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Building A World Class One Hander: The One versus Two Debate

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  • Building A World Class One Hander: The One versus Two Debate

    Let's get your thoughts on Chris Lewit's latest, "Building A World Class One Hander: The One versus Two Debate"

  • #2
    This is a great article and much needed for this site. Using a one handed backhand I appreciate Chris sticking up for the shot. I think too many students get pigeonholed into using a two handed backhand when in fact they may be naturally wired to hit a one hander.

    The debate will continue to rage on but it's important to know the pros/cons and developmental hurdles to these shots. Not so that we can dictate to our students but that we can inform and guide them into what will make the most developmental sense. As tennis coaches, we all have strong opinions and will sometimes become dogmatic in our approach with technique. The goal is to make our students have the best possible technical foundation that allows them to grow as players and enjoy the game.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Comment


    • #3
      right arm dominant

      Hello!

      What are some ways to tell if someone is better off with one hander?

      Comment


      • #4
        Try hitting left handed forehands. If that appears hopeless or very weak it indicates the two is going to be tougher to develop.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
          Try hitting left handed forehands. If that appears hopeless or very weak it indicates the two is going to be tougher to develop.
          Good point by John.

          Another related tip, I find that if the student (let's say ia righty) does hit a two handed backhand, but seems to pull way too much with the right arm and the left arm is weak or lacks range of movement, a one hander may be a way to go.

          With kids, some kids naturally hit with two hands on the backhands. Other kids swipe, chop and poke with one hand. I get those swipers, choppers and pokers to try the one handed backhand correctly and they have no issues.

          Kyle LaCroix USPTA
          Boca Raton

          Comment


          • #6
            How to know if one-hander is way to go

            I agree with these posts, and I will be detailing some additional diagnostic approaches in the followup article in this series.

            Another way to see if your student may have a natural one-hander is, along with the exercises mentioned, to toss them some one-handers and simply observe their initial ability to make contact and hit the ball cleanly and strongly.

            In my experience, natural one-handers will almost always show near immediate aptitude for the shot, making good contact with a firm wrist and strong arm. If the player is really struggling initially with the right arm, and the swing looks weak and flimsy, that player is likely a good two-handed candidate.

            Quick diagnostics:

            1. Observe the two-hander and the fluidity and synchronization of the arms
            2. Observe the aptitude of the player in hitting with left handed forehands
            3. Observe the aptitude of the player in hitting right handed one handers

            These will start to give you some good clues...but you need to develop a good eye for the mechanical details and movements to separate the wheat from the chaff. Experience helps.

            I will try to check in here this month if any other readers have some questions!

            Chris

            Comment


            • #7
              It's an excellent article. I have to say I was a fan of Chris Lewit's (your) stuff before I read the recent article. I am still a fan after this one.

              I have detailed my own dilemma with my son in another thread.

              http://www.tennisplayer.net/bulletin...ead.php?t=2458

              He had a great two hander and naturally switched to one hand. Almost everyone on the forum told me to have him really develop his slice and it has worked. He feels like his slice saves him all the time. He hits his topspin backhand when he is confident or has time. So there is no pressure to hit the topspin shot since he can neutralize with the slice and wait for a shot he can hit with topspin.

              Since the slice seems to be a necessary part of the game I wonder if simply observing how quickly a player picks up the slice might give a hint of how well they will be able to hit over the one handed backhand.

              My son learned slice in one week when he was eleven.

              He has a great backhand volley. He can hit deep, short, even drop volleys.

              I also wonder how much a model matters.

              My son is a lefty and he has watched me hit one handed since he was young. It is like a mirror image since I am a righty.

              Since kids are great observers it might simply take a pro hitting with one hand repeatedly to have them switch to one handed if they want to do so.

              Even today my son can hit a very consistent two hander. Some pros might even have him abandon the one hander. But it is clear that he prefers to hit the one hander even though it is less reliable. The two hander is too restricting for him.

              Maybe Chris can comment on the push for early success as being a culprit as well.

              Thanks Chris!

              Comment


              • #8
                Disguise

                Originally posted by chrislewit View Post
                I agree with these posts, and I will be detailing some additional diagnostic approaches in the followup article in this series.

                Another way to see if your student may have a natural one-hander is, along with the exercises mentioned, to toss them some one-handers and simply observe their initial ability to make contact and hit the ball cleanly and strongly.

                In my experience, natural one-handers will almost always show near immediate aptitude for the shot, making good contact with a firm wrist and strong arm. If the player is really struggling initially with the right arm, and the swing looks weak and flimsy, that player is likely a good two-handed candidate.

                Quick diagnostics:

                1. Observe the two-hander and the fluidity and synchronization of the arms
                2. Observe the aptitude of the player in hitting with left handed forehands
                3. Observe the aptitude of the player in hitting right handed one handers

                These will start to give you some good clues...but you need to develop a good eye for the mechanical details and movements to separate the wheat from the chaff. Experience helps.

                I will try to check in here this month if any other readers have some questions!

                Chris
                Dear Mr.Lewis,

                Let me provide couple of loose points related to your article.
                An overall time spent hitting a double hander is smaller than hitting a single hander. A part of it is related to acceleration around the contact point.
                It is partially related to the issue of disguise.

                Let me provide a quote on the issue of disguise:
                "Players using the DOUBLE HANDED backhand technique DELAYED the horizontal acceleration of the racket towards the ball (SINGLE HANDED BACKHAND: 0.13 of second; the DOUBLE HANDED BACKHAND 0.08 of second
                prior to impact) and thus were capable of displaying a similar hitting motion closer to impact than players with a ONE-HANDED technique."

                From
                The One- and Two-Handed Backhands in Tennis"
                by Machar Reid and Bruce Elliot
                Sports Biomechanics Vol 1 (1),47-68,2002

                0.13 of second -0.08 of a second gives us the number 50 miliseconds.
                The question is whether the saving of 50 miliseconds BETWEEN TWO different
                kind of backhands is SIGNIFICANT.

                For comparison:
                the forward swing is around 120 miliseconds

                the WHOLE upward motion of a DOUBLE HANDED BACKHAND is 80 miliseconds

                the contact time is between 2-4 miliseconds

                the ssc cycle is probably 40 miliseconds or less

                Julian W.Mielniczuk
                USPTA
                Last edited by julian1; 12-11-2013, 02:57 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hmm....got me thinking this one.

                  Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
                  Let's get your thoughts on Chris Lewit's latest, "Building A World Class One Hander: The One versus Two Debate"
                  A very eloquent article, and interesting because it charts much of the territory I've trodden with my own son.

                  My son has a good two-hander. He also hits a good one-handed backhand if you ask him to trial it. He always had the capacity to go either way. It was a conundrum. In the end I opted he should be two-handed because in the final analysis the two-hander, for me, is the better shot. The versatility of the one-hander is attractive but not enough to sway me.

                  My son is right arm dominant. The beauty of this is his one-handed slice is way better then most two-handed players. And, ironically, his backhand volley is his best shot by a street. I did teach him the one-handed slice and backhand volley from the outset and had no intention of teaching them merely as add-ons later down the line. I wanted these shots instilled early and to be just as valid as all the other strokes in tennis. As a result they have developed well. I think the main problem (not touched on in the article) with the sliced backhand and backhand volley is neglect. They are taught too late...nor is enough time is allocated to them.

                  Once again...a great article...thoughtful and eloquent. I was really impressed.
                  Stotty

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by julian1 View Post
                    Dear Mr.Lewis,

                    Let me provide couple of loose points related to your article.
                    An overall time spent hitting a double hander is smaller than hitting a single hander. A part of it is related to acceleration around the contact point.
                    It is partially related to the issue of disguise.

                    Let me provide a quote on the issue of disguise:
                    "Players using the DOUBLE HANDED backhand technique DELAYED the horizontal acceleration of the racket towards the ball (SINGLE HANDED BACKHAND: 0.13 of second; the DOUBLE HANDED BACKHAND 0.08 of second
                    prior to impact) and thus were capable of displaying a similar hitting motion closer to impact than players with a ONE-HANDED technique."

                    From
                    The One- and Two-Handed Backhands in Tennis"
                    by Machar Reid and Bruce Elliot
                    Sports Biomechanics Vol 1 (1),47-68,2002

                    0.13 of second -0.08 of a second gives us the number 50 miliseconds.
                    The question is whether the saving of 50 miliseconds BETWEEN TWO different
                    kind of backhands is SIGNIFICANT.

                    For comparison:
                    the forward swing is around 120 miliseconds

                    the WHOLE upward motion of a DOUBLE HANDED BACKHAND is 80 miliseconds

                    the contact time is between 2-4 miliseconds

                    the ssc cycle is probably 40 miliseconds or less

                    Julian W.Mielniczuk
                    USPTA
                    Interesting study; I will need to read it fully to give my best thoughts. Reid and Elliot are some of the best we have studying tennis biomechanics. The point of this article is that, all science aside, the decision should be player centered, that is, focusing on whether a one-hander or two-hander is a better fit for the individual in front of the coach. The disguise advantage here, though, would be one scientific support for the two-handed advantage. Although the main thrust of this article is that there is a bit of art and science in making this big decision for your players. Thanks for sharing this good research

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Post-Impact Ball Velocities for Double Handed Backhand

                      Post-Impact Ball Velocities

                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Just to provide ballpark of Post-Impact Ball Velocities

                      Double Handed Down the Line - 33.19 m/second
                      Double Handed Across-Court - 32.87 m/second
                      Double Handed Topspin Down The Line- 20.40 m/second
                      Quoted from Reid and Elliot Sports Biomechanics Vol.1(1),47-68
                      A corresponding velocities for a SINGLE HANDED BACKHAND are
                      between 3 and 10 percents LOWER

                      Comment

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