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Arora 08-05-2012 11:08 PM

Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
A little introduction here. I'm 17 and love tennis but did not play tennis at all until a few months ago. In all, I've probably played for about three months (not 90 days worth of tennis but maybe twice a week for three months). I don't plan on trying to become a pro but I really enjoy playing tennis even though I'm quite bad and watch tennis tournaments all the time. I'm not sure how well I would like to be but I'm 17 so I guess I could become quite good with enough practise. Here's my game at the moment.

Serve: I've only just started serving with the proper motion and I can feel it is quicker and more of a weapon now. I'm just going to aim to get many serves in at the moment, not looking for more power yet though if anyone can give me advice on how to get more serves in that'd be great. Grip I use = V-shape grip.

Forehand: Is pretty much my only ground stroke. The guys I play with have are quite experienced and tell me that I do actually have a decent forehand for a beginner. What I would like to be able to do is hit it flatter and deeper. I'm not focusing at all on top spin yet. Grip I use = number 3 on the racquet handle.

Backhand: Quite simply, I don't have one. I get maybe 20% of backhands in using a slice. What I want is a double handed backhand. Any tips how to get one? At the moment it feels like it's impossible. I've read that a practise technique is to a hit a forehand with my wrong hand (which would be my left) then gradually start putting both hands on the grip to hit the ball. Grip I use = no idea, just can't hit backhands.

Slice: The current slice I use is because I don't have a backhand so I've never really used the slice shot as an approach shot or to buy myself time in the rally. It doesn't seem to be the hardest shot though.

So any tips guys? Not just for my game but any general tennis advice for a beginner? FYI the racquet I use is a Wilson K-Power Hybrid and I play right handed.

Oh, and though it probably matters little, my favourite players are Ana Ivanovic and Nole Djokovic ;)

seattletennisguy 08-06-2012 01:12 AM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
It sounds like mostly what you need is practice, although it also sounds like you're beginning to develop your technique.

Quick note: I know several good tennis players in my area who didn't begin playing until their 20s or 30s. It's never too late to learn.

Advice: You might try going into a local tennis/sports equipment store and testing out some "demo" rackets. Usually, they'll loan these to you with a deposit or minor form of collateral (current racket, etc.). A new racket might help with your slice or backhand. I switched rackets once and was finally able to hit a flat backhand.

There are probably better quality players that can provide more tips for you. But I'd say, join a local tennis club - even if it's a rec league. The more you play, the more people you play with and against, the more you'll get to practice your game.

Lazyking 08-06-2012 10:39 AM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by seattletennisguy (Post 12299642)
It sounds like mostly what you need is practice, although it also sounds like you're beginning to develop your technique.

Quick note: I know several good tennis players in my area who didn't begin playing until their 20s or 30s. It's never too late to learn.

Advice: You might try going into a local tennis/sports equipment store and testing out some "demo" rackets. Usually, they'll loan these to you with a deposit or minor form of collateral (current racket, etc.). A new racket might help with your slice or backhand. I switched rackets once and was finally able to hit a flat backhand.

There are probably better quality players that can provide more tips for you. But I'd say, join a local tennis club - even if it's a rec league. The more you play, the more people you play with and against, the more you'll get to practice your game.


Not the op but great advice.. I'm 27, barely ever held a raquet before.. just now testing the waters to play. I really do want to play but thought I was too old to even try.

Arora 08-06-2012 08:44 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by seattletennisguy (Post 12299642)
It sounds like mostly what you need is practice, although it also sounds like you're beginning to develop your technique.

Quick note: I know several good tennis players in my area who didn't begin playing until their 20s or 30s. It's never too late to learn.

Advice: You might try going into a local tennis/sports equipment store and testing out some "demo" rackets. Usually, they'll loan these to you with a deposit or minor form of collateral (current racket, etc.). A new racket might help with your slice or backhand. I switched rackets once and was finally able to hit a flat backhand.

There are probably better quality players that can provide more tips for you. But I'd say, join a local tennis club - even if it's a rec league. The more you play, the more people you play with and against, the more you'll get to practice your game.

Thanks for the advice, I may join a tennis club now that you've mentioned it. Unfortunately I cannot afford to buy a new racquet as my Wilson is only two weeks old and I have to buy school books :(

Played more today, despite the English rain, my serve and forehand were the best they have ever been so I'm happy with that. I didn't really have to use my backhand much, when I did I just sliced it back. This is what I really need to change. I need to develop a proper backhand stroke now, a single handed seems slightly easier but it's still poor. My friends all recommend a double (though only one of them has a double handed bh), my favourite players use a double and the general consensus is that a double is more accurate and powerful but it does seem hard to start trying to hit a 2H BH when I'm just starting out.

After how long did you guys develop your backhand? And to those with 2H BHs, how did you practise using it when you were a tennis beginner?

Johnny Groove 08-06-2012 09:30 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arora (Post 12302336)
Thanks for the advice, I may join a tennis club now that you've mentioned it. Unfortunately I cannot afford to buy a new racquet as my Wilson is only two weeks old and I have to buy school books :(

Played more today, despite the English rain, my serve and forehand were the best they have ever been so I'm happy with that. I didn't really have to use my backhand much, when I did I just sliced it back. This is what I really need to change. I need to develop a proper backhand stroke now, a single handed seems slightly easier but it's still poor. My friends all recommend a double (though only one of them has a double handed bh), my favourite players use a double and the general consensus is that a double is more accurate and powerful but it does seem hard to start trying to hit a 2H BH when I'm just starting out.

After how long did you guys develop your backhand? And to those with 2H BHs, how did you practise using it when you were a tennis beginner?

I say try the one handed backhand.

I myself used the 2 handed backhand for 7 years, never quite getting it. I switch to a 1 handed about 1 year ago, and am hitting it clean and crisp, way better that I ever did with 2. Don't be afraid to switch. Even the great Pete Sampras had a 2 hand backhand until he switched to a 1 hander, and he's one of the best ever. :yeah:

Arora 08-07-2012 03:25 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Groove (Post 12302457)
I say try the one handed backhand.

I myself used the 2 handed backhand for 7 years, never quite getting it. I switch to a 1 handed about 1 year ago, and am hitting it clean and crisp, way better that I ever did with 2. Don't be afraid to switch. Even the great Pete Sampras had a 2 hand backhand until he switched to a 1 hander, and he's one of the best ever. :yeah:

That's what I'm thinking now. I'm gonna try to use a single handed for a month now to see if it's better for me, thanks :D Any tips on how to hit a single handed backhand? I'm gonna watch lots of Federer/Gasquet/Sampras videos now.

Smasher 08-08-2012 07:30 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Check the fuzzyyellowballs website. They have some good stuff there, which covers most of the basic techniques

Arora 08-08-2012 09:09 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smasher (Post 12307222)
Check the fuzzyyellowballs website. They have some good stuff there, which covers most of the basic techniques

Looks like a helpful site, thanks :)

Will check out their backhand videos before I play tennis tomorrow.

Johnny Groove 08-08-2012 09:51 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arora (Post 12303795)
That's what I'm thinking now. I'm gonna try to use a single handed for a month now to see if it's better for me, thanks :D Any tips on how to hit a single handed backhand? I'm gonna watch lots of Federer/Gasquet/Sampras videos now.

Fuzzyyellowballs is great, I learned a lot from there.

For the 1 hander, make sure you get low and explode into the ball. Check also Gustavo Kuerten and Gaston Gaudio backhands.

HKz 08-09-2012 06:04 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Groove (Post 12302457)
I say try the one handed backhand.

I myself used the 2 handed backhand for 7 years, never quite getting it. I switch to a 1 handed about 1 year ago, and am hitting it clean and crisp, way better that I ever did with 2. Don't be afraid to switch. Even the great Pete Sampras had a 2 hand backhand until he switched to a 1 hander, and he's one of the best ever. :yeah:

When perhaps for a long time you try out a particular shot and you feel you aren't getting anywhere, then yeah, of course it makes sense to try to change up your game. However, I don't think suggesting him to try one-handed is a great idea at all because of his lack of experience.. I myself used to be a two-hander, and it was my best shot. However, my private coach at that time had me start practicing one-handed backhands to see how that felt, and after several months, I felt much more natural with the one-hander. If you notice, many of the top players in juniors and pros, actually know how to hit both a two-hander and one-hander very well, and that is honestly the only true way to decide which you are. In today's modern game, using a two-hander is a much safer bet, considering the fact that you can deal with higher balls much more easily. Either way, the only way to decide is you can practice both shots and then after a while decide what feels better for you and your game. To just drop one and go for the other makes no sense, as I've seen plenty of juniors over the years go from a much more normal looking two-handed backhand, to something absolutely fucking atrocious they call their "one-hander" thinking that they get Federeresque powers.

Just to do a quick analysis to help out a little more comparing the two shots-

One-handers:
1. I still think that in terms of pace and spin, a great one-hander can produce more than a two-hander
2. May be more natural as you may play other backhand shots one-handed like the slice or volley
3. The shot is heavily based on timing considering they have much longer backswings than two-handers
4. Much better reach

Two-handers:
1. You can MUSCLE the ball - this is the biggest difference and the reason why it is the dominant way of hitting a backahnd. While you can certainly "block" shots with a one-hander, a two-hander can do much more when placed in a defensive position as they don't require a lot of torque or a large backswing in order to generate spin, pace and get the right placement.
2. You can flatten shots quite easily. With a one-hander, in general you are naturally going to produce topspin even when going for winners because the stroke is typically start low, end high. With a two-hander, it is much like a forehand where you can start high and flatten out a shot.
3. A two-hander will struggle a little bit with their reach especially when returning serve - it'll cause them to either play the shot poorly, or take their off-hand off the racket which may also create a poor shot as well.

Super Djoker 08-09-2012 10:26 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
I play a two handed backhand as well but started 1 handed as I found it easier ! Also felt better to hit but my two handed has tons more power on account of it being mostly a right arm forhand ! My advice for the one handed, make sure your turned so your looking at the ball towards your backhand side. Use your none playing arm to help prepare for the stroke ( Even 1 handers do this ) and hit the ball in front of you . Il just warm you my 1 handed is a sparatic fucktard backhand that seems to go anywhere and everywhere , but it,s practise . I started hitting 1 handed to begin with but my coach taught me a very solid 2 handed technique that gives me much more power than my 1 handed so I stuck with that . Having said that I never mastered the 1 hander . It,s worth sticking at thought . As you can spread 1 handers anywhere . You can do the same with a two hander but cross court is harder and crucially it takes less time to hit a 1 handed . So if you want fluant crisp tennis stick to 1 hander . If you want to play like a scamperer who hits pretty hard and gets everything back like me , go for a two handed. Not that you have to play like that with 2 handed lol

Super Djoker 08-09-2012 10:33 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Not that I shank 1 handed backhands but the Aim isent as precise as my two handed .

Arora 08-10-2012 05:56 PM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HKz (Post 12309308)
When perhaps for a long time you try out a particular shot and you feel you aren't getting anywhere, then yeah, of course it makes sense to try to change up your game. However, I don't think suggesting him to try one-handed is a great idea at all because of his lack of experience.. I myself used to be a two-hander, and it was my best shot. However, my private coach at that time had me start practicing one-handed backhands to see how that felt, and after several months, I felt much more natural with the one-hander. If you notice, many of the top players in juniors and pros, actually know how to hit both a two-hander and one-hander very well, and that is honestly the only true way to decide which you are. In today's modern game, using a two-hander is a much safer bet, considering the fact that you can deal with higher balls much more easily. Either way, the only way to decide is you can practice both shots and then after a while decide what feels better for you and your game. To just drop one and go for the other makes no sense, as I've seen plenty of juniors over the years go from a much more normal looking two-handed backhand, to something absolutely fucking atrocious they call their "one-hander" thinking that they get Federeresque powers.

Just to do a quick analysis to help out a little more comparing the two shots-

One-handers:
1. I still think that in terms of pace and spin, a great one-hander can produce more than a two-hander
2. May be more natural as you may play other backhand shots one-handed like the slice or volley
3. The shot is heavily based on timing considering they have much longer backswings than two-handers
4. Much better reach

Two-handers:
1. You can MUSCLE the ball - this is the biggest difference and the reason why it is the dominant way of hitting a backahnd. While you can certainly "block" shots with a one-hander, a two-hander can do much more when placed in a defensive position as they don't require a lot of torque or a large backswing in order to generate spin, pace and get the right placement.
2. You can flatten shots quite easily. With a one-hander, in general you are naturally going to produce topspin even when going for winners because the stroke is typically start low, end high. With a two-hander, it is much like a forehand where you can start high and flatten out a shot.
3. A two-hander will struggle a little bit with their reach especially when returning serve - it'll cause them to either play the shot poorly, or take their off-hand off the racket which may also create a poor shot as well.

I see where you're coming from and I appreciate the advice. You're right Novak started out with a one handed backhand and then switched to a double handed after a couple of years. I'm going to stick to a one handed for now because that feels a lot easier and I last longer in rallies. I have a much cleaner hit with it too. After a few months if I feel I'm not improving much I'll switch to a double or at least try it out. Thanks for the help :)

HKz 08-12-2012 06:40 AM

Re: Just starting out, advice appreciated.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arora (Post 12312238)
I see where you're coming from and I appreciate the advice. You're right Novak started out with a one handed backhand and then switched to a double handed after a couple of years. I'm going to stick to a one handed for now because that feels a lot easier and I last longer in rallies. I have a much cleaner hit with it too. After a few months if I feel I'm not improving much I'll switch to a double or at least try it out. Thanks for the help :)

Just practice both :shrug: look at Tsonga, he actually hits a one-hander sometimes. Really practicing both at the same time, especially when you are learning the game is the best way to decide what works best. Silly in my opinion to practice just one as you'll never know your true potential using the other.


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