2hbh windshield wiper controversy

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by vinouspleasure, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. vinouspleasure

    vinouspleasure Rookie

    Mar 6, 2004

    my son's tennis instructor has done his own analysis of the elements of stroke production. He is at odds with many club pros on stroke production. On the fh he teaches a windshield wiper fh which maximizes extension, the arm ends up in the direction of the ball and the racquet ends up pointed to the side fence. He strongly disagrees with a fh that ends over the shoulder, open stances and he doesn't like big loops. He's taught many juniors and adults in our area this fh and it's hard to argue with the results.

    The unconventional stroke is the 2hbh. He's reasoned that the shape of the stroke should look precisely like the fh and never finish above the shoulder. He feels pros like roddick and even djok would derive a lot more power from this shape stroke. My son and daughter hit this stroke with mixed results. They can both generate a tremendous amount of power but I don't see enough topspin yet to generate consistency.

    I sent a friend to him and his son has made tremendous strides in 6 lessons. However, when his son started hitting the bh at his local club in a group session, the head pro corrected him. His son told him he's working with a new pro and was told to not change his stroke to an above the shoulder finish. The head pro told him he'd have to leave the session because he was afraid the boy would get hurt.

    I don't know if the head pro was befuddled by the stroke or insulted that the boy wouldn't take direction. I am somewhat concerned that my kids might get hurt but they've hit 1000s of balls in this manner with no ill effects.

    thoughts? If anyone is interested, I could take videos of both strokes...
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  2. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

    Apr 2, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Guys that are at the elite level with proven rock solid strokes and mechanics.. id stick with what they are doing over some unconventional method
  3. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2010
    It seems like going with strokes that are used by the majority of high level and pro players is the smart thing to do.

    Pros hit fh with both open and closed stances. In my experience as a player, playing with folks who are hitting very hard, you need to be able to hit from any stance because it can be difficult to have the time to switch.

    Pros also let the racquet wrap around, sometimes over the shoulder and sometimes lower depending on the shot. From your description it sounds like the whole arm is pointing into the court and the wrist is pronated such that the racquet is 90° to the arm pointing to the left (for a righty)? If I have that correct then I would be concerned about wrist injury. The racquet head should have a lot of momentum and stopping all of that momentum with just the wrist would be bad. The racquet wraps around because that's the easiest way to dissipate the racquet's momentum after the ball is struck.

    Relative to the backhand, most people have to work a bit more to get something like the same amount of topspin that they get on their fh. I see pros everywhere finishing over the shoulder with the bh, including Agassi who hits a pretty flat and powerful ball (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql5xVpACt1Y).

    Youtube is a great resource to see how the best players in the world hit. If this pro is teaching something that is very different than the basic foundation that these top players are using, and it sounds like he is, I'd personally consider finding a new pro.
  4. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2009
    Yes, videos please.

    By the way, Dolgopolov Jr. is now ranked 19, so much for unorthodox technique.
  5. mightyrick

    mightyrick Legend

    Aug 19, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I really like Dolgopolov, but I'm not sure why "unorthodox" is the word being used to describe his game. For some reason, if somebody in the ATP has more two shots in their repetoire, they get labeled this way. I prefer the words "versatile" or "varied". The only guy in the top-20 who comes close to Dolgopolov's versatility is probably Andy Murray.

    When I think of an "unorthodox" tennis player, it is someone who hits strokes that are outside of the basic fundamentals. Santoro was unorthodox. But Dolgopolov doesn't really fit that moniker.

    I think the only aspect of Dolgopolov's game that is unorthodox is probably his serve. Other than that, the guy pretty much hits every stroke the way it is supposed to be hit.
  6. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Legend

    Jan 18, 2005
    A green and pleasant land
    Video definately required...
  7. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    Good post. I also picture an arm point out with wrist action to point the racket to the side. It sounds like a recipe for injury.

    I think finish over the shoulder on FH and BH is fundamentally sound and should be the "basic" stroke. FH may also have beside shoulder finish if flatter shot or over the hitting shoulder finish for extreme topspin, topspin lob, or running forehand ala Sampras. Most BH even at pro level don't generate as much topspin as FH but I think an over the shoulder finish is tecnically sound for hitting topspin.

    I think I might look for a pro who teaches more traditional strokes.

    Agassi is great FH and BH model - short compact loop with over the shoulder finish on both sides. Racket in unison with body rotation.

    Fed is also great model for FH - short compact loop with relaxed WW finish either over the shoulder or beside the shoulder or over the same shoulder depending on situation and shot he is hitting. Perhaps the best unison between body and racket ever.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  8. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    New strokes, Videos, Who Can Analyze?

    You have everything there to deal with.

    For myself, as other replies said, I would be very skeptical of any new techniques that originate without considerable usage. But there are a lot of different strokes out there these days. If you have Tennis Channel and your own DVR you can often analyze the pro strokes especially off of their high speed analysis shot with a fast shutter. For a step up subscribe to the Yandell, FYB, etc. sites. Ask your coach if he is using one of these pro backhands as a model? He should be able to clearly discuss the background for the technique.

    Maybe some 30 or 60 fps videos would be useful. High speed video with a fast shutter speed is required for proper analysis of the velocities in strokes.

    (A good investment - the cost of a high speed video camera is incidental and makes the tennis lessons expenses more effective.)

    However, for even the best high speed videos probably there is nobody in the world who could completely analyze a new stroke - especially for safety. However, a lot of times something stands out in the videos that should be researched (outside of this forum).
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  9. ramos

    ramos New User

    Sep 4, 2006
    Its ok for me...

    The instructor is correct. A modern FH WW dont finish under shoulders anymore...
    The open stance often causes youngers to hit out of balance with the boby falling behind. In neutral stance tthis dont ocurr and the childreens go ti the ball entering in the court.
    The ww in the 2hbh , of course will make the finish in the side and NOT on shoulders, and is a great maner to produce spin in this stroke.
    There is no risk of injury...
    The 2hbh is a FH with the left arm , so some of the caracteristcs will be reproduced, for sure.
    In my opinion, your sun have been in good hands!...

  10. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

    Aug 8, 2007
    With two hands on the racquet, it seems to me that doing a WW finish for the 2hbh is going to stress out one of the wrists - the right wrist, if you are right handed. I would say that the natural finish for a 2hbh is over the shoulder, which requires one to just bend the arm at the elbows on the follow through - at least, that's how it works for me. If there is any youtube video of a 2hbh with a WW finish, I would like to see it (for my own edification).
  11. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    Disagree, I just went to YOUTUBE and watch Agassi, Del Potro, Djoko, and Nadal hit topspin 2 HBH. All finish over the shoulder. There really isn't as much WW effect in a 2HBH as there is in a FH. The forearms don't roll over (pronate in WW) on the backhand until much later in the stroke when compared to forehand WW and the hands finish up near or just above the shoulder on 2hbh. I don't think there are many good 2 HBHs that don't have this trait. A 2 HBH is not really exactly like a left handed forehand either. Go watch Agassi, Djoko hit forehands and backhands in slow-mo and you will see they are vastly different. The 2HBH has SOME characteristics of a forehand but it is not the same prep or finish. Coaches use the forehand analogy on 2HBHs to stress letting the non-dominant hand (left hand for righty) take a bigger role in the shot - especially, letting the non-dominant hand take a big role thru contact and the follow-thru. But, go watch great 2HBHs and the prep angles, loop action, contact and follow-thru patterns will be significantly different than their forehands.

    Also, even with neutral stances; the hand on the FH should finish just beside the shoulder or just above the shoulder on normal rally balls - when you are positioned and have a normal amount of time to hit the ball. Again, go watch pros practicing and playing and this is very, very consistent across many pros. The elbow finish up and pointing toward net, but the hand is just below or just above shoulder and the racket head typically is pointing almost at the fence behind the player at the end of the follow-thru.

    Maybe the pro teaches different follow-thru with racket head pointing at side fence as some transitional phase and will migrate to the full stroke later. But, if he/she is teaching this as the proper way to hit a tennis ball, he is teaching something not being used by pros, or good college players, or even good high school players at the current time. Maybe the pro is a genius and on to some new technique that will dominate the game in the future. And, maybe not.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  12. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

    Aug 6, 2009
    Well, everybody has their own way of hitting shots. It doesn't make anybody better or worse, it's simply different.

    Even pros vary their technique according to the situation. They may drive the ball more, or do more of a WW 2HBH to get a bit more topspin.

    If you take a look at someone like Djokovic, you'll see so many different kinds of finishes. If he hits a more defensive shot, he does a helicopter finish. Or taking a high forehand? Over the shoulder sometimes. Low approach? Under the shoulder WW finish.

    I think your son needs a coach that is a bit more open-minded. There is absolutely no one correct way of hitting a shot, but there are some fundamentals that must be maintained. Find a coach that focuses on merely these fundamentals. Let your son figure out what feels best after he learns only these stroke production basics.
  13. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Feb 11, 2011
    I think he is teaching a pretty much standard WW forehand. I think with pointing to the side fence he doesn't mean exactly to the side fence (would be hard to stop there) but rather the height of the finish which is against the left arm (the "around" finish which is standard right now). if he does he is pointing to the fence rather than up.

    Rarely we see real over the shoulder finishes anymore (like davenport used to).

    What would wonder me more is that he doesn't teach open stance along with the ww FH. most guys who teach WW also teach open stance.
  14. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

    Sep 14, 2011

    My opinion: He needs theropy. The thing is Roddick and Djokovic don't get all of their power from their stroke itself. They use the whole of their body to create pace. Roddick's forehand does have some flaws but he can revert back to his original forehand motion and crank it.

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