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Tennis Instruction/switching hands when playing tennis


Mr.Twohands wrote at 2006-10-27 23:08:32
Well, let me tell you, I'm 16 years old and naturally ambidextrous. I started playing tennis with my right hand ONLY. One day, my parents told my coach I was ambidextrous. My coach wanted to take full advantage of it, so he got to work on overhauling my body into a two-handed machine.

The first and most painful step he took was that he pulled me off varsity and moved me down to the beginners, so I could start at square 1 playing left-handed ONLY. I lost dozens of matches and tournaments, a year of my tennis career, and my beautiful spot on varsity.

BUT, it all paid off 2 years ago when I could FINALLY use BOTH HANDS in action. It's a monstrous advantage on the court! I have unpenetrable defense. The one-handed players just can't get anything past me!

So, to answer your question, YES, you can use both hands. But like Mr. Hines says, it's extremely cumbersome to try to learn. Keep in mind that I am NATURALLY ambidextrous, and it took me a YEAR and my reputation to do this. Imagine if I was NOT!

Lucy wrote at 2007-08-14 19:07:13
i am also natrually ambidextrous and also play tennis, I play with my left hand most of the time, but serve with my right hand.

strange I no, but still thats me..



Amy wrote at 2009-08-21 04:05:48
The first time I played tennis my husband just kind if stood there and said what the heck you doing. I"m very happy to find out that I'm not so weird as I thought. I do some thing left handed and some things right handed. for instance I write righthanded,but bat lefthanded,throw lefthanded and so on. So far tennis is the only thing I do with both hands I switch back and forth throughout the game. So thank you.

Tad Martinson wrote at 2012-06-24 06:08:30
I do not think when returning a Roddick serve would be anyone's example of when to switch.  I just did the switch at the club level:  I just charged a right side drop shot and then there was a return deep to the left side baseline.  My only attack on the ball would be a very high backhand lob and still difficult with the angle to get it in bounds.  While running I switch to the left and and can rotate into the shot and snap a forehand cross court even.  Why a pro would not do it I have no idea.  I am ambidextrous and athletic but am a low level tennis player but I find it a winning choice.   Give it a try.  

juneprune wrote at 2013-01-21 16:05:52
I am a level 5 player, and I switch hands as my normal method of play. I wouldn't think of myself as ambidextrous. I started playing like this from day one so it's normal for me. I would never switch hands on a serve. I choose which hand I want to return serve with depending on the servers habits.

I like to return serve from ad court with my left more often than using a right handed back hand. So all my return serves can be forehand if I choose.

While running I throw the racket from hand to hand and catch it, right within the grip I will swing with. It's like when you would start your swinging motion, and normally take you left hand off...I would lightly toss the racket upwards and catch it then swing. Sounds harder than it is once it becomes an after thought.

The disadvantage isn't in the speed of switching hands. It's the timing it takes to decide which hand to use. Sometimes if I think I would rather use my left, but don't have much time, i'll resort to just keeping it in my right(or vise versa) and all that deciding has taken up time from my choice of court placement on the return.

That doesn't happen often, but it did when I first was getting used to it. Now I know my strengths in each hand and can play to them in the same amount of time you would decide on forehand or backhand.

I also serve with both hands.

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Ed Hines


The Rules of Tennis primarily, including junior and collegiate application of the rules as well as recreational play. Please: NO questions about practice drills or ways to improve your game.


Over 30 years playing the game, including USTA and ITA Officials' certification in junior, collegiate, and professional tennis.

USTA; former member Atlanta Professional Tennis Umpires Association

Awards and Honors
ATP Linesman, Chair Official NCAA Regional Div I and Div III, Blue Gray Tournament Chair, SEC Championships, Southern Conf Championships, Atlantic Sun Conference, Several Junior National and Super National Jr. Tournaments, NCAA Womens Championship Finals, ASI and AT&T (qualifier final) Chair.

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