter reach too.

    Pendulum Pro: straighter arms conducive to hitting with more power for effort expended; smoother stroke; potentially more accurate than CW style; easier to add spin/variety to shots; better reach….and looks better too (ie, “style points”!).

    Pendulum Con: harder to learn.


    The main problem with learning and grooving any style 2hb is getting the hands to work together as one…just to begin with. Once you got some mastery of the stroke, then there are still issues with consistency and accuracy to make it a weapon. The best way to get those hands to work in unison is LOTS of practice over a considerable period of time. There is no getting around this…sorry, no quick tips at a TW forum is going to solve your 2hb issues.

    Game Plan
    1. Pick a style, CW or P?
    2. Master or “groove” the stroke so you are hitting the ball with a reasonable amount of consistency (fewer mishits and out balls).

    Grooving/Consistency/Accuracy Practice Regimen
    Lots of shadow swinging…can be done in the house while watching TV, taking break from homework, etc. This is the best time to fine tune the style you have selected.

    Wall practice is used mostly for grooving and consistency. Start about 15 feet from the wall (somewhat close) and hit slower shots at yourself. The goal is to hit as many as possible in a row without error. As your shots become more consistent, start adding more power (step further away from wall as needed too). This type of wall practice is also a good time to troubleshoot any issues in your 2hb stroke. To practice accuracy, try grouping your shots into small target areas on the wall. Milestones for you to strive for: minimum 50 shots in a row hitting about 70% of them into a target area that measures about 4 square feet (assumes you are about 20 to 30 feet away from the wall).

    Tennis court practice is very similar to wall practice….consistency and accuracy….except you now get to practice actual crosscourt and down the line shots.

    Final pieces of advice…
    Don’t worry about using the racquet’s butt cap as a swing reference. As you learn/groove the stroke, correct butt cap orientation will happen automatically. I’ve been hitting 2hb’s for over 15 years and until I found your thread, never gave the racquet’s butt a nanosecond of thought!

    As for footwork in reference to hitting 2hb…if there is time, DEFINITELY use a closed stance when hitting 2hb’s. When your stance is closed, you can step into your shot and deliver it smoothly, powerfully, and with deadly accuracy (at least I can as a pendulum hitter)! Of course, there will be times like return of serve when you just won’t have time to close the stance.

    Ugh…so much for short and simple!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
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  19. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    spadesss,
    Many thanks indeed for your self-analysis. I'm fascinated by your comments as my own understanding of open and closed stances, and the specific positions taken up, and when best to utilise these, and the link with dtl and crosscourt shots, etc - it's pretty poor. (Can you believe this: until very recently, I was trying to hit EVERYTHING from an open stance, which is another reason for my 2hbh troubles!) Anyway, great job. Thanks again.

    JCo872,
    Thank you for this advice (and for the link), I shall def be looking into this further and seeking to apply it properly. And as the very first person (in another post) to vindicate my hunch and filling me in about butt-cap facing ball on two-hander, well, for your invaluable assistance, I salute you, Sir! I also say again, since focussing on this shoulder and rack rotation into the ball (which means butt-cap points towards incoming ball), my 2hbh has really improved.

    gb.tennis.junky,
    Fantastic link!... and yes, it's true, I'm getting kind of worked up now! (My 2h had been driving me insane since last summer and I was desperate for some truly effective tips and advice.) I look forward to some intensive study... I wonder if I too might go the whole way in trying to mimic Andre's bh?...

    and blankenshipbaganoosh (Hmm, catchy?),
    As to your disparaging comment re 2hbh ruining tennis, I have a small question... So how long have you been in serious psycho-analysis then?
     
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  20. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    fearless1,
    Many thanks - haven't yet had time to look prop at your post. Shall respond. (lol - working is a right pain!)
     
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  21. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    fearless1,
    Just had a first good look at post - awesome reply! Still processing your info, which - like alot of the above replies - is absolutely the kind of detail I've been in need of. Such well-considered and artfully presented points can only benefit my game. Btw, I loved the chicken wingers v pendulumers analogy... Btw2, also loved your ironic aside about playing 15 years and never once thought of butt-cap facing ball!

    And a note to all you,
    Having been dispatching posts on 2hbh on this forum for a while (oftentimes not picking up much in the way of feedback), and having scoured the net for months and months, poured over various tennis improvement books and coaching info, etc, of this I am fairly certain - THE COLLECTED INFO ON THIS ONE PAGE ALONE IS LIKE A TREASURE-TROVE OF THE VERY BEST 2H TIPS, OPINIONS AND GENERAL KNOWLEDGE... I shall endeavour to try and fully absorb all of this wealth of experience and put it to effective use out on the court. Cheers, guys!
     
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  22. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    Ross K,
    i would like to add that the 2 hbh's greatest asset (well, my greatest asset at least) is the retrun of serve. if i can get my racket on it, it will be a good return, majority of the time.
    of course the limitation of the 2 hbh is the reach...that is why i tend to learn the 1 hbh. i already got the unorthodox backhand slice so now i need to learn flat and topspin.
    most of the shots are unorthodox but yet effective, i have yet to injure myself so i guess i am keeping it. it is effective and i am winning with it at the 3.0 level. i could be better but the serve is hindering my game right now.
    what shot isn't weird? the volley....as i have yet to learn/consistently put it ni play.
     
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  23. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    I only recently switched from 1h to 2h (last summer) and would say my 2h serve return has nothing on my old 1h return, which is rather a pity considering - as you allude to - this is meant to be such a major 'asset'. Parked there fumbling with my plus-sized big ol' racket, I've sure got a load of work to do with this area. However, with that 1h experience, when I do hit 1h slice approaches and dtl out-swingers, I'm pretty confident, consistant and reliable. My problem can be either playing too much 2h and ignoring the ih slice stuff when i'd be better off following suit, or vice verca. That correct balance hasn't yet come.

    Btw, Q1. Is S.Williams (famed for straight arms, straight back and down, and boom) really a chicken winger? Q2. How can Hewitt (very straight arms) be in same category (pendulum) as (bendy, flexible) Safin? Or am I just a prize dum-dum?
     
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  24. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    Ross K.
    i think you should learn and practice as much as possible, 1 hbh, 2hbh, and slice backhand. it is great to have variety, like federer.
    select the backhand that best fit to beat your opponent.
    some players have problem facing slices so it would be wise to slice all your backhand shot.
    if opponent don't like hard deep powerful shots, go with 2 hbh.
    or a 1 hbh for angels if the guy across from you don't move well.
    you get my point?
     
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  25. superbooga

    superbooga Rookie

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    The key to all groundstrokes is simple. You want to "press" the racquet firmly into the ball. To do this, rotate your torso while relaxing your arm. Your shoulders and arms will follow, and will "pull" the racquet through the contact zone.

    I know this is not a very detailed explanation, but you'll understand when you do it correctly: maximum power with minimal effort.

    Now, for the 2HBH, the motion can be very simple. You don't need any complex mechanics to hit the shot! Keeping it simple solves a lot of problems.

    A common problem is when you try to rely on your arm to hit the ball, and end up with a very weak shot. I see this occur a lot with high balls or balls that are away from the body. To fix this, just remember: always initiate the swing with your body!
     
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  26. tursafinov

    tursafinov Rookie

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    My two hander resembles Serena Williams even though i try to emulate Marat Safin.

    I make eye contact and as soon as the ball is heading to the backhand side I turn my torso and shouldarsaway from the ball. My butt cap is facing the ground at this point. When the ball bounces I bring the racquet head down - straight back. At this point my butt cap is facing my backfoot thigh. My arms are moving in one unit now with the strength coming from my left bicep and right forearm and attack straight ahead into the ball. My Head is kept down and my torso naturally uncoils with the forward motion. My left arm finishes in a flowing finish in front of my right shoulder but not wrapping around.

    I have great depth and hit confidently even on the backfoot or on the run.
    Enjoy
    ~Tursa
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
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  27. fearless1

    fearless1 Rookie

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    Forgot to mention a couple of other important details...

    Although your focus at the moment appears to be just on the 2hb stroke itself, you still must pay attention to some of the following details.

    Adjust the height of the backswing relative to the height of the incoming ball and also the kind of shot you want to hit. This is FAR more important than focusing on the direction the butt of your racquet is pointing. So, if the ball is at waist level and you want to hit with topspin, then focus on keeping the racquet's head/sweetspot (not the butt, not the shaft, not your arms/hands, but the racquet head) below the ball's anticipated flight path. If the ball is at waist level and you want to hit flat, then bring the racquet's head back level with the ball's anticiapted flight path; for slice, backswing is higher, etc. For flat shooting in particular, your backswing must be precise. Otherwise, a high bacskwing will tend to dump a flat shot into the net or a low backswing will tend to cause a flat shot to go long over the baseline. For low incoming balls, all backswing types will tend to be lower. For high balls, you have the option of hitting on the rise or stepping back and wait for the ball to drop into your hitting zone (which in turn will also be based on the type of shot you want to hit). It also goes without saying that you must change the racquet's face angle depending on your shot of choice, open for slice, closed for topspin, mostly vertical for flat.

    Footwork is not just about getting to the ball and/or using open versus closed stance either. Footwork will also allow you to hit different shots based on the trajectory and speed of the incoming ball.

    Example: Slow shoulder height, moderate paced shot landing in the middle of your court. You can...
    ...step back, let the ball drop down and hit slice, flat, topspin at waist height;
    ...step forward hit slice and maybe flat at shoulder height;
    ...step more further forward and hit ON THE RISE slice, flat, or topspin at waist level.

    The last version allows you to hit a very aggressive shot at less effort since you are using some of the incoming ball's energy for your own shot. You can also alter your lateral position relative to the ball to drive crosscourt or reverse crosscourt. Remembering the guidelines in the first paragraph, you would have to choose the backswing height that would allow you to deliver the shot of choice while you are maneuvering on the court relative to the incoming ball.

    So...there is a lot more to 2hb than just "shoulders"...and you will have to practice these techniques to master them too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
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  28. fearless1

    fearless1 Rookie

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    Many players fall in between or are somewhat hybrid, so don't read CW vs P too literally. CW v P are arbitrary descriptions just to demonstrate some points. One other diff between CW and P I think I forgot to mention is that CW is somewhat more driven by upper body/shoulder rotation while P is somewhat driven more by the arms with the shoulders following (kind of what I alluded to in my first response in your thread).

    How does one "choose" to be a pendulum hitter? Easy, just straighten out or even lock out the elbow of the primary hitting arm during backswing. Because of the way our bodies are structured, the swing path will automatically become more diagonal (or "pendulum") as you swing the racquet head through the hitting zone.

    Hmmm...I should have just posted this link sooner...forgot I had it though...

    http://www.teachingtennis.com/coach/ds2backhand.htm
    The one video in the link (with US News in the background) is of Jimmy Connors hitting his 2hb.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
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  29. superbooga

    superbooga Rookie

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    I'm not 100% sure what you mean, but you mean initiate the stroke with your hands and arms, then I have to completely disagree.

    The motion for groundstrokes should always be initiated with the largest muscles, located in your torso and legs. Afterwards, your shoulders, arm, hand, and finally racquet, will follow.

    I would argue that this information about butt cap, straight arm vs bent, etc., is relatively unimportant until you have mastered the basic stroke. When you rally against players who hit the ball without much pace, you can think about these techniques. But when you rally against players who hit much harder and heavier, you'll find yourself falling back to fundamentals over and over again. Good fundmentals ensure that you can always put enough weight behind your shot to counter the pace and spin.

    I would suggest to people struggling with the 2HBH to practice (at least warm-up with) strokes with virtually no backswing. By mastering the rotation, you can still hit a very penetrating shot this way.
     
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  30. fearless1

    fearless1 Rookie

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    Well, I was still trying to determine what Ross K was asking with my initial response. Also, my statement about shoulder/arms/hands presumes that the "kinetic chain" starts elsewhere in the body. So, in reality, we are in agreement on that.

    So, what is the "basic stroke" that one needs to master first? Whatever your answer is, it will eventually end up being bent arm, straight arm, or something in between...just no getting around this! Each style has its basics no matter what the style. The advantage to your mindset of disregarding style idiosyncracies is it allows the player's 2hb to develop somewhat randomly and with much less fuss from the player (and usually ends up being bent arms). However, if the player wants to exercise some CHOICES at the birth of his or her new 2hb, then these idiosyncracies must be taken into consideration. This is especially true when one remembers its usually better to learn what you want to learn in the begining as opposed to trying to make a major CHANGE much later on (eg, trying to switch from CW to P style). In the end, it's up to the player, RK in this case. All I have done is explain the differences and offer generic advice...for the most part.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
    #30
  31. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Question for all,

    I know Roddick's bh isn't everybody's idea of a dangerous weapon; but nonetheless, is he a 'pendulum' or a 'chicken wing'? What's his over-all motion and mechanics?... anyone?

    (Is A Rodd's 2hbh really THAT dreadful?)
     
    #31
  32. fearless1

    fearless1 Rookie

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    So, what you do think...bent, straight, hybrid?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHilOb87bcY&mode=related&search=
     
    #32
  33. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    A Rodd bh

    Okay, yeah, it looks all looks pretty straight to me. He def has that left arm locked straight and I don't think there's too much bend in the right. From the vid, it also appears his takeback gets the racket to around shoulder level - a reasonable height, but by no means very high, and certainly not low down (so there's neither any high loop business nor that straight down and back business) before the forward swing commences. The contact and finish is standard. I'd say the whole thing is relatively compact. His must be a 'pendulum' style right?

    ... and I'll throw out the question again - is Roddick's bh really so terrible? I realise it's rarely if ever lauded and praised. When it comes to the 2hander it's always the likes of Safin, Nalbandian or Andre A who gets to be mentioned. (Come on!... You don't get to A Rodd's level if your bh is that completely defective?... I mean, the way some folks ridicule it, it's as if they seriously think they'd beat A Rodd themselves?!) Anyway, check out the above link (thanks to fearless.) What do ppl reckon? If my above assessment is about right, seems to me you could do a whole lot worse than try and emulate it (certainly in terms of the relatively easy mechanics involved)?
     
    #33
  34. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Come on, ppl! Don't give up on me now! To get to this level and standard of dialogue with the 2h - we need to keep it up!... DON'T FAIL ME NOW!... and to think, my questions had only just begun!?...

    Aah well... and so my 2hbh quest for greater knowledge looks to have ended... so once again, in the hope of some two-hander inspiration, I'm forced to trawl through the Talk Tennis Posts of Detrius and Sheer Inanity ('Hey, who has hairy knuckles?'... 'What exactly is a tennis ball'?... ''Why is cheese called cheese'?... 'Are you meant to hit OVER the net?'...)... but, I tell you this - I'll not give up... (oooh no!)... I'll keep with the faith... I'll seek out you 2hbhanders until, our mortal enemy, those neanderthal 1handers, are banished!
     
    #34
  35. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    Roddick has a world class 2HBH - there's nothing wrong with it.If I had a backhand like that I would run around every forehand!

    IMO, the straight hand (right for forehand, left for 2HBH backhand) is the highest evolution of the stroke. This has to be coupled with heavy forearm pronation (some may say wrist action), for best results.

    I have spent a lot of time experimenting with bent and straight arms (FH and 2HBH - they are similar). I believe the straight arm has two advantages. Contact point is more in front, and there's more "body" behind the ball, yielding more power and spin albeit a flatter trajectory.

    The reason I say there's more body behind the ball is that if the elbow is bent, there will naturally be some "give" when the ball is struck. With a straight arm, there is no "give" at the elbow - the hit is more precise and powerful.

    That said, evolving to this type of stroke requires very strong fundamentals, IMO. You can't start doing this until you get a feel for hitting the ball in various different ways.
     
    #35
  36. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Fantastic! So this thread's not dead yet after all?!...

    Tennisplayer, of course, I agree with your comment about ARodd's bh. I also found what you say re straight versus bent arm styles very interesting. What I'd like to know a bit more about is this forearm pronation or wrist action for 2hbh (I admit I haven't really thought much at all about forearm pronating or wrist business on the backhand stroke.) For example, if this is a componant of your own bh, how precisely do you incorporate this aspect? What's the form? And what does it achieve?

    Cheers mate (as we say in these parts!)
     
    #36
  37. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    Ross, I have been trying to make my 2HBH and FH strokes as similar as possible. To me, the 2HBH is essentially a left-handed forehand - with the right hand providing additional support. The additional hand does modify the stroke from a pure left-handed forehand. For example, the ideal stance for the 2HBH becomes slightly more closed than that for the FH, and the backswing typically has less flourish. Also, wrist use is higher, with the supporting (right) hand acting as a fulcrum, especially when hitting out of position or picking up really low balls. In other ways, though, the left hand mimics the role the right hand plays in the FH, including pronation of the forearm.

    There are many discussions of this in different threads, with advice and tips from various coaches... you should search through them and pick up the highlights. Definitely worth it, IMO.

    Good luck with your 2HBH!
     
    #37
  38. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, some interesting stuff here.

    Unless one was fairly good with the 2HBH, I might suggest (at least at first) making sure the butt handle point UP to say the top of the fence on the opponents side. This will produce a swing that will come up into the ball and give you topspin.
     
    #38
  39. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Well, guys, thanks to a lot of the responses to my questions, my two-hander has improved of late. However, I'm only really getting by, as opposed to spanking my opponents with Safin-like crosscourt shots and Agassi down the line bullets. I obviously need to be patient and take heed of the amount of time it can take to master the 2hbh. But for what it's worth, unquestionably, these things have helped:

    1. Concentrating like mad on letting that l. arm to power the shot.

    2. Rotating shoulder and racket into shot (butt-cap faces incoming ball.)

    And 3. Closing off my stance more and trying to get my r. hip parallel to ball on hit (which I suppose is another way of saying I try and lean into the shot.)

    I'm sure if I only focussed on these three crucial areas for a couple of months, my 2her would get far better. It's hard though, to stop yourself wondering about various technical matters and seeking a greater knowledge. Especially when you know just what the impact of one or two insightful tips can be.
     
    #39
  40. Leoboomanu

    Leoboomanu Rookie

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    Rosskins...
    CPR to this thread...

    i have shifted from a straight arm to a slightly bent left elbow...

    First... just like tursa's version of safin... incoming ball, show off a little... raq standing butt down, raq head aligned to your head... waist ready to turn... All style points to me actually... hohoho at this point i've read my opponent and my target is set...

    Second... as the ball nears to bounce, raq back and down to hitting level, and the shoulder turn for power... all in one motion...

    Baam... strike early, body turns, tighter grip from slightly bent left arm(to isolate the power in favor of the weak arm)... eyes on the ball still, don't let up...(as i have already set my target, doesn't matter where the opponent is, it will be a good shot anyway, no need to alter your concentration)...

    works everytime... don't mind a little jumpshot now and then(safin like) for higher balls...

    time flies when your having fun...

    Leo
     
    #40
  41. fearless1

    fearless1 Rookie

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    How's that 2hb coming along?
     
    #41
  42. serveitup911

    serveitup911 Semi-Pro

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
    #42
  43. califsurferboy33

    califsurferboy33 Semi-Pro

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    you seem to be falling backward after the shot. its important to have your momentum carry you rleft foot either side by side or infront of your right foot. then you push off with your left to help you recover back to the middle. your falling backward...not a good path to follow...believe me
     
    #43
  44. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Calling All 2hbh-ers! - The Sequel

    Hmm... nice to see this old thread reactivated... and especially if, like me, it seems your 2h-er is continually in need of some, er, attention...


    LEO,

    Hey, good amigo, how you doing?!... Since Rafa's Monte Carlo spanking of Fed it's all gone very quiet. I think the entire BA membership has been celebrating too hard on the old mead! Anyhow...

    Good luck with your altered style. Maybe let us know how it progresses... Btw, I also liked your description of the 'style points' and 'giving it the pose' (which isn't something I do myself any longer after once doing that with my serve... basically, having just started to remodel my service motion, I was doing an A-Rod impersonation and was, er, really getting into it, when - and this is next to a court packed with a group of kids and their coach - I completely over-rotated and fell tumbling over onto my posterior like the biggest sad-arsed doofburger of the century!)


    SERVEITUP911,

    Nice pictures. Very nice racquet... Tbh though, not sure I could tell that much just from still photos. In the spirit of this thread, I'd be interested if you could possibly write down a few tips that work for you, if you could pass on to us a bit of your own technique and style (like leoboomanu just before.) Also, are you guys in the link from an academy?... sorry - I haven't had time to properly explore the link.



    FEARLESS1,

    To answer your Q: despite the odd time-consuming distraction, including suddenly deciding Agassi would be my 2h role model, my 2h-er HAD been progressing slowly but fairly well (mainly by focussing on l. hand leading shot, and also by just getting a very solid and routine foundation, ie, virtually entirely straight arms, medium height loop takeback, wrists above racquet plane on contact, etc, etc.) However, 2 weeks ago I changed grip positions and that's kind of done me in a bit (bh fell apart during match three days ago.) I had found that I quite liked it if from a Continental r. hand grip I nudged it over into a - (I think this is correct) - Semi-western or even proper Western (where hand twists around so fingernails face upwards and knuckles face the ground...?) Whatever. During the pressure of a game the whole stroke degenerated BADLY.

    As of right now, I really need to get back to basics on hitting from closed and semi-closed stances - lining up shot parallell to r. hip, etc. (When I'm off my game I fall back on open stance bh which just doesn't work so well for me.) And, of course, I really need to sort out my grip!... And btw, I always have top l. hand in kind of Eastern position...

    Anyone with any advice on 2hbh grip?!
     
    #44
  45. wmrhawk

    wmrhawk Rookie

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    I tend to vary from eastern forehand to semi-west w/my dominant (right) hand on the 2hander.
     
    #45
  46. Green Tea

    Green Tea New User

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    i think that knowing all the mechanics of the 2HD BH is good is some ways, but then again if you get too technical about it, sometimes your shot doesn't perform as well as you want it to because you are too focused on the small things

    Basically i have 3 things i do when i hit a 2HD BH:
    1. make a small loop and make sure that my right shoulder is touching my chin
    2. watch the ball with my eyes only, limiting the movement of my head
    3. hit the ball with my left hand, using the right hand only as a guide
    (4.) my coach always says "up the escalator" when you hit the ball

    if you really want to get better strokes the main thing is practice, practice, and practice (providing you have the correct technique of course)
    you can adjust to your errors and eventually you will get better

    Good Luck ^^
     
    #46
  47. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and tips. I'm nodding my head and I'm with you immediately all the way with points 1, 2 and 3, and - though it took me a minute or two to get what your coach means! - I'm SERIOUSLY loving point no. 4!... Cheers Green Tea

    Now that's what I like, 2hbh-ers!... solid, simply expressed advice and insights, as well as an excellant, slightly quirky visual tip (the type that once you've heard it you won't forget it.)
     
    #47
  48. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Btw... so I'm not so alone afterall in trying to use an (approximate) Semi-Western r. hand grip?... maybe there's hope for me yet?!
     
    #48
  49. wmrhawk

    wmrhawk Rookie

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    I haven't thought about it before in such detail, but like green tea suggusts, the left hand is doing the majority of the work. what does not work for me is a strong backhand grip with my right hand-- anything stronger than continental doesn't allow for me to roll my left hand over as I produce hi top sp.
     
    #49
  50. serveitup911

    serveitup911 Semi-Pro

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    Ross

    I try to get a lot of shoulder turn, step into the ball, and extend my follow-through. You can see the extension in picture 15.

    The pictures are from my college team.
     
    #50

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