problem with the two-handed bh

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by treblings, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Here´s my problem and i´m asking all of you for your opinion:
    I teach a 10yr old girl and she´s doing fine, developing a two-handed backhand.
    stroke looks good, only problem is, she leaves a gap between her two hands when she plays the bh.
    i´ve tried to bring her to hold the racket with both hands joined together, but it´s clearly not a natural thing for her to do.

    what should i do?
    your opinion and help is much appreciated
     
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  2. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    She needs more leverage, nothing wrong with that. And I guess her racquet is normal length?
     
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  3. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    it´s about 26,5 in. leverage makes sense, so you think she will change her grip over time, once she has the necessary strength?
     
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  4. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    If you say her stroke looks good, I believe so.
    You may try to move her hitting zone further away from her body (I mean to her side, not in front) and see what happens.
     
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  5. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    I would be a little worried about it becoming ingrained. Try feeding her soft tosses from the side using a proper grip so she doesn't have the anxiety of an incoming shot to distract her or give her time to regrip..
     
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  6. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    will do so tomorrow, thanks:)
     
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  7. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i will definitely try that again and see what happens, thanks:)
     
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  8. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Ferrer's strokes are as solid as they come, his hands are not together for the backhand

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Let her develop her own 2hbh.
    Lots of pros besides Ferrer hold the racket apart.
     
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  10. rkelley

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    Ferrer got jammed or something. I watch several youtube videos and he normally doesn't hit with his hands apart.

    I'd encourage you to encourage her to get her hands together eventually.
     
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  11. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Really? he must get jammed pretty often then

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Talk to her first.
    Does she want more power at the expense of control?
    YOU want her to have more power.
    Does SHE want the extra power and less control? Add disquise, quick change of ball direction to the equation of spread hands.
     
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  14. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i would have brought this up myself. i´ve seen a number of pro´s using that technique. that adds to my confusion of what´s best for her.
    her hands are not that wide apart, btw
     
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  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i´ll be watching his youtube videos myself today:)

    i will definitely encourage her, as i´ve done in the past. the thing is, if she keeps resisting that technique, should i accept it at one point?
    to clarify: she is giving it a try every time i talk to her but keeps falling back to her own way of doing it
     
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  16. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    thanks, we do a lot of talking:)
    i like what you say about disguise and quick change of direction.
    will make this part of todays training
     
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  17. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    thank you for all the answers so far. i really appreciate them.
    while you were posting, i had a good nights sleep:)

    the girls name is Isabella btw; our next training is this afternoon.
     
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  18. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    LeeD, sorry but a 10 year old will not be able to answer those questions. They'll just shrug their shoulders and say "Yea sure!". As a coach for a young player you gotta make these decisions for them, along with the help of her parents in some cases.

    In regards to her backhand, how far apart are her hands? a lot or just a little? I make sure kids I teach have their hands touching, and not separated. all you gotta do is tell them to make sure they feel their hands touching during the whole shot, one beside the other and show them the grip of course. Stupid and simple but I mean how else right. Its as easy as that. They'll do it no problem with feeds, however it'll take repetition until it becomes automatic.

    All that is simple and it is, there isn't anything special to do to change it however one major problem I notice that causes kids to have their hands separated on the grip on the 2 hander is they have their left hand up to high in the ready position and they fail to slide their hand down in time into the proper position. Now before people start showing photos of pros with 2 handers and how they have their hands in the ready position, remember thats a completely different league and age, where as kids that young are still developing and have a lot going on just to hit a groundstroke sometimes. The left hand being too high doesn't allow them to get it down far enough and they end up gripping the handle higher. Its not that she might feel comfortable with her hand higher up on the grip, its just how it ended up and now she's used to it. Remember, kids have nothing to compare it to as everything is new to them. This very well could be the case with the left hand being up too high during her ready position so check that during her next lesson.

    More developed juniors and players can have their left hand where ever they want because they are, or should be, quick enough but someone learning the sport I'd recommend putting them into the ready position with hand together, both on the grip. If its a forehand they release the left hand, and on the backhand it'll be much easier for them. After that, let them develop on their own but if she's 10 and still a beginner (I'm assuming here) stick with the basics, and go from there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
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  19. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    Is there anything wrong with having hand's not touching, I have my hands like half a cm apart.
     
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  20. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Just go with the David Ferrer setup for now. If she says in a couple years time, 'I can't hit the ball hard enough' then you say 'Now we do it MY way'.
     
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  21. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    That's saying, Eat Junk, Eat Junk, Eat Junk, until you can't walk.

    She will have the hand position engraved into her brain, it's like any other sport. e.g if you just let a soccer playing dribble with his toe or AFL players throw the ball down in the wrong position.
     
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  22. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    He must. Are these serve returns?

    Still I didn't see him hitting with his hands together in any of the videos I looked at. All were ground strokes. In general I would think a player would be giving up too much racquet length to consistently hit the way these pictures show. I don't see how they could get decent racquet head speed choked up that much on a ground stroke.
     
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  23. treblings

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    thanks for all replies:)i appreciate them all
    we had another good training today. i asked her to hold the
    racket with touching hands for the bh and it worked pretty well imo
    i then asked her for her opinion and she said that the new grip worked well in some situations, not so well in others.
    the way i see it, she hits with more pace with hands touching, but sometimes has more control with hands apart.
    we will definitely go with touching hands as she is very willing to try.

    @tennis balla: the gap between the two hands is about 3 inches
    @ everyone: why do pros like ferrer use this technique? i seem to remember some female pros with that technique. is there any advantage to it?

    Isabella is not a beginner in the strict sense of the word, she plays for about 18 months now, once a week. at the moment it´s more the fun of playing for her, not so much competition.
    her 16 year old sister is a nationally ranked junior and Isabella is about as talented as her sister
     
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  24. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    So is that why all players' setup and produce their strokes EXACTLY the same? Of course they don't. Have a look around. The fundamentals and the finished product at the end of the court are what is important,not peoples' opinions. I am sure if the young girl is more comfortable hitting her backhand a certain way, she will prefer to hit it that way under pressure, whether that is with a close grip or not.
     
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  25. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I hit a 1 hander and have done so for 20 plus years, and am moving to a 2 hander. It seems to me that a 2 handed wider grip is good for re directing balls with pace eg serve and rolling the ball with more spin short in the court. Also for control on a high ball if you are a little late getting there. As I say though, I am only a beginner when it comes to the 2 hbh.
     
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  26. treblings

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    changing to a 2 hander after 20years of playing seems very difficult. what made you try it and do you work with a coach?
     
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  27. tennis_balla

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    3 inches apart is quite a bit, especially at her age.
     
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  28. BevelDevil

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    How about have her choke up her bottom hand so it meets the top hand? Get her used to keeping hands together, then gradually move both down.
     
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  29. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Injury. Nothing more nothing less. I have sprained my elbow a number of times in the last year due to playing more tournaments and playing against bigger younger opponents. It appears to be the easiest way out(providing I can make it work of course). It is not so much technique as over the years it has improved. The other option is to play 6 feet or more behind the baseline which is not how I play the game. I am a coach and am about to go back to my training coach for a few lessons and see how it goes. I am a fast learner, but we will see.
     
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  30. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Hi Greg. Enjoying the weather up there? :)

    I am using my 2HBH more and more for similar reasons to you. I haven't actually sprained anything but I like having the option of returning serve with the double hander and I also warm up with it as it is so easy to generate spin. I don't think I will ever be able to hit as hard with it, but I haven't abandoned the single hand, just added the two hander..

    Do you just think "it's a left handed FH, idiot, come on, hit the thing!!"?

    perhaps that's just me..
     
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  31. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    I have no idea whether those are serve returns or not.. Im not advocating hand separation.. learning the 2hbh myself of late, i keep the hands together, just noting that Ferrer looks like he does it.
     
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  32. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Hey mate,how's things? Yup,weather is good. Yup,telling myself, left handed forehand.Telling myself too close, now too far away, slow down the swing, don't cover it too much,don't open the face too much, aim lower. It is a ride alright, but there is enough quality shots even at this stage to make me think it is a real goer. A big thing is not needing to slice as much on the high and low b/hand. It could be real boon as far as returning and passing goes. I will persist as my arm improves and let you know how it goes.
     
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  33. treblings

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    thanks to all for your input and for helping me out.

    the one thing that interests me and where i would welcome further discussion is whether there is a place in modern tennis for a two-handed backhand with hands apart like we see with David Ferrer.
    do pros use that in certain situations and if so, where is the advantage.

    the way i see it, tennis technique is always evolving, and it is often the top players who bring along technical advancement and not the coaches.imho
     
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  34. ThoughtCrime

    ThoughtCrime Rookie

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    I think Ferrer uses that grip because it's easier to create spin and redirect balls rather than going for pace. His main weapon is his forehand and I think he simply uses this type of backhand to get good placement, in order to set up his forehand. It's also a lot more stable for ROS I believe. Ferrer is also able to muscle many balls, hence his grip. As for a 10 year old girl, I think it'd be best to teach her the proper technique at first. When she gets older, she can decide what's best for her.

    That's just my opinion, however, so don't take it as fact.
     
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  35. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i´ve opened my old thread to report that after half a year we successfully changed her backhand grip. hands are touching now and the results are very good. Isabella was open to the change and was very focused and eager in training. her backhand is still more about control than power and i would like to see her left hand to take a more active role in developing more racket head speed. we´re working in that direction.
    i´m still interested in what i posted above, whether a double-handed backhand with hands apart has a place in pro tennis and is maybe an evolving technique. obviously Ferrer is using it at least some of the time
     
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  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of players use the backhand for control and redirection, while the forehand is the big shot for forcing shots and winners. Basically, a guy like Roddick pushes his backhand, while swinging more on this forehands.
    There is no ONE path towards tennis enlightment. The player has to do it her way. A 2hbh will never hit as hard as consistently as a one handed forehand, but so what?
    Work on her other strokes, her strategy, her movement, her serves, her returns of serves, and the backhand will take care of itself. Don't nitpick ONE stroke that is currently working.
     
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  37. boramiNYC

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    Interesting. I've noticed about Ferrer doing that as well for some time. He actually does it a lot I think and esp when he is pull out wide. It is more rigid set up but there is more leverage.
     
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  38. treblings

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  39. treblings

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    thanks for your input, really appreciate it and agree with what you say. i work on her whole game and just choose to share that one aspect of her game with the community:)
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Forget what the pros do now.
    If she can hit her backhand hard enough not to be attacked, can hit occasional winners, has control and consistency, it's good enough.
     
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  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think we will see a lot of this and expect we shouldn't even if we do.
    Imo it is not an advancement any more than me using my tweener more. Good
    experienced players can often use the hands and racket how they need to...at just
    the right moment...even without direct practice. First time I hit a forward tweener was for a winner in a tourney and first time I hit a lefty Fh winner was
    in a match situation I had never tried before. Imo opinion this type reaction comes
    from long term use of the basics, where creative players can use that foundation
    to create.

    My thinking is that you can likely expect anyone regularly using the separated hand like this, is not swinging properly...especially from a modern tennis perspective. That high left hand will likely interfere with proper drag of the handle
    and tend to muscle the head around more like classic strokes. That said,
    there are times to do what you have to do to make the shot! I think that is
    what Ferrer is doing.
     
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  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Most of us would choose not to emulate GeneMayer and FrewMcMillians two handed volleys.
    Most of us would pass on MarionBartoli's groundies.
    Most of us would poo poo that volleyball serve and the two racket handles.
    There were days when the 2hbh backhand was considered weak and a huge disadvantage.
    Most of us would not adopt a two forehand style of tennis.
    Most current players avoid S/V like the plaque.
    30 years ago, it was the accepted style for winning tennis.
    A katana is always swung with a gap between the hands.
     
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