Thread: Switch to 1HBH?
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:19 AM   #6
fuzz nation
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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If you're experiencing a more natural feel with the one-hander, you might easily have greater potential there. Although the two-hander is very popular, many of us can probably agree that there are a whole lot of mediocre backhands out there. There are advantages to the two-hander for sure, but that's little consolation for any aspiring player who has trouble with that motion.

Among the kids and adults that I've worked with, a few have tried a switch to the one-hander because of that more natural feeling they get with it. If you've made efforts to develop a two-hander and keep running up against frustration, there's certainly no crime in devoting some time toward learning a one-hander. If nothing else, you'll probably develop a better move when hitting a one-handed slice. Even if you eventually stick more with a two-handed topspin stroke, every player should learn a slice backhand, too.

Take some one-handed practice strokes without hitting a ball and that should familiarize you with the tempo of the stroke you want for a rally. If you then find that you get rushed into muscling a one-hander when hitting a ball, that's usually the big signal that you need to get yourself set up and start the stroke a little sooner in order to duplicate that same smooth tempo.

It takes slightly more time and deliberate effort to get that one-hander going, especially compared with our forehands. The contact point is typically further out in front of the hitter and much of the footwork and weight transfer needs to be completed before actually swinging the racquet. I think that when a one-hander in the making understands this, it's easier to resist getting frustrated while trying to learn to trust that style of stroke. Everything needs to initiate just a bit earlier to get the racquet to the ball with good mechanics.

I think that the best news of all is that you can honestly make good use of both strokes. Even if the one-hander becomes the style that you trust, the two-hander may bail you out of trouble. I use it to fight off a ball that shoots in near my feet and also try a two-hander for a more aggressive return of serve. You're not thinking about going to the one-hander for no reason, so it's probably worth a try.
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