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tdk
10-07-2007, 10:41 AM
Im a 45y old player and I play for fun every thrusday with 3 other guys and we have a coach. I have pritty desent technique myselfe and Im allways willing to learn more but our coach ignores all questions regarding personal technique. We got into an argument last thursday and I was beeing flamed for giving one of the other guys (on a previous session without the coach) some pointers on how to get a better 1st serve.

One of the things I advised him was to hit the ball flat. To take an estern forhand grip and to hit the ball more direct and flat insted of allways just hitting the ball with a slice. The coach got really upset to what I had been advising and told the other guy never to aske me for any pointers on how to play tennis. He said nobody uses such a gripp and it was some of the worst advice he had ever heared.

I used to have a very week first serve untill last year when an instructor told me to change my grip from hammer to eastern. Wow, nobody in my coaching group can brake my serve anymore.

So, whats up with the coach and was my advice really that bad? Should I change back to hammer myselfe?

goober
10-07-2007, 11:07 AM
Eastern FH grip is considered very poor form for serves. You can hit flat and it's very difficult to hit topspin or slice with it. The hammer grip is a form of continental which is the accepted proper grip for serves with the Eastern Backhand being ok for some kick serves. Your coach was right.

sharpy
10-07-2007, 11:13 AM
Im a 45y old player and I play for fun every thrusday with 3 other guys and we have a coach. I have pritty desent technique myselfe and Im allways willing to learn more but our coach ignores all questions regarding personal technique. We got into an argument last thursday and I was beeing flamed for giving one of the other guys (on a previous session without the coach) some pointers on how to get a better 1st serve.

One of the things I advised him was to hit the ball flat. To take an estern forhand grip and to hit the ball more direct and flat insted of allways just hitting the ball with a slice. The coach got really upset to what I had been advising and told the other guy never to aske me for any pointers on how to play tennis. He said nobody uses such a gripp and it was some of the worst advice he had ever heared.

I used to have a very week first serve untill last year when an instructor told me to change my grip from hammer to eastern. Wow, nobody in my coaching group can brake my serve anymore.

So, whats up with the coach and was my advice really that bad? Should I change back to hammer myselfe?

Maybe your coach thought you needed some english lessons on grammar before teaching tennis?

tdk
10-07-2007, 11:50 AM
Maybe your coach thought you needed some english lessons on grammar before teaching tennis?
Im from scandinavia and Im terribly sorry for my poor english grammer.

Bagumbawalla
10-07-2007, 12:19 PM
My question is, if you have a coach who you hired, obviously because he/she is experienced and knowledgable and right there to observe what you are doing-- and you distrust this coaches advice, then why..

Would you continue to use this coach and pay the fees?

Would you believe perfect strangers who have never seen you play?

Have you never opened a book on tennis technique that discusses the best grips for serving and other serving technique?

RoddickAce
10-07-2007, 12:24 PM
Well, telling the guy to flatten out his serve a bit more would help his pace, but using an EF grip is honestly the wrong advice. The EF grip is what most beginners start to serve with, and then they realize it's wrong and they change it to a proper continental grip. The backhand grip is proper for kick and slice serves.

tdk
10-07-2007, 12:34 PM
My question is, if you have a coach who you hired, obviously because he/she is experienced and knowledgable and right there to observe what you are doing-- and you distrust this coaches advice, then why..

Would you continue to use this coach and pay the fees?

Would you believe perfect strangers who have never seen you play?

Have you never opened a book on tennis technique that discusses the best grips for serving and other serving technique?
Good questions B. The coach is hired by the club. Since I joined this is the second coach. I take private lessons too but I use other coaches. I continue because I get to play and its not expensive. Since he is not passing out any advice only setting up drills it gives me a great workout and we have fun with the other members of the group. The coach is not all bad eather. He helped me with my serve too, advised me to let the rackquet slid halfway out of my palm to get a better loose feel. What do you guys think of this advice?

tdk
10-07-2007, 12:39 PM
Eastern FH grip is considered very poor form for serves. You can hit flat and it's very difficult to hit topspin or slice with it. The hammer grip is a form of continental which is the accepted proper grip for serves with the Eastern Backhand being ok for some kick serves. Your coach was right.
Depends a little on what kind of Eastern FH grip we are talking about. I was meaning only slightly turned maybe not a full East FH grip. The guy in question was using a grip that was slightly rotated in the opposite direction. Closer to a back hand grip.

Bagumbawalla
10-07-2007, 01:16 PM
Well, at this point we are talking about just a few milimeters difference.

Everybody's hands may be a bit different. In my opinion, what works best is to find the position that gives the hand the most flex and freedom of movement- and though this is generally the continental grip, it may vary slightly for every individual.

Hold the racket up in the position it would be at contact with the ball- then let your wrist "droop" down as far as it will go. Rotate your grip one way or the other (very slightly) until you find the point where you get the maximum flex with the least strain or resistance.

Then check to see what grip you are holding the racket with. That should be your natural grip for all types of serves.

Some people do change their grip for different serves. I would advise against this for various reasons- if they intend to improve their game and also, want to add the element of disguise to their serve.

As to your friend's grip. Even if your advice was correct, it is often very difficult to change a habit that has been developed over many years. Simply giving advise, seldom will change a persons ingrained habits. It may take a good instructors many hours to break down old habits and gradually replace them with new/improved technique.

Now, even if this coach was wrong, I don't feel it would be a good idea to contradict his athority and advice during a gorup session. Yes, you may ingore it or not-- on your own, and follow the advce of your other coach if you wish-- but there, with the other players, under his guidence, it would only cause unnecessary conflict or confusion.

junbumkim
10-07-2007, 01:34 PM
well it always upsets me how people think one general rule applies to every group of people.

Generally you would not recommend eastern forehand grip to a player for seves. But it depends on what kind of player we are talking about.

If a player is a "once a week, just enjoying his tennis and work out" kind of player, it's not a terrible advice. Eastern forehand grip will allow him to hit flat serves without much practice. And it's going to help him. Is he ever going to care about the fact that he will not move up a level b/c of the grip? Probably not.

I have seen occassions when eastern forehand grip helped people out on serves. I struggled to hit serves with continental, and hated the fact that I couldn't even make clear contact with the ball. So a coach suggested eastern forehand grip. I loved it as could make contacts and hit serves. Gradually, a I changed the grip towards continental, and I don't have any problem with it.

So it depends on the situation and the player.

I know other 4.5~5.0 players who changes grip on their serves. He uses eastern forehand on flat serves, eastern backhand on slilce and kick...Would he be playing at 5.5 if he had continenal grip? Probably not...

goober
10-07-2007, 01:53 PM
Depends a little on what kind of Eastern FH grip we are talking about. I was meaning only slightly turned maybe not a full East FH grip. The guy in question was using a grip that was slightly rotated in the opposite direction. Closer to a back hand grip.

That is something different from what you posted originally. Based on that info, maybe it was not a completely wrong or right situation. You seemed to get your coach upset though! Personally I would let the coach do the instructing for your group since that is what he is there for and probably has more knowledge than you in general since you are a beginner. There is nothing wrong with experimenting yourself with slight change in grips on your serve.

stinkpaw
10-07-2007, 05:29 PM
Fire your coach. Not because he isn’t correct about the Continental grip being the preferred grip on a flat serve, but because he handled the situation horribly.

A good coach should teach you the fundamentals but also encourage your to experiment on your own and with others in your group. He should be happy that you are willing to work with & try to help your fellow students outside of class time, even if you are slightly misguided.

Instead of getting mad, he should have explained that in this particular case your advice was off. He then should have worked with you to figure out why you are experiencing more success when using the EFH grip than the Continental. Probably because you aren’t pronating fully, so you never get the racket face square on your flat serves. Starting with an EFH ‘cheats’ a little so you hit square with less pronantion.

He should explain ‘why’ you shouldn’t use the EFH grip (you want to be able to strike up at the ball with the edge and pronate at the last moment to cut down on the wind resistance. Swinging with an EFH slows down the racket speed because of wind resistance, makes it hard to impart spin etc…)

But in now way should get ****ed off and tell you never to try helping your friends out.

Due to a messed up shoulder courtesy of youth hockey I’ve had to make some adjustments on my serve and one of then is cheating a little to the EFH side when I want to hit flat. Everyone is different and sometimes you just can’t do everything “by the book.” But IMHO I would look at the fact that you may need to pronate more instead of switching your grip.

FWIW I only wish I could communicate a non-native language as well as you did in your OP so don’t get bummed by the haters that pointed out a few misspellings.

tdk
10-08-2007, 05:12 AM
Thanks for great input here boyz.... sorry for my opening post not being precise enough on the grip part. Even small adjustments eather way from continental has a huge impact on how we hit the ball and I was not really trying to advise my friend to take a full EFH grip merely just rotating the grip slightly more that way. I can see why some of you guys have jumped high at my OP, my apologies.

stinkpaw, I very much appreciate what you write in your above post because Im a ski-instructor myselfe and I feel the coach acted totally out of line. Not really possible to fire him cause he is employed by the club but our previous coach got fired so if lots of members complain coach needs to adjust or find a new job. I dont really get it, he is an x-atp-pro that took his coaching exam in Florida and has been working 10y but he still cannot give even the simplest advice to guys and gals having elementary tech flaws. Thaks also for your compliments on my english. Its great to be able to write and communicate like this with people from all over the world.

Thanks again everybody for your help.

Tom

WildVolley
10-08-2007, 10:42 AM
I think that the swing path is probably the issue here. The continental is used by most pros to hit a variety of serves: flat, slice, topspin, kick, and even reverse slice (Tursunov). But you've got to pronate through it and know what that feels like.

I've seen beginners hit a flat, slice, and reverse slice with a semi-western grip!

Pete Sampras would hit either corner of the service box using the same swing path and only slightly changing the angle of the racquet head at contact.

Your coach probably didn't go about admonishing you correctly, but if he's trying to help someone improve a serve, your advice could be counterproductive. As they say, too many cooks spoils the broth.

tdk
10-09-2007, 08:50 PM
I think that the swing path is probably the issue here. The continental is used by most pros to hit a variety of serves: flat, slice, topspin, kick, and even reverse slice (Tursunov). But you've got to pronate through it and know what that feels like.

I've seen beginners hit a flat, slice, and reverse slice with a semi-western grip!

Pete Sampras would hit either corner of the service box using the same swing path and only slightly changing the angle of the racquet head at contact.

Your coach probably didn't go about admonishing you correctly, but if he's trying to help someone improve a serve, your advice could be counterproductive. As they say, too many cooks spoils the broth.
Well I cant see how my advise would be counterproductive since he has given cero advice (serve) in 3y of playing to the guy in question. Im a bit ****ed because I play with other coaches as well and they have been able to help me with my serve while this guy only plays with this one coach and has not excelled one tiny bit. Its frustrating because with just a bit of advice this guy served much better. I was also giving the tips to the guy outside of the coaching time so there was no stepping on coaches toes while he was on court. The guy turned out to be a bit of an idiot since he started to wine to the coach that I advised him on a EFG for the serve and questionded it. From now on no more playing with the guy outside of the coaching hour.