Switching to a one handed backhand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Barnes68, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Barnes68

    Barnes68 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Who out there has switched to a one handed backhand from a two? Interested in knowing how you did it? Was it a easy transition?
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Easy yes.
    Immediately effective? Nothing worth acquiring is acquired easily.
     
    #2
  3. Do not do it, unless you have serious flaws and completely unnatural feeling on the two hander. Flaws that many coaching lessons have not fixed.


    It is not hard to switch to a one hander and it well with it in practice but it is hard to switch and hit a one hander you can rely on for a crosscourt pass at 5-6 in a tiebreaker.
     
    #3
  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Is it easy to learn a 2hbh topspin passing shot that works every time in a tiebreaker?
     
    #4
  5. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,019
    Not this debate again. One handers and two handers each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Right now, the way the game is going, the two hander seems the better way to go. This does not mean that a player can have a great one hander. It is possible to switch from two hands to one, but I would not recommend doing so unless you've got a really good reason.
     
    #5
  6. Barnes68

    Barnes68 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    I don't think I'll attempt to change. Sounds like it's very difficult to make the switch.
     
    #6
  7. My point is, it is easy to learn a one hander but it takes years and years to really really learn it that you can rely on it in the most high pressure situations. This is something you get from hitting a one hander or two hander for years and years.

    I hit a one hander that many on this site would dream of having but that is in practice messing about.
     
    #7
  8. We all have these thoughts, most of the time we even try it out fro a while after watching wawrinka, realise we are bad with it and give up.

    Having a bad backhand is not a reason to switch most likely one hander will be way worse.
     
    #8
  9. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,683
    I hit a one hander - and yet I agree with MMI here. For most people the one hander is liability. They might not know it - some of them even like it but its a garbage shot off of most players I face..

    Its one of those - not worth doing unless you can do really well kind of things.
     
    #9
  10. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,343
    Location:
    Bay Area
    I made the transition, though I think I went from 1hand to 2hand and back again. 1hbh for me is a much better stroke and actually a strength.

    Its ease probably depends on what kind of 2 hand you have. Is it the "opposite hand forehand" type of 2handed, or is the the "1 handed backhand with an extra hand" type. I had the classic onehanded with an extra hand type and it was an easier transition.

    It would also help if you could tell us WHY you are considering a change in the 1st place.
     
    #10
  11. Barnes68

    Barnes68 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Just trying to find ways to improve my game. My backhand is pretty weak.
     
    #11
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Of course, I made the switch in 1987, about 8 years after playing 4 years with a 2hbh topspin backhand and 1hbh retrieving slice.
    I still see little reason to hit my topspin 1hbh. Lots of guys pick on my backhand, and the slice is more automatic, easier to hit, takes less energy, and if placed deeper than mid NML, effective for keeping the opponent from attacking.
    And, I play mainly doubles. Especially at higher levels, maybe solid 4.5, a slice backhand works just fine. High bouncing serves are hit downwards, short heavy slices are as effective as any other shot, and once again, it's easy to hit. Throw in a DTL when the netman leans to the middle.
    At higher than 4.5 levels, the opposition can hit anywhere to me, and they will win regardless.
     
    #12
  13. Ask a coach how to improve it or post it up here if you like, you can blur out faces and put weird effects on if you dont want to be seen...
     
    #13
  14. MauricioDias

    MauricioDias Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    São Carlos - SP
    agree. Sampras started with 2hbh and said that it tooks three years for him to get used to 1hbh. Easy or not only recommended if necessary.
     
    #14
  15. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    NY
    in around 5-6 years of playing, I switched from a two-handed in my second year. I knew it would be a pain to time, but it felt more natural, made progress right away. I could square up my racquet to the ball much more easily than with the two-hander. The problem I encountered was it became too wristy, and I used my hand and forearm to bring the racquet to the ball and lightly brush over it. I fixed this by showing more of my back/right shoulder to the ball, staying more sideways while extending the arm thru the shot, and combination of shortened takeback, longer forward swing.
     
    #15
  16. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,442
    Location:
    France
    I did. Of course it isn't perfect. But the possibility to drive or hit with much more spin seduced me. And it looks betters (subjective). Going back to a 2HBH would be a pain since I'd have to relearn how to use my left arm, which is pathetically weak at the moment and can't handle any kind of pace - even if technically speaking I still know how to hit one.
     
    #16
  17. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,087
    Have you been taught a 1hander? Otherwise, keep working on your 2hander.
     
    #17
  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Not everything in life needs to be taught.
    I played football, never got lessons.
    Baseball.
    Basketball.
    Long jump.
    Made my way to 4A surfing in California, needed no lessons.
    Can snowboard pretty well after 3 seasons, rode with LaelGregory and MikeJacoby/MarkFawcett....different boards, of course.
    Windsurf, at the very top levels.
    Waterski jump, tournament 108', not horrible for Men's11.
    Kiteboard, made equal 13th kiter in Bridge to Bridge race, 29th overall my first season.
    Skiing, I had to learn to ski in order to sell skis, at FTC. Did Slot, Chute75, and Desolation down to the parking lot at Squaw on my 10th day.
     
    #18
  19. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,023
    Location:
    Toronto
    I did the switch but I'm rethinking it. My 2hbh has a ton more power and spin than my 1hbh.

    Or perhaps I'll pick which one I use depending on the type of shot I have to return.
     
    #19
  20. bblue777

    bblue777 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    can you show it?
     
    #20
  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Tennis is not always about power and spin.
    Placement and depth, consistency, and smart ball location are MORE important than just power and spin.
    Variety counts for 7% also.
     
    #21
  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,087
    That's like asking for the proof of God.
     
    #22
  23. jussumman

    jussumman Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    NJ USA
    I hit a 2HBH but I had some crazy idea the other day swinging my racquet around the house. I seen a video lesson for a 2HBH in which the instructor said you must make the "two hands act like one". So with that in mind, I put my other hand (left hand) over and wrapped it around the right hand (like combined, not one higher than the other, but they are right over each other "like one".. so anyway, I actually went out and tried to see how I can hit with this new unusual method. Didn't take long before the ball was flying over the wall I was hitting on. Little control over and not that much power either. Total fail. lol

    But anyway, I'm comfortable with the 2HBH and really every time I even fool around with a 1hander, I have no success, so kinda just going with the 2 and tweaking it to best it can be. When hit right, it's as good as the 1hander and I can hit it flatter (which I like), though not as pretty. That's okay.
     
    #23
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Very few players can attack a well placed, solidly struck sliced backhand.
    Anyone can attack a weak stroke, whether 1 or 2 handed.
    The variety in spin and ball speed forces the opponent to contantly stay awares, to adjust, and to compensate.
    That alone is worth 10% of a winning solution.
    Just like you don't hit all your first serves the same, you should vary your groundies.
     
    #24
  25. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    The OHBH is not for everyone. Instead of spending several months of developing a completely different stroke, focus on developing your 2HBH.
     
    #25
  26. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,609
    I have an idea that may get you headed in the right direction.

    We can argue the advantages and drawbacks of either stroke all day and half the night - actually, look around here and you'll see that we already have... As I see it, all those arguments for one or the other are fine, but they're not helpful for you right now. From the sounds of things, you want a stronger, more reliable backhand, but you don't know which type is your more natural stroke.

    I think you might benefit from a lesson with at least some of it focused on finding your stronger aptitude. Most of us have a greater affinity for either a one-hander or a two-hander, but it can be hard to know it without some guidance and a helpful eye that you ought to get with a pro. Some of us probably feel stronger and more confident with two hands gripping the racquet or maybe see some of the huge one-handers on TV and want to work on developing that, but personal impressions can differ from reality.

    You might be able to avoid a lot of frustration if a pro can help to spot your more natural move and get you to work on it. Instead of working on the stroke you believe that you should have, you'll be able to develop the shot that's better suited for you now. This happened for me several years ago when a pro saw me hit strong backhand slices during a lesson. He thought I'd be better off with a one-hander than a two, fixed a couple of things in my stroke, and within a couple months, my one-handed backhand was stronger, more consistent, and more accurate than my forehand.

    One of my students, a 12 or 13-year-old girl, was having no fun trying to hit a good two-hander, so we worked on it here and there. Then she asked if she could try a one-hander and holy smokes did she have that aptitude. Once she learned the backswing and the timing to meet the ball at a different contact point, she produced a terrific stroke that she had never even considered before.

    Last thought: Don't assume that it's just one stroke or the other. I believe that both the one and the two-hander are very useful. The one-hander is my rally ball, but if a screamer gets in on my feet, if I need to hit a deep incoming moonball on the rise off the court, or maybe jump on a fast serve with an aggressive return, the two-hander is a solid option for me. JW Tsonga actually uses both strokes - I think I only spotted him doing this in the past year.
     
    #26
  27. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,323
    Location:
    colorado
    Like fuzz nation said just do what feels most natural to you. Get a lesson and have a pro watch/guide you.

    Julio Peralta won the Colorado State Open (5-7k prize money I think) with a 1hbh. On his way to the title he cleaned three division I players socks who all had 2hbh. He sliced a lot but his slices were very deep cross court and frankly I don't see how anyone besides maybe Rafa can attack that.

    He left those D1 kids pretty frustrated haha
     
    #27
  28. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,536
    Location:
    New England

    Think of your 2hbh as a left handed forehand, the right is just along for the ride until you start to get used to it then you can start implementing ways to get some added power by using your right with it too.
     
    #28
  29. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    8,080
    I hit a 1HBH and I think that it's easier to go to a 2HBH than the other way around. The 1HBH takes preparation and good timing as you don't have the extra strength of the other arm to muscle the ball if you have to. If I had it to learn over again today, I'd probably go with the 2-hander though I think that the ideal approach is to have a 2-handed backhand and be able to hit a reliable and consistent 1-handed slice backhand for approach shots, wide shots, low shots, and stab shots where you can't reach it with two hands.

    I have a friend that has learned to play left-handed from playing right-handed due to a rotator-cuff injury. He can play off both sides now. He's worked on the left-handed shots for three years but his right-handed shots are still better. He also developed a two-handed backhand off of a one-handed backhand and it's pretty good but it was pretty awful for quite some time. I think about going from a two-hander to a one-hander to being similar to learning to hit with your other hand.
     
    #29
  30. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,923
    No one has a backhand anyway. Switch if you want.
     
    #30
  31. PoisonSky

    PoisonSky New User

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    44
    I just switched. My backhand used to be really crap. It's still crap, but in a different way.

    My 2hbh rarely ever had topspin for some reason. I just found that really difficult.

    Now my 1hbh always has topspin, but too much - I dump a lot into the net! It's also much less consistent, although it's flatter and more penetrating, and just as good as my forehands when it does go in.

    My backhand is still really crap though. Work in progress.
     
    #31
  32. Adles

    Adles Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    NH
    Instead of trying to learn a 1 hander with topspin, I am trying to learn a reliable slice.

    I think this is different than trying to move from a two to one hands - it is a totally different shot, and there is (almost) no such thing as a two-handed slice.
     
    #32
  33. 10nisne1

    10nisne1 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    I made the switch from 2 handed backhand to a 1 handed backhand after playing over 24 years with a 2 handed backhand.

    I made the switch right after I had my 2nd kid and I put on 20 extra pounds. After not having played tennis for 5 years, I decided to get back into tennis to lose the extra pounds. I quickly found that I wasn’t in shape anymore and I couldn’t cover the court like I used to when younger and more fit. I switched to a one handed backhand for the extra reach and because I exerted less energy hitting a 1 handed backhand.

    Switching to a one handed backhand is probably the best change I could have ever made for my tennis game (I’m emphasizing my tennis game). My 2 handed backhand was the better stroke of the 2 groundstrokes. However, after switching to a 1 handed backhand, I realized my 2 handed backhand was like a crutch that limited my game.

    After switching to a 1 handed backhand, I felt it improved my serves, forehand, volleys, and of course, the backhand. In general, the switch allowed more variety to be added to my game and improved control on all shots due to the added strength from using a 1 handed backhand.

    Good luck!

    10
     
    #33
  34. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,330
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Everyone assumes they hit like pros until they see themselves on video. I presume you are one of these guys.
     
    #34
  35. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    USA
    I am not going to argue whether you should switch to a one hander or not, but if you do here are the main differences I have encountered messing around with the shot.

    The main differences are that contact is further out in front on the 1 hander, and you need to stay turned more. Coming from a 2 handed backhand you naturally will want to rotate through the shot with the left shoulder, but you need to stay turned through the shot. You need to be sure that the racquet is traveling through the shot and you aren't pulling away too early.
     
    #35
  36. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,536
    Location:
    New England
    I switched to a one hander than back. When I got my pro cert in the skills test you have to demonstrate both one and two hand backhand. I was glad I had my stint with the one hander haha
     
    #36
  37. texacali

    texacali Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    228
    Grew up with 2hbh, decided it was tough to get both arms around my adult gut and went 1hbh when I returned to tennis. Started with almost all slice and have now learned to hit over the ball to the point I am now returning serve with it and getting more control/direction/power. Watched video of how to hit one (Fed and Sampras) and got used to the motion mostly by drop feeding and hitting the ball (no partner). Drop feeding helped me get a more consistent feel for where to strike the ball without worrying about trying to rally with an inconsistent partner. Glad I switched...
     
    #37
  38. BirdieLane

    BirdieLane New User

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    81
    I thought I was a hack until I watched myself on video and I hit like the pros ;) ;)

    (jk)
     
    #38
  39. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    168
    This is very good counsel. Very true words to play by. Tho I must say, constructing the point, you have to be able to call upon CONTROLLED POWER when needed. Inside-out forehand approach, needs some pace on it, then you follow it in for the volley winner. Or the angled cross court backhand approach. They can't be pedestrian shots
     
    #39
  40. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,365
    I can hit a solid one hander but stayed with the two hander. I often use the one hander when I play with beginners or girls but handle pace with two hands better.

    the biggest challenge is to get enough stability in the rackethead with one hand.
     
    #40
  41. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    8,080
    > the biggest challenge is to get enough stability
    > in the rackethead with one hand.

    I think that's why people with OHBHs prefer smaller frames with more mass. My solution to needing more stability is lead tape.
     
    #41
  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    I am NOT a fan of inside out forehands for an approach shot.
    For a winner attempt, yes, it's good.
    For a forcing ball to seek a weak reply, yes it's good.
    Consider....inside out forehand, you backpeddle into position, when you should be moving forwards.
    Inside out, it's a CC shot, when most approach's should go DTL.
    And, inside out, you are presenting another rally ball, like the one your opponent has been seeing, as opposed to a sliced/sidespin skidder that he is NOT used to seeing.
     
    #42
  43. Topslice

    Topslice Guest

    Interesting thoughts.
    Usually high level players hit inside out forehands to opponents backhand as a forcing shot. If the opponent barely gets a racquet on it a lot of players tear into the net to knock off the easy volley.

    Are you suggesting sliced/sidespin approach shots? It can be a very effective shot but at higher levels the slice has to be of exceptional quality or else good players will pass you if you dont hit it perfect.
     
    #43
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Can we assume, at higher levels of play, with the opponent having higher levels of passing shots, that possibly, the net approaching player should have better skidding low approach shots?
    Your example is NOT an approach shot, but a inside out forcing shot attempt, that when the player sees he get's a weak high return, he THEN comes in to net position to volley.
    An approach shot is hit on the move...forwards, and the player continues forwards to end the point ASAP. There is NO moment of indecision or decision, the choice was made as the player prepared to hit his approach shot.
     
    #44
  45. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,365
    conventional wisdom is to approach net DTL because a CC and especially IO approach will leave a lot of field open. but occasionally you have to go the other way to keep the opponent guessing.

    http://tennis.about.com/od/singlespositionplacefaq/f/faqsinglespos7.htm
     
    #45
  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    The king of CC approach shots, AndyRoddick, was also one of the least successful net approaching players ever at his level.
    Had he decided to go DTL on the majority of his approach's, no doubt, his success rate would be higher.
     
    #46
  47. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,609
    It was fascinating for me to watch Roddick's mid-career transformation as he became a smarter, more effective net-crasher. He learned both how to transition forward behind the right shot and also when NOT to take the bait when Federer (for example) would try to suck him in with a semi-short ball.

    Many stronger players these days have decent passing shots for sure, but I've also noticed that many better players don't have especially good transition skills or the ability to hit a good neutralizing approach shot. Lots of kids are learning to crush it from the baseline, but those decent slices are too often learned as an afterthought.

    Sorry for wandering off the beaten path - good coffee!!!
     
    #47
  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Problem is most players hit a 2hbh topspin backhand, and if they also approach net with topspin, the ball doesn't change it's pace, spin, bounce, nor timing, so a passing shot is easy to execute.
    And when Roddick approach forehand CC, avoiding the opponent's backhand, can that be anything besides SUICIDE?
     
    #48

Share This Page