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The One Handed Backhand: The Essential Non-Dominant Hand

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  • The One Handed Backhand: The Essential Non-Dominant Hand

    Let's discuss John Craig's latest installment on the one handed backhand - "The One Handed Backhand: The Essential Non-Dominant Hand"

  • doctorhl
    replied
    I usually do one handed forehand grip changes at the last second on drop shots or extreme angle shots. I've seen pros do slight one hand grip changes at the last second on both fh and bh. Can anyone point to archival footage where you have seen this?

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by doctorhl View Post
    Thoughts anyone about increasing speed on grip change to one handed backhand? Are both hands equally involved in grip change as a rule? Do any pros with a semi or Western turn the racket in the other direction for grip change(hitting same side of racket for fh & bh). What about practicing one hand grip changes for those instances in which you are delayed in getting the non dominant hand on the racket?
    The grip change is only one facet of the unit turn. The left hand controls the racquet head. The right hand merely loosens its grip until the racquet has turned to the proper position. This is all a matter of feel. Slice or drive?

    Hands equally involved? Of course...as well as the shoulders, legs and feet. Turning the grip with your feet? Partially. It is the whole unit turning towards the ball that turns the racquet in the hands.

    The control of the racquet head starts perhaps at the sternum and radiates outwards in the process of the backswing. I was working on this Swedish gal's backhand and I was telling her to change her grip. She stood there and was just manipulating the racquet head with her hands. I asked her five times to change her grip. She had no idea what I was asking her to do. I was looking for her to turn towards the ball and using the turn to change her grip. The left had merely sets the position of the racquet head in the beginning of the backswing and then in the same process the body is turning.

    Somewhere along the way you decide whether it is a slice or a drive. Or perhaps it happens before the backswing. This is what I love about the one hand backhand. The flexibility to do whatever you want to do with it.

    I don't think it is imperative to drive back big driving backhands against monster serves. I would recommend getting the ball in play first of all and secondly concentrating on depth...or lack of depth (hitting short and low). There is no shame in slicing in the attempt to neutralize the serve and the subsequent reply. Roger Federer's drive backhand used to come up woefully short so often when he was attempting to drive a return...it has improved with the new equipment and possible grip change. He is just as well off blocking the ball deep and working his way into the point. It's the percentage move more often than not.

    I watched a bit of his match with Nick Kyrgios at the Laver exhibitions. He did a lot of slicing and to nice effect. He was having problems timing his drive. He actually let out a couple of yells. The Federer/Kygios matchup turns out to be one of the more entertaining in the game now...if not the most entertaining.

    Leave a comment:


  • doctorhl
    replied
    Good comments on grip change. I like the spring loaded idea. For me, the grip change doesn't completely settle in until arm starts to move forward. I can't seem to change to bh grip on an offensive serve return fast enough to do it completely by end of unit turn.

    Leave a comment:


  • bottle
    replied
    A Simple Idea Can Be A Good Idea

    Tennis requires a lot of physical attributes but also the ability to assimilate a bunch of different ideas.

    And the best idea often is the simplest one. Sometime the idea is just a suggestion-- take it or leave it.

    That's what I feel about tennis_chiro's notion of starting forward action of one's one hander while flying grip change is still carrying racket head momentum backward.

    Some people no doubt think in terms of getting "very collected" between going backward and the going forward-- the perfect audience for tennis_chiro's suggestion to try something a bit different.

    Anyway, I may have tried this before but will try it again.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post

    Sorry, Stotty. I'm getting too old. Don't remember that one.

    don
    It may have been this one, but there is another one out there, too. If not you, maybe someone else.

    Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post

    Can't tell you how great it is to see Bottle understood exactly what I was trying to say. I would say one more thing about the quick return of serve.

    With the Flying Grip Change, you can almost start pulling forward with the right hand before the left hand has finished pulling back; this makes the return seem almost spring loaded. But the habit has to be really strong to be able to do that returning first serves effectively. But if the habit is put in early enough that it is instinctive, even a lower level player can return serve with a grip change. It doesn't take more time to change the grip if it happens while the left hand is pulling the racket back. On top of that, the pull of the left side on the right shoulder creates a minor SSC on the muscles of that right shoulder that makes you a little stronger in the backhand swing. It's not really an SSC, but it has a similar effect.

    don
    Last edited by stotty; 09-27-2017, 07:58 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • tennis_chiro
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post

    Yes I think remember you talking about getting SSC on the backhand return on the forum once before, and getting a 'spring loaded' effect returning high, kicking serves. Oddly enough, I tried to find that post some time ago but couldn't locate it. I seem to remember you talked about creating a delay, deliberately leaving the ball late, which helped create the spring loaded effect. Do you remember writing post like that or did I dream about it in my sleep?
    Sorry, Stotty. I'm getting too old. Don't remember that one.

    don

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post
    I have one other "theory" about the 1hbh grip change. Assume a right hander: if the right hand and arm push the racket back in the grip change and initial backswing, then momentum of the right arm and racket are generated away from the ball and will have to be overcome to reverse the motion and swing the racket forward. Under the time stress of returning a big serve, this can be a problem. My "theory" is that when you pull the racket back with the left hand, as the grip change is accomplished and the right hand is pulled into an "inside" position, the right shoulder and arm can reverse the direction of the swing without having to overcome the momentum of the right arm which makes it possible to return big serves with a backhand drive as opposed to only a chip. I wasn't quick enough or good enough to pull this off very often on first serves, but partly because of this technique, I was able to be relatively devastating returning kick serves while moving forward in doubles play. I particularly liked playing the inside-out backhand return from the deuce court in doubles and if I so chose, I could eviscerate the poor netman in front of me as well. But I couldn't have done it without the use of the left hand to pull the racket back as the grip change was accomplished. In addition, this movement creates a little bit of an SSC in the right shoulder that i think is critical to generating maximum effortless power on the 1hbh. I don't like the model that Gordon has postulated to be a mirror stroke to his ATP-type forehand with the racket head waving around from the wrist - it's too complicated and wristy. You get a much better and effective SSC from the back of the right shoulder.

    don
    Yes I think remember you talking about getting SSC on the backhand return on the forum once before, and getting a 'spring loaded' effect returning high, kicking serves. Oddly enough, I tried to find that post some time ago but couldn't locate it. I seem to remember you talked about creating a delay, deliberately leaving the ball late, which helped create the spring loaded effect. Do you remember writing post like that or did I dream about it in my sleep?

    Leave a comment:


  • tennis_chiro
    replied
    I have one other "theory" about the 1hbh grip change. Assume a right hander: if the right hand and arm push the racket back in the grip change and initial backswing, then momentum of the right arm and racket are generated away from the ball and will have to be overcome to reverse the motion and swing the racket forward. Under the time stress of returning a big serve, this can be a problem. My "theory" is that when you pull the racket back with the left hand, as the grip change is accomplished and the right hand is pulled into an "inside" position, the right shoulder and arm can reverse the direction of the swing without having to overcome the momentum of the right arm which makes it possible to return big serves with a backhand drive as opposed to only a chip. I wasn't quick enough or good enough to pull this off very often on first serves, but partly because of this technique, I was able to be relatively devastating returning kick serves while moving forward in doubles play. I particularly liked playing the inside-out backhand return from the deuce court in doubles and if I so chose, I could eviscerate the poor netman in front of me as well. But I couldn't have done it without the use of the left hand to pull the racket back as the grip change was accomplished. In addition, this movement creates a little bit of an SSC in the right shoulder that i think is critical to generating maximum effortless power on the 1hbh. I don't like the model that Gordon has postulated to be a mirror stroke to his ATP-type forehand with the racket head waving around from the wrist - it's too complicated and wristy. You get a much better and effective SSC from the back of the right shoulder.

    don

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by bottle View Post
    Flying Grip Change

    No, you really just loosen the fingers of your hitting hand and pull with your other hand as part of your initial move. But you've taught yourself to recognize the grip you want. I use hitting thumb for my reference. Do you turn the racket? If so, a minuscule amount and it's unconscious. And you keep on using the left hand more even than the right hand as has been pointed out. Very quick and efficient freeing you up to do other things. From an extreme forehand grip I guess you'd have to turn something in addition to pulling back. The less of a change required the better, and I agree with Stotty that no change at all is best, but I need a strong eastern backhand grip for the topspin drives I want. The next question is how much thumb behind the handle (or lack thereof) is best, and everybody is all over the map on that one.
    bottle, you're right. You've studied the procedure carefully.

    Leave a comment:


  • bottle
    replied
    Flying Grip Change

    No, you really just loosen the fingers of your hitting hand and pull with your other hand as part of your initial move. But you've taught yourself to recognize the grip you want. I use hitting thumb for my reference. Do you turn the racket? If so, a minuscule amount and it's unconscious. And you keep on using the left hand more even than the right hand as has been pointed out. Very quick and efficient freeing you up to do other things. From an extreme forehand grip I guess you'd have to turn something in addition to pulling back. The less of a change required the better, and I agree with Stotty that no change at all is best, but I need a strong eastern backhand grip for the topspin drives I want. The next question is how much thumb behind the handle (or lack thereof) is best, and everybody is all over the map on that one.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by doctorhl View Post
    Thoughts anyone about increasing speed on grip change to one handed backhand? Are both hands equally involved in grip change as a rule? Do any pros with a semi or Western turn the racket in the other direction for grip change(hitting same side of racket for fh & bh). What about practicing one hand grip changes for those instances in which you are delayed in getting the non dominant hand on the racket?
    I think tennis_chiro's advice that the grip change should be an integral part of the backswing is a real nugget for aspiring one-handers. I am a one-hander myself and I change the grip by twisting the racket at the throat and turning the hand. I think this is what learning the ready position is all about. In my school of tennis, tennis starts with the grip and the ready position.

    Alberto Berasategui used the same face of the racket for both forehand and backhand. A guy at my tennis club does too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbV6Ye6LIwE

    I have never seen a player do a one-handed grip change though I am sure many have done it in emergency situations. In this scenario my solution works best. I use a continental grip and don't change my grip one iota for any shot I play.
    Last edited by stotty; 09-26-2017, 01:20 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • doctorhl
    replied
    Thoughts anyone about increasing speed on grip change to one handed backhand? Are both hands equally involved in grip change as a rule? Do any pros with a semi or Western turn the racket in the other direction for grip change(hitting same side of racket for fh & bh). What about practicing one hand grip changes for those instances in which you are delayed in getting the non dominant hand on the racket?

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post
    Interesting! Why don't you post a video of his two hander. The only tricky thing is timing. I realize that people can get away with all kinds of things. But it seems that there is always a reckoning with some opponent or condition that exploits the even the tiniest of flaws.

    Then again hitting a different ball is also helpful in that people don't know how to deal with it.

    In any case, it would be cool to see the two hander and then to see the one and two hander side by side and synched if possible.
    That would be a wonderful idea. I am away today and tomorrow , taking my son back to university. But when I get home, if I can figure out how to do a side to side video of his one-hander versus his two-hander, I will certainly do it.

    Leave a comment:


  • arturohernandez
    replied
    Interesting! Why don't you post a video of his two hander. The only tricky thing is timing. I realize that people can get away with all kinds of things. But it seems that there is always a reckoning with some opponent or condition that exploits the even the tiniest of flaws.

    Then again hitting a different ball is also helpful in that people don't know how to deal with it.

    In any case, it would be cool to see the two hander and then to see the one and two hander side by side and synched if possible.

    Leave a comment:

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