How difficult for adult rec player to switch from two to one handed backhand?

#1
I learned a 2 handed in the 1980s as a Junior, as that was the thing then. I would say I am an intermediate player. My 2 handed has some problems, I have worked on it but it is still defensive, and seems unreliable and easily unless I keep playing. Many times I have had to switch to the one handed slice since I cant rely on the stroke in key matches. My main goal is to get a more reliable and hopefully weaponized backhand.

I tried hitting a few 1 handed backhands, and it seemed "interesting", more powerful and definiately different. I wonder how long and difficult would it be to switch? Because of course I am limited in time (no longer a Junior). Are we talking months or years to get at the same level?
 

NuBas

Hall of Fame
#2
Depends if you already have sound technique then transition may be bit easier perhaps months to get down the rhythm and timing. If you don't have strength for one handed backhand then might take a year upwards.
 
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nvr2old

Professional
#3
I’d say you can do it. When I returned to the game a little over year ago, I wrote a post saying that my one-handed topspin backhand I had as a that teen was gone. I received several dubious posts saying that that was impossible that if I had ever had one I never would’ve lost it. Well over the last year I have re-found it and made it actually a lot better than it used to be so I say absolutely go for it and try since you played before you’ll probably remember it very quickly and do quite well. Good luck.
 
#4
sure wish I had this forum and YouTube even I was starting out. all i had was grainy footage of Sampras's backhand and that wasn't the greatest form to emulate either.
 
#5
Depends if you are already have sound technique then transition may be bit easier perhaps months to get down the rhythm and timing. If you don't have strength for one handed backhand then might take a year upwards.
Yup. Plus getting used to a different contact point.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
#6
Are we talking months or years to get at the same level?
If you are a typical weekend hacker, years. You can get a real nice slice going in a much shorter time frame, but there's a reason OHBH passing shots are ultra rare in the amateur (or even pro) game.
 
#8
I learned a 2 handed in the 1980s as a Junior, as that was the thing then. I would say I am an intermediate player. My 2 handed has some problems, I have worked on it but it is still defensive, and seems unreliable and easily unless I keep playing. Many times I have had to switch to the one handed slice since I cant rely on the stroke in key matches. My main goal is to get a more reliable and hopefully weaponized backhand.

I tried hitting a few 1 handed backhands, and it seemed "interesting", more powerful and definiately different. I wonder how long and difficult would it be to switch? Because of course I am limited in time (no longer a Junior). Are we talking months or years to get at the same level?
honestly , you're better off working on your 2 hander. One key I learned about the 2 hander is to have your racket head tip point to the ground on the wide up. This is what my sister did and she had a 5.5 backhand in her day. It gives you more control and spin.
I would only switch to one hand if you had a weekly coach and not on your own.
 
#11
I started with the one hander as a kid in the 80s. Still have an eastern BH grip due to that (and sometimes onehanded followthrough a la Borg). Changed to a twohander quite soon, could not handle heavy balls. And tried to emulate Agassi on all the shots. :D

In general, at my (possibly) 3.5-4.0 level, like 80% players I face that have a one handed BH, I try to attack it (and serve to that side)... because usually there are some gaps there... difficulty handling high balls, always going to the same direction etc. When I face somebody above my level, with a great topspin one hander AND a sublime slice... I probably want to avoid hitting there!

But I have a couple of friends I play with that have changed to a onehander. And I have done a couple of coaching sessions learning the onehander myself. I think it is doable. But the 2hbh let's you be lazy and off balance, where as the onehander is relatively easy to play from a dropfeed or at a comfortable speed/height, but, to me, gets quite difficult to use in real play.

Changing the forehand grip took me a possibly 2-3 months to get really comfortable with, and one year until I felt that felt I was actually better than before the switch. Maybe it would be similar with the BH. I enjoy the 1HBH, as I get great top spin on it and all that. But on the serve return, I would probably suck, whereas the 2HBH feels very solid there. (Note: I am not planning on making the switch, my 2HBH is very reliable, no need to.)
 
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#12
It depends on your dominant driving arm. The "proper" dbh is driven by the forehand arm as the dominant hand, sort of a forehand with the backhand arm as a guiding hand. Those with weaker dbh tend to drive backhand arm as the dominant arm, which weakens the shot somewhat. If that is your technique, then the transition isn't going as tough as if you had proper technique for the dbh. It also depends on how fast you can adjust and how often you can hit. For me, simply switching a racquet with similar specs but 20g light took 6-8 mths!
 
#13
I started with the one hander as a kid in the 80s. Still have an eastern BH grip due to that (and sometimes onehanded followthrough a la Borg). Changed to a twohander quite soon, could not handle heavy balls. And tried to emulate Agassi on all the shots. :D

In general, at my (possibly) 3.5-4.0 level, like 80% players I face that have a one handed BH, I try to attack it (and serve to that side)... because usually there are some gaps there... difficulty handling high balls, always going to the same direction etc. When I face somebody above my level, with a great topspin one hander AND a sublime slice... I probably want to avoid hitting there!

But I have a couple of friends I play with that have changed to a onehander. And I have done a couple of coaching sessions learning the onehander myself. I think it is doable. But the 2hbh let's you be lazy and off balance, where as the onehander is relatively easy to play from a dropfeed or at a comfortable speed/height, but, to me, gets quite difficult to use in real play.

Changing the forehand grip took me a possibly 2-3 months to get really comfortable with, and one year until I felt that felt I was actually better than before the switch. Maybe it would be similar with the BH. I enjoy the 1HBH, as I get great top spin on it and all that. But on the serve return, I would probably suck, whereas the 2HBH feels very solid there.
Be sure to hit a few thousand balls on the ball machine
Can’t hurt to switch but you won’t be able to play competitive tennis for 4-6 months
 
#15
There is no easy answer to this, some find it easy, others impossible. I have switched form one handed to two handed and it only took me a couple months to adapt. With the added bonus it is the only shot I have really got technically correct, I forced myself to learn it properly.

However I know a player with a very good single handed backhand, who turned his backhand to garbage trying to switch to a double handed shot. He went back to the single handed version, he couldn't break all those years of muscle memory.

Why are you switching? Of the people I play there are allot of single handed backhands and most describe it as a liability. They hit the odd flash winner, but it tends to breakdown and they all struggle with the high ball. The double handed shot is the steadier shot for players of limited ability, which lets be honest, is most of us.
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#16
Why are you switching? Of the people I play there are allot of single handed backhands and most describe it as a liability. They hit the odd flash winner, but it tends to breakdown and they all struggle with the high ball. The double handed shot is the steadier shot for players of limited ability, which lets be honest, is most of us.
It has pros and cons like every other shot, same for 1 handed forehand vs 2 handed forehand, both shots can be high level if trained enough.
 
#17
One key I learned about the 2 hander is to have your racket head tip point to the ground on the wide up. T.
What does that mean, "wide up"? I dont get it.

Also do women have an advantage with the two hander? It seems like the only good backhands I ever see at the intermediate level is female players with two handed, and those are very few.
 
#18
Can only say I have questioned the backhand many times. I was using mostly 2hbh with a few ohbh basically slice shots. Many friends told me to stick with 2hbh but 1h just felt good hitting even though it wasn't equal to 2hbh.I wanted to settle on one stroke and really improve that shot. Soooo after several weeks on wall and hitting with a friend I love my 1hbh. The angles are great and consistence good and suddenly my critics are shutting up. Take it to the wall and give it time.
 
#19
What does that mean, "wide up"? I dont get it.

Also do women have an advantage with the two hander? It seems like the only good backhands I ever see at the intermediate level is female players with two handed, and those are very few.
I mean the take back unless it’s a high ball
 
#21
I switched over in about 3 weeks but I'm a textbook case of right arm dominant 2 hander that produced tons of spin but no drive. Once I removed by left hand it let me rotate my shoulders while still producing the big spin. My playsight backhand speed average jumped from low 40s to 51 mph. By far the hardest part is return of serve which I may just stick with the 2 handers for. I need way more setup time for the 1 hander and it seems like I'm always late.
 
#22
if i switched to a 1hbh, i'd guess it'd take me a 9-12mos, to get to the same level (or better) of my current 2hbh..
basing it off the data, that it took me a year to switch from an extreme western fh grip to a e/sw fh grip.
routine was about 8-10h of only fh (ball machine, wall, 3.5-4.0 players, etc...) during spring/summer/fall
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#23
if i switched to a 1hbh, i'd guess it'd take me a 9-12mos, to get to the same level (or better) of my current 2hbh..
basing it off the data, that it took me a year to switch from an extreme western fh grip to a e/sw fh grip.
routine was about 8-10h of only fh (ball machine, wall, 3.5-4.0 players, etc...) during spring/summer/fall
I hightly doubt u could get ur 1hb to the level of your 2hb that uve been playing for 20 years with in 1 year, infact id say its impossible.
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
#24
You can learn pretty much all you need to know about hitting a good 1HBH in a couple of hours working with a coach or someone that has a bit of teaching talent and a good 1HBH. How long it takes you to get good at it is totally dependent on how good you are at practicing. The problem most people have is they try to progress to quickly.

What I see when teaching is people struggle a little bit in the beginning, and are very focused on each thing they work on, one thing at a time until they have a few good hits. Then the little light goes off in their head and they think, oh, now I got this. Then they try and hit harder or with more spin, or go for a line or whatever. Now everything has changed and their stroke goes back to crap and they get confused a little, maybe a bit frustrated, and don't focus like they were early on.

If you can be satisfied with working the basics and focusing on the basics for a few hundred shots and then add one more thing and do another few hundred shots, I think you could learn it well enough to really start training it and using it for matches in 20-30 hours of practice, so a month if you can practice often. If you can't do that it could take years, or never.
 
#25
I'm in the opposite camp. Looking to move my flat/top BH from 1H to 2H. As a 1H player for 20+ years (with a long hiatus), I'm finding my 1H is lacking stability and the RHS needed to make it a weapon as I get older. I am finding the 2H pretty intuitive and frankly "relaxing" compared to my 1H. I would think going the other way 2H to 1H would be a lot harder due to the reduction of stability and added stress on your dominant arm.
 
#26
Of course it's doable. How long it takes depends on your talent and how often you train, so it's difficult to say. I guess it would be easier and quicker to work on improving your double handed BH, but it sounds like you're more motivated to try something very different which i understand.

But i was just thinking if i know any player who has a better OHBH than a FH. Both pro and amateur players. Not many tbh (especially on amateur level i can't think of anyone). Maybe Wawrinka on the top of my head.
 
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