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Old May 30th, 2010, 04:44 AM   #1
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Losing confidence in one of your shots

Hey guys, recently, I have really been struggling to hit my two handed backhand. Prior to this, I had a very good two handeder that I could hit with depth, power and accuracy. Now when I go to hit a backhand, it's almost like mentally I can't do it. My brain almost stops me from swinging normally and I hit it up on it and it lands quite long. Has anyone experienced this or at least know what the heck I'm talking about? It's worse when I get a ball with no pace on it, when I have time to think about it, I can't even force myself to swing through and hit a clean backhand. Can anyone relate to this and help me??

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 04:53 AM   #2
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

Well, it happened to me and it was my strings that were way too old.
I was hitting the fence all the freaking time and couldn't anything but drop shotting everyone to death and moonballing.

Check that out.
Or go for the cross-court as it's the easiest shot and build on that.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 05:01 AM   #3
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

Practice, Practice, Practice shut your mind off when your playing a tennis match. In practice try to work the technique and get a feel for the shot I feel the same way about my serve but it's getting a little better
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Old May 30th, 2010, 05:36 AM   #4
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

Focus on the basics - Make sure that you are keeping your eye on the ball through the entire shot, that you are using the proper footwork necessary, and that you are following through on the shot. The last part is the hardest because you've probably become afraid to keep making mistakes, and are therefore thinking that if you pull back, you can at least keep the ball in play. It may take a bit of time, but if you can focus on those simple elements, it should make life easier trying to get your form back
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Old May 30th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #5
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

That happens to me all the time!!!

My advice would be to just let that shot go for a little bit. If it's the backhand, just keep slicing for a few days cause hitting the backhand wrong may ruin the shot completely. Same with forehand, when it breaks down I use the double handed forehand. I also think playing on a mega fast court helps, I've tried it a couple of times and got my shots back
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Old May 30th, 2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

Wow, this happened to me exactly. I used to be more consistent with my backhand than forehand. After a few years, I think my backhand shot is declining. I see two immediate problems: one, my grip is turned too "close" making the racket head not "open", thus my backhand shots hit the net A LOT; two, my stance and footwork aren't excellent so I end up getting too close to the ball when hitting my backhand -- so much so that I'd have to hit slice backhand shots which displeases me. Balls that land low and way in the court - as opposed to the baseline - give me great difficulty as you feel you have to put away the shot, just like you see on TV. However, like you mentioned, you have a lot of time to come in, creating for more choices and hence pressure to execute.

I'd say practice is the key to changing bad habits. I know it's difficult especially when you don't have a lot of time on your hands.

Last edited by barboza : May 30th, 2010 at 08:28 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 08:53 AM   #7
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caillou View Post
Hey guys, recently, I have really been struggling to hit my two handed backhand. Prior to this, I had a very good two handeder that I could hit with depth, power and accuracy. Now when I go to hit a backhand, it's almost like mentally I can't do it. My brain almost stops me from swinging normally and I hit it up on it and it lands quite long. Has anyone experienced this or at least know what the heck I'm talking about? It's worse when I get a ball with no pace on it, when I have time to think about it, I can't even force myself to swing through and hit a clean backhand. Can anyone relate to this and help me??

Thanks in advance.
Oh wow. Yes! I definitely have experienced this. This was 2 handed backhand was always my best shot since it had a little extra pace and consistency, but then it slowly diminished. I was hitting moon balls or netting a lot, so I just worked on pushing it over like guiding it. I was fortunate enough to have a ball machine though, so I just hit like 200 hundred a day, and it's improving. I just always hope my opponent hits with a lot of pace because I have a hard time generating pace and adding spin to it.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

I think its been mentioned but what helps me is simplifying the shot, basically back to basics. Also, just focusing on getting a good length and spin on the ball instead of hitting winners off that side. Hopefully, after doing that for a couple of games or whatever, you will get your timing and confidence back.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

The same happened to me. A few years ago my backhand was my biggest weapon and suddenly I couldn't win with that shot.

First of all you have to forget about that, you can't be thinking you had a good backhand and now you don't becuase that won't help you at all.

The problem I was having is that I was taking too much time preparing my shot and I was always hitting the ball late becuase of that. And my second problem was I wasn't lowering the racquet head in order to produce topspin on the ball, I was always hitting flat so pay attetion to those things.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #10
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

My backhand and my serve are always up and down. If my forehand doesn't work, I can at least still get some topspin on it to hit some deep shots, but my backhand is much flatter and I can just push it, but it won't go deep all the time. Sometimes I serve below 20% and my second serve is the biggest crap EVER. No slice, no spin, NOTHING. And that is the case right now. One first serve (my biggest weapon) in 2 service games and I feel pretty unconfident with it. But I play rarely so it doesn't have much of an impact at all. But that annoys me right now, but it's been the case before and I hope to overcome it again.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #11
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

I had the same issue with my forehand a few months ago. It's like I couldn't hit the shot anymore, even though I probably hit millions in my life. My technique became awkward, I had no follow-through whatsoever. I played a tournament during that time and really wasn't playing well, and it just crushed me, really.

That's when I decided to take a small break from hitting. Nothing major, a bit more than a week or two. Just to break my rhythm a bit, forget about the bad things.

Then, when I came back, I asked either a training partner, or a coach, to just hit me tons and tons of forehands. And then i'd just hit them as I thought I should, while they started by hitting the fence, it quickly came back to normal, and now I can say, a few months afterwards, it is much better.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #12
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

I used to have the same problem with my forehand.. In my opinion, you really have two options:

1) Go out and practice, practice, practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. Have someone toss the ball to your backhand, then hit to your backhand, then serve to your backhand.. Get a bucket of balls, have someone stand at the service line and just keep hitting them to your backhand. Start off just trying to get it back, then slowly work up to the end of the bucket where you're hitting down the line and cross court.

OR

2) Don't think about it. Practicing will just put more focus on your backhand and just make the thoughts about it more prevolant in your mind. If you practice it, later when you play you'll be thinking about your practice, and then even more worried about it. It sounds like a mental problem, so just try to not think about it, think about the basics: eyes on the ball, swing through. Move your feet.


It really depends on your style. If you're one that can hit the courts for hours at a time practicing, try option number one. Go back to basics that way, with easy shots and getting back in the habit of hitting. Or, if you like match play, try option two and just try not worry about it. You know how to hit the backhand, you've hit in the past, so why should now be any different? The answer: because you think it's different. But it isn't, it's still you hitting the same shot. So, with option two, go back to the basics in match play; just get the backhand back in play, wait for your big forehand or for the error, and take the backhand winner when it's lined up for you.

Also, with option two, try playing someone you know you can't beat! Especially someone who hits harder than you.. It gives you less time to think about your shots, rely more on instincts, and if they're a lot better you just go for more and relax. One of the best matches I ever played was against a kid from a private school who had played all his life, I lost 6-1 6-1 but I was going for my shots, and hit some HUGE backhands and even forehands. I got killed, but in reality I was in every point, and considering I had only been playing 4 years at a public school, and this kid had 10+ years at a private one.. it should've been much worse


For me, I used to miss my forehand by a lot my senior year in high school. My backhand I can hit a winner from anywhere on the court. My junior year, my forehand was working too.. But then I switched up rackets my senior year, changed strings, and when I tried to get better, I actually went backward. I used to put way too much spin on my forehand and it would sometimes bounce before it even reached the net . Bottom line, I went 2-8 the first part of my season, then rebounded mid-season to lose only one match the rest of the year before the year-end tournament, where I placed third and moved onto State Qualifiers. I went more with option number two, I just went back to my basics and how I played my sophomore year: just getting my freohand in and waiting for the big backhand. After a while, the confidence came back.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I had exactly the same problem with my forehand. It was almost embarassing to have such a strong, solid backhand, and then have my forehand hit the back fence or not even make the net . I would line up, bring my arm back, and when I went to swing it just mentally felt wrong. I would go way too over the top and it would bounce ten feet in front of me, or it would fly off my racket.


Anyway, that's my rant for the day . Best of luck to you . You have to game, you still know how to play, so just get back in the habit of it. Move your feet, relax, wait on the ball, keep your eyes on it, and if worse comes to worst: push through the ball a couple times early on in the point before you start swinging again.

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Old May 30th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #13
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

When I lose confidence in my two handed backhand I try to practice forehand with left hand . But try to hit it very technique correctly .
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Old May 30th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #14
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

www.fuzzyyellowballs.com is really good for fundamentals go there it's free too
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Old May 30th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #15
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Re: Losing confidence in one of your shots

wow, THANK YOU SO MUCH ALL OF YOU!! I'm going to give all the advice a shot, something is bound to work eh? It means a lot so thanks everyone. I'll good rep you all too
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