Thread: crowd sourcing
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:31 AM   #24
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,077

Originally Posted by 10ismom View Post
About two-handed forehand, I feel that kids need to have very good footwork in order to be successful. They will have to deal with balls that come back a lot faster as they get older. They might be able to hit harder with two-handed now but wouldn't you think single-hand, forehand open stance suit today's game better?

CoachingMastery and OP, how do you feel about that?
Hi 10ismom,

Actually, the two-handed forehand stroke for kids has little to do with the intent of hitting harder at all. In my 20+ years teaching the two-handed forehand to all ages, kids and adults, I've found several things that speeded up learning to hit the forehand within the context of a "skilled" stroke that occurs faster than teaching a conventional one-handed forehand. (And, yes, I taught my first 15 years teaching the conventional one-handed forehand, so I have a pretty objective review of the differences when both are taught correctly.)

1. The 2-handed forehand improves footwork drastically. Kids and adults both can simply reach out with the one-hander for balls that they otherwise should move their feet to. With the 2-hfh, the player is forced to move better. No different than what the two-handed backhand has done for the game, in terms of footwork.

2. The 2 hfh can be hit with an open stance. I taught my 8-year old daughter all footwork patterns and as with all my other top-level players, she was able to create all the torque and "load-and-explode" aspects even better than those with one-handed forehands were able to do.

3. The biggest advantage in my opinion of the 2hfh is that it creates a "repeatable, reliable swingpath" from the get go. The biggest problem I have seen among beginners is the inability to do this...with one hand. The wrist, the swing path in general, the balance of the player, the ability to "hit and hold" all tend to be more 'wild' with a one-handed forehand.

4. The two-hander limits the backswing, another common problem with one-handed forehands.

5. The ability to hit a natural topspin forehand with two hands is generally much easier and more natural than one-handers.

All of these are generalities and there are plenty of great one-handers and many beginners who do just fine with a one-hander from the start. However, for the masses, without any predefined knowledge of this, it is much more advantageous to teach two-handed forehands which leads me to mention this final advantage:

5. The conventional two-handed forehand, (as taught in my book, Tennis Mastery), mimics virtually all the 'skilled' aspects of a conventional one-handed forehand. So, it is a very simple change if the player wants to go to the one-hander, to simply take their non-dominant hand off and swing the same way they were doing with their 2-hander.

Hope that helps!
Dave Smith: Author, Tennis Mastery/Coaching Mastery;
Senior Editor, TennisOne; Dunlop Master Professional
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