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Djokovicfan4life 04-20-2008 11:13 AM

The One Handed Backhand Community!
 
This thread is for all you one handers out there! If you're a user of the prettiest and most versatile backhand in tennis, then this thread is for you!




The essential elements of a great one handed backhand, courtesy of Bungalo Bill:

"The keys to a onehanded backhand are simple. Many times it is the player that makes this stroke more difficult than it should be.

The onehanded backhand is not a difficult stroke learn. It is simply made more difficult because of the quirks we add and that it requires more precise timing to hit effectively on a consistent basis. We tend to want the "flash" in the stroke rather than the fundamental. We want the sizzle rather than the simplicity. Many of us have a hard time accepting that simplicity is the key underlying principle in most professional onehanded backhands.

So here is my list of fundamental keys to a onehanded backhand.

Physical Traits
1. Lose weight: If you are overweight, you need to lose weight. Weight transfer is critical to hitting cleanly and on time which are key factors to hitting with effortless power. If you are overweight, you will tend to be on your heels more, sink in your arches, and will be slow in the timing of your weight transfer into the ball. Remember timing is nearly everything in the onehanded backhand.

2. Feet: Your feet need to move in a precise manner. No clumpy footwork. No lazy footwork. No tripping on your feet. They need to move efficiently and effectively even with the slightest of movements. Jump rope, hexagon drills, agility drills, etc...are a must and you need to get to the point that you feel light on your feet.

3. Leg strength: I think it is safe to say that many club players think that the onehanded backhand is about shoulder rotation and the hitting arm. Sometimes you will hear about the non-dominant arm as well. However, leg strength and the use of the legs is paramount for a onehander. Squats, lunges, etc...are key building blocks to improve your onehanded backhand.

4. Flexibility: In the hips especially. Get out the flexibility exercises and loosen up the hips, legs, neck, and shoulders.

5. Core muscles: Coaches have forgotton a key aspect in helping players hit a better onehander. They have forgotten the core. A strong core goes a long way to adding that "pop" you want to have in the ball.

6. Other muscles: You need to have strong forearm, triceps, and posterior shoulder/back muscles. Reverse flys, flys, tricep extensions are a must for a onehander. Get with Rickson to have him list out how one can build strength here.

Footwork
1. Good efficient movement of your feet is without question. We have spoken about this many times on this site and its importance for tennis players in general. Do not subscribe to the "whatever works club" or the "just run to the ball club". You need to be able to hit a good topspin ball, to any place on the court, everytime, and with any ball that is headed toward you or away from you. Your mind and the way your feet move are critical to hitting on time.

The Swing
1. Feet: The swing starts from your feet. They need to be set with an emphasis to transfer your weight over your front leg/foot as you make contact.

2. Legs: Your legs are what brings your racquet hand below the ball. Do not fall into the trap thinking it is just the racquet head that is lowered. If you do, this is a prescription for a lazy backhand. You will most likely golf the ball and hit long more times than not.

3. Body Position: You should lower yourself so that when you are ready to bring the racquet forward, your body and racquet rise smoothly together as if both are hitting and rising through the ball to hit with topspin. The chair drill is an excellent way to build-up the sensation you need to feel for this.

4. Shoulders: Your shoulder turn is what brings your racquet back not just your arm. You need to turn so that your front shoulder goes under your chin.

5. Backswing: The smile pattern for the backswing is what takes the racquet back a bit farther and allows the racquet to rise in preparation for the racquet drop. The higher you raise the racquet the better skilled you will need to be for your timing. More is not better for a onehanded backhand due to the timing issues involved in the stroke. Simplicity and timing is what is better.

6. Arm Raise: The plane you should maintain with your hitting arm that is heading up through the ball needs to rise gradually and not too steeply. When you rise too steeply it increases your chance of hitting a short ball. Use the natural rise in your arm to help you learn what a good slope gradient should be. Braden used to say it is about a 30 degrees incline and miraculously your arm naturally raises the racquet in about a 30 degree incline. Whaaalaaa!

7. Head: Keep your head still at contact. Keep both eyes on the ball.

8. Front foot/leg: The onehanded backhand is a front foot hitting stroke.

9. Non-dominant arm: Extend the non-dominant arm toward the backfence so that you do not overrotate. The onehanded backhand is a linear stroke. Use the onehander as your bow and arrow stroke and the forehand as your cannon.

Movement
Dont move sideways too much: As mentioned above, keeping both eyes on the ball is important because it is your back eye that gives you your depth perception. If you turn too much sideways to move, you risk the chance of seeing the ball with only one eye (the front eye) and blocking the back eye with the bridge of your nose. Timing issues result. You also run the risk of sending your momentum towards the side fence instead of into the ball and make it harder to recover.

Other Items Worth Noting
1. Use less wrist when you are building your stroke: The wrist should be firm in the onehander when you are developing a good topspin with it. Because most club players lack the timing, strength, and practice time, reducing or eliminating wrist movement is huge. Only those players that have developed their backhands should use the wrist in the stroke to enhance their shot and even that should be kept to a minimum.

2. Long L: The long L is made by tracing the tip of your racquet, to your hand, and then to the shoulder. The bend in the L is at the hand. Maintaining the long L through the shot really helps to improve control and clean contact.

3. 45 degree angle: Most players have heard to hit the ball "in front of them". When a onehanded backhander uncoils back into the ball, the non-dominant arm goes back to counter the rotation. This braking mechanism allows the racquet arm to accelerate forward through the ball. It also helps to hold the body plane (shoulder to shoulder) at a 45 degree angle. This means when you make contact the ball will be in front of this body plane that is on an angle. Hitting in front of your body in this case is not referenced from being parallel to the baseline. It is in relation to the 45 degree angle that is imagined coming from the center of the net in a 45 degree angle to infinite.

4. Hit-Bounce-Hit: Use cadence to hit your onehanded backhand. Because timing is key as it relates to weight transfer, your rise up, hitting off your front foot, and your racquet making contact with the ball, it is important that you are focused on every ball you are about to hit and what happens before you hit it.

Conclusion
The onehanded backhand player needs to be a master at the use of his body in the shot. A good onehanded backhand player needs to have a good accelerating forward swing into the ball that is managable. If he wants to hit with more power, a good onehanded backhand looks to his legs, his core, or his weight transfer for ways to improve his ability to hit with manageable power. He does not look to just swinging his arm faster but looks to improve his power by calling up the use of other body parts. A good onehanded backhand topspin player is a master at the use of the entire kinetic chain for power, control, and balance."

What to do on a high ball: http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/vide...ng_a_High_Ball

Silke1c 04-20-2008 12:45 PM

One hander for life, although mine might not qualify as the prettiest or most versatile shot... :P

Rickson 04-20-2008 03:45 PM

This thread gets my full support. We are here to help each other with the one handed backhand. No more bashing or nicknames. Just tips on improving the greatest stroke in tennis, the one handed backhand.

Essential Tennis 04-20-2008 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silke1c (Post 2267652)
One hander for life, although mine might not qualify as the prettiest or most versatile shot... :P

you're not alone here, heh. I've been trying to get my one hander to feel comfortable for years......some day.....some day

Korangster 04-20-2008 04:10 PM

i'll join. but my backhand is still pretty wet behind the ears, it still works

Rickson 04-20-2008 04:12 PM

I played briefly today and while my one handers weren't too rusty after a long layoff, I couldn't get as much on the sharp angles like I used to before. Tips on good crosscourt one handers would be appreciated.

tennisplayer1981 04-20-2008 04:42 PM

Should I start rating this thread? :D

Rickson 04-20-2008 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennisplayer1981 (Post 2268330)
Should I start rating this thread? :D

Why not? It's bound to happen sooner or later.

boojay 04-20-2008 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rickson (Post 2268235)
I played briefly today and while my one handers weren't too rusty after a long layoff, I couldn't get as much on the sharp angles like I used to before. Tips on good crosscourt one handers would be appreciated.

No tips from me, I just got owned by a super pusher today, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0. Worst loss in a looooong time. I tried coming to the net and volleying, but instead committed error after error after error............

Rickson 04-20-2008 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boojay (Post 2268654)
No tips from me, I just got owned by a super pusher today, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0. Worst loss in a looooong time. I tried coming to the net and volleying, but instead committed error after error after error............

Change the pace on a pusher. Pushers love getting in a groove so you might want to mix up your spins.

Sentinel 04-20-2008 09:36 PM

I can't believe it ! Starting playing matches like 2 days ago (instead of the usual rallies with underarm feeds). Today for the first time I did several one hand serve returns (not slices) and they were winners !
Yesterday's matches, I was returning serves with slices only. The slices were not winners but the todays drives were.

Never practiced this before.
Note to self: I must be a natural :-D

PrinceAbubu 04-21-2008 05:37 AM

Can I join this club? Mine is called the Federer backhand! Fortunately I could not use a double handed back. :)

Djokovicfan4life 04-21-2008 05:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PrinceAbubu (Post 2269600)
Can I join this club? Mine is called the Federer backhand! Fortunately I could not use a double handed back. :)

You're more than welcome here! Let me know if you want a custom comment, otherwise I'll probably put something about Fed's backhand!

Sentinel 04-21-2008 07:00 AM

My custom comment: has resolved to rip bh serve returns, no more slice returns.

zebano 04-21-2008 07:02 AM

Hey I love my 1hbh, but it's a bit rusty right now so I throw this question out...

What's your favorite drill for improving a backhand? You can assume just a wall or a practice partner of equal skill.

Djokovicfan4life 04-21-2008 08:16 AM

Members list:


1. Djokovicfan4life: All talk and no backhand!
2. Rickson: The two handed backhand is an abomination!
3. Sentinel: has resolved to rip bh serve returns, no more slice returns.
4. Silke1c: Searching for beauty in his backhand.
5. Boojay: Sausage McGriddles
6. Essential Tennis: Still working on his backhand.
7. Korangster: One handers turn him on.
8. Tennisplayer1981: Likes to rate threads.
9. My_forehand: I'm not touching that one, sorry. Custom comment, maybe?
10. PrinceAbubu: Left his two hander behind. A wise player, indeed.
11. Zebano: Not sure, dude, sorry. Custom comment, maybe?
12. ATXtennisaddict: running towards the light!
13. Es-0: starting to hit more backhand drives compared to slices.
14. Gantz: My 1HBH is my life...
15. Gyrik: Has a powerful backhand that he can't aim...
16. Chris_in_japan: AKA dirtballer
17. ARNICOLINI: Disgusted by the two-hander

Djokovicfan4life 04-21-2008 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zebano (Post 2269753)
Hey I love my 1hbh, but it's a bit rusty right now so I throw this question out...

What's your favorite drill for improving a backhand? You can assume just a wall or a practice partner of equal skill.

Try trading backhands with your hitting partner. Concentrate on ONLY HITTING BACKHANDS, NO MATTER WHAT. Run around your forehand if you have to. This will help you with your control and power on the backhand side. You just need a partner with a decent backhand, or you could be in for a long day! :mad:

Hope this helps!

roddick89 04-21-2008 08:22 AM

Its funny how the OPs picture has Joker hitting a 2 hander

zebano 04-21-2008 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djokovicfan4life (Post 2269916)
Try trading backhands with your hitting partner. Concentrate on ONLY HITTING BACKHANDS, NO MATTER WHAT. Run around your forehand if you have to. This will help you with your control and power on the backhand side. You just need a partner with a decent backhand, or you could be in for a long day! :mad:

Hope this helps!

That's what worries me, his is worse than mine.

Djokovicfan4life 04-21-2008 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roddick89 (Post 2269924)
Its funny how the OPs picture has Joker hitting a 2 hander

Do you want in or not? This thread is here to help others.


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