Originally Posted by TennisCJC
3 questions for Oscar - first, in general, I like your simply way of teaching the game and it has helped me in the past.
Question 1: you don't seem to stress what other call the "prep" phase where you pivot the shoulders to the side. I have studied many pros and a shoulder pivot where the shoulder turn to the side and the hands stay in front of the chest seems to be almost universally used. Why do you not teach this as part of your method?
Question 2: you don't teach to change grips for a 2HBH in your book, but again almost all pros and better players use a continental on the dominant side (r hand conti for right handed player) and an eastern or semi-western grip on the non-dominant side (l hand for right handed player). Shouldn't advanced players use a conti R hand/E or SW L hand grip?
Question 3: you and many others teach the 2 HBH is a a L handed forehand for a right handed player. But, many pros use the dominant hand, arm and shoulder quite a bit. Djoko hits 90% of his 2 HBH with a square/neutral or slightly closed stance, his right shoulder closes a bit to the incoming ball, he does not have the racket head as high up on the backswing as a normal pro forehand, and the L hand seems to take over on the follow-thru. He does rotate the hips, shoulders to fully open and wraps the follow-thru like a WW forehand, but there seem to be a vast difference in his 2 HBH and his forehand. Isn't the 2 HBH really quite different from a normal forehand?
Answer to question number 1:
I would say that there are 3 stages in tennis: one is geting to the ball, then focussing on finding it well, the next is how you hit it. The squaring of the shoulders is part of the third stage. To do it as part of stage #1 for a ball that you have to run to is a waste of time (the body usually turns to run to a distant ball anyway). Only when the ball is coming directly to you it is wise to address it, while you are making room for the stroke, with the shoulder turn.
Answer to question number 2:
There are a lot of players that operate as you say, mainly with the right hand. Others operate with the left hand. I prefer the second one as more natural and more efficient. You can easily hit it easily with an open stance.
Answer to question number 3:
Depending on your choice as per my answer to number 2, the 2 handed-backhand has more similarities to a one-handed backhand, or with a forehand with the left hand. Throughout my teachings, I work on making tennis simple and easy to learn. That is reflected in the two-handed backhand as well. I start the student with the left hand only, as if it was a forehand, then I have them add the right hand and I drill both back and forth. The power of simplicity!