thinking of switching right to left handed (Everything)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by cakewalk, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. cakewalk

    cakewalk Rookie

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    Ok you guys are gonna think i'm crazy, but here goes:

    I'm left handed, always been left handed w/ everything - write, eat, etc. However, why i don't know, I started playing tennis right handed. I've been playing for ~9-10 years.

    now-- due to the fact that left (or right) handed people have their brains wired a certain way, I regret bigtime that I did not start playing left-handed. I have no idea why i did right handed - i think it was because my friend was teaching me strokes the first time, and i just mimicked as he was right-handed.

    I have been thinking of switching to left-handed everything, because I think it'll give more headroom for improvement and better/faster learning since the brain is wired differently.

    All i can say is right now i have a perfect toss (put it on the same spot repeatedly w/ eyes closed) but think how much better it would be to use that hand for strokes.

    should i switch??

    thanks
     
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  2. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Why not alternate sets with each hand? I will play 3.0s with my 3.5 lefty and then my 4.0 righty. They work on consistency against my soft but consistent lefty and then they enjoy the challenge of power dealing with my righty. My lefty is more competitive and really hates to lose. I have learned stuff about opponents playing left-handed and how many people struggle with lack of pace and how relaxing and easy on the body it is to slow the ball down. I also sometimes use my lefty on return of serves when playing righty and I have a nice lefty backhand slice that maybe some day my righty will understand and imitate.
     
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  3. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I love being ambidextrous. I play beginners with my off hand and beat them easily. Try some tune up games and practice with your left hand often. If you find the transition to be easy, go ahead and switch, you're a natural lefty. If the transition is difficult, stick with the right hand, simple as that.
     
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  4. splink779

    splink779 Guest

    Rafael Nadal is actually right handed, but plays tennis left handed. Go figure.
     
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  5. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    And moya is left handed but plays righty! And I know this girl in my class that plays double handed backhand and forehand.. but then which is the backhand and which is the forehand? the left side or the right side.. do u say shes inbetween lefty and righty?
     
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  6. cervelo

    cervelo Rookie

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    I'm a righty turned lefty. Two years ago, I injured my right hand and couldn't pronate my arm when I served (which was my righty strength). Broke two racquets in anger and then switched hands. One day I just grabbed my ball machine and went to work at it. Your lefty development will come faster (first, because you've played righty and second, because you're naturally left handed - which I'm not!) BUT it wont come overnight, especially the serve.

    Two great things about making the switch are: 1) you start to see things a little differently in terms of angle and court placement. I remember thinking that I had some options off the ground that I never really used righty. 2) You'll reinforce fundamental things like good footwork and ball focus because you need to be more cognizant of them using your "weaker" arm. If you go back and forth, righty to lefty, you really need to pay attention to your footwork. When I would switch to righty, I would repeatedly hit open-stance 1H-BH because I ingrained lefty footwork, a big no-no!

    Again, it takes time and patience but I'm glad I did it!
     
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  7. cakewalk

    cakewalk Rookie

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    Thanks for all the replies. Has any one thought of the implications of having the dominant arm closer to the same side as the heart (left), as opposed to having it on the opposite side from the heart (right-handed)?

    A repeated stroke, and the flow of blood through the arm would surely make a difference if the heart has to pump blood a shorter distance to get it to the left arm than to the right. It could also be a bad thing, as there would be more stress and movement associated with the left side where the heart is.

    our bodies are not TOTALLY symmetrical!

    any thoughts on this?
     
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  8. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I don't think brain wiring or heart location has much to do with playing better tennis on one side or the other, but maybe someone could do some research on that. I think mostly it has to do with muscle memory and just learning how to play with your offhand.
     
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  9. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Yes, in 1974 when I was an anthropology major. A certain percentage of us have the heart tilt to the right side, the heart is much more in the center of the body than most people think. This intrigued me, especially since I believe we were very brutal and violent within our species in pre-history. I speculated that there was a premium on having a defensive arm to cover the heart and an offensive arm to strike with and that this was related to right brain - left brain functions. Ambidexterity of the brain (so to speak) and the body was certainly not of selective value. Anyhoo, that was a starting point that I never pursued and I was going to have to explain why it wasn't sex-differentiated (the women were warriors, too?) and many other such things. So, I switched majors.
     
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  10. cakewalk

    cakewalk Rookie

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    I thought all of us have a heart tilt to the right side, not just a percentage. Is that what you meant? or no?

    Wow.. well, if you look at it from my perspective - literal creation of everything by God about 6000 years ago like the Bible says (call me crazy?) then evolution is a faulty theory and there is no need to struggle with the problem of non- sex-differentiated heart tilt :p because then there was no sin in the world, and hence no violence
     
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  11. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Has any ambidextrous people here try change hands during a rally?? I am righthanded so I have no idea how it works, but it would be confusing to the opponent, no matter where he hit, it is always the fh or bh, which even is the strongest....and what about use two rackets? Is it within the rules? :lol:
     
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  12. cakewalk

    cakewalk Rookie

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    I mostly hear that it's better to not to change hands during a rally, and instead focus all your effort into developing your one arm. Which would be better, a player who has average strokes with either hand, or one who has phenomenal skill with only one hand? You can only hit the ball with one hand at a time, so might as well direct your energy into improving that ONE hand. see my point?

    just my 2c
     
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  13. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Ha, I was just joking around :wink: But think Darth Maul style...that would be so cool....
    Now I remember, I have a friend who can play badminton with both hands and he is super good, he could play his right hand against his left hand hitting against the wall with the birdie. I could not get one point out of him, either hand. :oops:
     
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  14. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Looking at it from your perspective would certainly help us from pondering the imponderables. I just haven't decided if that would be a good thing or bad thing!
     
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  15. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    The heart is not under the left breast as many seem to think.

    [​IMG]

    Anyone use forehands on both wings? My backhad has always been my achilles heal, and I've found my left handed forehand is actually quite consistent.
     
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  16. TopSpinner

    TopSpinner Rookie

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    I'd say just use two Forehands.
     
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  17. tom-selleck

    tom-selleck Professional

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    i have served leftie and played right since i started 25 years ago.... works o.k. but very weak overhead and really, really need that to get to higher level of play. also, ball can come back pretty fast on serve and changing hands and getting grip is difficult...... right now, my righty forehand is o.k. but my 2HB is great (really a lefty forehand???)

    thinking of switching to LH full time where i would have good serve, forehand and overhead...... but what about volleys/touch and 2H backhand (which would have to go toe-to-toe with righty forehand).... how much practice is needed for all this stuff??? only serve and overhead would come easily cause i already have a good lefty serve.
     
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  18. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    What's great about switching hands is the freedom, looseness of the swing from no impingements, injuries, flexibility, and lack of muscle memory. No bad habits. Watched a beginner throw money into lessons and deliberately chose to be LH due to the natural advantage in the ad court and trouble RHs have with their shots. He was 4.5-5.0 within 5 yrs.
     
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  19. Xevoius

    Xevoius Semi-Pro

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    My cousin is ambidexterous and I recommend that you try playing the game as he does to start you off in the right direction.

    First serve as a left handed player and hit your groundstrokes with your right. After you comfortable with that, try switching your backhand out to your lefty forehand.

    Now you have the best of both worlds.

    TWO FOREHANDS AND A LEFTY SERVE!!! :)

    Problem solved.
     
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  20. tom-selleck

    tom-selleck Professional

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    switching hands during the play is tough.... i know from experience...... you play a 4.5, so you have to crank up your serve a little, well that ball comes back awfully fast and changing hands isn't that easy......... and changing hands later on is very difficult too, probably only relaxed baseline rally............ changing hands takes away alot of fluidity of play.
     
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  21. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    If you really wanted to switch playing hands, would not the easiest transition to first switch to dual handed strokes ? This would allow the off hand to slowly gain more and more control and who knows, you may just decide to play 2h on both or then make the switch to opposite 1h play. I know that its hard to even transition to 2h's from single. Good luck and keep us informed on your progress.
     
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  22. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Dont bother with anything like going to duel handed strokes just accept that your game is going to drop off a bit for a little while BUT be very heartened by the fact that it will pick up far quicker than if you were trying to play with your non-dominant hand.

    My uncle is a natural left-hander who was taught to play right-handed. After 'hitting the wall' in terms of his playing level he thought he'd try to switch. It took him a couple of years to get his game up to a strong competitive level (the same level it'd taken him 15 years to get to) but only about 6 months to re-learn all the strokes. He found that as his left-hand was normally dominant it was naturally strong so he had no trouble swinging the racquet, he naturally threw left-handed so his serve was strong after a month or so and he never felt off balance because he was used to weight transfer onto that side.

    All up, 5 years down the track he's gone from a respectable 3.5 to a very dangerous 4.5 player (mainly on the basis of a wicked serve). Not suggesting you'll get the same results but Id expect an improvement and a lift in your standard. Plus you'll get free points due to most not liking to play left-handers.
     
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  23. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    I've been playing ambidextrously for about twenty years. Most people I hit with tell me they cannot tell which forehand is better. I tell them some days one is better, other days the other is better.

    What I've learned:

    The only way I can switch hands fast enough from the baseline is if I specialize one hand to hold the but of the racquet and the other hand to swing it from a choked-up position. In other words, I prepare with a conventional easter-eastern two-handed grip and just drop one hand or the other when see which way the ball is coming. (I've chose to choke up with the right hand. Therefore, I tend to have more power on the left side, but more control, spin and angle on the right side.)

    It is impossible to switch hands fast enough at the net, and even if you could you'd have no defense against a shot at your body. I volley righthanded, with the choked up grip. That leaves me with the long grip for serving lefthanded.

    I've never learned the serve-and-volley style; I don't know whether or not I'd be able to switch from left-handed serves to right-handed volleys fast enough.

    I have a pretty good (for my level) right-handed backhand slice, and above-average power (for my level) on the righty backhand volley.

    I workout with a backboard more than I play, so I've been working on my left-handed overheads and topspin backhands off either side. So far I haven't develped the reflexes to use the left-handed overhead in a match yet. The backhands come in handy when a net opponent draws me in with a short volley. If I don't pass him, there won't be time to switch hands, so I'd better be able to hit a backhand.

    The main advantage of hitting forehands over topspin backhands is the extra flexibility (larger strike zone) and easier court coverage. Also, by sharing the load between two hands, I am able to use a much heavier racquet without my hand cramping up.

    If I ever reach a level where I couldn't depend upon my ability to switch hands (not likely, since I'm already 48 years old and still only a 3.5-4.0; as I kid I was always the worst athlete in the class) , I'd switch hands randomly on the opposing server's toss, just to make sure that at least 50% of the serves would be directed to my forehand.
     
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  24. jeebeesus

    jeebeesus Guest

    I`m left handed and boy am glad i play leftie. I picked up classical and flamenco guitar right handed because the instructor suggested i play that way cos i`m new to it and wont have tell the difference.

    He was right, but to a point. Because when i progressed to the concert pieces and also when i tried flamenco where feel is required i bombed big time. there was no natural rhythm at all.

    So when i started golfing there was no way i was going to do it right handed,even though it was hell sourcing for left handed sets. I`ve no regrets since.
     
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  25. jrtennisjunkiejr

    jrtennisjunkiejr New User

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    LEFTY is sooo much better than rightys!! If you are left handed you have an advantage over right handers. In my opinion
     
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  26. tom-selleck

    tom-selleck Professional

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    hit a little left handed last night.... in some ways o.k. (can keep a rally going for awhile), but wow this is going to take awhile.... although my thought is serve and volley LH and switch to LH when i come to net on offense......... i'll keep you guys posted.
     
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  27. cvbinrichmond

    cvbinrichmond New User

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    rotator cuff necesity

    I tore my rotator cuff big time by landing on my shoulder after tripping on my two feet and landing on it with no cussion at all. Now the doctor says, if it were he, he would not play tennis again....ever. It could lead to tearing again as it is very thin cuff now. I am either going to stop playing or have to play leftie...I am now a righty. I have practiced two days now and boy.........I can hit the ball sometimes not badly, however, the serve is a son of a gun. Many years of practice if I want to get back to my previous level of play, but nescessary. I am not ambidextrous.
     
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  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Fire that doctor and see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine!
     
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  29. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    If nothing else, learning to play with the other arm is great for brain development.

    I've has some moderate success using the other arm (right one, in my case). The BH is weaker than the serve for me. I have a bit of advantage on the serve since I've always thrown right-handed. Practice throwing balls with your off arm will probably help somewhat. Throw upward at a 45 degree angle with a motion that is similar to a service motion. Also learn to throw at a steeper angle -- about 75 degrees or so.

    Get an old racket, go to the park and try throwing the racket at these same angles. Start off with a tomahawk (ax) throw -- no pronation -- to become accustomed to leading with the edge of the racket rather than the racket face. After several of these, start the throw leading with the edge but then pronate before you release the racket. Also try some throws that simulate slice and topspin serves.

    Practice a lot of ball bounces, ups and downs, with the racket in your off hand develop your coordination. If that is too simple, try bouncing the ball with the edge of the racket. Also perform tons (thousands) of shadow swings for the serve and other strokes so that you feel more comfortable, less awkward, using your off arm. Be sure to work on proper mechanics with these shadow swings.
     
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  30. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Ditto.If they say it can't be done,prove them wrong.Any doctor knows sports is an important part of an athletic persons life(even if they are not all that athletic).
     
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  31. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

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    i can write with both but i do most things left handed but write with my right But left was the hand i started writing with...I started tennis when i was about 6 and i was playing left haneded with 2 handed both sides...for about 2 yrs then i stopped tennis for about 3-4 yrs...

    So when i started again i was made to play right handed cus of my coach. I would really love to play left handed if i had the chance.

    So i think you should go for it! Thers nothing to loose. If you dont like it you can always switch back haha :p

    Im slowly doing it as well, even tho im much better with my right hand now.
     
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  32. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I am a rightie, but in some rare situations, I will switch hands and use a left-handed forehand. Usually it is when I am on the run and there's no way I will be able to stretch to reach the ball with a backhand. This happens maybe once or twice in an entire match. Sometimes it isn't necessary at all.

    I'd not recommend to anyone to get in the habit of switching hands, though. A single-handed game will do fine. Just practice, practice, practice if your backhand is weak.
     
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  33. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Two rackets violate the rules.

    I know from experience that it is not feasible to achieve a three- or even two-step grip change in the heat of a point: 1. Put other hand on staff. 2. Move base hand to racket's throat. 3. Slide new hand down to the bottom. That's not going to work. If you try to rush it, you'll end up with a grip that is slightly off, causing an unforced error.

    The only practical way to hit ambidextrous single-handed forehands is to keep both hands on the racket in the ready position, and simply let go with whatever hand you're NOT going to use on the next stroke. With a conventional racket, that means one hand is going to be considerably choked up on the frame.

    If you do that, you might consider using a more western grip on the long side and a less-western grip on the short side (to give you more reach on low balls and because you won't need as much spin with the reduced power -- so you might as well hit it a bit flatter). Don't worry, your short side is still likely to be a bigger weapon than a one- or even two-handed backhand.

    Or, you can do what I eventually did and buy that two-handled racket (www.naturalTennis.com).

    As for volleying, for a long time I volleyed one-handed, fearing that without a backhand volley I would be vulnerable to shots at my navel. What I do now is that for all close volley I use two-hands -- primarily a backhand volley with the rear hand holding on only with the fingers but the heel of the rear hand well off the handle. That lets me react super-quickly to either side and also protect my body. If the shot requires reaching, I use a one-handed forehand volley.

    It depends on how much of your talent is concentrated on a single side of your body. You can concentrate on developing one hand, but eventually you are going to see declining improvements no matter how much you practice. And there are some real physical limitations with the backhand action. No matter how much you practice, you potential to take a topspin serve down the middle-T and smack it hard for an inside-out winner is going to be greater using a weak-handed forehand than with any kind of backhand.
     
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  34. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    I am similar, but opposite. I write and use tools right-handed, but for some reason I throw left-handed and when I was a kid I just started playing left-handed.

    Last year I began playing tennis right-handed after seemingly 'hitting my ceiling' with left-handed play. While my two-handed backhand as a left-hander is very good, my left-handed forehand is atrocious. However, my first serve is solid and reliable, probably due to being able to toss the ball so well with my right hand. Playing right-handed, my forehand is much better, quite reliable, my backhand is decent but nowhere near as good as my left-handed backhand, but the right-handed serve I could never master. Even hitting slowly I would frequently double fault especially under match pressure. I also couldn't hit overheads unless I made them a medium-slow pace slice.

    Ultimately, I went back to playing left-handed. If you have no serve, you have almost no chance, regardless of anything else. If necessary, I can run around my forehand as much as I am loath to. You can't run around your serve. So based on my experiences, I would advise you to play with which ever hand you serve best with, as it is probably the most important shot in tennis. Although, I do know that if I ever want to improve I will have to develop the forehand into a real stroke.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
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  35. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have been thinking about serving left handed. I bat lefty and play lacrosse lefty, but throw righty...all messed up.

    Anyway my right wrist is such a mess from serving that I am thinking maybe serving lefty and then playing right handed on everything else could be a serious option.
     
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  36. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I've done a lot of hitting with a former major league pitcher (14 years in the majors) who pitched left handed but plays tennis with his right hand. He just has trouble hitting with his left - go figure.

    I've also known players, Luke Jensen being one, who can hit/serve using either hand - doesn't seem to matter to him or the others. Jensen, as most of you know, is a big guy who pulls this off with absolute ease - whereas his brother doesn't.
     
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  37. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I throw righty naturally but play racquet sports primarily lefty. My lefty throw has always felt a bit awkward whereas my righty tennis serve feels awkward (but I'm still working on it). Throwing with the right arm probably helps my righty serve somewhat but the actions/mechanics, tho' similar, are sufficiently different to cause some difficulty.
     
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  38. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Switching to lefty

    Been a couple of years since this post. Got a progress report??
     
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  39. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    I am a rightie. I am unuusal in that I play with two backhands. On my left side, the classic, continental grip 1HBH. On my right side, a left-hander, a la Jimmy Connors, 2HBH (left hand below right hand). At the net, I volley with a single right hand off both sides. This set-up works well for me. For some reason, I have never had much confidence in my forehand.
     
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  40. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Are you asking me or the OP? I have lost much of my deltoid function (abduction & fwd flexion) in my left (favorite) shoulder in early May. Cannot even use it to toss the ball for a righty serve. I can hit only low shots (knee level or so) with my left arm. I have switched to feeding ball to students primarily with my right. Have been playing badminton (right-handed) much more than tennis in the past 2 months.
     
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  41. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Getting desperate

    You. But, anybody who has tried making the change over a period of time would be very interesting to know about.

    This getting old stuff is borderline unacceptable. Have tried to work around all the aches and pains, but when you scream every time you hit anything off the forehand side. . .

    Am completely *un*ambidextrous, but *have* learnt to use a mouse left handed, so there's some slight thread of hope. Probably just too old and curmudgeonly to bother. . .
     
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  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Try playing with the other hand.
    I did, and my rightie forehand is better than my lefty forehand, or backhand.
    BUT, my lefty toss is all over the map, and I am a natural leftie.
    Rightie serve swing hurts my injured rightie elbow.
    But rightie grip is about 30 lbs. stronger than lefty, and the whole arm is maybe 20% stronger.
    But skill and strength are different animals, and my lefty side is more skilled, while the rightie side stronger.
    In the end, it doesn't matter whatsover. Very few players 4.0 and above have trouble with lefty serves, and all know how to counter the lefty player.
    Skill wins in the end, whether it be Laver, Connors, McEnroe, or Nadal.
    Top 10 ATP, we got ONE lefty?
     
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  43. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Going lefty

    Third day in a row of trying lefty. Still no idea whether it could approach my righty level, but it's looking like it won't just be "horrible". Kind of fun as long as there's progress - and there's already a lot more of that than I had expected.
     
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  44. Def

    Def Semi-Pro

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    Sharapova is a lefty and plays righty
    Nadal is a righty and plays lefty
     
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  45. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Excellent (and encouraging) point, but there's a slight chance that they could be exceptional (as compared to myself). :mrgreen:

    Used a little video yesterday with the one handed topspin backhand session with the ball machine. Stroke looks decent with occasional excellent results. Consistency - and range of misses - is quite depressing. *Was* able to pick out a flaw or two that will be easy to modify. . .
     
    #45
  46. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    didn't uncle tony say the nadal being righty was a myth
     
    #46
  47. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    from http://www.thetennisspace.com/top-10-tennis-myths-true-or-false/

    Uncle Toni told Rafa to become a lefty
    Rafael Nadal plays tennis left-handed but eats, writes and pretty much sleeps right-handed. Because of this, rumour has arisen that his coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, had forced him to play left-handed as a child because he imagined it would give his nephew a competitive advantage. “I always hated playing lefties” Toni says. However, Nadal’s disclosed in his recent biography that he was never forced to play left-handed at all. At a coach’s conference, uncle Toni admitted: “I’m not so intelligent, I just thought he was left-handed, now I know he is right-handed.”
    True or false? False

    and, interestingly, from the same article

    Maria Sharapova could have been a lefty
    Sharapova is ambidextrous. She plays tennis right-handed but could have just as easily played left-handed if she had preferred. “I’m naturally a lefty. I do a lot of things lefty. I write with my right hand but I throw and kick with my left foot and left hand.” The complete opposite to Rafael Nadal.
    True or false? True
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
    #47
  48. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Maybe I'll give it a though for laughs. I'm struggling to get improvement, I want so see things "the other way". But it's just a thought of a tired Frenchman.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
    #48
  49. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    If you do this - keep your righty serve. That way you can hit powerful slice topspin serves in either direction. :p
     
    #49
  50. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    ^In fact, I realized I had no frame light enough I could use for doing so, and I'm not willing to spend money to buy another frame since I'm pretty low in that department. But it was a nice workout even in front of a wall, you really see things differently. I think 2HBH users should try to hit some lefty FHs even with the hand at the top of the grip, feel is nice, your arm isn't as strong so you have to be more technically accurate, you can't just "muscle" the ball and add a wrist flick over it to make it spin to compensate for your loosy technique. Would shadow swing again. Ironically, the best shot I could use with my left hand was the 1HBH. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
    #50

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