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Old 01-16-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
10isfreak's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 566
Default One handed backhand: takeback question

I have been wondering lately about the rationale I have myself laid on the table for months regarding the value of a certain type of take back in all of our strokes. Just to be clear, I will broadly sequence a forehand:

Split step;
Pivot and shoulder turn;
Moving to the ball with the appropriate footwork;
Take back and non-racket arm extension;
Acceleration and striking;

What I call the take back, in any shot, is what happens from the shoulder turn, up to the point where you accelerate toward the ball. I used to explain how to improve your forehand swing by saying that the preparation (the two first lines in the above description) should be early and that the take back should be late. I thought that using a continuous swing (that is, no pause whatsoever between the take back and the acceleration) had virtues in terms of enabling players to improve their timing.

The point I used to make was simple. Regardless of how you swing it, you will do something naturally: before accelerating, you will move your racket, preferring to accelerate a moving racket than one which is standing still. Where you gain consistency and timing is that it's probably easier to synchronize a single sequence of movement than two separate ones. If you stop in the middle of your swing, with the racket fully back, you tend to mess up later on.

What makes me wonder is not so much how the forehand can be played... as far as I can tell, this tip holds true on the forehand. Maybe I am wrong and someone can bring us an example of non-continuous forehand that is successful on the tour. Where I am puzzled is regarding the backhand. Can I really pretend that it is accurate when so many of the most powerful one handed backhands of all times were struck differently, using either a straight take back or a pendulum swing (the later was, as it happens, very popular back in the 80's and 70's)? Furthermore, nearly every two handed backhand on the tour contradicts this position: taking a continuous swing path! So, where do have to stand on this?

So, I am willing to here ideas from people on this forum... How do you take your racket back on the one handed backhand, how should it be done?
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