Joe Perez: How to do a two-handed backhand in tennis. Tennis backhands, there are two different types. We're going to talk about the two-hander, not the one-hander. The two-handed backhand means just that. You're going to have both hands on the grip, and you're going to swing with both arms, not just with one. Kirk is going to demonstrate the type of swing, and I'm going to tell you then what the reason for using a two-handed backhand would be.
Kirk, he has both hands on the grip, notice. And when he turns, he's going to switch the grip from a forehand grip or an Eastern or semi-western to a backhand grip, which means he's going to slide it to his left on top of the racquet a little bit, the right hand. The left hand just grips the racquet in a normal, Eastern grip style. He's going to turn his hips and shoulders. He's going to take a step into the court. Both hands are going to come through the swing, and the dominant hand for a two-handed backhand is the left arm, Kirk's less dominant arm when he's naturally playing tennis. He's a right-handed player, but a two-handed backhand uses the left arm.
He's going to drive through the shot, through the ball, with a slightly closed face, with his left arm and right arm but the left arm being dominant. And he's going to finish over his right shoulder, showing the butt cap. I like to say that. Show the butt cap like a flashlight. So again, Kirk's going to have both hands on the grip. He's going to switch the grip slightly, racquet raised so he can do a little loop, comes underneath the ball, brushes up, drives through with the left hand, and finishes over his right shoulder. That's a two-handed backhand.
Now, why a two-handed backhand? A lot of players grow up playing tennis when they're very young. They start sometimes five or six, and the only way to hit a backhand when you're five or six effectively is to use two hands. So they grow up playing that way, and they continue to. It can be a very effective shot, because you can get a lot of power when you're young. You can get a lot more power when you're old. Not that a one-hander doesn't have power, but a two-hander can get a lot of power when they're younger. Also two hands are known to have the ability to disguise their shots well, because they can use a little bit more wrist because they've got this other hand helping. Two hands has disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is you can't reach out for a ball that's wide. You have to let go. So a two-hander has to have good feet to get to balls so they can hit the ball in position.
Kirk Moritz: Sounds good to me, Joe. With those two hands, make sure that both hands are relaxed. You could be twice as tight on the two-handed backhand and lose some of the fluidity. So you want your hands relaxed. Feel your fingertips on the racquet so you can accelerate that swing and brush up just like you do on the forehand. Soft hands. Hold the racquet looser than you think you're supposed to.
Joe: And that's a two-handed backhand in tennis.