Is this good 2hbh form?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by saqdeez, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. saqdeez

    saqdeez Semi-Pro

    Jul 4, 2006

    I guess this is the bent arm technique? I am used to straighter arms but my 2hander has always sucked and been my achilles heel. Do any pros hit like this where they keep the upper arm (left arm in this case) bent the whole time and just rotate through??
  2. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2009
    Not sure but i think a couple do, im not much of a 2hbh expert...:neutral:
    Thats a great video on backhands, although its not about what you're talking about, take a look if you want.
  3. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Oct 20, 2006
    There seems to be a clumsy looking element in that 2hbh, at least to my eye. That head snap and general burst of motion at contact looks too jerky to me. While the idea of having the arms and racquet in close for easier turning and setup makes sense, I get the impression that the stroke is more of a quick snap to the ball than a progressive unwinding motion.

    While the shoulder turn around the hitter's vertical axis is helpful for driving the stroke, he sort of "hunches" into contact and nods his head down as he hits. As soon as a player starts to crane over and tilt their core, that can limit how much that shoulder rotation can contribute to the stroke. The backround commentary also notes the importance of keeping the head still, but this example shows what looks to me like too much head movement at contact.

    I'd expect this 2hbh to be more efficient if the hitter had more of a broad radius in his swing at contact. While I think it's a good idea to start with bent arms, I'd expect this stroke to have more energy and efficiency if the hitter extended his left arm a bit more through the hitting zone. The longer swing radius with the same rate of shoulder turn should produce better racquet speed than the bent arm "lift-snap" that's happening here.

    Ughh!!! The more I watch this stroke, the less I like it and I strongly disagree with the commentary. Not a solid 2hbh to my eye - looks to me like the hitter is arming the ball way too much and with his given swing path, the harder he tries to hit, the more the ball is going to sail on him.
  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    Ugly, prone to breaking down.
    That head is the key. NOBODY dips the head during a forward stroke. He'll get neck cramp on long tourneys playing lots.
    He has a short, controlled stroke which is just fine. His footwork is fine, his swing is fine.
    But tilting 14lbs of weight on every 2HBH is not fine at all.
  5. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2009
    It's not just his head, it's his whole body leaning into the shot, probably because he's a lightweight.

    He doesn't get much of a racket drop, so he'll be generating minimal spin.

    If you noticed from the video posted by Blake0, as well as other slow motion videos of pro backhands, the racket head ALWAYS drops below the wrists, usually because the wrists bend back and downwards so they can produce tremendous amounts of spin to control the shot. The greater the drop (like Nadal), the greater the spin. However, even the big "flat" hitters get a pretty big racket drop.

    This kid doesn't get any racket drop, and the racket always stays slightly above his wrists, a la Jimmy Connors. The result is a very flat shot and plenty of power with a compact stroke. Backhands like these died out with the introduction of graphite rackets, simply because more power can easily be generated so spin must be implemented to add the necessary amount of depth control.

    Also, I feel the strike zone on hitting this kind of backhand is more restricted. Granted, it can be fixed with exceptional footwork and preparation, but if your wrists are looser and allow the racket head to drop, you'll be able to handle a wider variety of shots.

    Finally, with the body lean and the bent elbows, he hits like a girl. :)

    (Guys don't normally need to lean into the ball like that to get power, and the few that do aren't bent nearly as severely at their elbows.)
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    The lean/tilt of the torso is also a problem.
    Don't think it's a factor of being small and light. I know some sub 95lbs.ers who hit snot out of the ball with upright body posture except for leaning in on balls above their chin heights. They're 4.5+ levels, of course.
  7. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    That's an ugly, awkward looking 2HBH, IMO.

    His footwork, in general, is also lousy and he doesn't bend down far enough before striking the ball.

    Hard to believe someone used this guy as an example of an exemplary 2HBH.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009

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