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-   -   Back forth between backhands -- a call for one handed backhand players (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=448740)

10isfreak 12-21-2012 06:23 AM

Back forth between backhands -- a call for one handed backhand players
 
When I started playing years ago, it was with a one handed backhand. And, ever since, I have always played it rather powerfully -- rarely did my forehand outweighted my backhand, even if I have built a great forehands over the years.

The problem, however, has always been consistency. I could hit rather flat and somewhat curvy balls, but I never got to hit those loopier strokes off my backhand wing... I never had total control over it. Hence, as most did before, I switched to a two handed backhand which was at first awkward and weak, but grew stronger and more stable with time. Yet, nothing feels like hitting that one handed backhand right... so, next year, as the snows melt and the sun decides to settle for longer in the sky, I plan on trying to learn how to hit that backhand with consistency.

So, I'd need advices. What made you get it right? What made the difference between inconsistency and consistency for you? Thanks in advance.

mikeler 12-21-2012 06:29 AM

For me it all clicked when I started using a semi western backhand grip.

luvforty 12-21-2012 07:04 AM

there are several things you can try.

1) first is a change in the approach.... slice is the preferred choice for high balls or hard flat incoming balls.. the topspin drive is preferred for low balls and passing shots.... that will cut down your 'unnecessary' use of the shot in some tough situations

2) curvy balls - sw works for some, but for me, the most spin is hit with eastern/conti in-between grip, where the mid section of the middle and ring fingers are right under the bottom bevel of the grip and I just lift the racket head up/across the ball... i can generate MORE spin than my FH this way.

3) arm/body connectivity - to me, the staying-sideways method is more difficult to control as the arm separates from the body pretty early... try to maintain pressure at the right arm pit and use the chest to swing the upper arm around, and the forearm/relaxed wrist will add spin.... this looks more like the BH of wawrinka, schiavone, mauresmo.... to me it feels connected and easier to time.

Roddick85 12-21-2012 07:45 AM

Well first I'd say you need to make a choice and stick with it about 1hbh vs 2hbh. Even if things don't work right away with your 1hbh, stick with it and it will work eventually.

Using a semi-western backhand grip is a bit extreme in my opinion. It will give you trouble when your dealing with low balls. I'd stick to an eastern or extreme eastern grip at most.

You might want to look at also developing the backhand slice as part of your arsenal. It's a shot you can use to change the pace of a rally and can be a bit troublesome for your opponent if you can hit it low enough. You have to keep in mind that it's more of defensive shot/setup shot. I wouldn't use that as my primary backhand.

As a 1hbh myself, what made the difference consistency wise was the stance/footwork. Most people lack the proper footwork on they're backhand side which in turn causes them to be in the wrong position when hitting it and that produces very random results. If i'd be you, I'd study videos of Federer's backhand, you'll learn the proper positioning. Even if you can't hit right away on court, you can always do shadow tennis at home if you have a mirror. If you own a video camera, filming and reviewing your strokes will be of great help.

JackB1 12-21-2012 08:24 AM

I think for anyone below 4.5 level, the 2 hander is a much better choice. Its more versatile and consistent and safe shot. Its also easier for return of serve.

UCSF2012 12-21-2012 09:22 AM

For consistency, the keys were 1) finding the correct grip every time and 2) newer strings. I restring every 6 hours, because things go crazy with the 1hbh after that. Forehand is fine with old strings, but the backhand is higher maintenance.

For power, key is court movement. You just have to be at the right place at the right time. If you're there early - even by a second - you can unleash the beast.

USS Tang 12-21-2012 02:12 PM

I've always used a one-handed backhand. It's easier to learn IMHO than the forehand. Use a continental grip and keep the arm straight throughout the swing.

BurnNotice 12-21-2012 02:18 PM

One thing I noticed was that I tend to overestimate the reach and strike zone of the one handed backhand.

While the freedom of the one hand gives you more flexibility in how far your racquet goes I feel like keeping that contact point closer to your body helps you gain consistency so that you don't constantly reach out, extended horizontally, in order to hit the ball.

What I mean is, it's easier to hit the ball when it's close to your body rather than flailing out when it's farther away.

Idk maybe this will help you.

Greg G 12-21-2012 02:37 PM

I don't actually strive for symmetry on both wings. I use an Eastern backhand grip. My backhand is definitely hit with less topspin, but it is more penetrating. I can hit loopier balls with heavier topspin, but it just doesn't work well for me in matches. I just go through it less and brush up more, with less forward weight transfer.

ramos77 12-21-2012 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BurnNotice (Post 7074076)
One thing I noticed was that I tend to overestimate the reach and strike zone of the one handed backhand.

While the freedom of the one hand gives you more flexibility in how far your racquet goes I feel like keeping that contact point closer to your body helps you gain consistency so that you don't constantly reach out, extended horizontally, in order to hit the ball.

What I mean is, it's easier to hit the ball when it's close to your body rather than flailing out when it's farther away.

Idk maybe this will help you.

Good advice, you have to hit over the ball and try not to reach out to hit the backhand.

For me, hitting the ball out in front has improved my backhand a lot.

When I started playing again all my shots came back to me except topspin backhand, it just takes a lot of practice and you have to keep hitting it in matches in order to get better. If you keep going to the slice, you'll never have the confidence to hit one IMO.

dominikk1985 12-21-2012 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackB1 (Post 7073571)
I think for anyone below 4.5 level, the 2 hander is a much better choice. Its more versatile and consistent and safe shot. Its also easier for return of serve.

I don't agree a 2 hander is more versatile. It is certainly more consistent especially if you want to take the ball early. very few players can take the ball early consistently with a one hander and still keep the errors down.

however regarding the versatility I think you can do more with one hand especially regarding the slice and dropper. a lot of two handers have a bad slice and their droppers are easy to see.

if you are an early striking hard hitter the 2 hander is an obvious choice but if you are a versatile all courter who likes the net and using slice variations the one hander has more options.

that being said in the end it doesn't make a difference. there are great players with both. the two hander is easier to learn though.

NLBwell 12-22-2012 09:48 PM

Contact point. Find it - both how far in front, and how far away from your body.
It must be much more exact on the one-handed backhand than the forehand. Other than that, the backhand stroke is simpler.

Xizel 12-22-2012 11:32 PM

My backhand became a consistent topspin rally shot when I learned the toe-to-heel weight transfer. Once it starts, my motion is continuous and it allows my loopy backswing to generate topspin. It also makes hitting balls wide to the backhand and moving away from you much easier as you seem to hit around the ball back inside the court.

10isfreak 12-23-2012 09:18 PM

Thanks everyone for your input and, well, sorry for the delay. Obviously, every new tip is welcome and I am ready to start thinking through the backhand, starting almost from scratch if necessary.

On the other hand, I just want to precise a detail: I will not change my grip for the heck of it... I use a pretty standard eastern backhand and since the habits are hard to fight and that I could get to hit well with it, I would rather focus on what my body does than on how I grip the racket.

Of course, drills or links to videos are also welcome. Continue to add to this and maybe even make it a backhand discussion for all of us, trying to master the forgotten art.

Metalica 12-24-2012 04:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 7073670)
For consistency, the keys were 1) finding the correct grip every time and 2) newer strings. I restring every 6 hours, because things go crazy with the 1hbh after that. Forehand is fine with old strings, but the backhand is higher maintenance.

For power, key is court movement. You just have to be at the right place at the right time. If you're there early - even by a second - you can unleash the beast.

Wow restringing every 6 hours, thats almost like how the pros do it. May be once i finish school and get a job, I can afford to restring often as well. My string bed is 2-3 months now old and really dead (still generates good topspin but no where near as good as new strings). I'll try to restring it as soon as Christmas is over.

As for the OP's question. I find keeping my arm straight and my wrist laid back is the best way to keep my backhand consistent because the angle of my racquet face stays constant. If I can manage this then I can hit flat or loopy backhand with consistency and power. However, I have a natural tendency to bend my arm sometimes to compensate for an awkward balls instead of move my feet so I need to break this habit.

Mick3391 12-24-2012 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10isfreak (Post 7073441)
When I started playing years ago, it was with a one handed backhand. And, ever since, I have always played it rather powerfully -- rarely did my forehand outweighted my backhand, even if I have built a great forehands over the years.

The problem, however, has always been consistency. I could hit rather flat and somewhat curvy balls, but I never got to hit those loopier strokes off my backhand wing... I never had total control over it. Hence, as most did before, I switched to a two handed backhand which was at first awkward and weak, but grew stronger and more stable with time. Yet, nothing feels like hitting that one handed backhand right... so, next year, as the snows melt and the sun decides to settle for longer in the sky, I plan on trying to learn how to hit that backhand with consistency.

So, I'd need advices. What made you get it right? What made the difference between inconsistency and consistency for you? Thanks in advance.

Practice with a 75 inch wood racquet. Once you get consistant with that, you will, the bigger racquet will be cake.

TimothyO 12-24-2012 05:27 AM

Prepare early and, MOST imortantly, swing loose. Let the frame do the work. If you muscle a 1HBH you lose accuracy and consistency.

Hit through the ball with a full, relaxed follow through.

Staying loose with confidence is key to a 1HBH.

Akubra 12-24-2012 07:34 AM

Teaching Pro and college coach who's been hitting a one-hander for a long, long time here. A few tips:

1) Eastern backhand grip. Don't use the continental if you're looking for more spin/loop and the ability to handle higher balls. Get that index-finger knuckle on top of the grip!

2) It's all in the shoulders. Once you start the forward motion of the swing, lock your torso in place and don't let the shoulders open up until after contact. I can't stress this enough. Once you've hit the ball, you can release. But for consistency with your contact, hold your shoulders steady.

3) Create a strong hitting platform with your legs. Remember the job of your legs isn't to directly add power to your groundstrokes. The job of your legs is, once you get to the all, to create a stable hitting platform that allow you to transfer power to the point of contact. Don't stand up in the middle of your shot, lift off, lean back, or otherwise shift your hitting stance unless you *have* to.

Good luck!

Avles 12-24-2012 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xizel (Post 7075816)
My backhand became a consistent topspin rally shot when I learned the toe-to-heel weight transfer.

Just checking, do you mean toe-to-heel or heel-to-toe? I've always heard it as heel-to-toe.

Xizel 12-24-2012 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Avles (Post 7077590)
Just checking, do you mean toe-to-heel or heel-to-toe? I've always heard it as heel-to-toe.

Good catch :-P heel-to-toe would be correct.


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