Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by Ajay » Thu, 27 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Hello All!
I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
transition smoother??
And finally.....Will it be worth it!!!!?
Thanks for any and all feedback!
Ajay

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by Donal Fag » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
>Need more help? WATCH AGASSI.

But don't blink.

Donal Fagan

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by John » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
>Hello All!
>I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
>due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
>double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
>of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
>the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
>whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
>transition smoother??
>And finally.....Will it be worth it!!!!?
>Thanks for any and all feedback!
>Ajay


I think the key to hitting the 2 is rotating your shoulders all the
way back.  I was taught the 2 as my only backhand, but have developed
a 1.  You will lose some reach and maneuvrebility (i hope  i spelled
that right) but it will be made up for in your gain of power. Need
more help? WATCH AGASSI.

Good luck!

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by Jeff K » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
> Hello All!
> I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
> due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
> double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
> of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
> the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
> whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
> transition smoother??

From my own experience with the same problem, I hope you are having a pro
teach you the two-handed thing.  It's always advisable to get a pro to see
the stroke, and have him/her correct any errors, esp. since you are
switching from one hand to two; the mechanics are slightly different.
Also, be prepared to run a lot; the two handed backhand requires more
hustling because you need to get into position to hit each shot; it's
difficult to hit the shot when you are out of position, because you need to
be able to turn your shoulders, hips, bend your knees, and transfer your
weight forward into the shot. Last but not least, be patient. Like most
things in tennis, it takes quite sometime to get the stroke going.  But
once you get the hang of it, the two-handed backhand is a great shot to
have because you can disguise it and make your opponent guess whether you
are going to hit down the line or cross-court. Great examples of this are
the backhands of Seles and Hingis. Good luck!
Jeff
(snip)
Quote:
> Ajay


 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by young.. » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> Hello All!
> I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
> due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
> double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
> of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
> the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
> whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
> transition smoother??
> And finally.....Will it be worth it!!!!?
> Thanks for any and all feedback!

Get Agassi's video 'Agassi's and Bolletieri's Attack.'  It
has super-slo-mos of Agassi hitting great backhands.  It's
better than say five lessons.

Also I think Ulirach's and Moya's backhands are mechanically
similar to Agassi's.  They prepare with raquet head above
the wrist with a compact backswingwing and a full followthrough.
Learn to hit with topspin with or without using wrist.  If you
had a one-handed slice before, work on the smooth transition
from two-hander to one-hander.  If you didn't have one, develop
one simultaneously because it will cover up for lack of reach of
two-handers.

Obviously, you need to start with correct grips.  Get this
month's 'Tennis' magazine which has a backhand grip special.

Young

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by Riaz Jum » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00

Well, you are probably hitting the ball high because, since you have
less reach , you are swinging up and not through. Extend and then follow
through. If you want to see a good example of this watch sergi Bruguera
play.

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by TCDB » Sun, 30 Mar 1997 04:00:00

Dear Ajay:
  I switched a couple of years ago, also because of tennis elbow.  I found
that it was much more comfortable for the elbow, and began having less
problem with it.
Our club has practice courts, and so I practiced hitting against the wall
in the beginning to help me get a feeling for the mechanics of the swing.
In addition to the proper grip, which is in Tennis magazine last issue or
so, another thing is to have a compact backswing with the elbows not
extended out far from the body. Good rotation and stepping into the ball
are important too.
I was also using 2 hands on the backhand volley, but have recently
switched back to one on volleys because of greater mobility, and found
this was not as painful as i thought it would be.  Good luck; this will
probably help the elbow problem.
   TC

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by Sunny Li » Fri, 04 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>Hello All!
>I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
>due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
>double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
>of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
>the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
>whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
>transition smoother??
>And finally.....Will it be worth it!!!!?
>Thanks for any and all feedback!

First, none of the 2 different shots is better than the other. It solely depends
on the player himself. If you feel uncomfortable hitting single-backhand shots,
then it's worth switching.

The best advantage of double-handed backhand is that when off balance, you can
still return a decent shot even when your legs are out of position so long as you reach
to the ball which brings us the worst disadvabtage of it - reaching to the ball.

To start off, learn the technique (body, legs, arms positioning, hitting...etc) from text book.
Never strart off immitating the pro because each has his unique style, some very unorthodox.
Furthermore, they are able to hit great shots even in different positions which may confuse
your learning of basic technique. Once you get the hang of it, you can start analysing the pro but
the right ones like Hingis,  Agassi, Kafelnikov, Bruerguera (forgot the spelling). Avoid watching Seles
(very wristy shots), Courier (baseball shots), and others whose styles you think are unorthodox.

Key difference between single and double backhand
S - requires rotation of shoulder only, left foot hardly moves out of initial position, right foot acting
         as pivot.
D - requires rotation of both shoulder and hips, depending on the direction and power, left leg either
          moves little, lifts up, or lands on the left (open stance) with right foot acting as pivot.

Caution:The right foot must rotate as the left leg moves, otherwise your right knee will be injured by the torque.
It happened to me initially. Can someone please advise me how to nurse my knee? The cartilage has been
damaged, and the knee aches after matches. It's been 2 years. Please advise. Thanks.

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by tenni.. » Fri, 04 Apr 1997 04:00:00

 >Hello All!
 >I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
 >due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
 >double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
 >of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
 >the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
 >whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
 >transition smoother??
 >And finally.....Will it be worth it!!!!?
 >Thanks for any and all feedback!

It used to be said, and accepted as true, that the reach of a two hander
(2H) is shorter than for a single handed backhand (1H).  Fact is, there is
no truth to that notion, as illustrated by several people, including Dr.
Jack Groppel ("High Tech Tennis" Leisure Press, 1992), several years ago.
The reach is the same, and when either type of player is stretched beyond
the comfort zone they both do exactly the same thing:  lunge with a single
outstretched arm in a defensive effort to get to the ball.  There is no
evidence that the 1H player has a better capacity to make that stretched
out defensive lunge than the 2H player.

There are, however, many other differences in the strengths and weaknesses
between 1H and 2H backhands.  A short, low ball to the 2H backhand
requires more bending of the knees in order for the player to return the
ball offensively.  1H players have a better ability to hit slice.  There
are others.

The bottom line is, some people are more comfortable with one over the
other.  Most youngsters, playing tennis at 4 to 8 years old, require two
hands on both sides just to drive the ball.  They often continue to use
both hands on the backhand as they get older even though they are
stronger.  It's what feels most comfortable.  

When you learn tennis after physical maturation, you don't necessarily
need both hands, but some beginnners feel very unsteady and weak with
their backhands, and find a 2H shot helps.  Certainly you can learn to hit
effective topspin with more power and confidence faster when you start
with two hands.  Modern tennis is very topspin oriented, and the faster
you become proficient at generating topspin, the higher the level of
competitiveness you achieve.

In changing from a 1H to a 2H backhand, for reasons such as tennis elbow,
you should allow yourself more time than you might imagine to make the
switch.  The longer you have used the 1H, the longer it will take you
switch, in many cases.  You must re-learn the spatial relationship for the
contact point, as well as get comfortable with driving the racket with
your off-hand.  Do not make the transistion longer than it has to be by
worrying about where your feet are, or how far your shoulders are rotated,
etc.  As with learning any tennis stroke these things are best allowed to
take care of themselves in the natural way your body deals with movement.
You will know quickly when your body position does not allow you to apply
yourself to the ball, and make it go where you want it to go, and you will
most efficiently adjust yourself toward a more effective position.  When
balance, power and timing are best achieved, you are in the right
position.  This is a different consideration for each individual.  Trying
to imitate someone else's most balanced, powerful and fluid physicality is
not necessarily what will work for you.

The 2H backhand is an off-hand forehand with your *** hand helping,
pure and simple.  Just as a forehand on your off-side would finish with
your off-hand over or touching your shoulder, this is usually the case
with the 2H backhand.  It takes a while to become accustomed to mostly
driving with the off-hand with somewhat less pulling with the ***
hand, but most 2H players report that they derive their power more from
the off-hand than their *** hand, something that controlling people
sometimes find difficult to allow to happen.  It requires that you permit
your weaker side take over.  Some people, in fact, are such control freaks
that they never permit this to happen, and are better off with 1H
backhands.  People who are somewhat ambidextrous have less difficulty
allowing their off-hand to take over.  These are simply observations made
over years of teaching and are not from a refereed journal of scientific
research.

There are several hitches that people can fall victim to when trying to
master a 2H backhand after having developed a 1H shot; the most frequently
occuring is the wrist action required.  Briefly, on a 1H backhand, the
wrist, to help generate topspin, rotates the way it does when you turn a
doorknob.  The thumbnail starts the stroke more or less facing the ground
and ends up facing the sky.  On the 2H backhand the *** hand wrist
moves differently, with more flexion occuring in a manner than shortens
the distance between the forearm and knuckles.  This is because the
off-hand is driving the racket from butt-facing-the-ball to butt-facing
the back fence.  The *** wrist must allow this movement to happen,
which is enough different than what it does in the 1H shot that it can
cause awkwardness and discomfort, the two wrists fighting each other a
bit.

Watching the pros, as always, can be very helpful in your own discovery of
what works best.  There is such a wide variety of mannerisms finding the
one that works best for you, if in fact one will, might take a while.  Do
not reject any high level player's style as a possible insight to your own
best effort.  You may, in fact, be wired more like Jim Courier than
Michael Chang, more like Bjorn Borg than Todd Martin.

Good luck!

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by Steve Barnar » Sat, 05 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>  >Hello All!
>  >I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
>  >due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
>  >double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
>  >of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
>  >the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
>  >whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
>  >transition smoother??
>  >And finally.....Will it be worth it!!!!?
>  >Thanks for any and all feedback!

> It used to be said, and accepted as true, that the reach of a two hander
> (2H) is shorter than for a single handed backhand (1H).  Fact is, there is
> no truth to that notion, as illustrated by several people, including Dr.
> Jack Groppel ("High Tech Tennis" Leisure Press, 1992), several years ago.
> The reach is the same, and when either type of player is stretched beyond
> the comfort zone they both do exactly the same thing:  lunge with a single
> outstretched arm in a defensive effort to get to the ball.  There is no
> evidence that the 1H player has a better capacity to make that stretched
> out defensive lunge than the 2H player.

Let me see if I have this straight.  You're saying that the reach of a
two hander is just as great as the reach of a one hander, as long as the
two hander uses ONE HAND?

        Steve Barnard

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by tenni.. » Sat, 05 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


> >  >Hello All!
> >  >I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
> >  >due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
> >  >double? Pls encourage me!!! I love it when the ball is timed well but as
> >  >of now I am hitting a lot of moonies...its just been a week though and
> >  >the body movement is still that of a single!! How much time before I can
> >  >whack consistently??? And are there any tips I can follow to make the
> >  >transition smoother??
> >  >And finally.....Will it be worth it!!!!?
> >  >Thanks for any and all feedback!

> > It used to be said, and accepted as true, that the reach of a two hander
> > (2H) is shorter than for a single handed backhand (1H).  Fact is, there is
> > no truth to that notion, as illustrated by several people, including Dr.
> > Jack Groppel ("High Tech Tennis" Leisure Press, 1992), several years ago.
> > The reach is the same, and when either type of player is stretched beyond
> > the comfort zone they both do exactly the same thing:  lunge with a single
> > outstretched arm in a defensive effort to get to the ball.  There is no
> > evidence that the 1H player has a better capacity to make that stretched
> > out defensive lunge than the 2H player.

> Let me see if I have this straight.  You're saying that the reach of a
> two hander is just as great as the reach of a one hander, as long as the
> two hander uses ONE HAND?

>         Steve Barnard

The reach of a tennis player is, as noted, the same whether the player
uses a 1H or 2H backhand.  Reach means how far a player can extend their
racket to intersect the ball.  Since in a stretched out shot neither a 1H
or 2H player is hitting the same stroke they hit when the ball is in their
comfort zone, the reach is identical, and both players use the same
defensive manner to get to the ball.  On any shot where a 2H player has to
let go of the racket with the off-hand, the 1H player is similarly
disadvantaged since both players are lunging at balls in an effort to
manage even a defensive shot.  Neither player is able to drive the ball.  

  More importantly, and where the misunderstanding usually crops up, the
1H and 2H players have the same reach for balls they hit with their
"normal" or "comfortable" stroke. That is, a 2H is able to comfortably
drive a backhand to the same degree of reach that a 1H player is able to
(and some people now argue that the 2H has an advantage here, with the
extra stability of both hands helping "dig out" challenging balls.)  The
bottom line, as noted above, is that the perception that there is a
"reach" difference using one backhand or the other is wrong.  A 2H player
doesn't have to take off one hand any earlier than a 1H player is in an
identical defensive position.

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by Charles L » Sat, 05 Apr 1997 04:00:00

|| Let me see if I have this straight.  You're saying that the reach of a
|| two hander is just as great as the reach of a one hander, as long as the
|| two hander uses ONE HAND?

     Yup, I think that's what he's saying.   In other words, a one handed
player, hitting in his or her comfort zone, would be able to hit a
comfortable two handed shot as well.   If a one-handed player were
stretched to hit a difficult shot, then a two-handed player would
also release the second hand to hit it with one hand as well, and
since it's an awkward shot, the one handed player wouldn't have
a distinct advantage over the two handed player.   I would think
there's a narrow range where the one handed player might be able
to get a more effective slice shot than a two-handed player who
would presumably not be able to hit a one-handed wide slice
quite as well.

--
Charles Lin

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by tenni.. » Sat, 05 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>I would think
> there's a narrow range where the one handed player might be able
> to get a more effective slice shot than a two-handed player who
> would presumably not be able to hit a one-handed wide slice
> quite as well.

Just for the record, your "thinking" is contrary to the observations of
people who've looked at this very question with a great deal of scrutiny,
including eliciting abundant testimonials, performing controlled
experimentation, rigorous analysis of match play video, etc.  Of course
it's not arm chair presumption, but they do the best they can. :-)
 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by David Ho » Sat, 05 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


>>  >Hello All!
>>  >I am switching from a single to a double handed backhand
>>  >due to recurrent tennis elbow. Do you have any experience with the
>>  >double? [Trimmed - M.H.] Thanks for any and all feedback!

>> It used to be said, and accepted as true, that the reach of a two hander
>> (2H) is shorter than for a single handed backhand (1H).  Fact is, there is
>> no truth to that notion, as illustrated by several people, including Dr.
>> Jack Groppel ("High Tech Tennis" Leisure Press, 1992), several years ago.
>> The reach is the same, and when either type of player is stretched beyond
>> the comfort zone they both do exactly the same thing:  lunge with a single
>> outstretched arm in a defensive effort to get to the ball.  There is no
>> evidence that the 1H player has a better capacity to make that stretched
>> out defensive lunge than the 2H player.

> Let me see if I have this straight.  You're saying that the reach of a
> two hander is just as great as the reach of a one hander, as long as the
> two hander uses ONE HAND?

I was kind of curious about that myself.

I typically use a one-hander, but I go to two sometimes when I'm goofing
around or feeling experimental. I think the point is that the happy-zone
for hitting a one-hander can be further away from the body than the
two-hander without any discomfort.

I've seen Seles hit one-handed shots on either side when she gets
stretched out. Thing is, they stank. Someone who's used to hitting with
one hand on either side would have a better chance of getting to the ball
so that it's in a comfortable hitting zone.

--
Mike Hoye

 
 
 

Switching from single hand to double handed backhand....HELP!

Post by tennis » Sun, 06 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


>|| Just for the record, your "thinking" is contrary to the observations of
>|| people who've looked at this very question with a great deal of scrutiny,
>|| including eliciting abundant testimonials, performing controlled
>|| experimentation, rigorous analysis of match play video, etc.  Of course
>|| it's not arm chair presumption, but they do the best they can. :-)

>    I see.  Well, perhaps the names of these people could be listed,
>as well as when and where these tests were performed.   Just for
>the record.

As noted, Dr. Jack Groppel discusses his research in his 1992 book "High
Tech Tennis".  Other articles reinforcing his findings (indeed, he wasn't
the first to evaluate the question, but he did write a very popular book
on the scientific investigation of tennis) have been published in a
variety of trade publications in several countries.  The fact is the
tennis instructional community has not been very effective in
extinguishing myths like this one in the recreational tennis community.
There are many other examples.  The tennis instructional community is too
insulated from the tennis playing public.  No one denies that.  The huge
majority of recreational tennis players doesn't take tennis lessons, nor
read the tennis trade publications.

  It is not of great consequence that people frequently say "a 2H backhand
player's reach is shorter than a 1H backhand player", unless someone is
erroneously discouraged from choosing a 2H stroke, which might work much
better for them, due to the misapprehension.  Just for the record.