Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ross K, Jan 31, 2007.
Are you a double bender on your backhand?
yea serveitup it looks like you are a "chickenwinger" as fearless said I've been trying this but am having trouble getting enough topspin on it :-(
Guys trying to win just with 145+ MPH serves, women trying to look like the Incredible Hulk, and 1HBH players getting owned by pushers have done far worse!
I see at least 5 times as many bad 1HBH's as I do see a good one. With 2HBH, very few of them consider their backhand a liability. 1HBH is nice, but no better than a 2HBH. 1HBH are lousy with high balls and 2HBH have limited reach. 1HBH has more angles to hit; 2HBH is a more offensive stroke and generates better topspin.
Jealous 1HBH's can start their own thread and whine over how Fed struggles with Hewitt, Nalbandian, Nadal, Canas....2HBH players...
I like to get my whole body into it and really rotate the shoulder while brushing up on the ball for topsin.
I with my 2HBH in a closed stance. I'm generating the stroke as I move to the ball. I don't try to brush the ball much. Completing the stroke is my main goal (that and getting it in). My instincts tell me what to do and I let the ball rip or get topspin accordingly.
For the OP, there's really no perfect way to hit a 2HBH or any stroke for that matter. I was able to even hit 2HBH with both hands in semi-western position. It's more important to swing at your optimal distance from the ball, get underneath it, and finish the follow-through.
For Ross K and those interested
Hi all I'm a new poster.
I've been following this board for a while now.
Sometimes I've read some great stuff and other times really dreadful, because I speak to an actual coach who knows his stuff and is still learning.
Sorry if my post is gonna be long
I myself use a two handed backhand and this is what I know about two handed backhand from this coach that coaches my little brother.
Grips I use personally for my two-hander is a continental(right)/eastern forehand(left). Btw Im a righty.
The grips main grip setups for the two-hander are either the continental/eastern forehand like the males on the ATP tour and the continetal/semiwestern forehand on the WTA tour.
Hey Ross K, if you really want to model Agassi's backhand, his setup is an eastern(backhand)/eastern(forehand). If your a righty, hold your left hand with a eastern forehand and right hand with a eastern backhand. You''ll probably find you'll use more left hand lot more than continental/eastern forehand combo. Plus Kafelnikov use this backhand setup as well.
The continental/eastern(fh) or eastern(bh)/eastern(fh) setup is more linear in motion and the swingpath is out to in, bring the backswing out then the foward swing comes in to the ball, which is how you get the linear motion and straight arm at contact.
The stance for this setup is semi-open to closed as its prefered more on the front foot although you can still hit off the backfoot depending on choice, stance and situation.
The continental/semiwestern setup is used more by the girls because they have a lighter base than us guys and their swingpath is an in to out motion where the backswing is more towards the body and the foward swing is out towards the ball, which is more rotational in path or horizontal which is why they get chicken wing at contact look like the Williams sisters, Sharapova. Stance for this setup is more open and hitting more off the backfoot although you can still hit off the front foot again depending on choice, stance and situation
With a continental/semiwestern you'll notice the racket face is more closed than a continental/eastern.
The main thing to worry about stance is if you use cont./eastern(fh) or east(bh)/east(fh) you try to anchor on the front foot as much as you can.
Thanks to reading my post if you are reading. PS i'm not very good at explaining technical jargon and I also have knowledge on the forehand grips and what stance you should hit them with and their swingpaths, one handed I know little but not expert because I don't use it except for slice.
Off topic Federer uses a strong eastern forehand, just look at his swingpath its linear, more in to out although he closes his racket like semi-western.
Having a 2 handed backhand myself, I'll try to impart a few tips I have learn throughout the years.
I myself use to have a strong flat 1hb along with a great slice. I was tired of not being able to drive balls higher in the strike zone so I switched.
My 2hnder Tips:
1) Essentially you are hitting a 1handed left handed forehand. The right arm acts on the bottom as a wrist support. To get it down pat, practice hitting a 1handed backhand against a hitting board. Start with a spongy ball and when you feel confident try real balls. Don't try to share power, keep the right hand loose and the right elbow close to the body in the initial phase of the swing.
2) Follow through across the body, not over it. One of the best lessons I have ever got on my back hand was to drive thru it. Most of the backhands you see the swing goes forward and directly over the shoulder. You can get alot more torque if you let the racquet go in front of you more and drive through the ball and finish across your body with your left at shoulder level.
Your 2handed can be a weapon if you let it.
3) Step into the ball. Because of the limited reach of the 2handed you won't be able generate as much whippy racquet head acceleration like on your forehand. It's important to get your body moving forward into the ball. That means taking a step into the ball with your right toward the incoming ball just before contact. Don't take it too soon because you'll lose the forward momentum to generate with this step. The step should be taken as the swing is happening. This way you generate a slightly longer racquet path and subsequent more stability and power.
4) Ok this may sound silly but it's probably the best advice on the 2handed backhand. Lift with your legs. Because of the abbreviated stroke you want to use alot of that racquet motion in a linear plane (ie forward not up). Get underneath that ball and let your legs lift it over the net. You'll find that your won't have to like take a golf swing motion to lift it your a slight bend and straightening of your legs and that ball will lift beautifully.
If you watch Safin, he does alot of what I mentioned above.
Good luck friend,
Former College Player
Agassi is an excellent model for your strokes. Just remember that you are using Agassi as a model and not trying to exactly mimic his strokes. As already alluded to in other posts, if you are using SW fh grip, then you will need to rotate that grip to something like continental for your 2hb.
Unfortunately, reading posts on 2hb technique are of limited benefit in terms of actually learning the stroke. Your goal over the next year or two is to "groove" the stroke. I have determined the fastest and most economical way to groove strokes is on a practice wall. Grooving a stroke isn't just about learning the stroke. Some muscular and neural growth occurs in the body/msucles, timing improves, subtle refinements in your stroke occur, etc.
Even after hitting 2hb's for years, I still occassionally resort to wall drills for regrooving my strokes. The wall drill is very simple...hit as many shots in a row as possible that are also inbounds (above the painted net line). My own personal record is about 150 shots in a row in one uninterrupted continuous string. Not only is the drill very effective in grooving the stroke, but the drill also teaches and reinforces consistency. In order to hit a very good next shot in the string, I have to ensure that the current shot I am hitting is accurate and with the right amount of pace to allow me to hit that next shot. If you where to watch me perform the drill, you'd see me standing about 30 feet from the wall and the balls would be hitting the wall in a very tight shot group about 3 to 4 feet about the painted net line. You would also see me hitting my shots in a consistent rhythm too...hit, bounce, bounce...hit, bounce, bounce...one, two, three...one, two, three...etc. My return of serve drill is to simply step closer to the back wall, say 20 feet. Again, the goal is to maintain a long sthot string, but the rhythm will be much quicker though. Being closer to the wall means less time to fully stroke the ball which in turn means a shorter backswing similar to return of serve. In fact, the tempo of doing thris drill from 20 feet against a back wall is similar to the tempo of receiving a real serve from baseline to baseline on a real tennis court.
The best place to work on your shots (not the same as working on your strokes) is on the tennis court. Strokes are fh, bh, serve, volley, etc. Shots are down the line, crosscourt, fast, slow, drop, spin, etc. As your strokes groove over time, you will be able to hit your shots more accurately and consistently too. Obvious drills for groundstrokes are down the line and crosscourt practice rallies with a practice partner. On the other hand, I recommend using a ball machine or dedicated practice partner or coach for volleys and overhead practice. The problem with usual net practice is the need to hit the volley and overheads back at your practice partner to keep the rally going....not a good way to learn how to hit ANGLE volleys and overheads away from an opponent in a match situation!
VERY IMPORTANT: as any of your strokes become grooved, you must pay less attention to them and more on holding your aim point for accurate and consistent shot placement. Tennis is not figure skating where correct form is your primary goal. Too much "stroke consciousness" will limit your ability to play better match play tennis.
Regarding recent above posts ^^^^^^^
Ahem!... AWESOME contributions ppl!...
Unfortunately I haven't time this particular moment to properly go through it all with the close attention it deserves - shall do so tomorrow though. But from giving it the once-over read-through, I can see there's some wicked excellent info there!... shall be getting back to you shortly.
Btw, quick update - yesterday's practice and today's match and it's all been very much back to basics - right hand in contintental grip and trying to focus on hitting closed stance... Results thus far? If not exactly producing rocket-propelled backhand bombs, it has made for an improved showing at least.
Btw2, when I said earlier I had taken AA as my role model or whatever, I didn't mention that discovering that he apparently leads largely with his right hand (not the left like most modern 2handers) kind of brought down the curtain a bit on my attempts at emulating him... not that I may not go back to it again sometime... I would call the Agassi bh an absolute work of art... poetry in motion!... Unfortunately though, recently, I was looking more like a drunkard in motion when I was trying to copy him!... Ah well, I look forward to reading the above references to AA and all the rest of it.
To all you 2hbhers out there - keep the faith!
Great great info and details there mate... (so I've been trying a girlie grip then?!)... especially interrtested to hear AA's grip set up - I may actually even try and emulate his east/east preference... you def must post again (I'd love to hear some thoughts on closed and semi closed stance, positioning into shot, body shapes, hitting zones, etc.)
Again - top brilliant info - a lot of which I'm going to be adding to my 2her practice checklist.
Shall be posting on your reply shortly...
Excellent advice. If truth be told I've hardly done any wall work at all, but that can change... Cheers for your input.
take a high backswing, let gravity take the racquet down, and then accelerate the racquet up and through the zone.
Good luck Ross let me know how it goes.
Shorter takeback is the key to control and power.
practice checklist plus new Q about +court & dtl
Okay... So, in the immediate future I intend to work on:
1 - Grip... east/cont and quite possibly east/east grips.
2 - Stance and positioning... getting more side on and hitting in line with that right front foot/hip, stepping into ball.
3 - lifting through the stroke.
4 - hitting more through, in front and across to shoulder (as opposed to jerking it up very high over shoulder.)
There's one aspect I'd like to also improve though - or if I don't have the time right away, at least I would have got some good advice so I can look at it relatively soon... anyway...
Cross-court... down the line...
I've enquired about this before, but seeing as how this thread has picked up some new posters I thought I'd ask again...
Anyone got advice, tips, insights regarding exactly how they hit cross-court or down-the-line?
Hey Ross, and all those others with a two hander.
To be honest I'm just a guy who loves his tennis and never been coached in his life, its all self taught although Im fortunate to witness real pro coaching technique not just club level coaching. Some of the stuff being taught I see is amazing although I dont think I would able to retell it accurately or explain well technically. I'm afraid I would destroy people's games out there.
Anyway I'll do my best on what I know on the two hander.
A lot of people feel and probably feel that my two hander is my best shot.
You probably notice its easier to get into a wrist lock with a two handed backhand on the takeback then the forehand.
As for grip setups and contact points, the cont/east(fh) and east(bh)/east(fh) assuming you are a righty is its more linear in motion in the swingpath from back to front swing compared to a cont/semi where its more rotational or horizontal in the swingpath from in to out.
As far as I know the difference between a cont/east(fh) and east/east is the east/east is the backswing is wider and the contact point more extended. The east/east makes you use your left hand a lot more, its best to try the between the two setups to see what Im talking about.
Key thing with a good two hander that we already know is that left hand which does most of the work again like when knowing forehand grip you are using to know where your ideal contact point is. With a two hander your reach is already restricted but also that the left hand is gripped in an eastern forehand. We know with an eastern forehand you prefer to contact the ball and not too far in front and that the racket face is not as closed like the western grips. The good two handers when we watch particularly the blokes with the grip setup we want have a good low fast swing at the ball.
As for stance, you can hit in virtually any stance but rather the semi-open to close stance is the easiest because I'm assuming if your right hand dominant then your right foot dominant which is your strongest leg. It allows you to anchor, shoulder turn on that right shoulder and load up on the backhand.
You'll find the pros (don't quote me but I heard from a coach), that you'll be 90% of the time hitting off that front foot when using the two-hander and 10% when your receiving serve or being stretched on the run wide and have no time.
So here's the tips when you go out to hit that two hander or grooving the motion:
-think of an out to in swing line or path, bring the racket out away from the body and when your swinging towards the ball, the racket should be feeling like its brushing into the ball. a figure 8 is a good description when your doing an out to in motion. or to make things simple think linear (note best applicable for the cont/east or east/east)
-when brushing the ball, try to brush up from 6,7 8 o'clock, this well help you to get outside the ball I think
-try to get on that front foot, (it helps a lot if you can get your stance anywhere from semi-open to closed)
-keep the elbow locked on the backswing
-due to both limitation on reach and eastern forehand held in that left hand, your best results will come when the contact point is not too far out in front and high like a right handed eastern forehand but rather around waist height or above.
-swing fast and low (reason explained above for eastern forehand), low being the key word. Look at the good two handers out there, see how they swing fast but also important low around waist level.
Finally if you think I talked a load of crap then I'm sorry but Im no expert and Im still learning the game.
Sorry for the very long post.
PS I think you should look up pictures of Agassi/Kafelnikov for the east/east, Safin/Nalbandian for the cont/east and Sharapova/any girl for cont/semi except Hingis she is classified under cont/east for close ups to see there contact point and extension in their arms and a photo where you can see them pointing the butt cap and see the way their wrists bend according to the grip setup.
I've just quickly read this - ex post again - shall scrutinize later when I've more time. Didn't particularly see anything on hitting down the line shots or cross-court shots - unless I missed it reading too quickly. Whatever. Cheers... and I'm telling you Star, no way are you talking crap!... Great stuff about contact points and grips... keep posting!
Hey Ross and others,
I just wanna rephrase myself on the elbow lock thing, when you complete the backswing and before initiating the foward swing, keep that elbow lock.
As for the downline and crosscourt shots, I haven't mentioned it in my previous post but I myself am still learning how to do each but I'll do my best to explain when I hit one.
Between the crosscourt and the downline, my crosscourt is very strong at the moment, I seem to give the ball a lot of angle. My downline I struggle in terms of over getting over the net, particularly when I have to go over the highest part of the net and generally rallying at some moments. I fluke my down the lines when I get fast paced balls in rallies or on the return of serve.
When I hit crosscourt, I really focus on brushing from 6,7,8 o'clock on the ball and hit a lot earlier compared to dtl where I hold my backswing a little longer and close my stance a lot more to line myself up for dtl the shot.
To be honest describing how to hit crosscourt and dtl is not easy to put in words, Im still trying to get my dtl shot more consistent, my crosscourt is a deadly weapon in terms of the angle I can get, the different feeling I get between the two is like your hitting a lot earlier with a crosscourt where as down the line I wait for it a bit more.
Im sorry if Im not descriptive enough but I feel very instinctive at this time when hitting either crosscourt or downline but in generally I feel I can hit crosscourt with any stance and the dtl I feel much more comfortable when Im much more closed.
Anyway I'll post again when I have better words for it and after social club competition tomorrow I might give a better description as I hit a lot balls after my matches when I hit intense practices.
Regarding elbow lock, do you mean keeping straight-arms or keeping elbow tight to body?
Also, what's your general personal preference - straight-arms, chicken-winger, something else? I'd be interested to know more about what your 2her looks like... Agassi? Safin? Hewitt? Nalby?... Btw, sorry if you've already answered some of this... Btw2, cheers for response on hitting +court and dtl... I knew about where on ball to strike for cc angle but had forgotten you need to take it earlier... I'll also keep in mind hitting from very closed stance and waiting a bit for dtl... Anyhow, shall keep you updated on progress. Good luck with your matches.
The grip you use on your forehand strokes is going to determine what grips you use on your 2hb. For example, if your FH is semi western (SW), then you will almost certainly have to change that primary hand grip to something like continental or easter bh grip on your 2hb. On the other hand, if your fh is something like eastern, then you have the option of either rotating the primary hand grip to cont or eastern bh OR you can keep the eastern fh grip and simply close the racquet face with wrist flexion. The latter method is used by two exceptional tennis players that come to mind: Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert (although in the case of JC, his fh grip leans a little bit towards continental).
The advantages to double eastern grips on the 2hb is simplicity and speed. On all ground strokes and volleys, JC used that one fh grip for all bh and fh shots. With return of serve, there is no wasted motion with grip changes (in his prime, JC had the best service return in the game). The one glaring problem with using a fh grip on any type of backhand stroke is that it is a mechanically weak way to stroke a ball....but it can be done as proven by past champions.
For people still learning/grooving their strokes, there is a tendency to think that one learns the strokes then adding directionals to their SHOTS is simply a matter of aiming their shots either down the line (DTL) or cross court (CC) by trying to hit a different part of the ball or hitting earlier or later, etc. Things really don't work that way. Just like strokes have to be practiced, shots have to be practiced too. The correct way to learn DTL and CC shots is to practice them a LOT. Once you have more or less mastered directionals, your body/mind through your strokes will make all the necessary adjustments for you AUTOMATICALLY. I know this sounds weird, but that's the right way to do it. There is no intellectualizing, steering of the shot, trying to hit a different part of the ball, trying to hit earlier/later, etc. that goes on in the mind of a player who has mastered DTL and CC shooting.
One can practice DTL and CC shots on a wall, but you need a 3-wall racquet ball type court for these drills. For DTL practice, simply stand near one of the side walls and try to hit your shots against the back wall close to where it meets the side wall. Well placed DTL shots will parallel the side wall you are standing near. For the CC drill, stand near one of the side walls and hit the the ball to the opposite corner back wall. The ball should bounce off the back wall then bounce off the side wall back to you...hit the ball CC again to continue the shot string.
As I had mentioned in an earlier post, the best place to practice CC and DTL shots in on a tennis court. A popular DTL drill with a practice partner is to have both of you on each end of a doubles alley and practice hitting as many shots possible in the alley. The singles version of the DTL drill places you and your practice partner a few feet inside the court away from the alley. Do this drill for both fh and bh shots.
For CC court drills, you and your practice partner are simply on opposite corners of the court hitting balls to one another. Do the drill for both fh and bh CC shots.
VERY IMPORTANT: when doing any type of SHOT drills, you must NOT think about stroke mechanics at all. Instead, you focus on hitting your target areas as accurately and consistently as possible.
I used to play eastern(r)-eastern(l) on my backhand. Then I tried eastern-semi. Now I'm messing with continental-semi. I seem to get more topspin on the E-S backhand, but I have to hit the ball more in front. I might go back to the E-S asI keep tweaking my game too much....grrr.
Regarding the elbow lock, I keep that left elbow tight to the body before I swing foward. Hope that answers your question.
My personal preference is the bent arms used by Safin/Nalbandian.
I use to swing like chicken winger without realising it so changed the motion to something a lot more my idol like Safin. As to who I look like I honestly dont know. Dont mind looking like Safin but Nalbandian's is considered by my brother's coach to have the best(technically) in the world atm
I take your point about the need to just practice hard and to find form through actual play and not just via bits of advice (although you do realise I'm a tennis tip junkie?!)... and most of all, v/int and informative about Evert and Connors grips, etc... priceless stuff for us lovers of the twin-grip... I'd say it's required reading for all 2hander connoisseurs!
...QUOTE - "I used to play eastern(r)-eastern(l) on my backhand. Then I tried eastern-semi. Now I'm messing with continental-semi. I seem to get more topspin on the E-S backhand, but I have to hit the ball more in front. I might go back to the E-S asI keep tweaking my game too much....grrr." - QUOTE...
Now does that sounds kind of familiar to me or what?!... Eastern/Eastern?... Eastern/Continental?... Eastern/Semi-W?... Continental/Semi-W?... AAAAAAARRRGGHH!!!... It does all kind of do your head in after a while - and talk about confusing?... You mention using eastern (right hand) with Semi-W (left hand) twin-grip... For me, until very recently, I was using that combo BUT THE OTHER WAY ROUND (east - left hand,semi-W - right hand)... wtf?!... Anyway, right now, I'm trying out what I believe are the 2 most basic popular grips: east/east and east/cont (c in r hand)... Keep us posted on your progress, and btw... keep it going soy - one day we'll nail it eh?!
Thanks for clarifying elbow lock issue. It's one of those things that for me comes and goes, such as when I'm perhaps very focussed on something like my grip, I start forgetting about 'straight arms and elbow tight to body.' I'll have to add that one to my check-list... although it occurrs to me that as I'm pretty much a straight-armer (though with shoulder-height, slightly-looped takeback) and you're more more bent-arms, maybe we're doing v/diff things? Hmmm... anyway...
Progress report from yesterday (I feel like your my coach!): backhand stabillized and kind of solid - (hurrah!) - though nothing spectacular... the change in grip (Cont for r hand) felt okay... the biggest thing though was just the area of stepping into shot, hitting right side of hip, etc. This is where I feel my bh game improved the most. As for dtl - v/little joy. But as for +court, a little bit of success (I was totally trying to put your words about hitting earlier and on approx 7 o'clock side of ball into practice.) All in all, not a bad day, though lots and lots to work on.
Right, I've got to get the hell out of here before I lose my job!
Get yourself a copy of this book...
Jimmy Connors: How to Play Tougher Tennis
Everything you want to know about Jimmy's strokes can be found in this book...about 200 photos in all...closeup pics of how he grips the racquet as well as many action sequence pics of all his strokes too. Not only was Jimmy's return of serve the best in the game but his 2hb was also considered the best bh in the game too during his prime. His bh is one of the prettiest and most efficient straight arm 2hb's around.
I've been thinking a little bit more about your 2hb situation and recommend the you use continental for your lower/primary hand on the 2hb. From a semi western (sw) fh, this would mean a grip rotation from sw to continental when hitting a 2hb. Do NOT use an eastern bh grip on the 2hb since this type of grip will significantly complicate your net game. To use an eastern bh grip on the 2hb for volleys would mean another very quick swith to some other grip if you need to hit a forehand volley.
So, to summarize, your Agassi type game will be...
FH - SW grip
2hb - upper hand is eastern fh grip; lower hand is continental
FH - continental grip
BH - lower hand is continental with option of using easter fh grip for upper hand if you want to hit 2hb volley.
Serves and Overhead
Yes, I'll continue trying out with the lower hand in continental (and btw, cheers for pointing out facts about the east and cont as it applies to net game etc.)
And I have a question for everyone regarding who I should study... Aside from Agassi and Roddick, can ppl name me some pro 2hbhers who use a pretty straight arm technique but also take the the racquet back to around shoulder height for a small loop (ie not like, say, Hewitt or Williams sisters who use use pretty straightarm technique but instantly take the racquet back very low and diagonal with hoop tip pointing to and very close to the ground?)
Remember, there is a big difference between using a pro's 2hb as a model versus trying to mimic the pro's strokes. You want to model the major mechanical aspects of the 2hb and not try to mimic any particular pro's stroke. All straight arm 2hb are mechanically pretty much the same. Any differences you see in style are due to choice of grip, differences in body structure, skill levels, and predominant shot of choice. Do not try to artificially add loops, quirks, idosycrocies to your own 2hb stroke just because you see some pro doing it. You must focus on producing the desired results on the ball and let your own 2hb develop its own style.
Anyway, to answer your question about a pro with a shoulder ht backswing on the 2hb...Bjorn Borg. I think I had already posted the following link in this thread...
Scroll down until you see the black and white video of Borg hitting his 2hb.
What's interesting is a little but further down the page, you'll see video of Guga hitting his 1hb and making contact with the ball with a straight arm which is typical for 1hb hitters. So, one can think of a straight arm 2hb as a 1hb but using two hands instead of one.
I really stuggled with mt 2hbh. My pro noticed something I hadn't. When I hit I was over rotating my torso with such force my rear leg would swing around. My closed stance turned to an open stance after I hit. I was basically spinning out. Now I focus on keeping my arms loose and rotating my shoulder as opposed to my torso. I also try to plant my front for through the swing. It helped alot.
I pretty much have a good 2 hbh now in practice, but under match pressure I still get stiff and spin out on more shots than I care to admit and that messes with my confidence. I'll keep working on it.
Not quite sure why but my 2her - with the right hand now in continental - wasn't so great yesterday. Specifically it was a bit too high and floaty and a little too often it was landing long. Furthermore, for some reason, I couldn't seem to get it together at all on the down the liners - it was all cross court (which makes it totally predictable for my opponent of course.) It actually felt wrong as well. As if my top hand grip and/or arm position (left hand/arm) was somehow faulty (during the game I found myself thinking 'get your elbow tighter to body'... 'staighten out your arms!'...) So then... when I've got time today I'm going to reread some of these excellent posts and see if I can't work it out.
Your choice of grips are fine. Hang in there and GROOVE that shot on the practice wall and with court drills too! Continued analysis will not solve your stroke and shot problems. Many of the problems you are experiencing now WILL dissapear as you hit hundreds then thousands of practice strokes and shots over the coming months.
Get going on those drills because learning the strokes is only the beginning. You've got a LONG way to go in terms of accuracy, consistency, stategy, tactics, match play, psychology, etc.
Going back to Agassi I was reading an article on his backhand. He told reporters that when he hits is backhand most pros say that it is a left hand dominant stroke. He says that he hits it like a one hander right hand dominant but just has the left hand there for support. Agassi has the best backhand the game has ever seen.
Up until the last 2-3 months, my backhand did go wonky on me at times in the past despite it being my better shot in the past 3-4 years.
So yeah keep practicing and grooving the shot. Dont think too much of what your doing when your actually practicing and hitting the shot, just do it. Analysis is best done when your finished for the day and when there are no distractions
As of now, I'm actually able to hit the dtl shot more at will now, I've always managed to put pace on the ball just not able to clear the tape. Now that has changed through practice and will.
I'm very familiar with this info - I've tried it.... I couldn't hit a barn door using his r. hand-leads-the-shot-technique! No... just about my no. 1 personal checklist point has to be 'Let left hand power the shot.'
1. Just to say some of your past comments regarding backswing/loop motion should be around waist height sounds like something I'm interested in trying. (Mine is presently higher and around the shoulder.) If you've anything - general thoughts - you'd like to say about this too, I be happy to hear this.
2. Any added info regards contact point, the swing shape, stance and positioning - anything more at all that relates specifically to hitting with cont (right hand)/east (left hand) would also be very useful...
And yes everyone... I take what you're saying about the need to now focus on just hitting, drill work, grooving it, etc.
The waist height thing I mentioned is in reference to where you want to hit the ball at contact. As to the backswing/loop motion I havent really thought about where mines about its but remember keep it an out to in motion, if you look at Agassi,Safin, Nalbandian, they've got that out to in motion, bring racket out then swing into the ball.
As for contact point, you don't want too far out in front and too high as this is due to using a cont/east. If you swing a forehand with an eastern grip youll realize its ideal to hit low and not too far out in front. Youll probably find that with a two hander backhand your not gonna get much spin as a forehand(assuming if you use semi-western or western).
Stance with cont/east is either semi-open, closed or in between the two as these stances allow you to get on the front foot. When your at contact with the ball your arms should be extended. And keep brushing the ball like looking at a clock going from 6,7,8 o'clock
Hi fellow 2handers,
I have two small queries, but first...
As I really need to put in the hours, disappointing to report I haven't played properly in a week and only a very minimal amount of 'practice' (or whatever you might call a bit of hitting with unskilled but eager eight-year olds.) Nothing to add then by way of a progress update, but I'm back on the courts later today though with one of my main (and most challenging) regular tennis partners.
So how is everyone else doing?
Right, those queries then...
1. Could someone please tell me just what 'pendulum hitting' is precisely? The way I have it pictured it's totally not workable as regards applying to an 'in-and-out swing' (as several ppl have recommended I try.) To achieve this in-and-out motion (or figure 8 on it's side motion - I'm sure it's the same thing) it seems to me go against the pendulummotion. This I've imagined as being something like a straight-armed lever motion that's hinged by the shoulders and where your right arm is kept fairly tight to body and where also the plane of the straight arms doesn't get too high... which doesn't accord with that in-and-out motion, no?
2. Ridiculous embarrassing question, but just to clarify... For a righty 2hander, how do I ensure my left-hand is in East fh grip? (My right being in Cont.) I admit to sometimes getting confused about 2hander grips as regards the left non-dom hand... What's an easy way to find that grip?
1. for the first question its an out to in motion not in to out, the out to in motion should give you the pendulum motion I think, ala Agassi, Nalbandian,Safin. You'll notice despite the straight or bent arm characteristics of each male pro player, they all have that out to in motion.
2. As to make sure your left is in eastern forehand, you know the racket has the 8 bevels, 1 starting from the top, make sure your left index knuckle is on bevel number 7, continental is number 2 bevel.
I wouldn't worry about that pendulum terminology. "Pendulum" simply reflects the point of view of person who recently coined the term [I think] earlier in this thread. I guarentee that you do "see" whatever pendulum is when you view an accomplished straight arm 2hb hitter.
As far as getting upper hand grip right about eastern fh, just put the base of the index finger (knuckle) against the left bevel then simply close the fingers around the gip. It doesn't have to be a text book eastern fh grip. As you hit those thousands of balls in the coming weeks, that upper hand grip will eventually settle on it own where it works best for the type of shots you are trying to hit.
Here is video of Jimmy hitting lots of groundstrokes.
Jimmy's grip is similar to yours, but he hits flat. Notice excellent footwork to get into hitting position and the simplicity of the straight back then forward stroke (on both sides).
star_0f_death80 and fearless1,
Thanks for that. I'll disregard the 'pendulum' term then, though I must say I just don't see how Safin, AA and Nalby hit with a 'pendulum' style. Furthermore, personally I don't find it an appropriate image when spoken about as being incorporated with a 'out-to-in' swing path (btw, star, thanks for the correction!) Unlike the out-to-in motion or - and I'll repeat this because it's the term I find most effective: the figure 8 on its side motion - thinking 'pendulum' makes me think of... hmmm... a croquet or cricket shot, where you're right on top of the bat/mallet/whatever and from up above you're hitting vertically side-to-side; with out-to-in or flat fig 8 motion I instantly think take your racquet out away from yourself and then draw it back in back inside... or I could even say 'pendulum' is more like croquet/cricket, whereas 'out-to-in' or fig 8 has more in common with baseball... OR AM I JUST TALKING TOTAL CRAP NOW!?... lol!... I'll let this go, shall I?!
Thanks too for East fh grip (for l hand) info... oh - and fearless1 - cheers for vid link. I really look forward to checking that out later... excellant!
I believe that there is still a lot missing in explaining how the stroke should be in relation to the grips used for the two hands: straigt/bent for each arm in relation to the type of grip.
I cannot believe that this it isn't done in the 21st century.
Adresse de la vidéo : http://video.lequipe.fr/video/iLyROoaft3jV.html
I'd be interested to know what thread contributors makes of Roddick's bh. There's a fair bit of it here taken from Roland Garros 2006. It has long been my view that it really isn't so terrible after all (please see earlier posts made on this subject.) I must also admit to largely, if somewhat amateurishly, having modelled my bh on his when I first switched to 2hander. Anyway... ahem, is it really such a pile of crap? I mean, it might not be up there among the very best of the best (such as Fed, Nalby and Safin), however, I can't believe you can win big titles and be in or around the world's top 10 and possess a bh that is supposedly so completely useless.
Btw, any trouble with link^ then maybe just do seach for 'lequipe tennis videos' and scroll through pages until Roddick comes up (there's 2 A-Rod vids actually)... Btw2, there's a feast of great stuff here, including the brilliant Federer practice stuff that someone else recently posted - sorry I can't recall the name...
Right. Fingers crossed!
I think your finally getting it right, I myself would disregard that pendulum term myself and focus on the figure 8 and out to in the motion which you finally seem to understand what Im saying.
If you find the out to in term hard, just look at players with a semi-western and see how their swing path starts and ends and for in to out look at players who use eastern forehand like Sampras did, you'll be able to understand the out to in term and vice versa
Extra info on that left hand grip, the more you start to move western youll start to get more spin and less penetration.
Its imperative if you use eastern fh on the left hand then you should swing from out to in. Otherwise if you use semi-western you will be required to change that swingline of yours and going from in to out. Youll start have to watch the girsl a lot more
With Agassi,Safin,Nalbandian and Hewitt you see on their backswing they are bringing the racket out away from their hips and when they're swinging foward into contact, the racket is coming into the ball at around waist level. Girls tend to bring it closer to their body and drop the racket, then start brushing the ball and when extending at contact they bring the racket out. They probably have higher contact point due to their semiwestern grip in the lefthand
I was suppose semi-western forehand in the previous thread
Thanks for that star - and just to confirm, I'm now using cont (r hand) and Eastern fh (l hand)... By the way, did you look at the above^ Roddick footage? Any view-point on it?
I use 2handed BH too and I have a question. How to stroke the high ball? I think its so hard for 2handed BH to add more spin with enough power...How to add more spin on my 2handed BH?
Just had a look at the Roddick footage, Im no expert but this is what I do know about his strokes from the coach I know and looking at that footage, in the footage he has good fundamentals on that forehand of his, straight take back on the backswing, good wrist lock, from studies he is able to show that butt cap longer than most people which is why when he is driving through the ball he gets a lot of velocity, but in general his shots are too wristy. Backhand looks like there is not enough extension(dont take my word for this) and the backswing is too short, hard to get leverage into the ball when the backswing is short.
Its never easy to stroke the high ball, particularly if your left is in eastern forehand, anyway you can either let it drop which i tend to do or brush it back or take it on the rise, the first two options is easier to achieve. To add more spin in general you just brush that left hand side of the ball going from 6,7,8 o'clock. As for more power in general try driving the ball more meaning you dont want to pull your racket too much across the ball which results the ball getting too spinny and dropping short
1 Handers will rule just keep dreaming 2 handers!
i have eastern grip for forehand. and hit 2 hbh.
when i 1st started out, i had a easier time hitting up the line when my grip is continental. for me, it felt easier to created topspin.
i just wanted to share that with you guys and let you know that it worked for me when i 1st strated the 2hbh. maybe it will work for you if you have a tough time going down the line on the 2hbh?
of course you have to remember to change grip when you go down the line and that may be too much when one is being rushed.
i got lazy changing grips after awhile and got used to not having change grip to hit down the line shots. so for me now, its eastern grip and just place the other hand on the handle for 2hbh.
On the high balls, I either step back and then step into the ball with some topspin down-the-line or deep cross-court. Or I'll take the ball on the rise with a flat return or a bit of top spin.
You don't need to strike hard with a 2HBH to make it a weapon. It's about timing, technique, and confidence with the 2HBH. Make those evil 1HBHs suffer!
Quick question about the JConners youtube footage. The most obvious observation great footwork for an old guy But it looked like he was up on the balls of his feet for the entire stroke esp on backhand side. I usually more get into position (weight on balls of feet) then kinda plant feet and shift weight forward, with knees slightly bent throughout. Would I be better off keeping balanced but still with weight towards the balls of my feet. Heels off the ground?
My backhand has never been a "weapon" although due to placement I hit winners or get freebies often.
2hbs generally require greater precision in your body placement relative to the ball's position compared to one handed strokes. Staying on the balls of the feet allows for greater nimbleness before and during the stroke for fine adjustments and also allows for slightly quicker manuvering after the stroke has been completed. Not so obvious in the video is how VERY accurately JC hits his 2hb. Accurate shot making requires precise footwork to pull off consistently.
I checked photo sequence of JC strokes in a book. There are some pics where JC does plant his forward foot firmly on the ground, but only during the backswing. As he swings forwards, his wt shifts forward onto the balls of his feet. On many of his shots, he has so much forward momentum that his follow through has his feet leaving the ground too.
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