Originally Posted by sureshs
Teaching the 2 handed BH before the forehand? Seems weird.
Sureshs, I focus beginners on the volley and serve first, as these are typically the weakest part of players who are trying to develop their game because they never master the feel and comfort of the continental grip. The two-handed backhand is the natural progression moving to ground strokes since the conventional two-handed backhand uses a continental grip on the dominant hand's position, (in most cases), and then the forehand relatively quickly there after.
The problem with teaching the forehand first, (from my experience), is that it emphasizes the eastern forehand/semi-western grip which is typically the only stroke that uses this grip. (Among skilled players!) Thus, I make sure the kids (and adults) have gained comfort and familiarity with the continental grip before moving on to the grip change and the forehand stroke.
However, this is all very relative to various variables...namely, how quick can a player make the differenciation between the grips, how fast they have created a commanding, 'repeatable, reliable' swing path, etc. We are talking only a few weeks at best before we move players to the forehand. This is because of the drills and exercises that we employ to help speed up this development. (See my drills on TennisOne if you haven't seen the various "rounding out drills" and progressions drills we teach.)
Hope that makes sense! Of course, pros and coaches don't have to follow my recommendations...it is just that I've seen how hard it is for many players (juniors and adults) once they have become comfortable with the eastern forehand grip first.
I try to be as effecient and save as much time and frustration for my students as possible.