Today I went to go see this new pro that teaches pretty well.
He pointed out that most of my mistakes were because of too much wrist, and we worked on remedying all of that.
Very happy with all of this.
Then he told me to try hit 2 handed backhands, and fed me a couple of balls.
I swear to God, I freaking murdered every single ball, and even though I mishit sometimes, that ball was going pretty damn fast.
He then told me to try my usual 1 hander, something i'm still fairly new to, and on that shot, I wasn't really focused (I have a terrible cold), and severely mishit it.
He basically said: see?
For the rest of the lesson, I hit all 2 handed backhands, and they went pretty well. I got some pretty solid depth on all of them, something I seemed to lack before.
The thing was, I wanted to keep my 1 handed backhand. I know that it'll take more time to manifest itself as weapon, but I really look up to all the all-court players out there, and I always knew I wanted to play like them. A 1 handed backhand really helps in hitting angles, and playing a pretty game.
My mother was watching the lesson, and she suggested to me that I stick with whatever the coach is telling me now, and maybe later switch back. I know certain players have done that..someone called Federer and Sampras?
The thing is, I don't mind the hard work, and the messing up to get a 1 hander, but I don't really want to argue with my parents, or the coach.
He said it looked a lot more natural, and he actually ducked on some of the balls I returned to him..they weren't bad at all.
I'm still quite dissatisfied..I'm sorry I really don't want to play baseline, bash the ball tennis. It just doesn't appeal to me.
I also don't want to argue with the coach/parent, so do you think that I ought to hone my groundstrokes, and 2 hander, and perhaps at 16 or so (I'm 13 now), make a permanent switch?
Assistance would be much appreciated. :)'
Also, he had me change my grip from a slight western to a weak semiwestern.
He said that was making me use too much wrist, and that sometimes it would go in, and sometimes it wouldn't.
Also, if any of you recall the "cobra serve", that LT linked a long time ago, it said to have a long and circular takeback.
This coach says that this extra takeback gives me time to start moving in the wrong direction, away from the court, and I should shorten my swing as much as possible.
Advice would be very much appreciated.
03-28-2010, 09:24 PM
I would strongly advise you get a second opinion first of all from another qualified coach without mentioning to them what this coach has said. If they advised you to stick with the one handed backhand you could tell your parents this and it would strengthen your case for sticking with it. If on the other hand they say the same thing as the first coach then I would consider going with what they said and make the changes. The only reason for not doing so would be if you felt strongly enough that you wouldn't be the type of player you wanted to be and that it would take the enjoyment of playing away from you. I'm sure plenty of people told McEnroe his technique was all wrong.
One other possibility would be to agree with your parents to try the two handed backhand for a specific amount of time - say six weeks or eight weeks - then review it. You might find that by then you actually prefer it and it's advantages might open up new ideas for you. If you have any friendly matches try playing a couple of games of one handed then a couple with two handed backhands and see which you win more points with - bet that will confuse your opponent.
03-29-2010, 09:37 PM
Haha, that would definitely confuse anyone.
The thing is, I've seen that almost every single kid this pro teaches has a 2 handed backhand, and I wonder if he makes people change it.
I'll try to get a second opinion.
People tell me that the straight back and hit is more natural than the loop sort of thing you've got to do for a 1 handed, but other people say the 2 hander is graceless.
I guess I'll just have to "playtest" both of them.
03-29-2010, 11:43 PM
Gilles Simon has a two-handed backhand, and I think it's as graceful as any one-hander.
I think there is some misunderstanding between you and the coach regarding the cobra serve. Basically all the cobra serve does is reinforce that the server has a professional trophy pose which equates to a proper and powerful serve. Take a look at any pro-level serve - the racquet always points to the ground as though it is hanging and waiting to be thrust up into the ball. Just make sure you are using the "down together, up together" rule. Otherwise your toss will need to go higher, or you will have to chase the toss. Good luck with everything and let us know what you decide to do.