Help with a different approach to the two-handed backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by whodat, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. whodat

    whodat Rookie

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    I have frequented this board and I only see advices on using your left hand as the main focus of the two-hander. I understand this concept and the fact that you need to practice a left-handed forehand in order to improve your TH backhand. However, everytime that I tried to hit lefthanded against the wall I ended up chasing the ball. It gets very frustating. :evil: I have considered switching to a onehander but I am starting my USTA league and I understand that it takes about a year to get a usable (4.0 level) onehander :( . What about a twohanded backhand using a onehanded backhand as a base as opposed to using the left hand as a base? Is there any change in the grips or the stance? I currently use a closed stance with the left hand in an eastern forehand grip and the right hand in a continental grip. I would appreciate inputs from the experts.
     
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  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    First off,

    You are practicing it wrong. You first have to learn how to hit a forehand before heading to the wall. Otherwise your practice will be slow and very boring, frustrating, and a poor use of your time.

    The best way to do this is with a ball machine or a person feeding you slow balls. As your arm gets stronger and more coordinated you can move back towards the baseline more and/or have faster balls fed to you. Slow down the pace when you start missing.

    Remember the purpose of the drill is not to make your left handed forehand better then your right handed forehand but to develop your coordination and strength. You should hit two baskets of balls with a left handed forehand then lightly place the bottom hand on the racquet for one basket of balls. then two baskets, then one basket. Your developing your feel and strength on what you need to do. You are also coordinating the feet on how they need to move to hit a left-handed forehand.
     
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  3. Brent Pederson

    Brent Pederson Semi-Pro

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    Well, as good as Bungalow Bill's advice surely is, I'll tell you how it worked for me transitioning from a one-hander. Rather than trying to learn to hit a lefty forehand (very difficult for me), I went to the wall and pretended I was still hitting my one-handed backhand, but letting the left hand stay on the racket, and go along for the ride. I used the right hand to continue the same swing path I had developed for the one-hander before, and the left hand just stabilized things.

    As I worked on it, I soon discovered that the key to hitting the two-hander well was to forget about the hands altogether and concentrate on swinging from the hips and shoulders (which, it turns out, seems to be the key for pretty much all of the strokes!). Once I started to do that, it all started to come together for me, and now I have a very consistent two-hander that, while it may be no match for Mr. Agassi's, wins me lots of points and scares many opponents away from trying to pick on my backhand. In fact, most of the time, they now try to pick on my forehand instead, so now I'm working on kicking that up a notch!
     
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  4. AAUS

    AAUS Rookie

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    play with 2 forehands
     
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  5. whodat

    whodat Rookie

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    Thanks,
    I will try all those tips when the next time I am on the court. BTW do you guys open up the hips on the swing or shift your weight forward?
     
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  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    You should open your hips somewhat as they need to be able to move in the shot. This helps bring your shoulders around. Strive to make contact with as many balls with the plane of your body facing the 45 degree angle. Yes, I am really big on this. If you watch the pros, when they make contact with the ball, there body is very close on line with that 45 degree angle. Except on very open stances.

    This does numerous things. It frees the hips, it allows your legs to move and get into the shot, it allows balanced weight transfer, it allows you to hit either crosscourt or down-the-line, it allows for good recovery, it helps you move forward if you need to, it allows your shoulders and torso to have a powerful yet relaxed rotation into the ball. Many, many things.

    Brent gave some great advice on someone who adapted a twohander to his preference.

    Remember there are lots of ways to teach tennis. Never think that you cant try something that you feel might work for you even though it is not in vogue.

    That is the beauty of the twohander it is a very versatile stroke to learn with many different ways to hit it.
     
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  7. geo

    geo New User

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    45 deg angle with your back toward the net or toward the fence behind you?
     
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  8. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    see 45 degree angle post
     
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  9. geo

    geo New User

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    Where is the post?

    For a one hander is the back toward the fence behind. But for a TH BH that doesn't seem right
     
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  10. geo

    geo New User

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    Sorry... I mean: OHBH the back may face the net at an angle of 45, specificaly the line that unites the feet, but for the THBH that doesn't make sense...
     
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  11. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    It references your body position at impact. Pretend you have two long lines. YOu would attach them in the middle of the net. then infinetly go out 45 degrees from that on both sides of the court.

    When you hit the ball, you want your body plane parallel or close to it on the 45 degree angle. You can have a backswing that is not on the 45 degree plane but as you swing forward and get ready to hit the ball, the body comes around and (from rotation) when the racquet meets the ball, your body (shoulder to shoulder) should be parallel to the 45 degree angle or close to it for maximum power and control. After impact rotation continues out of the 45 degree angle and you prepare for recovery.

    Watch a pro match and you will suddenly say, AHH HAA! Especially watch Agassi, he is the master of that angle.

    Obviously, you will have sort of a semi-open to forward stance. You can have a closed stance and still swing the upper body around to the 45 degree angle as well. You can have an open stance but will make contact witht the ball facing the 45 degree angle or a tad later and rotate through.
     
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  12. geo

    geo New User

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    Hei BB... are we talking about the same thing? ;>))

    I have been through most of the 2HBHs (agassi, safin, roddik) and have not seen the 45 deg happen - I think not even once.Most of the time they tend to hit at a 90 deg angle (parallel to the side fence) and many times at an angle that is 90 deg to your 45 deg lines. I agree that in theory the 45 angle makes sense, but in practice, regarding BHs, the pros just don't do it

    I also went through most of federers BH and he also doesn't use it. His back is mainly towards the net - at an 45 deg angle. Also guga.

    But perhaps I got you wrong... :>//



    -geo-
     
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  13. geo

    geo New User

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    Just a second!!! Unless you mean the shoulders plane...
    Then YES!! Agreed.

    I was looking at the line that unites the feet.... :>((

    -geo-
     
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  14. geo

    geo New User

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    I mean I agree for the 2HBH, where the angle of the shoulder line is pretty much fixed. But if we look at FHs then most pros meat the ball with the shoulders plane parallel to the net. Look federer's FH. So where is the 45 angle here? :>((

    Sorry for the proliferation of messages... Just would like to clear this thing.

    -geo-
     
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  15. 5.0 TopDog

    5.0 TopDog New User

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    Instead of hitting with lefthand forehand for practice, try to play with twohand, when you hit the ball flex your lefthand and relax your right hand at the sametime, use your left hand to guide your followthrough and your right hand is just there to stablelize your racquet and help out on the follow through. The key here is to tighten up your muscle on the left hand so it will be the primary hand on the back hand. Also since you have close stance, try to stay inline with the ball as much as possible..let me know how it work out for you.
     
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  16. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Good post TopDog!!! Another great tip! That will strengthen the arm as well!

    Geo, I might be getting old and need glasses but I see this all the time. I never paid much attention to it until Jack Brody had me study it and analyze it.

    There are times when a pro simply wont hit on the 45 degree angle based on what the ball is doing, where the ball is, and what the pro is trying to do. But 8 times out of 10 you will see them hitting on or near on this parallel. Keep in mind, it is the contact point we are studying and the position of the feet help the upper body hit on this line.

    I will not grab photo after photo on this but you can see these videos for reference to see what I mean.

    http://www.uspta.com/index.cfm/aol/1/MenuItemID/1103/MenuSubID/126.htm
     
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  17. whodat

    whodat Rookie

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    Once again thanks :D
     
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