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kpktennis 01-09-2013 09:22 PM

One-handed backhand question
 
Had two questions about the one handed backhand, for those with a powerful modern 1hb.

1) Would you say the stroke path (lets say the butt cap for the sake of visualization) is following a path that is more like circumscribing a circle or one that is more linear/back to front?

2) I can hit the ball with quite a bit of pace but I find that sometimes this imparts a bit of side spin on the ball, was wondering exactly how the racquet is supposed to squarely approach the ball right before contact? Is it like a slight forearm deviation or...

luvforty 01-10-2013 04:25 AM

side spin means you are doing it right.... the path is basically a mirror image of the FH, up and across.

it feels more like cutting the ball with the leading edge, than hitting thru the ball with the strings..... cutting allows you to swing aggressive, more spin, more bite and control.

the forearm deviation? not sure what you mean..... it's supination of the forearm, again, mirror image of the pronation on the FH...... look at henin or fed or any pros today, at the end of the follow thru, the tip of the racket points to the backfence, which means forearm rolling clockwise (supination)... this is a big contributor of spin

10isfreak 01-10-2013 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpktennis (Post 7109135)
Had two questions about the one handed backhand, for those with a powerful modern 1hb.

1) Would you say the stroke path (lets say the butt cap for the sake of visualization) is following a path that is more like circumscribing a circle or one that is more linear/back to front?

2) I can hit the ball with quite a bit of pace but I find that sometimes this imparts a bit of side spin on the ball, was wondering exactly how the racquet is supposed to squarely approach the ball right before contact? Is it like a slight forearm deviation or...

QUESTION 1
It's not linear, obviously. When you start you stroke, an opponent facing your should see your whole back and your string bed should appear as well to him. Some people describe this position as pulling a sword like a samurai. The movement should be somewhat eliptic -- it's more circular when you begin it and when you get close to the ball than in the middle, so it's really an elipse.

As for the racket head, it should never be really perpendicular to the ground at contact on any top spin groundstroke. Generating spin is essentially accelerating the edge of of the ball -- you make the edge go fast around the geomatric center of the ball. If you want lots of top spin, you should try to hit the uppder edge so that it spins forward (that's top spin). We get this done by angling or tilting our string bed a bit: we want to make contact while being a little beyond the vertical plane. Some of the spin does come from the vertical action of your swing path, but it's not the most important part... That's why people like Nadal swing around 15 to 16 degrees from the horizontal plane prior ball contact. If you take a video that provides over 200 fps, you may see that before the contact, pro players swing almost horizontally -- after contact, it's an other story.

Other details come into account, but for a simple story, close your racket face a tad (like 10 degrees more than 90 degress rom the ground) at contact and use your swing path to control the ball's height over the net -- in general, the more vertical your swing prior contact, the higher the ball flies before falling. To get a closed face at contact, you need to really close it a lot before you begin to swing. On both the forehand and backhand side, the string bed opens up as you swing forward. To get a slightly closed face, the racket must be really closed. The string bed can be sometimes at less than 30 degress from the horizontal plane -- of course, the more you close, the harder it is to get pace because you'll transfer more energy in spin. However, do not fool around too much with that: get a comfortable setting and get used to it. Pros vary their contact point to vary spin: the lower in the string bed (relative to the ground), the more spin you'll get. A high contact makes for flat shots. Ever seen a video of a pro hitting where the racket opens up after contact? That surely was a winner (or an attempt to hit a winner).

SIDE NOTE:
If people disagree, they should visit tennisspeed... The host has a PhD in hard science and he made a very, very impressive research project on the forehand which present rather stunning conclusions. Some of these also apply to the backhand, by the way. I value this sort of effort because that guy bothered checking up if his hypotheses matched realities or if they didn't. He changed his mind on some issues and rejected many things that most coaches still teach today. He also found new interesting stuff.

QUESTION 2
Usually, top spin is not top spin. We never get a perfectly straight, up-down, kind of spin on the ball... most of the time, there is significant side spin on the ball. What si alarming is not producing side spin; what is alarming is producing mostly or only side spin. If you only get side spin or can even see the ball spin because it spins very slowly, then we have a problem. Even for an amateur, it should spin so fast that you can't read what's written on the ball...

If you have an appropriate contact as I described above and you get the ball to loop in the air with a nice upward swing path, we shouldn't see a slowly spun ball that moves slightly sideways... Of course, I'd rather not bother with how much spin you put on the ball if everything about your form is messed up: you need a great basis to add details like a more closed face and a more horizontal swing path. You can't step up on the gas if you do not yet control the car a bit! I would suggest picking a few pros and try to emulate their backhands and, if possible, you should keep things as simple as possible, especially regarding your take back. This should help you build a better backhand.

DeShaun 01-10-2013 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpktennis (Post 7109135)
Had two questions about the one handed backhand, for those with a powerful modern 1hb.

1) Would you say the stroke path (lets say the butt cap for the sake of visualization) is following a path that is more like circumscribing a circle or one that is more linear/back to front?

2) I can hit the ball with quite a bit of pace but I find that sometimes this imparts a bit of side spin on the ball, was wondering exactly how the racquet is supposed to squarely approach the ball right before contact? Is it like a slight forearm deviation or...

i think you can use a slight forearm deviation but this may cost you some measure of control. anyways, this video below is what i watched in the very beginning that go me going in the right developmental direction when i first took up tennis and was trying to learn how to hit a one-hander. nowadays, (three years later) the vast majority if not nearly every one of the players that i play who are at my level of a low 3.5 cannot stand up to my backhand, and they quickly switch from trying to attack it in matches once i punish them with it a few times in cross court exchanges--my backhand is not my weakest stroke, thanks largely to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFjgkbN4xnc

that said, however, i find myself using the forearm deviation that you described, and actually getting away with it more times than not without the stroke going haywire, but i can also tell that whipping my hoop through the contact zone, so that i almost look at times to be taking a vicious sideways-swipe through the zone, is not something that i should be consciously aspiring to incorporate into my overall stroke mechanics, (because this is what my body seems to be telling me) but those kind of swipes are rather something that i am able to get away with from time to time due to having built the stroke on sound fundamentals (as featured in that video of lendl) like a closed face, deep shoulder turn, and planting my lead foot down firmly just about every time that i take a cut off that wing, without all of which i doubt i could manage the stan warvrinka-looking sideways swipes that i pull off occasionally.

FrisbeeFool 01-12-2013 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpktennis (Post 7109135)
Had two questions about the one handed backhand, for those with a powerful modern 1hb.

1) Would you say the stroke path (lets say the butt cap for the sake of visualization) is following a path that is more like circumscribing a circle or one that is more linear/back to front?

2) I can hit the ball with quite a bit of pace but I find that sometimes this imparts a bit of side spin on the ball, was wondering exactly how the racquet is supposed to squarely approach the ball right before contact? Is it like a slight forearm deviation or...

I'm not sure what a modern one-handed backhand is. If you look at players like Lendl, Edberg, Becker, and Stich vs younger players like Ljubicic, Haas, Almagro, Federer, Warinka etc. they're all doing the same fundamentals things. In fact many modern players like Haas, Federer and Wawrinka hit their backhands with an eastern grip similar to Becker or Lendl.

Don't worry about terminology like forearm deviation. Ignore 95 percent of the internet forum terminology. It will probably be confusing and do more harm than good. You might be surprised how many high level players ignore terminology like that and focus on the simple things. Most if not all. I guarantee you Nicolas Almagro isn't wasting his time with a thesaurus looking up deviation or supination, and stressing over minutia. Like all good players, he started by learning the fundamentals.

Get set up and coil early. You want your front shoulder under your chin. For topspin, get under the ball. Depending on what type of shot your hitting you will vary how far under the ball you get. You want to drive through the ball by extending your front arm and reaching out in front when you follow through. This is where the power and control come from. Resist the temptation to finish your stroke to early. If you come across too early without extending fully through your contact zone, you will have a lot of difficulty controlling the shot, especially against more experienced harder hitting players. You want to finish your follow through high and way out in front of you, with a lot of space between your body and racket hand.

Prepare early, load up and coil, get under the ball, hit through the ball extending towards your target. It really is that simple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f97Krt-SnTM

Look at how Wawrinka transfers his weight from his back foot to his front foot as he follows through. During the side view, look how far he follows through in front of himself. He reaches out towards his target. He has a compact backswing and a long follow through. That is where the consistency and control come from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFjgkbN4xnc

Lendl Backhand: Almost the exact same form as Wawrinka. Compact backswing, long follow through. Notice how both Peter Lungren, Stan's coach in the video, and Lendl emphasize early preparation and weight transfer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpD8m_X5qSM

Here's Fed and Ljubicic trading groundies. Not many people hit a cleaner backhand than ljubicic. Look how how clean, sound, simple, and repeatable his technique is. That backhand is timeless. At about 40 seconds in Ljubicic hits 2 clean, sound topspin backhands. Again at around 1:07 he hits another good one.

Note: It's not like a forehand, where you are significantly rotating your upper body in order to get into your contact zone and make contact. A lot of people on this forum will tell you that on a "modern" one-handed backhand you rotate like a forehand or 2 handed backhand. This is not true. The people giving this advice are probably internet denizens who do not hit sound one-handed backhands. Ignore their advice like the plague if you want to hit a sound one-handed backhand that is consistent, repeatable and will not break down in pressure situations against stronger players. When you make contact on your one-handed backhand, you will still be turned sideways to the net and your contact point will be early and out in front. As you finish your stroke, your body will uncoil and open up somewhat after you have already hit through your contact zone.

Professional players like Stan Wawrinka generate a lot of racket head speed. As they are decelerating the racket at the end of their stroke and recovering they do open up more. It's important to realize what happens before that point of the stroke.

treblings 01-13-2013 02:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrisbeeFool (Post 7115976)
I'm not sure what a modern one-handed backhand is. If you look at players like Lendl, Edberg, Becker, and Stich vs younger players like Ljubicic, Haas, Almagro, Federer, Warinka etc. they're all doing the same fundamentals things. In fact many modern players like Haas, Federer and Wawrinka hit their backhands with an eastern grip similar to Becker or Lendl.

Don't worry about terminology like forearm deviation. Ignore 95 percent of the internet forum terminology. It will probably be confusing and do more harm than good. You might be surprised how many high level players ignore terminology like that and focus on the simple things. Most if not all. I guarantee you Nicolas Almagro isn't wasting his time with a thesaurus looking up deviation or supination, and stressing over minutia. Like all good players, he started by learning the fundamentals.

Get set up and coil early. You want your front shoulder under your chin. For topspin, get under the ball. Depending on what type of shot your hitting you will vary how far under the ball you get. You want to drive through the ball by extending your front arm and reaching out in front when you follow through. This is where the power and control come from. Resist the temptation to finish your stroke to early. If you come across too early without extending fully through your contact zone, you will have a lot of difficulty controlling the shot, especially against more experienced harder hitting players. You want to finish your follow through high and way out in front of you, with a lot of space between your body and racket hand.

Prepare early, load up and coil, get under the ball, hit through the ball extending towards your target. It really is that simple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f97Krt-SnTM

Look at how Wawrinka transfers his weight from his back foot to his front foot as he follows through. During the side view, look how far he follows through in front of himself. He reaches out towards his target. He has a compact backswing and a long follow through. That is where the consistency and control come from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFjgkbN4xnc

Lendl Backhand: Almost the exact same form as Wawrinka. Compact backswing, long follow through. Notice how both Peter Lungren, Stan's coach in the video, and Lendl emphasize early preparation and weight transfer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpD8m_X5qSM

Here's Fed and Ljubicic trading groundies. Not many people hit a cleaner backhand than ljubicic. Look how how clean, sound, simple, and repeatable his technique is. That backhand is timeless. At about 40 seconds in Ljubicic hits 2 clean, sound topspin backhands. Again at around 1:07 he hits another good one.

Note: It's not like a forehand, where you are significantly rotating your upper body in order to get into your contact zone and make contact. A lot of people on this forum will tell you that on a "modern" one-handed backhand you rotate like a forehand or 2 handed backhand. This is not true. The people giving this advice are probably internet denizens who do not hit sound one-handed backhands. Ignore their advice like the plague if you want to hit a sound one-handed backhand that is consistent, repeatable and will not break down in pressure situations against stronger players. When you make contact on your one-handed backhand, you will still be turned sideways to the net and your contact point will be early and out in front. As you finish your stroke, your body will uncoil and open up somewhat after you have already hit through your contact zone.

Professional players like Stan Wawrinka generate a lot of racket head speed. As they are decelerating the racket at the end of their stroke and recovering they do open up more. It's important to realize what happens before that point of the stroke.

thatīs an excellent post right there. keep it simple and do the basics right.
really good videos too to illustrate the points
also i agree about the overuse of complicated terminology. try to teach someone on court in real life by using all those big words and holding endless monologues:)

tennis_balla 01-13-2013 03:19 AM

Side spin which way? Right to left or left to right?

luvforty 01-13-2013 05:27 AM

some fundamentals are similar, not the same...

look at lendl and edberg how they finish. racket tip is pointing to 11 oclock (if we draw a clock on the ground where player stands, and 12 o'clock being straight ahead)... modern guys and gals, 6 oclock.

that is significant supination.

the supination has to start early in the forward swing.. you can't extend arm to the target trying to hit thru the ball while do supination at the same time... the muscles don't work that way.

also, see how the modern guys can hit 1hbh at eye level, but lendl and edberg can't... they always back track and let the ball drop... because if you hit forward, the face opens up at later stage of the swing when the racket head is high enough to hit eye level balls.

but hitting across, the racket face always have the same angle, eye level balls are still not easy, but not as hopeless.

have an open mind... let people try it out, hit forward, or yank to the right, see which way is more stable, and more versatile.

also, by yanking to the right, the upper arm connects to the core longer....if you let arm extends out too early, and ball takes a funny bounce or catch a gust, you are dead in the water... but if you stay connected longer, timing becomes easier with the core support.

these are all very practical issues

opening up on the 1hbh and opening up on the fh does not appear to have the same 'openness', simply because how the body is made... yank to the right, at impact the body looks much more closed than a yank to the left fh...

opening up means more open than edberg, does not mean chest to the target at impact.

2ndServe 01-13-2013 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis_balla (Post 7116139)
Side spin which way? Right to left or left to right?

this is the question, if you're hitting the sort of slice/float side spin on a 1hbh topspin. That is bad, you're going to much outside in path (across your body) and you won't be able to penetrate the court. Now if you're hitting the top where the crosscourt backhand spin pulls it even wider once it hits the court then that's a good penetrating spin. But it's all relative to level at, 4.5 and below you can hit one with slight slice/float spin because you don't need to worry about penetrating the court much as you move up it starts to hurt you more in the sense that you give the other guy too much time.

luvforty 01-13-2013 05:41 AM

what 4.5 level....pros hit right to left side spin all the time... on high balls, that is the only way possible.

the left right 'pulls even wider' side spin is only possible on low balls.

what am i missing here.

kpktennis 01-15-2013 04:29 PM

re:Frisbee,

is extending my front arm right before contact how I'm supposed to cleanly (racquet face more perpendicular relative to the ball) meet the ball? The issue I'm having is I'm not quite so sure what happens /immediately/ before contact in order to bring the racquet face around (wrist action, forearm extension etc. etc.)

re: tennis_balla

Side spin counterclockwise about the y-axis, mostly on high balls

re:10isfreak

I know it's not linear but really what I'm referring to is that middle phase of the ellipse you were talking about. Maybe another way to phrase what I meant is should I be at the absolute extremes of my reach during that middle phase (a more purely circular arc) or should it be a relatively (rear-to-front) elliptical motion, I'm thinking it is the latter?
-----------------------
I use a semi-western backhand grip btw if that helps and I'm a relatively experienced player so I don't need the tips to be dumbed down to the nth degree (not referring to any of the previous posts, just thought I would mention)

Thanks for all the feedback, I really do appreciate the time and thought most of you put into your posts !

kpktennis 01-15-2013 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvforty (Post 7109408)
side spin means you are doing it right.... the path is basically a mirror image of the FH, up and across.

it feels more like cutting the ball with the leading edge, than hitting thru the ball with the strings..... cutting allows you to swing aggressive, more spin, more bite and control.

the forearm deviation? not sure what you mean..... it's supination of the forearm, again, mirror image of the pronation on the FH...... look at henin or fed or any pros today, at the end of the follow thru, the tip of the racket points to the backfence, which means forearm rolling clockwise (supination)... this is a big contributor of spin

What I mean is the sort of deviation of my forearm towards the right sideline (for a right-hander) so the racquet face can meet the ball at a proper angle

luvforty 01-15-2013 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kpktennis (Post 7123810)
What I mean is the sort of deviation of my forearm towards the right sideline (for a right-hander) so the racquet face can meet the ball at a proper angle

still not sure what you mean..

but deviation and angle are two words you don't wonna put in the same sentence... these 2 words together = flipping, which ruins any shot.

the angle should be the same from the power position to the end of the follow thru.

kpktennis 01-15-2013 04:50 PM

What I mean is that there is a relative L-shape on the backhand no? So in order for the base of the 'L' (that is, for the racquet to properly meet the ball) I would either have to extend and meet the ball way out at front (but then there would be little forward movement into the ball) or I would have to sort of shift my forearm to the side a little bit so I can meet it a little closer and still be able to drive through the ball, hope someone gets what I'm trying to convey.... sorry, it's hard to put tennis into words :/

kpktennis 01-15-2013 04:52 PM

Or I would need an ulnar deviation of the wrist etc. etc.

Relinquis 01-15-2013 05:03 PM

deleted.

sorry, was thinking of the forehand.

luvforty 01-15-2013 05:04 PM

no the L relationship should sustain.

not ulner deviation.. it's supination.

you know what, borrow this concept from the FH... Oscar says address the ball with the leading edge, not the strings.

same idea with the BH... you want to upper-cut / side-cut the ball with the leading edge, while having your upper arm securely connected to your chest.

give it a try.

a side point - Oscar mentioned that the pressure point on the hand being the base knuckle of the thumb.... I don't quite buy that for my self... that area is pretty weak (you can't really lift the racket upwards with that knuckle)... by using the middle section of the middle and ring fingers, you will feel tremendous extra RHS added to the upper/side cut action.

we all know how tricky it is to time the 1hbh... and to be honest i have not found 1 clip on the public domain that i really like..... everybody ignores the elephant in the room - the high ball..... every demo is made with balls below waist..

with the method i laid out above, you get 2 extra power sources to deal with the tricky timing, 1 is the connection to your chest, so you get support from the core.... the other is the middle section of the middle/ring fingers which give you an emergency lift...

look at the pros today, they all release the wrist (supination).. in order to do that you HAVE TO swing around (instead of forward), and you have to have strong support from the BOTTOM of the grip.

kpktennis 01-15-2013 05:12 PM

Well I would argue that "releasing the wrist" involves a degree of ulnar deviation as well supination, but to the point, you're saying that this release of the wrist is what will allow me to contact the ball more squarely?

kpktennis 01-15-2013 05:14 PM

Not quite sure what is meant by connected to this chest? Would this be analogous to the floating/flying elbow on the forehand side?

luvforty 01-15-2013 05:23 PM

ok may be 'releasing the wrist' is confusing.... let's park that for a minute.

if you maintain the L, and you wipe a windshield with the racket face, that is supination.


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