What is the biggest key to a powerful 2H backhand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by LubbockAg, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. LubbockAg

    LubbockAg Rookie

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    My two hander used to be a weapon for me. Now, I can get as much pace on it, and hit it in the net a lot. What are some good swing thoughts?
     
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  2. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    It depends, one would really need to see your swing. But generally it's probably a lack of racquet head speed, or a technique problem. Try hitting more topspin, and try to hit it deep.
     
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  3. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    early takeback, good grip, transfer of weight... extended arms.
     
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  4. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    That's a good tip.
     
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  5. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    i got that by watching Agassi...
     
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  6. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    Yup agassi is great to try to emulate. So is connors and wilander.
     
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  7. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    It seems like Agassi keeps an elbow in though when he swings through his backhand. That is how he keeps the racquet square at contact. Do you mean to extend the arms on the back swing?
     
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  8. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    1. Hitting cleanly through good movement, being in position, and having a good weight transfer.

    2. Hitting on time through good movement, being in position, and having a good weight transfer.

    3. A shoulder to shoulder rotation.

    4. Relaxed arms/hands.

    5. Not straightening the front leg too soon or too much at or near contact.
     
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  9. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    2hbh has become a real challenge for me lately, too. It's funny that I comprehend all the points BB and others wrote, which have been written before, but somehow I can't find that whippy powerful feeling in this stroke, where I can assert more power.

    If you're careful, you could move the racket in the brushing & forward motion similar to the FH, but this feels like pushing the ball rather than whipping it. The ball goes over with no power or intention.

    I bet the OP's problem is similar.
     
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  10. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    I am the same as the OP.. My 2BH just has started feeling so.. stiff and so i am not getting any power on it. It feels like im a robot hitting it. Extended arms .. maybe i am doing it wrong.. can anyone tell me w/o seeing my technique what i could change to make it feel like a more fluid motion so i am able to release and get the extra power ?
     
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  11. LubbockAg

    LubbockAg Rookie

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    A little bit, yes. Also, I find that I am almost cutting across the ball a little and my left elbow flairs out, keeping me from getting full extension. Seems to happen most often on serve returns when I rush the stroke and try to muscle the ball over.
     
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  12. kungfusmkim

    kungfusmkim Professional

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
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  13. kungfusmkim

    kungfusmkim Professional

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    Another big key is to transfer your whole body weight into your bakchand side and use that weight as power.
     
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  14. IwishIwasbetter

    IwishIwasbetter Rookie

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    2hbh is my best shot, i think its all about learning how to use your torso, keeping your knees bent throughout, and getting into a balanced position before striking the ball.
     
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  15. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Try this experiment - follow all the good advice about positioning, shoulder movement etc, no problem - but focus your mind on your left wrist as you are hitting. Note, I am not saying you should flick your wrist or anything like that - just feel the ball in your left wrist (if you are a righty hitting a 2hbh). The quality of your shot should greatly improve with some practice hitting this way.

    Let me know if this changes anything for you. If it doesn't work, ah well, nothing is lost... :)

    The other thing I do is that I visualize I am contacting the ball at the top portion of the racquet head rather than the middle. This has helped me in generating racquet head speed, and also in giving me the "whippy" feel when hitting the 2hbh.
     
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  16. 10nistennis

    10nistennis Rookie

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    I find that leaning into the hit puts more power into the shot. Don't forget about the shoulder rotation. You also have to be in a ready and balanced position to hit a 2hbh. A lot times you hit a weak or off center shot is because you have poor footwork which causes you to be in a bad position to hit the ball. Also, don't tense up your arms, just have them relaxed and brush up and through the ball.
     
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  17. [K]aotic

    [K]aotic Semi-Pro

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    biggest one is stepping in. noticed how when murray hit all those winners on his backhand side against nadal, he stepped well into the court.
     
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  18. DarthCow

    DarthCow Rookie

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    Rotate from the core, not just with the racquet.
    Then uncoil all the stored energy.
     
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  19. jb193

    jb193 Rookie

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    I know this has been debated before, but I put a lot of emphasis on my dominant arm (right hand for a righty). I try to treat it as a one handed backhand with the other one "helping" out the stroke. Now let me add though, that the non-dominant arm helps tremendously, though. This to me, helps me with balance, helps me with weight transfer, arm extension, and it helps me loosen up my non-dominant arm, shoulder, & wrist, therefore multiplying my racquet acceleration. Before hand, I would just try to "muscle" the ball with my non-dominant arm and that wasn't nearly as effective........

    I also try to stay away from a too western of a grip for my non-dominant hand. I think that really robs this stroke of needed power because the non-dominant hand is so far up the handle, it is in a weak position and it necessitates a flatter grip. My grip is somewhere between the eastern and SW grip, FWIW. That was just my experience. Stronger players may find that advice useless and may be able to whip the heck out of the ball with a stong SW or western grip. Anyway, that is my experience with this stroke and I am somewhat of a smaller guy and that pointer really helped this stroke for me. Good luck.....
     
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  20. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I am not even sure you want a "whippy" feel in the twohanded backhand. Perhaps the feeling you are after is not the feeling you should have.

    The twohanded backhand is not going to feel exactly like your forehand. With relaxed arms, wrists, and hands, you need to swing the racquet from the torso.

    If you coil properly which is what I meant by having good shoulder rotation, you should use yoru torso to uncoil as well. You must have bent knees here and you can not straighten the leg to soon as you uncoil or the twohanded will feel very stiff.

    Further, just because you can hit your forehand, as an example, at a 3.5 - 4.0 level doesn't mean your backhand is at that level. It could be that your balance, movement, setup, weight transfer, etc...are not at that level and the speed of the ball with everything else that is happening is overloading that wing.

    Maybe slow it down and work on hitting balls that are not as challenging and work your way up. Remember, you need to train your weaker side to take control from the ground up. Many times the lack of power is not in the upper body but in the lower body.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
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  21. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    After reviewing Serena's slo-mo bh, I think alot of us simply overcomplicated this stroke.

    So, I think just keep it simple and make it look like the pro's as much as you can. There's not any hidden technique to this. And BB is right once again. Slow down when you're still in training.
     
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  22. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    What are you trying to say here? I was reserving comment on something like this because I want to keep things simple. However, since you are attempting to bring this up, I wanted to see if we were on the same page. Please explain.
     
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  23. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I had the same thought watching Nadal blasting two handers with a simple stroke - just hit through the ball cleanly and extend your off-hand for power.
     
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  24. kanjii

    kanjii Semi-Pro

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    I always wanted to hit a decent 2hbh, but never could well...I tried the Borg/Wilander low to high technique....not working. I would have to say Agassi is the best but Nadal is pretty darn good also.
     
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  25. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Nalbandian and Djokovic aren't bad to emulate either. Djokovic's appears to be rather simple, yet highly effective.
     
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  26. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    It is not a very simple explanation, unfortunately... hope I don't make it too complicated. Also, depending on the player, this may or may not work, which is why added the caveat emptor.

    Anyway, here goes...

    My forehand went through a massive improvement when I started "feeling" the ball. It's hard to explain what "feel" is - what I mean by feel is a sense of where the racquet head is, how fast it's going, and a sense of the quality of contact with the ball. I realized I was feeling the ball in the wrist area. Even if I don't snap the wrist or do anything funny with it, that's where the nerve center is, IMO. By focusing there, I am able to control pace and spin - within the limits allowed by my talents, of course... :)

    With my 2hbh, before I made the change, I was not getting any feel at all. I could not really control the pace or spin as I could on my forehand. So I started focusing on my left wrist as I made the shot. The other thing I did was to visualize contacting the ball at the top portion of the racquet, so I could get more racquet head speed. I can't explain why, but now, I can feel and control the ball much better - the rest of my body seems to be taking a cue from my wrist. Of course, it goes without saying that all the advice regarding good form must be followed, and one must be positioned correctly to hit the ball. I just made a small modification on top of all the advice I have heard over the years.
     
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  27. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Hmmm, this is a bit different then what I was going to say. Not being a human anatomy person myself, however, I do know that sensory information comes from the hand and fingers.

    What I was going to say is if you have a relaxed feel on the grip and with your arms, you can develop an elastic sensation when you make contact with the ball. This is felt in the forearm area.
     
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  28. tenisjugador

    tenisjugador Rookie

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    The biggest problem I ever had with topspin and racketspeed generation, was before I emphasized use of the non-dominant hand. Having played for years, I was surprised when in the first minute of backhand drills in a new tournament training session with a new coach, he said to hit through with my left hand more (I'm a righty). It took a little bit of adjusting...but it's worked miracles! haha
     
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  29. ProfoundBasic

    ProfoundBasic Rookie

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    Nice "wrist cue" description.
    Thanks for your disclosure of your very own secret.
     
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  30. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    As a kid, I found working on my top spin lob to really help my 2 hbh by helping me develop touch and topspin. I would hold long, loopy rallies with my friends (200-300 shots moving the ball around), and we added more pace as we got older.
     
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  31. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    You are welcome, ProfoundBasic.
     
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  32. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    Nalbo have the best 2HBH today IMO... amazing what angles he can achieve...
     
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  33. ARNICOLINI

    ARNICOLINI New User

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    I do not use a 2HBH however I always felt Wilander's BH has the smoothest thing to watch ever. It was so effortless looking.
     
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  34. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Wilander could hit backhand winners and those shots had pace, spin, and would drop on the line with such fluidity. I wish I had a chance to see more of his matches as a kid.
     
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  35. hamzeh

    hamzeh New User

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    Great idea, I will try this left wrist thing. My left arm is not utilized enough when I hit my backhand and this is the reason my backhand lacks when compared to my forehand.
     
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  36. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    powerful backhand depends on the non-dominant arm...
     
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  37. matchmaker

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    I wouldn't say so, it is the dominant arm that stears and gives direction. Most people with a good 2HBH wouldn't be able to hit a good forehand with their non-dominant arm for the life of them.
     
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  38. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    On topic, I would say that timing and positioning, as always is very important. A good twohander is hit with bent arms, a little in front but not so much as a onehander, which would ideally be hit with a straight arm, not so a twohander. You have to stand virtually right behind the ball and be sure not to swing too early, neither too late, although a twohander will always allow you to swing later than a onehander.
     
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  39. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    IMO, it helps a great deal if you know what you're doing wrong and focus on fixing it.
     
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  40. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Or just keep watching old Agassi matches and try to imitate. That is a flawless doublehanded backhand motion. Also look at the little steps he takes to correct his positioning even when the ball comes straight at him.
     
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  41. topspin2

    topspin2 New User

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    Keep a strong top hand. That is where most of your power comes from.
     
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  42. Tallahassee_Technifibre

    Tallahassee_Technifibre Rookie

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    Swing relaxed with your less dominant hand and always follow through.
     
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