#1 - the answer to your question:
The hand drifts back up toward the rod handle at the end of the backcast, so you can pull again on the forward cast.
Two feet is a lot to start with. Start with inches not feet.
The cast should have been energized enough to 'yank' the line back, pulling the hand back toward the cork, otherwise you need to work on the cast itself.
There can be no slack at the start of the haul in either direction or the haul just pulls up slack and adds no power.
#2 - Tune up:
You mentioned down at the hip.... you'd be better off to pull the line so that your arm ends up angled outward (45 deg or so) to that side instead of downward to the hip.
Now as an experiment, back-haul with 6-8 feet of extra line on the ground between the reel and the line hand.
Let the line go after the stop... does the line shoot backwards and slap tight to the reel, taking all of the slack vigorously with it when you let go?
It really should if you want to get to a double haul. Keep practicing until it does.
Why? The backcast haul should add enough extra energy to the backcast to eliminate all slack and help bring your hand back up toward the cork for the foreward haul.
#3 - The foreward haul:
Now that the hand has been yanked back up to the rod by the super-charged backcast, you are ready to pull the line hand on the forward cast.
Again, if you let go after the stroke does the line vigorously shoot forward, taking all the slack and sometimes slapping tight at the reel? It should both ways.
A haul increases the load in the rod beyond what the rod can do by itself by "pulling from the other end".
This extra zip helps the hand easily drift back up toward the cork after the stop, which allows the hand to haul again in the other direction.
For a single back/forth motion there are four parts - pull/drift, and pull/drift.
In musical terms, think One-and-two-and where you pull on the count and drift on the pause.
Start with inches, not feet.
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