What to expect when switching back to 1 hand.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by greystar403, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. greystar403

    greystar403 Rookie

    Jul 14, 2010
    I started off playing with a one handed backhand. Its more confortable than a two hander but i had to change due to competition and a two hand was more consistant.

    Although its better for me the two hander was very uncomfortable.

    Now that i no longer compete, i think its safe enough to switch back. :)

    Ive heard that people who switch backhands have problems doing it.

    What should i expect and work on?
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I did the same thing. From beginning to second year, 1hbh. From second year thru year 5, 2hbh.
    After a 15 year layoff, only 1hbh.
    Just remember to slice deep and either DTL or sharp deep CC and if you need more pace, switch to eastern BACKHAND grip. Close your feet every time, get sideways.
    If you go with topspin, you need closed stance every time, early prep, and an in front hitting zone.
    At any level below 4.5, it won't make any difference.
  3. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Oct 20, 2006
    Early prep, indeed. A two-hander is ready to fire once the racquet is back and a foot is planted for leverage. Turn the shoulders and the racquet has to come around. The one-hander needs the footwork and most of the weight transfer completed before the forward swing to contact even happens.

    Don't be surprised if that two-hander still comes in handy. I use both strokes without much of any confusion myself. I love to rally with a one-hander, but a hot shot that gets "in" on me is much easier to fight off with a two-handed style. I can also get a nice quick set-and-fire backhand with a two-hander when I want to hit an aggressive return of serve. High bouncer on the backhand wing? The two-hander with more of a closed stance lets me rip that ball with lots of control.
  4. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

    Jun 19, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    People will tell you that 2bh is superior and that you are vain for trying to look pretty like Federer.
  5. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Jul 19, 2011
    Expect the other hand to get lonely. Work on finding it a companion?

    Seriously, why switch if your 2 hander is MORE consistent?
  6. formula16

    formula16 Rookie

    Jan 12, 2010
    one hander gives you more angles and spin to work with. Its a more versatile shot. When everyone kept telling me that 1hbh is more versatile, i didnt really understand what that really mean. Now after hitting 2hbh for a couple of weeks, i think i understand. With the two hander, you dont get the same amount of range. You really have to set up a bit differently to hit down the line or cross court. you can hit dtl or cc with a 1hbh from the same body position, its a matter of timing. So in other words, 1hbh is better in disguise.

    another thing i found is that 2hbh is a backhand for baseline exchanges. If you move to the forecourt, it becomes apparent that 1hbh is a better shot for these areas. So 2hbh>1hbh for long rallies but 1hbh>2hbh for forecourt shots.
  7. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

    Apr 1, 2008

    Keep the two-hander around for returns and the surprise one foot off the ground/jump striking a high bounding low pace ball.

    The best thing about the one hander, creativity. The drawbacks, harder to counter-punch, requires excellent feet positioning and the dreaded high deep ball.
  8. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

    Dec 1, 2005
    Expect a dip in your scores...initially. Since you stated that you arent competing , i am assuming this is mostly recreational. If so, just have fun. There arent that many issues one way or other.
  9. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Jun 2, 2011
    about 5000 feet up...
    I have just returned to playing after years off and really played around with my backhand trying to settle on a 1 vs. 2 hander. I felt handcuffed when trying to exclusively use a 2hb. It is more natural for me to swing with 1 and that's the shot I now use most of the time. I have begun to practice a 2hb for certain uses - high balls that I don't want to slice, and better control on serve returns. The thing that I see as the biggest difference between the two is the timing - 1-hander requires better preparation and also a deeper grip than I initially wanted to use.

    To practice, I hit a lot of 1hb where I would take the racket back before the ball bounced and run to get into position that way. It takes a bit of getting used to, but that will allow you to make your preperation for the stroke on the run feel more natural since you can run comfortably with the 1-handed backswing already back.

    Second, you will want to hit the ball about 18-24 inches in front of your body, so your grip needs to be fairly deep on that side. Try starting with a continental grip and progressing deeper and deeper to a western backhand grip until the balls start falling consistently into the court.

    Finally, to develop muscle memory, I put a bag over the face of the racket to increase air resistance and take stroke after stroke. This helps me groove the motion and accelerate the muscle memory. Taking 10-15 cuts before you get on the court to play will also make the motion without the bag feel incredibly fast and you really shouldn't be late on balls very often - another thing that will help you get the feel of what you need to internalize in order to use the 1hb effectively.

    There are benefits to both shots, but which ever feels better to you is the one you should go with. Muscle memory is what you need - train your body to hit the shot well, and either one will be effective.

    And anyone who says anything to you about wanting to be like Federer is clearly a dolt, so don't worry about that...
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  10. sinnetklat

    sinnetklat New User

    Nov 29, 2007
    One of my partners has followed the same path. 1hbh, then 2hbh, finally 1hbh again.

    What is interesting is whenever I hit hard to his backhand thinking it is over this time, he instantly returns it with his 2hbh.

    I think it is definitely a big advantage.
  11. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Sep 18, 2010
    The thing I would work on is shoulder strength. I spent some time working on my 1HBH this summer, and on the advice of my pro did a ton of exercise to make my BH motion stronger. Basically I just used an elastic cord and mimicked the BH motion--25 reps/3 sets several times a day. The difference in my BH power and control has been amazing. I was considering going to a 2HBH, but now my 1HBH has become a weapon.
  12. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

    Apr 3, 2004
    Tennis elbow.
  13. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

    Apr 21, 2005
    Mar del Plata, Argentina
    Look 100% cooler.

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