Official 2 Handed Forehand Thread

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by DoctorBackhand, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    Yes, I am the odd duck who hits a one-hand backhand with a two-hand forehand. Here's why:
    Forty plus years ago I played one-handed on both sides and used a continental grip on both sides. That way I never had to change my grip for any stroke, be it a drive, volley, serve, or overhead. Trouble was I could never develop sufficient topspin on the forehand side and my wrist was not strong enough to provide sufficient control on forehands hit down the line. Because the continental grip is ideal for the backhand and because I received excellent instruction, my one-hand backhand became a very effective shot, so much so that my opponents started hitting to my forehand because it was so dismal.
    A shoulder injury from a fall on the tennis court three years ago created problems with adduction of my right arm which forced me to go to a two-hand forehand. I could not be happier with the result: more power, more topspin, and more directional control on that side now. Because the adduction motion of the right arm was not affected, I have retained my one-hand backhand.
     
  2. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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  3. CoachingMastery

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  4. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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  5. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    What do you think of Hsieh's 2 hander?

    http://youtu.be/Oe9rgwfjSdQ

    Going by exact definitions, its the quintessential 2hander. She takes it early a lot of the time and uses angles. She doesn't seem to it with the power Bartoli can, and it seems like she does some weird wrist roll or flick on some of her forehands.

    What do you guys think?

    Edit: Never mind, she switches her hands to hit a 2 handed backhand on her forehand sde like Gambill. Just realized this after watching her it on an up close video.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  6. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    2 Handed forehand special!!

    Sunday, December 16 at 12pm or 9am, whichever applies on tennis channel.
     
  7. gilly2571

    gilly2571 Guest

  8. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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  9. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    Thanks for keeping the thread alive. The FH looking good!
     
  10. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    I am in the process of adding sort of a loop to my forehand (and backhand) with exciting results. Hope to post some wall or practice hitting here soon.
     
  11. DaveInBradenton

    DaveInBradenton Rookie

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    Hey Two-hand Wonders,

    I was going to start a thread on the 2HFH, but did a search first and found this thread. Wow, this is great stuff!

    I haven't even read the whole thread yet, but I'm going to start post-haste. It's good to see you 2HFH boyz coming out of the closet, er,.......I mean coming out of the woodwork.

    A quick introduction: After leaving the game in 1996, I had a heart attack Jan 2012, decided to retire at 68, and got the bug to see If I could come back. I started in June last year. I quickly developed tennis elbow. Instead of stopping play for several months, I decided to go from traditional one hand both sides, to two handers on both sides. This has worked out great for me. My elbow rarely gives me concern.

    Surprise! The USPS guy just stopped by to drop off my 3 TW ProKennex Demos! Kenetic 5G, 7G, and Redondo 98, plus, get this, a POG 110. I used to own a POG and wanted to try one for grins. More on this later........

    Best wishes,
    Dave
     
  12. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    The POG OS racquet pulverizes the ball from the ground. If I could serve with it without my shoulder falling off, I am sure it would be my racquet of choice.
     
  13. Ashanti

    Ashanti Rookie

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    in your opinion what raquets would be good for a 2hander
     
  14. DaveInBradenton

    DaveInBradenton Rookie

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    I would not recommend specific rackets because there is so much personal preference in racket selection. Try numerous rackets to see what fits your style of play. I will say that with two hands on both sides you can use a heavier racket because of the added leverage.

    Have fun,
    Dave
     
  15. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Agree with Dave. When I first switched, I got into the trap of thinking I needed an oversize and/or extended-length racquet, since that is what the two-handed forehand pros typically use.

    But honestly, these days, having those as qualifications really narrows your options dramatically. The frame I eventually found that I played best with was a standard length, 95 sq inch one (see sig). It's all personal preference. Don't feel as if you have to submit to convention on the matter.
     
  16. Ashanti

    Ashanti Rookie

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    thank you for the information yea i really been thinking it comes down to your own personal needs
     
  17. brianb76

    brianb76 Rookie

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    Try the Yonex Xi100 ezone and Volkl X7 to start.
     
  18. Lefty20

    Lefty20 New User

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    I think I might posses the oddest play style here. I serve lefty, hit a 2handed forehand (from the left side) and use a 1 handed righty hand forehand instead of the typical(1 or 2 handed) lefty backhand. My left side is definitely my strongest side as I've got a variety of shots I can use with my 2 hander. I've got the basic loopy topspin, flat shot, drop shot, lob shot and a multitude of slices with the 2 hander. However, I have only one consistent shot on the right side : the loopy push shot :(. Occasional I can produce good slices and droppers on that side but they only work at ~ 20% clip.
     
  19. darthpanda

    darthpanda New User

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  20. darthpanda

    darthpanda New User

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    any 18x20 racquet will work. the 18x20 pattern will give you more control and if you dare, use polyester (MSV) strings. I would recommend the Wilson Six.One 95 BLX (18x20)
     
  21. darthpanda

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  22. darthpanda

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  23. darthpanda

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  25. brianb76

    brianb76 Rookie

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    Any other two handers have exceptional trouble playing left handed players??

    Any tips??
     
  26. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. My favorite directionals are the backhand down the line and the forehand crosscourt. I relish playing left handers and hitting to their backhands all match. Did it to much success against a left-hander with a killer forehand this weekend. The Monica against Steffi strategy--though Monica was left handed and Graf right handed: (assuming you are pretty capable off both wings....which we 2HFH/BH players tend to be, and that the left hander has a less than stellar backhand) just know that your opponent can hit to either side and you'll be fine. Give them the shot they don't want over and over again.

    If they are equally balanced, you just have to figure out early in the match which patterns work. You will probably have to tweak your "go-to" patterns with a lefty, but, once adjusted, you should be good. For example, I love hitting inside out slice forehands to the ad corner playing a righty and coming in behind it. I just have to accept that is probably not a good idea against most lefties.

    What is the specific problem your are having with left handers?
     
  27. brianb76

    brianb76 Rookie

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    My favorite shot is my forehand down the line (which goes into a lefty's strength)

    I have much more success with my backhand against a lefty. My forehand (which is a much bigger weapon) seems to misfire against the lefty spin. I often crowd the ball but even when I don't seems like I still miss more often than I should.
     
  28. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    I could see the jamming thing being an issue. I have found that my groundstrokes are a lot better when I keep my upper arms out from my body....super bent works for some people, but not for me. That might help you....would give you some margin to bring your arms closer to your body if something is hit inside and you don't have time to back up. If your shot is already cramped from bent arms, you're screwed.

    Other than that, working on directionals with a ball machine or hitting partner has been good practice for me. Befriend with selfish motives a lefty. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  29. linustennis

    linustennis New User

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    I thought I would post a little bit about my experience with a 2HFH. I started playing tennis again at the end of 2012. I learned basic strokes at 10-11 years old with a pretty good coach, but didn't play from the age of 12-43. I am very athletic and tend to pick up things quickly. I've played sports most of my life, most recently competitive ultimate frisbee. I am 45 now and am 3.5B. I have just not been able to hit a decent forehand. I've invested thousands of dollars and I don't know how many hours (but a lot) in the search for a good, consistent topspin forehand and have come up with nothing. It just feels so awkward and I can't figure out body position, footwork, timing, swing path, racket face angle, or anything. It's just no good. It is a glaring weakness that is easy to pick up on. In matches I always reverted to this horrible slice push. My backhand is excellent. I can hit it with pace, spin and with good directional control. I typically run around my forehand to hit it. After a particularly bad match of embarrassing forehands, I thought, I'll just hit a back hand on both sides, which led me to the 2HFH. I got the Tennis Mastery book, watched some videos (monica seles!!!) and practice it against a wall for at least 5 hours a week on top of my regular playing schedule (10 hrs a week or more). I have been doing 2HFH for about 3 months. These are my problems right now.

    I feel very comfortable hitting the 2HFH against the wall and feel my technique is pretty good, but when I actually get out on the court, it's a little different. I hit the fence a lot. When I do hit a good ball, it tends to be a drive low over the net with pace. I have a harder time just hitting a rally ball deep with good topspin. Sometimes I feel like my swing is more like a baseball swing then a forehand.

    I have recently started doing this thing where I release my right hand in the follow through to get full rotation. I got this from the TW video of Andre Dome who has a 2HFH and TW is sponsoring him. It kind of feels almost like a lefty 1HBH. I think this helps me get more topspin. I'm also working on keeping my head still at contact and not looking up til after follow through. This is hard to do, but is very helpful when I can remember to do it. I also really try to focus on my left hand pulling across my body, and that my right hand is more along for the ride (i'm righty). Does anyone else get a bad blister on top of their right thumb?

    The worst problem I'm having though is that I'm not using it much in matches. I'm still doing the awful slice push most of the time. Because it's consistent and I can get away with it in 3.5. I know that won't be the case in 4.0 though. That horrible forehand is just ingrained in my muscle memory and it's hard to stop it. Also it's easier as you really don't have to have any footwork or timing to hit it.

    I also have trouble with it on return of serve, especially on fast serves (against guys or 4.0's). I almost always slice back the return even if it's a short sitter that is just crying out to be crushed!!

    Overall I am very happy with it and am hoping with continued practice I can use it consistently and comfortably in matches and have it eventually be a weapon instead of a weakness. Just got to keep practicing. Thanks for starting this thread and all the links. It has been very helpful!!

    As far as rackets go, I do like the extended length and oversize as I feel it is also very helpful on my serve. I'm currently using the cheapy prince tt scream os (110) strung with nat gut at 62#. I also have the exo3 red 105 and pog longbody, pog oversize, and the regular pog. i like all of them and will use them intermittently. Part of my problem may be that I can't figure out what racket to use! I'm thinking of experimenting with a poly cross, but still haven't decided on the exact set up. That's it for now, hope this thread stays active. None of the pros that I work with seem particularly thrilled with my new forehand and are encouraging me to go back to one hand. Not sure why that is, maybe I think my 2hfh is better than it really is!
     
  30. brianb76

    brianb76 Rookie

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    The two handed forehand required more precise footwork than a one handed IMO. Try working on your knee bend and get lower and drive up into the ball.
    Hitting the fence comes from hitting the ball leaning back or on your back foot. Knee bend and drive forward into the ball.
     
  31. linustennis

    linustennis New User

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  32. linustennis

    linustennis New User

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    yes, i definitely need to bend knees and get low and drive low to high and through the ball. sometimes though it just feels like i'm hitting a baseball out of the park. like i'm launching it, just getting under the ball and launching it up. i think i need to relax my hands and arms and just focus on hitting it solid and not hard. I definitely overhit a lot, especially on balls coming at me with no pace.
     
  33. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I was practicing my two handed forehand with my top hand in a continental and my bottom in a semiwestern forehand grip. I have to say it is much more difficult for me to hit that shot than a two handed backhand, so even though it looks really cool, I feel it doesn't have much advantage in the modern game.
     
  34. linustennis

    linustennis New User

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    as far as footwork goes, i think the 2hfh is easier for me because i am better at the closed stance. when i try to hit with the open stance, everything gets messed up. with the 2hfh it makes sense to step in closed stance with similar footwork as backhand. i just can't seem to get the rotational, kinetic chain power thing. i tend to just stand there open stance and arm it. also almost no footwork is required for my slicey, junkball forehand that i use in matches!!
     
  35. linustennis

    linustennis New User

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    maximagq
    I use a semiwestern on bottom hand and extreme eastern backhand on top (left hand). so it's almost like hitting a choked up one handed left hand backhand. It definitely feels awkward at first, but after doing it a thousand times it feels right somehow. it has advantages for rec players. Maybe not for pros though certainly there are pros who have been very successful with it. i heard that rafa used a 2hfh up until he was 12 or so. it does help you learn good technique.
     
  36. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    sorry for the absence

    Its been a while since I've posted on this thread, so let me start by saying that I hope you're all having a great season so far.

    I have a question about the range of the two hander; about how far can you reach before you start to run the risk of injuring yourself? I think I may have tennis elbow following some botched volleys, and there were some forehands I hit that felt very taxing on my arm. Granted, my footwork was lazy and I was out position a lot, so its no surprise that I injured myself stretching for balls I had no business stretching for. Still, I would like to know for future reference.

    Also, as strange as this sounds, which part of your body do you feel contributes the most to your topspin forehand? I know it should be the legs, but I don't really feel like I hit too much topspin unless I really exaggerate the low to high motion with my arms.

    And, to contribute something more than questions, I do have to thank everyone in this thread for contributing their knowledge and experience. It has helped immensely. So much so that I won my first singles match in years yesterday with my 2hander after a season of nothing but loses. It's nice to have a forehand that I can hit with pace and control, and not be an obvious liability that costs me matches. It's also nice not have arm pain after mishits, and to be able to hit dtl. That's a biggie.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  37. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    There are a lot of things that people say don't have a place in the modern game. It's just something that you find a way to work with. It really isn't uncomfortable at all, and it only takes a few good practice sessions to get the hang of it. If you don't find any advantage to it, its probably because you just don't need to use it. For people who have difficulties with their forehand, it has many advantages.
     
  38. linustennis

    linustennis New User

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    Doctor Backhand,
    If I'm stretched on my forehand side, I will almost always slice, unless i'm going for a screaming, low percentage, all or nothing winner! The 2hfh is kinda new for me, so under pressure, i will one hand it.
    For topspin, I think the big things are hitting it early, out in front as much as i can, and the finish with the butt cap, elbow towards target. also bending knees and getting below the ball, but this only works for me if i finish right, otherwise i launch it!
     
  39. vicp

    vicp New User

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    Righty 1-hander switched to Lefty 2-hander on both sides!

    I am right-handed and have played 1-handed BH & FH for over 30 years. Sometime last year I developed some elbow issues (TE & GE) trying to keep up with advanced hard hitters, namely my up and coming 20 year old son. The TE (tennis elbow) was mild - had a bad bout about 5 years ago, but the GE (golfers elbow - medial/inside) was something new - never had it before. Anyway, I backed off, video taped my strokes, went to foam and low pressure balls on a backboard, therabar, exercises, stretches, etc., until the elbow healed. The TE went away completely but the GE discomfort lingered a bit but did not bother me while playing. During this time of rehab, played around with the 2HBH and even the 2HFH as a righty. The 2HBH on my left side was never very good, even when I worked on it fairly hard when I had the bad case of TE 5 years prior. The righty 2HFH was interesting but I went back to the 1HFH eventually as it felt better. Once somewhat healed, I was back to righty 1-handed on both sides.

    Anyway, about a month ago, I zapped my right elbow working with power tools using steel and brass brushes on a drill to clean a lot of metal including pipe threads. My elbow got fairly sore but when I went to play tennis it just exploded. I couldn't even feed balls on my forehand side - funny though, I could still hit the 1HBH on my left side with pace and no pain.

    What to do - I didn't want to stop playing so I just sucked it up, got out my foam and low pressure ball and hit the backboard using my left hand while occasionally coaxing my right side as long as there was no pain. My left side, compared to my right side is fairly weak as I broke my left shoulder about 30 years ago in a motorcycle accident. At first it was like being a complete beginner even though I did some LHFH practicing a 2HBH years ago. The 1HBH with my left hand was even worse - like trying to sign your name with with your non-dominant hand.

    Here is the crazy part - about a week ago I tried adding my right hand to my lefty FH and as as my right elbow started feeling better I also added it to my lefty BH on my right side giving me essentially a southpaw (for a right-hander) 2HFH on my left side and a 2HBH on my right side.

    I COULD NOT BELIEVE THE RESULTS!!!

    The 2HFH on my left side is so much better than the 1HFH on that side and I have better control than I ever did on my 1HBH there also. The 2HBH on my right side is way better than the 2HBH on the left side ever was and I actually have more control on right side also (vs. my right 1HBH). I actually hit with players for the first time 2 days ago in this configuration and was surprised how much I could keep up. The footwork and pace are not there yet but it was so much better than 2H both sides right dominant - but that is a week vs. many years of playing.

    Has anybody had anything similar happen to them? I am right-handed, have gone southpaw 2H on both sides and prefer it in many ways to playing right-handed. I can use similar stances on both sides, contact points are similar, see the ball better due to more compact swings and trunk rotation. Overall much simpler and easier strokes so far - also, less strain on the the wrist and elbow joints. It seems that sometimes you have to get run over by a truck to just smell the flowers!

    Don't know how volleys will work out yet. The serve could be a problem as my left shoulder flexibility is somewhat compromised (motorcycle accident). Overall I am quite happy to have discovered a new way of playing!!
     
  40. DaveInBradenton

    DaveInBradenton Rookie

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    Good post!

    I had a similar experience. When I made a return to the game as a senior citizen after 15 years off, I got tennis elbow fairly fast. Rather than rest my TE, I decided to try to play 2 handed. That worked fine and my TE gradually subsided and I eventually returned to my one hand strokes.

    Then I hurt my shoulder. My 2 hand method did not work in this case. My shoulder hurt when played with one hand or 2 hand strokes. I decided I had to give up the game or do something drastic, namely switch from playing right handed to left handed. That was a daunting thought.

    However, my brain kicked in and I tried playing left handed WITH 2 hands. It worked surprisingly well. (Why didn't I think of this before!)

    In effect what you and I are doing is using a choked up right hand grip with the left hand in a supporting role. We can use our grooved right hand swing patterns on both sides keeping the left hand on the bottom of the racket.

    This grip is almost natural on the forehand side. You are hitting a choked up forehand stroke. You might teach a kid this way if you didn't have a shorter junior racket.

    On the backhand side, I know how to hit one hand topspin, so using that stroke came fairly easy too. It's a choked up grip topspin backhand swing pattern with the left hand on the bottom of the racket.

    The 2 hand strokes certainly are worth a try, both right & left hand style, for anyone having shoulder or elbows issues. With a little luck, this will put you back on the court without pain.

    Best wishes,
    Dave
     
  41. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    What grip do you use for the TOP hand?

    Just out of curiosity, what grip do you use for your top hand (assuming you use the dominant hand on bottom approach)?

    I always start out with eastern FH, although I do notice my hands inching towards conti sometimes. It feels to me as if spin comes more naturally with eastern, while conti produces flatter shots overall. Obviously this isn't the case, as most people do use conti on top and get plenty if spin. I assume it has something to do with the grip of the bottom hand, or the grip a player uses for the backhand, as the forehand will probably mimic backhand grips. I use eastern on my bottom hand, and use conti/eastern for the backhand.

    So, what grip do you use for the top hand and how do you feel it would effect your shot if you changed it?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  42. DaveInBradenton

    DaveInBradenton Rookie

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    I suggest using your usual ONFH grip and continental for the top hand.
    My reasoning is that the continental grip allows for a less restricted back swing.

    However, there is no right or wrong grip for the 2HFH. Your best bet is to experiment with grips to see what works for YOU. (The 2HFH is all about you!)

    Try to keep the best parts of your ONFH and just add the top hand for support and to keep a consistent racket path.

    Have fun,
    Dave
     
  43. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    I've taught, (and discussed in my two books, Tennis Mastery and Coaching Mastery), using two eastern forehand grips for the THFH. (Seles/Bartoli style). Players can evolve this foundation grip as they develop the shot into a weapon.
     
  44. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    Maybe I should reword the question. Do you feel there is any significant advantage or disadvantage between the various top hand grips? Would you see anything limiting about using, for example, an eastern backhand for the top hand? Would it depend on the grip of the bottom hand? Does the top hand grip affect spin in any way?

    I apologize for the mountain of questions and the way I worded the previous question. I should have been clearer.
     
  45. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    I am with Dave. I use my normal OHFH grip (between SW and Eastern) for my dominant right hand, and continental for top left hand. Don't remember using anything different.
     
  46. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    I maintain the bottom hand as the dominant hand just as in a one handed forehand.

    There are three grip configurations: two backhands, where you switch your bottom hand, (Jan Michael-Gambil did it this way.)

    Keep the dominant hand on top, (as in choking up on the racquet and keeping the non-dominant hand on the bottom for both forehand and backhand. (Gene Mayer did it this way.)

    Keep the dominant hand on the bottom for both strokes; a conventional two-handed backhand and what I consider conventional two-handed forehand. (Seles, Bartoli, Peng, among others)

    I like this last version best as it complements a conventional one-handed forehand and is actually a great learning tool for the conventional one-handed forehand.

    I don't like Gene Mayer as he would have to move the dominant hand down to serve and volley, and then reposition it to hit GS's. However, it is easier to hit two-handed shots initially since the dominant hand is choked up and it is easy to control the racquet for obvious reasons because of this.

    Jan Michael Gambil's stroke is the most difficult because it within a forehand or backhand rally, he would have to quickly move his dominant hand up or down depending on a FH or BH. He actually choked up and only had his left hand about half on and half off the grip for his forehand side.

    All of these grips are discussed in both my books, Tennis Mastery & Coaching Mastery, the only books in the industry that have in-depth study and descriptions of the two-handed forehand.
     
  47. DoctorBackhand

    DoctorBackhand Rookie

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    So the grip of the top hand doesn't matter? If one were to change their top hand grip from conti to eastern backhand, it would make no discernable difference other than feel? Spin and depth wouldn't be affected?

    It just seems strange that that is no consensus about the role of the top hand. It's not like it needs to be on a conti for slice like the 2hbh. Does it really contribute so little to the stroke that it can be any grip and not make a huge difference? It seems strange if that's the case.

    Again, sorry for being overly analytical.
     
  48. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    I don't think the position of the top hand is as important, but for me, my shot suffers immensely from my top hand being anywhere but continental.

    It might have to do with stability....since at SW/cont, my hands are 180 degrees around the handle from the other.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  49. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
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    Utah
    As I mentioned, I teach the eastern forehand grip for both hands. This grip configuration allows for the easiest establishment of an Advanced Foundation for the stroke while allowing for personal idiosyncrasies to evolve this foundation grip to be personalized to a person's personal perception of the stroke in terms of adding to the shot.
     
  50. darthpanda

    darthpanda New User

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    Nov 1, 2013
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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015

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