Playing racquet sports with your wrong hand?

I’ve heard stories of it, but I’ve never talked to anyone whose successfully done it; playing Badminton, Tennis, squash, racquetball, etc. with your non-dominant hand. I screwed up my right wrist pretty bad, and so I’ve been dwelling on this topic as I sit at home, not playing my squash and badminton. :mad:

Does anyone have any relevant anecdotes? Success stories, training tips…maybe you’re just naturally ambidextrous in other sports and have a secret I could use! I’m curious if I could get back on the saddle as a left handed player any time soon!

Luke Jensen had a great career as an ambidextrous tennis player:

Luke Jensen Biography

(from link):
Career Highlights

•1983: H.S. Tennis All-American, Michigan H.S. Tennis State Singles Champion
•1984: No. 1 Jr. Singles and Doubles Player in the World (Partner: Patrick McEnroe)
•1985: Reached 2nd round US Open Singles
•1986: All-American Singles and Doubles at Univ. of Southern California
•1987: All American Singles and Doubles at Univ. of Southern California
•Turned Professional and ended the year 168 ATP Singles, 160 Doubles Rankings

•Won 10 doubles titles on ATP Tour
•Won 1993 French Open with brother Murphy
•Member of US Davis Cup Team 1991 & 1992
•Wins over Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier
•Biggest Singles win - 1986, Agassi, Memphis ATP

The cite goes on to say Jemsen was the only ambidextrous pro ever,
and I imagine there have not been many ambidextrous amateurs either,
so he was probably one-in-several-million fluke.

I’d try looking into doubles. You and your partner could work a strategy to mitigate any weaknesses and doubles is usually more just for fun anyway. In racquetball it’s faster paced, so there’s less setup time and consequently the play tends to suffer a bit technically, which would benefit you.

Would imagine you have to play a lot more defensively and strategically, since you won’t have the precision to hit kill shots like you used to.

not sure that I’ve tried… I usually play racket sports left handed and favour the backhand instead of a forehand shot. other sports like cricket and baseball I do right-handed though for some reason.

I’m naturally a doubles badminton player, so that’s fine by me! I agree that it is more fun by and large.

Squash doubles looks like the scariest thing on the planet, on the other hand…:confused:

It worked out pretty well for that Nadal guy.

He still throws tennis balls at umpires with his right hand, though.:wink:

Wow. Just read his wikipedia. I really don’t follow tennis close enough to have known his background, but that’s crazy.

He doesn’t play right handed at all anymore, does he? When I hear about him injuring his shoulder, he can’t just switch back to the right, I imagine.

No, he hasn’t played right handed since he was a child. So he couldn’t necessarily tell you how to switch - it wasn’t his idea; it was the doing of famous Uncle Toni - but maybe you could get some insights by reading about that.

Having an uncle Toni forcing you to switch hands as a child sounds like something out of my family history…:smiley:

Thanks! I will look into this.

I think the key, like with all sporting activities, would be just practicing. I eventually learned to become a pretty good hitter in baseball/softball from both sides of the plate. Granted, in slow-pitch softball it doesn’t matter too much and those are not one-handed racquet sports, but the concept is somewhat similar.

I used to play racquet sports and in my mind I think racquetball would be very manageable with the non-dominant hand while tennis would be a struggle to get much umph on a serve.

Additionally, might want to give up on the fancy shots and just practice the basics.Serves should be equally conservative.

For racquetball it would be down-the-line and cross court passes, ceiling balls, and lob serves that don’t come off the back wall. Most other shots are window dressing except for the pinch, which will be hard because it requires more precision.

Nadal and Jensen comparisons aside, I think it’s going to be a bit rough and you’ll probably never be as good as you are with your dominant hand. On the plus side, you can rock pretty good Princess Bride quotes on the court :smiley:

Inigo: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Man In Black: Then why are you smiling?
Inigo: Because I know something you don’t know.
Man In Black: And what is that?
Inigo: I am not left-handed.

I agree whole-heartedly. The last time I messed up a wrist tendon, it was in my left hand, so I continued squash and badminton while softball and ball hockey were on the shelf. If this turns out to be the same type of injury as last time, hopefully they will let me skip the four months of useless physio this time around and go straight for the cortisone shot.

Basically, I want to be able to play at something resembling a competitive level in my left hand, because the alternative so far has been lounging around the couch with my iPad like a depressed sloth, cruising the SDMB and my other message boards. Especially on my summer holidays, my sports are a huge part of weekly routine. I was gonna do racketlon in August, but I’m pretty sure I can kiss that goodbye, now! :stuck_out_tongue:

I can play ping pong almost as well as left handed as I do right handed, albeit less aggressive. I have trouble serving though.

I play mainly back-handed though left handed.

I play squash with my non-dominant hand. It’s just a thing that I decided to do because my right rotator cuff got injured. I picked squash because you don’t have to piss someone else off while you practice to get better. And you do get better. I can now(after one year of playing, not very regularly) give a reasonable game to other amateurs, winning the occasional game, and beat beginners regularly. The funny thing is, my left hand’s backhand strokes started out much stronger, and with time, they have actually gotten less powerful than they used to be as my forehand has improved.

I was out trying left handed squash today, as a matter of fact. It really pissed me off, so I gave up, and hit the badminton courts with my sore sore wrist. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have to give it a few more tries, but I was getting so much tin…it’s unbelievable how uncoordinated I was!