2HB Help Required

StraightSets

Semi-Pro
Hey everyone

Im playing grade 2 tennis in Australia.. which is probably 4.5-5.0.
My weakness as a player has always been the 2HB backhand, but luckily it has never hurt me because I run around and hit forehands most the time and my slice is very good. But now that I'm in a high grade, the slice just doesn't cut it (no pun intended, of course). The problem with my 2HB is:

I cannot generate enough power off this wing, due to being unable to hit through the ball. I struggle to hit winners with this shot. I tend to brush up the back of the ball, which often results in moonballs and I can also hit the ball and it will bounce under the net. I have trouble with balls higher than waist-height, and returning kick-serves is quickly becoming a horror. For some reason, hitting down the line is much easier that crosscourt.

I feel if I can fix this problem, I'll be able to play some good all-round tennis.

Any tips you'd be able to give me? I'll provide further info if required. Thanks in advance!
 

ho

Semi-Pro
Hey everyone

Im playing grade 2 tennis in Australia.. which is probably 4.5-5.0.
My weakness as a player has always been the 2HB backhand, but luckily it has never hurt me because I run around and hit forehands most the time and my slice is very good. But now that I'm in a high grade, the slice just doesn't cut it (no pun intended, of course). The problem with my 2HB is:

I cannot generate enough power off this wing, due to being unable to hit through the ball. I struggle to hit winners with this shot. I tend to brush up the back of the ball, which often results in moonballs and I can also hit the ball and it will bounce under the net. I have trouble with balls higher than waist-height, and returning kick-serves is quickly becoming a horror. For some reason, hitting down the line is much easier that crosscourt.

I feel if I can fix this problem, I'll be able to play some good all-round tennis.

Any tips you'd be able to give me? I'll provide further info if required. Thanks in advance!
man, i have exactly the problem like you, since years, read, watch, practice, everything, don't seem to help. and worst of all, my slide is not as good as your. i hit 2hbk kind of pendulum type, Safin uggly crowded thing. Any help too?
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
I cannot generate enough power off this wing, due to being unable to hit through the ball.
1. Discipline yourself to hit opposite hand forehands for the next three months. Really build up the coordination and strength in this arm. Things to take note on is: distance from the ball, keeping the head still, not pulling away from the ball as you rotate towards the ball to hit it.

2. Relax the front arm (dominant arm). If your dominant arm shoulder, arm, and hand is struggling to take dominance (automatically) you will not have a smooth swing and get that "pop" on the ball you are looking for. In essence, hands that are fighting will slow down your swing and it will feel very awkward.

3. Bend your knees and turn into the ball using your torso. Relax everything else. Keep the butt capp of your racquet aligned with your belly button as you turn into the shot. Then once you are at a 45 degree angle let yoru arms go out to make contact near your front hip and further toward target before allowing your arms to relax back on over your opposite shoulder.

I struggle to hit winners with this shot. I tend to brush up the back of the ball, which often results in moonballs and I can also hit the ball and it will bounce under the net.
1. Strengthening your opposite arm and work on getting it more coordinated with your balance will really help here. Hit lots of opposite hand forehands on the ball machine set to a slow to medium slow pace. The key to the slowness of the ball is it allows you to gain perspective of your feet position, your head, your balance, and how you turn into the ball.

I have trouble with balls higher than waist-height, and returning kick-serves is quickly becoming a horror. For some reason, hitting down the line is much easier that crosscourt.
1. Perhaps you are crowding yourself too much. Learn to lean away a little over your front leg and allow your arms to come through for the high ball.

2. Better yet, practice your ball recognition speed and develop footwork to get into position to take the ball on the rise as it comes into your favorite contact/strike area. Don't be lazy about this. This is a key aspect of tennis that will really elevate your game. This is fundamental amongst the pros.

3. You are hitting DTL because you are late at contact. Use your front shoulder to help signal you for the forward swing into the ball.

4. Prepare your racquet while it is in the air and bring it forward once the ball bounces. If you learn to take the ball on the rise, it is easier to do this.
 
Last edited:

ho

Semi-Pro
man, BB that a lot of work, can we somehow do something important first then slowly proceed?
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
man, BB that a lot of work, can we somehow do something important first then slowly proceed?
Print it out and do step one. Hit lots of opposite hand forehands. That is a great place to start. When you hit with both hands, think "be relaxed" on the front arm. That should start you off.

Later reread the post. You will see that the tips are incorporated within themselves (they work together). For now, your focus should be to develop a very good opposite hand forehand over the next three months. Read the part on how fast you should set the ball machine in the thread.
 

ho

Semi-Pro
thanks BB, but there is a (my) problem: i can only hit 2hbh on 50/50 or mostly right hand (i switch from 1 hbh 4 years ago do to shoulder injury)
 
ho, as BB said, the 2H is mostly a forehand on the non-dominant side. If your right arm was injured and that's your forehand, then using more of the left shouldn't be a problem.

a lot of people, including me when i first used it, let the back wrist and elbow kind of flop around and change angles through the stroke. you want to keep this arm fixed once you begin to swing forward and let the front arm do the bending; just like a forehand, right? that's why BB told him to hit left handed forehands. if the frontt arm was fixed, it would be a one handed backhand and not two.
 

ho

Semi-Pro
true, 2hbh is mostly 1 hand left hand (i'm right hand) but that not my case, i have a 1hbh for 20 years, have to change to 2hbh due to injuries, get used to do 1hbh, my right hand always is a dominant hand, i try to release my right hand after the stroke (Borg type). but still have a fight between to hands, i fell confortable doing 50/50 and i think it is a good way, but when i do more on my left hand, the result is as posted.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
true, 2hbh is mostly 1 hand left hand (i'm right hand) but that not my case, i have a 1hbh for 20 years, have to change to 2hbh due to injuries, get used to do 1hbh, my right hand always is a dominant hand, i try to release my right hand after the stroke (Borg type). but still have a fight between to hands, i fell confortable doing 50/50 and i think it is a good way, but when i do more on my left hand, the result is as posted.
The purpose for practicing the 2HB by hitting opposite hand forehands is to build strength, stamina, and coordination with the arm along with the body.

You do not have to be tophand dominant in the stroke. Many players do hit a balanced 2HB. However, if you do, you would still benefit from hitting slow balls on the opposite side.
 

ho

Semi-Pro
So you can't practice opposite arm forehand?
thanks again BB, i sure can practice left hand forehand, but in my case, a 50/50 is the fastest way and easiest way. i remember in a tape, Nick Botterie have mention about it, but as i said, still have problem with power. many many thread have mention about how to hit 2hbh with 80lh/20rh 2hbh, but none have mention a 50lh/50rh 2hbh or even worst 20lh/80rh 2 hbh.
 

volleyandfun

Professional
J011yroger is 100% right, no power on 2HBH is #1 hitting too late and #2 not using your "body" to hit in synch with your arms #3 backswing too short, I noticed one guy in my club hitting 2HBH with as much power as his FH, and i tried his technique, it works awsome, he hits similar to Venus, really nice and compact stroke, yet lots power
 

AceofBase

Rookie
Do you volley good and have good eye contact with the ball, cause its just basicly like volley cause you have to watch the ball and take the ball when its closer to you just like as for a good vollyer. If you hit the ball early it'll be sluggish and most of the time you will hit the frame.
 

iambt21

Rookie
Hey everyone

Im playing grade 2 tennis in Australia.. which is probably 4.5-5.0.
My weakness as a player has always been the 2HB backhand, but luckily it has never hurt me because I run around and hit forehands most the time and my slice is very good. But now that I'm in a high grade, the slice just doesn't cut it (no pun intended, of course). The problem with my 2HB is:

I cannot generate enough power off this wing, due to being unable to hit through the ball. I struggle to hit winners with this shot. I tend to brush up the back of the ball, which often results in moonballs and I can also hit the ball and it will bounce under the net. I have trouble with balls higher than waist-height, and returning kick-serves is quickly becoming a horror. For some reason, hitting down the line is much easier that crosscourt.

I feel if I can fix this problem, I'll be able to play some good all-round tennis.

Any tips you'd be able to give me? I'll provide further info if required. Thanks in advance!
play your backhand like a forehand... typically with 2 handers people like to guide the ball and not swing at it....lose some control when you swing... just swing fast at the ball when practicing... remember its a swing. not a guiding something... swing very fast and dont worry about errror for awhile basically.... trust your Swing!!!
 

Ross K

Legend
I noticed one guy in my club hitting 2HBH with as much power as his FH, and i tried his technique, it works awsome, he hits similar to Venus, really nice and compact stroke, yet lots power
So what is this technique? Could you describe the V. Williams bh?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Do you volley good and have good eye contact with the ball, cause its just basicly like volley cause you have to watch the ball and take the ball when its closer to you just like as for a good vollyer. If you hit the ball early it'll be sluggish and most of the time you will hit the frame.
????????????

J
 

ho

Semi-Pro
here basicly problems with 2hbh for the lower average part of us:
CW: tendency just hit with hands, 80L/20R. human nature dictates the stroke:you linear, you linear, you rotate, you rotate, hard to do rotate and linear at the same time. Result: no power.
Pendulum: No hand just body 50L/50R. Circular motion, no linear pushing, better power but not much as a combination of circular and linear. Since only circular, hard to time the distance between you and the ball.
Two hand release: 20L/80R basicly just one hand with the add of rotation and pushing of the left hand. however, contact far in front (that why you release) racket hit off center can cause errors and less power than Pendulum.
Ideally, Pendulum with linear will be the best combination. But how? my hero is AA. study him on the video can't help. I bought a ticket to see him play in person, even worst, AA back swing in real match mostly less than 6". yet the ball rocket over the net. I start to understand why at my tennis court 80% people slice, 20% just do something to get over the net. that where i am, somewhere in between.
 

volleyandfun

Professional
So what is this technique? Could you describe the V. Williams bh?
Open stance, feet at 45°, virtually facing the net, low racquet take back (as back as possible) and tight hip rotation as you swing your racquet. Due to your stance, you are forced to hit in front. This techinque relies on hip rotation, so if you are not into latin dancing, forget it. :p

When you watch Venus, you'll how quickly she sets up and releases her BH

From the following link navigate to her BH, mind you, this video does not illustrate as well my description as well as what you see during her match

http://www.playerdevelopment.usta.com/pdmediabooks/players.asp?section=players&page=2
 

volleyandfun

Professional
Do you volley good and have good eye contact with the ball, cause its just basicly like volley cause you have to watch the ball and take the ball when its closer to you just like as for a good vollyer. If you hit the ball early it'll be sluggish and most of the time you will hit the frame.
does your racquet have strings in it?:confused:
 

Ross K

Legend
Is it possible people could tell me the particular instruction they follow as regards lining up to the incoming ball (I'm excluding racquet takeback info.)

For example... get sideways?!... step across yourself? (As in close your stance)... line up right hip in a side on position to ball?... step into the incoming ball?... point your right shoulder at incoming ball?... etc, etc.

If people wouldn't mind telling me their basic instructions or body positioning commands or whatever, I'd appreciate hearing this.
 

StraightSets

Semi-Pro
BB, thankyou for your advice. I will give everything a go and I'll repost sometime in the future with how it went. I appreciate this.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
Is it possible people could tell me the particular instruction they follow as regards lining up to the incoming ball (I'm excluding racquet takeback info.)
I try to get my back foot as close to the line of the ball as I can. I prefer to get it sort of "behind" the ball. You got to be in shape to do this all the time in a rally on all kinds of different balls.

For example... get sideways?!... step across yourself? (As in close your stance)... line up right hip in a side on position to ball?... step into the incoming ball?... point your right shoulder at incoming ball?... etc, etc.
You don't want to get sideways. If you mean something else, then you used a poor choice of words. Your weight needs to go toward contact and turning sideways does not do that. Your stance should be neutral/forward, semi-open, or open. If you do close your stance, do not step across so much that you end up closing your hips. The 2hb works best with rotation and the hips need to be able to help the kinetic chain. If you close your hips from the shot - you will feel like you are fighting the ball and produce more thuddy shots. Hips got to be able to swivel.

You must be relaxed hitting a 2hb. Do not send your weight sideways or cross over to much and block your hips from the shot. This is a common mistake made by people learning the 2hd'er and why they say "it feels awkward" or "conjested".
 
Last edited:

rfprse

Professional
2. Better yet, practice your ball recognition speed and develop footwork to get into position to take the ball on the rise as it comes into your favorite contact/strike area. Don't be lazy about this. This is a key aspect of tennis that will really elevate your game. This is fundamental amongst the pros.

3. You are hitting DTL because you are late at contact. Use your front shoulder to help signal you for the forward swing into the ball.
Hi BB.
Could you explain more on how to practice to improve ball recognition speed and develop footwork to get into position? And also how to use the front shoulder to get the proper timing?
Thanks a lot for the great tips.
 
Venus uses an open stance, as does Serena, but they get huge shoulder turns. I don't like how open stance feels, but I use it a lot in practice to be comfortable with it in matches. Open stance is better when you need to recover quickly, but makes it harder to attack your opponent with pace.

Basically open stance pivots on the outside leg, where a (more) closed stance pivots the inside (front) leg. In the open stance you have a little extra time & reach, but less power. With a (more)closed, you have more power coming from the back leg which accelerates your body forward and hips/shoulder through the ball. The power from open stance comes from core strength, coiling/releasing.

Safin obviously has a huge backhand. What he does is close his stance a little more (though not completely) and really puts his weight into the ball. Like Agassi, he hits it early and in front of his body. Both of them have nearly straight arms which adds length to the "lever." It almost looks like he's playing baseball.
 
Last edited:

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
Venus uses an open stance, as does Serena, but they get huge shoulder turns. I don't like how open stance feels, but I use it a lot in practice to be comfortable with it in matches. Open stance is better when you need to recover quickly, but makes it harder to attack your opponent with pace.

Basically open stance pivots on the outside leg, where a closed stance pivots the inside (front) leg. In the open stance you have a little extra time & reach, but less power. With a closed, you have more power coming from the back leg which accelerates your body forward and hips/shoulder through the ball. The power from open stance comes from core strength, coiling/releasing.

Safin obviously has a huge backhand. What he does is close his stance a little more and really puts his weight into the ball. Like Agassi, he hits it early and in front of his body. Both of them have nearly straight arms which adds length to the "lever." It almost looks like he's playing baseball.
Safin uses a neutral stance more often than a closed.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
I see you're right. Well, I just meant more closed than the Williams sisters. Closed would really just be for one handers, right?
Yes, he uses a more closed stance than the Williams sisters. A twohander can use a closed stance, however, it can't be too closed and block the hips from being part of the rotation. Some stronger players can overcome this, however, it is not preferred.
 

rfprse

Professional
2. Better yet, practice your ball recognition speed and develop footwork to get into position to take the ball on the rise as it comes into your favorite contact/strike area....
3. You are hitting DTL because you are late at contact. Use your front shoulder to help signal you for the forward swing into the ball.
Can anyone explain further on (how to do) these?
 
Top