thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
The one handed backhand is a stroke that many adults and juniors struggle with...

And there are 3 common mistakes that they are making to cause them to struggle with executing this shot.

So, in this post.

You are going to learn how to fix your backhand in weeks.

First tip.

Get your grip right.

"Eastern or semi-eastern is what I recommend to you and with this grip you will need time to adjust to using it, get in a ton of shadow swings off the court".

Break down your backhand into 3 main parts, by stopping and checking your form after your take back, then contact and last your follow through.

Here is a good idea.

Create an image of the palm of your back hand being an extension of your racket face, with you starting from high, coming down and through to the ball and finishing high again, towards the target.

You always want to picture yourself hitting the stroke in your mind, then perform it based on that picture.

If you are doing the shadow swings right daily, your development will be VERY FAST.

Next.

Make a full unit turn.

This is why the pros are so consistent with their one-handed backhands.

Watch the rotation they get and the groundforce that they generate off from.

"With yourself, just focus on racket preparation with a full unit turn, then getting your feet set."

What you have to understand is this...

Regarding the path of the racket face through the zone.

When you make a full unit turn before you do that, you are able to generate a lot of effortless power.

That being the case.

Juniors and adults should get quicker with their contact move and more light on their feet, to develop a more consistent backhand.

Note.

Make sure you get in the reps.

After coaching for 29 years, I have discovered that, most players and students, don't get in enough reps during practice.

I have also discovered that, they can leverage the reps in practice, to develop faster by adjusting their swing after every rep, the only players that don't progress are the ones who never adjust their swings while working the reps.

Actually, I have seen a junior player miss 7 reps in row in practice and never adjusted his swing, which should never happen!!

Anyway.

Last tip.

Look for space.

After you make your full unit turn with your racket preparation.

It's about getting into position to execute the shot.

"Ideally, you want to always be stepping into your backhand at contact and then letting the racket do all the work from there and you just flowing with your swing."

But, this doesn't always happen.

Meaning.

You have to learn how to adjust to the power that you are dealing with, so learn how to hit your backhand from all positions.

The best way to do this is by watching the pros, then model after them.

Don't worry at first, if it seems hard, because it always is hard when you are learning a new skill.

Just be patient, stick with the process.

And keep getting in the reps daily or weekly, depending on your schedule.

Okay, for a recap.

Check your grip and start with a eastern or semi-eastern, make sure you get a full smooth unit turn with your racket preparation and last, after your feet are set and your body is in the right position, let the racket do all the work and flow with your swing.
 
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I remember reading another guide here on the 1hbh grip that recommended a grip with the index knuckle on bevel 1 and the ulnar heel on 7/8, which I guess is somewhat of a hybrid between Eastern and semi-Eastern? Curious what your thoughts are on that. Also I would say points 2 and 3 are general rather than specific to the 1hbh but it never hurts people to be reminded of good habits. Wish I was not recovering from an injury and could go do some practice with this post in mind.
 

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
I remember reading another guide here on the 1hbh grip that recommended a grip with the index knuckle on bevel 1 and the ulnar heel on 7/8, which I guess is somewhat of a hybrid between Eastern and semi-Eastern? Curious what your thoughts are on that. Also I would say points 2 and 3 are general rather than specific to the 1hbh but it never hurts people to be reminded of good habits. Wish I was not recovering from an injury and could go do some practice with this post in mind.
My thoughts are test and then stick with what works for you and 2 and 3 are very important, because many students and players don't do it, I see it daily here in Kansai...
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
recommended a grip with the index knuckle on bevel 1 and the ulnar heel on 7/8, which I guess is somewhat of a hybrid between Eastern and semi-Eastern? Curious what your thoughts are on that.
I first thought you were asking me:)
Anyway I think that type of grip is a very good idea.
 
My thoughts are test and then stick with what works for you and 2 and 3 are very important, because many students and players don't do it, I see it daily here in Kansai...

They absolutely are. I know for sure I don't practice then consistently even though I'm aware I should.

I first thought you were asking me:)
Anyway I think that type of grip is a very good idea.

Yeah I've noticed it feels more stable which helps a lot with balls low or high in the hitting zone as well as shots that are more blocks than full strokes. I would say it is probably my default bh grip at this point.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Don't go for these extreme grips, much easier to hit a consistent one hander with continental or a weak Eastern
I never could. That just leads to a flat bh and those are harder to be consistent with. The onehanders main advantage is the increased spin and power, why handicap it with an old school grip?

Also, if you go extreme enough, you don't need to change grips from the fh and can still hit a drive return...
 
I never could. That just leads to a flat bh and those are harder to be consistent with. The onehanders main advantage is the increased spin and power, why handicap it with an old school grip?

Also, if you go extreme enough, you don't need to change grips from the fh and can still hit a drive return...
Personally I think it is how the opponent has no idea where it is going until they see it leaving the racquet because the direction is more easily disguised and more easily altered at the last moment with wrist manipulation. When I watch Federer's backhand during his prime this is what I see him doing with it. He had superlative control over his wrist positioning that allowed him to choose where he sent his shot after he saw his opponent moving.

Also flat backhands are harder to be consistent with but I find they are more effective on passing shots especially so I think several different grips should be used on the backhand similarly to how several different grips should be used on the forehand depending on the situation and shot being hit. It seems dumb for a player to limit themselves by focusing on just one grip. The changes between different grips are not drastic enough that there is any serious impediment to learning them unless someone was taught tennis in a terribly constricted way.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Personally I think it is how the opponent has no idea where it is going until they see it leaving the racquet because the direction is more easily disguised and more easily altered at the last moment with wrist manipulation. When I watch Federer's backhand during his prime this is what I see him doing with it. He had superlative control over his wrist positioning that allowed him to choose where he sent his shot after he saw his opponent moving.

Also flat backhands are harder to be consistent with but I find they are more effective on passing shots especially so I think several different grips should be used on the backhand similarly to how several different grips should be used on the forehand depending on the situation and shot being hit. It seems dumb for a player to limit themselves by focusing on just one grip. The changes between different grips are not drastic enough that there is any serious impediment to learning them unless someone was taught tennis in a terribly constricted way.
you seem to be in a very different tennis realm. Most poasters her cant even HIT a 1hbh let alone do it with wrist manipulation. Or different grips. And most never ever ever have to hit passing shots.

Also its been decided on this board that Feds bh is flawed technically so its not a good example...

@zill can explain the flaws IIRC.
 

Pumpkin

Professional
This is what I found to work: once you've taken the racquet back, feel the tension in your shoulder and even your back. Activate the back muscles and shoulder through the shot. As opposed to bending the elbow and swatting at the ball. Essentially, swing from the shoulder, not the elbow.
 

slipgrip93

Professional
Also its been decided on this board that Feds bh is flawed technically so its not a good example...

I hadn't really looked at Fed's 1hbh as for me I'd felt his strokes and how characteristically he does it were so personally idiosyncratic or on another level of his own as a unique "maestro", I quickly gave up on ever trying to approximate how he swings his strokes on both sides. As I'm not Fed's height or body type really either.

So for me on the 1hbh, I find myself gravitating to Henin's backhand and her associated footwork for her 1hbh game, for inspiration or a model of a pro 1hbh specialist and her still doing so amazingly with it as a shorter player. She also seemed to do some occasional slight bh grip changes depending on situation as well.
 
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Pumpkin

Professional
Well players, especially Nadal and Djokovic started to exploit the Federer backhand. People wrongly concluded that the 1hb was inherently weak. But noone could exploit Wawrinka backhand. It's just that believe it or not, the great man has a slight technical flaw on his backhand.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I hadn't really looked at Fed's 1hbh as for me I'd felt his strokes and how characteristically he does it were so personally idiosyncratic or on another level of his own as a unique "maestro", I quickly gave up on ever trying to approximate how he swings his strokes on both sides. As I'm not Fed's height or body type really either.

So for me on the 1hbh, I find myself gravitating to Henin's backhand and her associated footwork for her 1hbh game, for inspiration or a model of a pro 1hbh specialist and her still doing so amazingly with it as a shorter player. She also seemed to do some occasional slight bh grip changes depending on situation as well.
Yeah I would pick Hennin over Fed for the bh anyday as a model to copy myself. And she has that extreme grip pundits say not to use.

Wish there was a way to know if the grip changes where intentional or just happened and she made the best of them?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Well players, especially Nadal and Djokovic started to exploit the Federer backhand. People wrongly concluded that the 1hb was inherently weak. But noone could exploit Wawrinka backhand. It's just that believe it or not, the great man has a slight technical flaw on his backhand.
Seems that Wawrinka was using a 97 and fed a 90. Seems like the bh got better when fed switched to a 97
 

Pumpkin

Professional
Seems that Wawrinka was using a 97 and fed a 90. Seems like the bh got better when fed switched to a 97
Maybe the bigger head helped a bit Shroud but look at Wawrinka's technique . Unbelievable backhand he has. Or do you disagree? From what I've heard on this forum Stan actually uses a 95. ( if my memory serves me correctly, which my memory is dodgy)
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Maybe the bigger head helped a bit Shroud but look at Wawrinka's technique . Unbelievable backhand he has. Or do you disagree? From what I've heard on this forum Stan actually uses a 95. ( if my memory serves me correctly, which my memory is dodgy)
Technique is like asking who has the best (naughty body part). You get all kind of answers. I recall Stan being hassled because he opens up too much on the stroke.

This site says its a 97 which who knows
 

Pumpkin

Professional
Technique is like asking who has the best (naughty body part). You get all kind of answers. I recall Stan being hassled because he opens up too much on the stroke.

This site says its a 97 which who knows
Look at Federer slightly bent elbow, so using his arm.


And now compare it to Stan straight arm using more powerful back and shoulder muscles

 

enishi1357

Semi-Pro
The only tip is to keep experimenting on ways to hit a one hand BH. There's a baseline like those suggest above but it's more complicated and also personalized. The wrong thing to do is to stop experimenting because even pros change their strokes slightly in their careers.
 

Thiemster

Rookie
I never could. That just leads to a flat bh and those are harder to be consistent with. The onehanders main advantage is the increased spin and power, why handicap it with an old school grip?

Also, if you go extreme enough, you don't need to change grips from the fh and can still hit a drive return...
I believe that the swing path is more the deciding factor for spin than the grip, also an example of weak eastern is wawrinka/federer and continental would be thiem, these guys hit pretty hard and heavy off that wing.

Also you want a combination of court penetration + hard pace + spin to put pressure on your opponent than just pure spin.

One reason the extreme grips like strong eastern or semi-western are difficult is the contact point has to be much further in front as well consistently turning the racket to get into these grips takes away time.
 

ubercat

Hall of Fame
Swing path for sure but grip does matter. I ve tried it all to fix my Bunty one hander. I m in that annoying practice to match phase but my practice is moving with diff heights and àngles so I can say.

I found moving to a semi Western frying pan grip helps. But you have to get low down with the back leg and then transfer the weight up. I have found with this grip I can get a lower trajectory with good topspin and that means I can hit it's a hell of a lot harder and it goes in.

Another hack is when I am doing my take back raising the racquet up I push the handle tip towards the left net post gripping very loosely that automatically means that you have to turn a lot so you don't get that bunty side on bh.

The other hack is one-handed BH works best with the weight coming forward the more forward the better. So if you get caught in an awkward footwork situation take your back foot off the grounds that forces all your weight to be on the front foot and you will get a solid shot.

I've practised this through thousands of reps so I can guarantee you these tips work
 
I'm pretty sure both swing path and grip matter because it is the combination of these two things that produces a given launch angle and spin for the equipment setup the player has.

you seem to be in a very different tennis realm. Most poasters her cant even HIT a 1hbh let alone do it with wrist manipulation. Or different grips. And most never ever ever have to hit passing shots.

Also its been decided on this board that Feds bh is flawed technically so its not a good example...

@zill can explain the flaws IIRC.
I'm struggling to discern what is serious and what is facetious here.
This is what I found to work: once you've taken the racquet back, feel the tension in your shoulder and even your back. Activate the back muscles and shoulder through the shot. As opposed to bending the elbow and swatting at the ball. Essentially, swing from the shoulder, not the elbow.
Yeah you think of the shot foremost like you are throwing an elbow. Then on top of that you view it as backhanded slap. Both a very dismissive authoritative actions which is why the shot appeals more to the aesthete than a pseudo lefty forehand.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Look at Federer slightly bent elbow, so using his arm.


And now compare it to Stan straight arm using more powerful back and shoulder muscles

I don't see any of what you are seeing. Wawrinka has a bent elbow and the pict of fed is just later in the swing. If you raised feds up to where Stan's is it would look the same.
 

ubercat

Hall of Fame
Add hitting to a target on the wall while moving and I agree. I can produce top and slice from the wall. But if anyone knows how. I d love to be able to replicate side spin. I find those shots happen every match when the opp almost miss hits the shot and you up with a bounce that's going as much sideways as forward and dropping quickly.
 
Add hitting to a target on the wall while moving and I agree. I can produce top and slice from the wall. But if anyone knows how. I d love to be able to replicate side spin. I find those shots happen every match when the opp almost miss hits the shot and you up with a bounce that's going as much sideways as forward and dropping quickly.
It's literally just how the racquet face angle is deviated from perpendicular to the path of the swing at impact except horizontally rather than vertically. Think about what you are doing to generate topspin and apply it in the other dimension.
 

ubercat

Hall of Fame
I m not sure we are talking about the same thing. If you slice into the wall you get topspin back. If you hit flat into the ground in front of the wall you get slice back. I m trying to figure out how to get sidespin back. If I could simulate TS with side and slice with side that's getting really close to match conditions.
 

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
This is what I found to work: once you've taken the racquet back, feel the tension in your shoulder and even your back. Activate the back muscles and shoulder through the shot. As opposed to bending the elbow and swatting at the ball. Essentially, swing from the shoulder, not the elbow.
Too complicated there for most players... they just need to do their full unit turn and let the racket fly when their feet are set...
 

Pumpkin

Professional
Too complicated there for most players... they just need to do their full unit turn and let the racket fly when their feet are set...
It's not too complicated, just important to swing from the shoulder and not the elbow. But it's true what you say, just get out there and practice. I practiced for years and countless hours to learn the shot.
 
It's not too complicated, just important to swing from the shoulder and not the elbow. But it's true what you say, just get out there and practice. I practiced for years and countless hours to learn the shot.
The complicated part is defining "swing from the shoulder" in terms that someone who is not familiar with the motion can understand. What does "swing from the shoulder" really mean?
 
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