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True Alignment: Two Handed Backhand

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  • kerrymitchell
    replied
    Thanks jthb1021. This concept has made diagnosing flaws in strokes so much easier over the years. Every stoke from the serve to the volley is driven by this concept. I appreciate your comments.

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  • jthb1021
    replied
    Kerry,
    Thank you so much for following up on your True Alignment Forehand article, which is my favorite article on this site.

    I love this article for my two hander students! Like most everyone I teach my students to set up and get behind the ball with their weight loaded on their outside leg/foot. From here if I can get my students to understand the true alignment concept, it makes the choice of stances pretty obvious! What a gift that is!

    I have taken a great deal of value from your articles and I hope you will please follow up with a full series on True Alignment. Thanks for your time!

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    I agree with Kerry that learning to get behind the ball and set up and coiled on the outside foot and leg in a semi open stance is critical! I still believe that, for lower level players with more classical grips, the step into a neutral stance is the way to go initially. With more extreme grips then players can stay semi-open--but the full turn is equally critical.

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  • kerrymitchell
    replied
    Hi Stotty, To me, the proper swing pattern is the most important thing to teach a club player. I often have to fix swing issues of new clients who have come from another pro who has taught them exclusively "neutral stance" hitting. This type of learning creates poor prep work and very little sense of the unit turn (from the upper body perspective). Also, by teaching them neutral stance positioning the chasing of the ball is poor causing them to hit "not neutral stance", but extreme cross stance. That extreme cross stance hitting is almost impossible to maintain good balance. Also, club players take the ball out of their hitting zone most of the time (even though you may have worked on this concept with them) and in order to hit those out of zone balls with a more proper swing path open stance hitting is a necessity. By starting with open stance it gives me a real chance to make them understand what a real unit turn looks and feels like. Then the progression to the neutral stance actually puts them in a neutral stance more often when they move to the ball. Finally, correcting a bad swing pattern is easier when you can get them to hit open stance. As I learned from John Y. over the many years of working with him, the classical finish position is still the best way to teach a club player trying to improve their game. I always emphasize to my clients that footwork should be flexible and flowing. As we see with the pros they use all variety of footwork to help coordinate great shot making. Thanks for taking a look at the article.

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  • kerrymitchell
    replied
    Thanks Kyle. I think you're right about the two hander in terms of footwork variety, but I feel in order to be set properly the footwork to the ball has to be correct most the time.

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  • klacr
    replied
    Kerry Mitchell has some real gems of articles on this site. Reading this one made me review some of his past works. An impressive catalog of insight and philosophies on different strokes. An open stance backhand may seem foreign to some but I think the opportunity to do it and it's actual frequency of occurrence is way more than what we realize. I find myself hitting an open stance backhand once in a while but with a one-hander. I'm strong enough to get away with it and find myself using my legs to balance, slam the door and scissor.

    The two handed backhand I feel has more variety with footwork patterns. The players featured in this article (Djokovic, Murray and Nadal) may have the best two handed backhands in the game so they are superb examples when modeling balance, adaptability and technique.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

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  • stotty
    replied
    Well this is a thought provoking article for most coaches I would imagine. The idea of starting to learn these mechanics by first learning an open stance seems a little odd to me. I am not against the idea per se but it's awfully difficult to learn open stances before neutral and closed stances on the backhand wing. The open stance backhand takes balance and skill and I am not convinced a recreational player, or even a more aspiring junior can learn it too early.

    Using the rear leg as a brake and the subsequent unlocking of it is advanced in my view and not something the recreational player can ever properly master...and door slamming is even way more tricky.

    What I do know is if an aspiring junior player waits too long to learn the open stance backhand they can pass a window of opportunity where it becomes much harder to learn later down the line. The timing of when coaches should begin teaching it takes good judgement.

    I thought the article was terrific and it certainly opened my eyes to the possibility of alternative teaching with open stance backhands. I think the subject is most worthy of discussion and would love other coaches to weigh in with their thoughts.
    Last edited by stotty; 05-07-2018, 06:18 AM.

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic True Alignment: Two Handed Backhand

    True Alignment: Two Handed Backhand

    Let's get your thoughts on Kerry Mitchell's article, "True Alignment: Two Handed Backhand"

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