Two For One
If you’ve read about grips in both the forehand and the one-handed backhand sections (if not, why not?), you’ll know that:
- 1: – positioning of the palm of the hand is of platinum importance for a forehand, and:
- 2: – having the thumb behind the racket grip – at the very least – is similarly essential to a successful one-hander.
Basically, we are now using both of the above grips to furnish one stroke.
So both the Palm Principle and the Thumb Theory now apply to the two-hander.
‘Yippee! A Principle and a Theory for each hand .’
Look at Michael Chang in these two magnifications. His left (extra) hand grips the racket handle in a moderate forehand grip, whereas the thumb of his right hand is behind the racket grip, in a moderate backhand grip.
Similarly Anke Huber in these 3 frames. But the difference in this grip is that Anke gets the palm of her left hand further under the grip than Mikey.
This is because Anke’s dominant aspect of play was full-on, palm-under topspin.
For many – for all, even – the ‘extra’ hand is the most influential – it is the dominant force – the majority shareholder..
‘… even the bossy spouse? I think you’re having another attack of the metaphors.’
Sorry. And yes, I suppose the backhand grip is a kind of marriage. Anyhow, the ‘extra’ hand is the bossy spouse because it gives the user forehand-type strength to power (up and) through contact from behind.
Juan Carlos Fererro similarly exhibits both the P.P. and T.T., in this rear view, making his grip is doubly effective for power and topspin.
‘How far under?‘
Best practice is to start simple with both the palm and thumb, and copy both the forehand and one-hander guidelines.
And when players start increasing the topspin, the Stroke Supervisor should factor in (or nudge them towards) organic progression, as both the thumb and palm slip further under to aid the upsy topspin cause – again, this doesn’t need to be tyrannically enforced, but it should be quietly overseen in youngsters.
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