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late start!
01-11-2009, 11:29 AM
1. I was playing today and noticed that whenever I get tired, my forehand is terrible. I use a western forehand grip so just to get decent pace on the ball, I have to swing hard. However, when I'm tired, I can't swing as hard so the ball just goes into the net. To compensate for this, I swing up more and end up lobbing most of my shots just to get it over. What should I do? When I get tired, it's not so much my legs that are tired but my upper body...

2. For all of my strokes, my hand is not completely on the racket. My pinky hangs off the racket and only my three fingers + thumb are on there. I don't know when I got into the habit of playing like this but it feels better for me. It feels like I can whip the racket better. is this bad? should I try to transition my whole hand back onto the racket?

3. When I first started playing tennis (4-5 months ago) I learned how to serve using a continental grip. I was horrible at it and got it in maybe once every three serves. Now today, I started serving with a mild eastern backhand grip and my serves are going in a lot more. is this an ok serve grip?

Jonny S&V
01-11-2009, 11:49 AM
1. I was playing today and noticed that whenever I get tired, my forehand is terrible. I use a western forehand grip so just to get decent pace on the ball, I have to swing hard. However, when I'm tired, I can't swing as hard so the ball just goes into the net. To compensate for this, I swing up more and end up lobbing most of my shots just to get it over. What should I do? When I get tired, it's not so much my legs that are tired but my upper body...

2. For all of my strokes, my hand is not completely on the racket. My pinky hangs off the racket and only my three fingers + thumb are on there. I don't know when I got into the habit of playing like this but it feels better for me. It feels like I can whip the racket better. is this bad? should I try to transition my whole hand back onto the racket?

3. When I first started playing tennis (4-5 months ago) I learned how to serve using a continental grip. I was horrible at it and got it in maybe once every three serves. Now today, I started serving with a mild eastern backhand grip and my serves are going in a lot more. is this an ok serve grip?

1. This happens to everybody at some point, the easy answer is to work on your upperbody strength. You might also go to a tennis pro and see if you are hitting with right technique and swinging with your core exerting the same if not more energy as your arm/shoulder.

2. Perfectly all-right to have a pinky hanging off, a few pro's do this (Venus comes to mind).

3. Eastern bh is a good grip for serving, but its a little harder to serve consistent flat serves with it (unless you are pretty tall). My advice is to go with whatever is comfortable and gives you the most consistent results.

Bagumbawalla
01-11-2009, 12:29 PM
The western grip/swing consumes a lot of energy, so what you are describing is not that uncommon.

Try, during practice, to make the stroke as smoooth as possible, the less "forced" the shot the more energy you will save.

When your strength is low, try to hit THROUGH the ball more, possibly flatten it out a bit to maintain depth.

Work out with light weights, possibly a medicine ball or dumbell to strengthen the arm muscles. Do plenty of sit ups and footwork drills as well.

Nothing wrong with a hanging pinky, but it also requires you to do a bit more work and have better timing.

As far as the serve, it depends on what you expect out of tennis. If you play only occasionally, the grip does not matter at all. At the opposite extreme, if you are serious about improving, you will (eventually) want to serve with a continental grip-- and it's better to learn it now, rather than have to go back and learn to serve all over again later.

oneguy21
01-11-2009, 12:39 PM
It's pretty rare for beginners to start using a western forehand grip 4-5 months after starting to play. You mention you used a continental 4-5 months ago. Did you find the transition to a western grip easy? If the W grip feels somewhat unnatural to you, I suggest you change your grip back to eastern; it's a basic grip beginners like you should use and after you feel comfortable you can gradually shift to a more extreme grip of your choice. As for the holding of the racquet, yes, I suggest you use your entire hand to hold the racquet. Using three fingers may increase racquet head speed, but your losing control.

You still need to work on the fundamentals. It would be excellent if you posted a video.

late start!
01-11-2009, 02:52 PM
The western grip/swing consumes a lot of energy, so what you are describing is not that uncommon.

Try, during practice, to make the stroke as smoooth as possible, the less "forced" the shot the more energy you will save.

When your strength is low, try to hit THROUGH the ball more, possibly flatten it out a bit to maintain depth.

Work out with light weights, possibly a medicine ball or dumbell to strengthen the arm muscles. Do plenty of sit ups and footwork drills as well.

Nothing wrong with a hanging pinky, but it also requires you to do a bit more work and have better timing.

As far as the serve, it depends on what you expect out of tennis. If you play only occasionally, the grip does not matter at all. At the opposite extreme, if you are serious about improving, you will (eventually) want to serve with a continental grip-- and it's better to learn it now, rather than have to go back and learn to serve all over again later.

Well currently I am already working out at the gym 3 days a week. Also, I was watching a nadal vs djokovic match and it seems nadal almost serves with an eastern backhand grip too? or am i just dead wrong haha

late start!
01-11-2009, 02:54 PM
It's pretty rare for beginners to start using a western forehand grip 4-5 months after starting to play. You mention you used a continental 4-5 months ago. Did you find the transition to a western grip easy? If the W grip feels somewhat unnatural to you, I suggest you change your grip back to eastern; it's a basic grip beginners like you should use and after you feel comfortable you can gradually shift to a more extreme grip of your choice. As for the holding of the racquet, yes, I suggest you use your entire hand to hold the racquet. Using three fingers may increase racquet head speed, but your losing control.

You still need to work on the fundamentals. It would be excellent if you posted a video.

Sorry if it wasn't clear, but I went from SW to Western. The continental grip I was refering to was for my serve. For my serving grip, I went from continental to a mild eastern backhand grip.

Djokovicfan4life
01-11-2009, 06:25 PM
Sorry if it wasn't clear, but I went from SW to Western. The continental grip I was refering to was for my serve. For my serving grip, I went from continental to a mild eastern backhand grip.

Why not try the semi western again? You can still hit boatloads of spin with it and flat shots are much easier.

late start!
01-11-2009, 07:28 PM
Well I sucked at SW. The only way I would get the ball in was to kinda flick my wrist but after each tennis session, my wrists would really hurt. After the first two months, I just changed to a western and have been using it ever since. I kind of enjoy the western more. It feels weird playing with SW, maybe my strokes are just bad ha