How to become more than a serve and a forehand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ellipticality_224, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. ellipticality_224

    ellipticality_224 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Boones Mill, VA: Basically BFE, 285 people.
    I have a pretty bad problem with my backhand and footwork, I play similarly to Isner (just on a much worse scale, Im a 4.0). I am nothing more than a big first serve, big kicking second serve and a hard penetrating forehand after the serve, anything after that is anyones guess. I can rally, and hit good topspin on my forehand consistently and a pretty nasty slice that gives a few people I know headaches, but anything after a 10 shot rally I begin to get tired because of my anything but tennis body build (Im 6 foot and 210 pounds, more a football build), and I have to pull the trigger on the rally to end it, win or not, to avoid getting too tired.

    What do I need to do? Do I need to just go out and hit nothing but backhands all day along with some back hand drills (I have a 2HB)? I have been running long distances for about two months now and have begun to notice an increase in stamina because I run 3-4 miles daily, along with weight training (off on mondays and have a recovery day on tuesday, when I do light running only). So I think I have my stamina problem solved, but what can I do to improve my back hand?

    To give you an example of what my back hand is like... no spin, ugly looking and has to be hit at just the right angle or it will sail out or in the net, I shank my two handed a lot too. I think it may be my grip or just my larger than normal chest (which is not ripped, I dont have big pecs at all, I just have a very wide chest and broad shoulders.) Should I start to try a one handed? or stay with a two handed? I think alot of my problem with my backhand is grip and my wide chest span.
     
    #1
  2. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    if you have a big serve and a good slice, you are 80% there to play a good looking all court / SV game.

    how are your volleys?

    210 lbs is not optimal for rallies lol.
     
    #2
  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,549
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Try hitting your backhand like a left handed forehand before switching to a 1 hander since that is a major change.
     
    #3
  4. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,073
    Why in the world would you ever be in a 10 shot rally if you have a big serve and big forehand?
    Control the point.
    Work more on speed than stamina - run around your backhand whenever possible and go on offense.

    Learning a good slice backhand that can move your opponent into uncomfortable spots, even if it doesn't have a lot of pace could be helpful.
     
    #4
  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    ...Ummmm... get a backhand and some volleys??
     
    #5
  6. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    I don't think your backhand has be good, it just has to be consistent. I think you need to learn some patience on that side - don't be afraid to hit ten backhands deep crosscort. You don't need to win the point as much as put pressure on your opponent to have to go down the line (low percentage) to your strong forehand.

    Also, I would practice running around that backhand to hit a big forehand.
     
    #6
  7. ellipticality_224

    ellipticality_224 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Boones Mill, VA: Basically BFE, 285 people.
    When I first started 6 or 7 years ago, I went back and forth between a 1hbh and a 2hbh, and it wasnt too bad, until I messed up my rotator cuff that sidelined me for a few months, didnt have to have surgery, but I had to go through some PT. Cause me to miss my freshman year of tennis play in high school. I occasionally will hit a one handed back hand on excessively high bouncing balls or just for sh**s and giggles. But thats a very rare occasion. And as for volleys, I have a really good backhand volley, and my forehand, I usually put to much on it. And since I dont have the best mobility, Its pretty easy to pass me. and my overheads can be good, it all depends on how my rotator cuff is, my serve can irritate it too. But not as much.
     
    #7
  8. ellipticality_224

    ellipticality_224 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Boones Mill, VA: Basically BFE, 285 people.
    If I play against a typical player who is balanced on both ends of the game, then I do pretty well, but If I play against a consistent person who is fast and who gets everything back, then I start to have problems.
     
    #8
  9. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    sounds like you need a put-away shot... and it's a lot easier to put stuff away from the net than from the baseline.
     
    #9
  10. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,073
    That is the bane of the big hitter, especially at 4.0. Djokovic can do pretty well playing defense against guys like Berdych even at the ATP level. Going to the net is your friend, you need to be able to finish the point when you have the advantage and not let the defender get back even in the point.
    (It would help Berdych, too.)
     
    #10
  11. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    982
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you have never seen yourself playing for points on video. you would be the first 4.0 player ever that can consistently sustain a rally over 10 shots.
     
    #11
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Not only that, but if you really ARE a 4.0, your serve won't bother your peers, neither would your forehand, and they, your peers, would constantly pick on your backhand and conti slice your serves back to your BACKhand corner.
     
    #12
  13. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,277
    I have always tried to eliminate or reduce weaknesses. For my level, I do everything well for my level and nothing great. I am not bragging because I know I am not a great player. I am just trying to say I have worked to have a balanced game without any big holes in it.

    If you 2 HBH sucks, spend 2-3 months working to improve it. First get a model/plan by either picking a player and studying everything you can find and/or read a book and/or taking a lesson or 2. Then 1 or 2 times a week, isolate time to work on the shot. Hit on a wall with 1 or 2 shot rallys just working on the new model. I say 1 or 2 shot rallys so hitting on the wall will be like hitting a real groundstroke. If you try to hit many balls in a row on a wall the pace is too fast and most people adjust their swing. Hit it with a full 3/4 max swing and only hit 1 good stroke to learn a new stroke. Hit 100 new BH each time out. Andre Agassi, Marat Safin and Djoko all have very simple, clean, compact 2 HBH. Loads of youtube videos of them. FuzzyYellowBalls.com and usta player development site have video and instruction too. Lock and roll tennis is another site with good 2 hbh instruction. Note how Agassi and Safin change the R hand into a strong Conti to assist with adding topspin to the shot.

    Also, if you are 6' and have a decent serve and forehand, learn to approach the net, volley and hit overheads. Nothing protects a weak BH better than closing out the point at the net before they can get to your BH. Play doubles to work on these shots and commit to trying a few S&V and attacking all short serves and shots.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
    #13

Share This Page