I’ve been coaching young children tennis for over 15 years and have seen many children begin tennis by using the two handed forehand. Many will eventually switch to a traditional one handed forehand. I believe that starting out with a two handed forehand is beneficial for many reasons. Many students, when they begin tennis, aren’t strong enough to use only one hand when executing the forehand and that will inevitably lead to technical errors like opening up the racquet too much, starting too high and hitting the stroke downwards. Adding one’s second, non dominant hand, allows one to be fully balanced and properly learn the unit turn while hitting a forehand. Rotation of the hips and the shoulders is essential to producing a powerful forehand. Using two hands allows a player to fully acclimate to the rotation of the body. When hitting with one hand a child will be unbalanced (due to not being strong enough) and unable to properly implement the rotation needed. In addition, while using two hands for a forehand one can fully develop the proper rotation of their hand. In addition, using two hands takes the pressure and strain off of your arms and your hands.
Now that we have established the benefits of the the two handed forehand the question is when should one switch over to a one handed forehand. About half of all players will stay with a two handed forehand while others will convert to a one handed forehand. One should attempt the switch when one has developed a reliable two handed forehand where they are able make contact with the ball when it is two feet in front with a closed face.
Stay tuned for my next post about children starting tennis with an open stance.
For more Information on my coaching, check out www.elftennis.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org