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View Full Version : You Think Maybe A Teensy Grip Change Would Help?


Cindysphinx
07-24-2009, 10:51 AM
My struggles with my forehand continue. Indeed, I have devoted the next six weeks to trying to fix the thing before the fall season begins. I am working with a pro, practicing with friends, hitting against the wall, tossing balls up and hitting them.

My biggest problems are that routine FH balls fly really high and well long for no good reason. In addition to losing the point when this happens, it messes with my head and causes me to want to slow my swing or be more cautious, which is counterproductive. Although I normally hit with topspin, sometimes my ball will be flat and even have unwanted sidespin. I rarely hit into the net, although I do net a lot of FHs when I am pulled wide and try to hit a spinny angled crosscourt ball.

I am starting to wonder if my grip is a part of the problem. I use an Eastern FH grip. But I am starting to think that my FH grip migrates toward Continental sometimes. Another pro told me this recently, so maybe he was onto something. This grip problem could be the explanation for why I will sometimes be in good position but will still have the ball fly really high and long. I mean, if I look at my racket head position at contact point with Continental grip, it sure looks like it would give me a ball that flies too high with no topspin.

Here's the question: Should I migrate my grip a teensy bit farther over, away from Continental and just past Eastern? How long would it take to get used to such a change and become consistent with it?

I am not sure that switching to the next grip past Eastern (semi-Western?) is the answer. When I do that, my ball frequently bounces before it gets to the net. But if this is the answer, I guess I had best get started now . . . .

user92626
07-24-2009, 11:13 AM
Hi Cindy,
It took me months to learn to hit with s-w grip, but then back then I didn't know anything about grips. You probably learn a new grip faster given you understand grips and racket, etc. The key to grip, IMO, is the contact zone/strike spot and the comfort of your grip/wrist/arm and everything when you perform the stroke. Do not manipulate the racket face openness/closeness (it should remain relatively the same and a bit closed), instead, adjust the swingpath. When the shot is produced as you intend and you're comfortable repeating it, then you know you're there!


"My biggest problems are that routine FH balls fly really high and well long for no good reason."

Sounds like some of the folks I play with, too. It seems to me that they have an innate fear of hitting into the net or not over it that they always have to hit below the ball's equator and have a follow-thru above shoulder which looks like a golf stroke. I try to remind them for most shots: prep early, aim at the net white tape, hit directly behind the ball/at the equator line and end with the racket at shoulder or lower. Zone into a range of power and stay in it. Don't, for a sudden, hit really hard or fear and hesistate. Good luck.

skiracer55
07-24-2009, 11:14 AM
My struggles with my forehand continue. Indeed, I have devoted the next six weeks to trying to fix the thing before the fall season begins. I am working with a pro, practicing with friends, hitting against the wall, tossing balls up and hitting them.

My biggest problems are that routine FH balls fly really high and well long for no good reason. In addition to losing the point when this happens, it messes with my head and causes me to want to slow my swing or be more cautious, which is counterproductive. Although I normally hit with topspin, sometimes my ball will be flat and even have unwanted sidespin. I rarely hit into the net, although I do net a lot of FHs when I am pulled wide and try to hit a spinny angled crosscourt ball.

I am starting to wonder if my grip is a part of the problem. I use an Eastern FH grip. But I am starting to think that my FH grip migrates toward Continental sometimes. Another pro told me this recently, so maybe he was onto something. This grip problem could be the explanation for why I will sometimes be in good position but will still have the ball fly really high and long. I mean, if I look at my racket head position at contact point with Continental grip, it sure looks like it would give me a ball that flies too high with no topspin.

Here's the question: Should I migrate my grip a teensy bit farther over, away from Continental and just past Eastern? How long would it take to get used to such a change and become consistent with it?

I am not sure that switching to the next grip past Eastern (semi-Western?) is the answer. When I do that, my ball frequently bounces before it gets to the net. But if this is the answer, I guess I had best get started now . . . .


...tell your pro what you're problem is and where you want to go, work with what he suggests, and let us know how you're doing. Having said all that, here's what I think:

- In a recent post in another thread, I said that when I see players struggling with a shot, they try to isolate the fix to one aspect...such as grip, or take back. It's more wholistic than that.

- But let's go ahead and talk about grips. You can hit topspin, or any spin, with any grip. Edberg had basically a Continental grip on all shots, and hit his forehand like he was using a shovel on the ball...but as awkward as the shot looked, it was effective and he was able to get topspin on the ball.

- However, I'd say, in general, that it's easier for most players to get topspin with a semi-Western or Western than it is with Eastern or Continental. So, yeah, give a grip change a try, but it's best if you do it under the direction of your coach.

- I'd also say that, at least in my experience, it's a myth to think that you have to limit yourself to a single grip. I pretty much hit semi-Western, moderate topspin for a forehand rally ball. But if I need a whole bunch of topspin, I can and will go to a full Western and loop the swing more low to high. Going in the other direction, if I get stuck and have to hit a defensive forehand, or if I just want throw in some variety, or sometimes on an approach shot, I'll use a Continental grip and hit a forehand slice.

I think a lot of players hard-code themselves into a corner by forcing themselves to have one, and only one, grip on any shot. If you have yourself locked and loaded into a full Western forehand, for example, you'll love it when you're playing somebody who hits the same kind of ball, because they'll be bouncing up in your hitting zone. But you'll hate it when somebody starts slicing short angles to you...

- From what you say above, there's probably something off with your stroke mechanics. As you've discovered, you have to accelerate the racket head through the contact point, which produces topspin and control. I'm not going to get into a whole lot of details re stroke mechanics here, that's up to you and your coach. I will say, however, that IMHO, to accelerate your racket head through the ball, you need a soft grip, a laid back wrist at the end of the takeback, and a full extension of the arm through the contact point where you try to stretch out and let the racket head naturally point toward the top of the opposing fence.

And, of course, you need to have good shoulder and hip turn at the take back, and you need to rotate your trunk through the contact point. Think of what a discus thrower does. His power comes from his legs and torso, the arm is just the end of the whip. Tennis is a leg sport, not an arm sport. Yes, your stroke mechanics have to be clean, but in terms of depth, pace, and topspin, the legs and torso have a lot to do with what goes right...or wrong.

ztennis002
07-24-2009, 12:03 PM
I always had a good semi western forhand but I really wanted to step it up to the next level so I tryed an extreme western grip. I LOVE IT!!!! It doesnt work for most people but for the people that it does work for it is unbelievable and i cant say enough good things about it. The only downside is you break strings left and right due to the heavy spin.

Cindysphinx
07-25-2009, 09:49 AM
Yeah, maybe I should force this idea on my coach. I say "force" because he has long said that my grip is not my problem with my FH.

But I have a new theory, see. I volley, serve, and hit my BH with a Continental grip. Sometimes I serve with a grip that is past Continental. It has been drilled into me that if I decide to come in, I need the racket out in front with a Continental grip.

I think what might be happening is that I am not changing the grip after I serve when I am going to hit a FH. My pro doesn't see me serve, so if I am doing this he would have no idea.

It would surely explain a lot. I have lots of service games where I serve well to the deuce court, draw a weak, easy ball to my FH, which I sky to Mars. Wouldn't it make sense that my grip is wrong and I never changed it to Eastern FH?

That, coupled with taking my eye off the ball, *has* to be the problem. Let's see what the pro says next week . . . .

Thanks, all!!!

Nonentity
07-25-2009, 09:58 AM
you mentioned you have unwanted side spin... are you dipping your racket at the contact point? Make sure your racket handle is close to being parallel to the ground at the contact point. That may be the cause of the side spin, and causing you to hit low on the ball.

http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/images/turbo_03_06/fig13rsm.jpg

gogeta087
07-25-2009, 12:04 PM
Your grip migrates? is your grip size too small?

Bungalo Bill
07-25-2009, 01:45 PM
My struggles with my forehand continue. Indeed, I have devoted the next six weeks to trying to fix the thing before the fall season begins. I am working with a pro, practicing with friends, hitting against the wall, tossing balls up and hitting them.

My biggest problems are that routine FH balls fly really high and well long for no good reason. In addition to losing the point when this happens, it messes with my head and causes me to want to slow my swing or be more cautious, which is counterproductive. Although I normally hit with topspin, sometimes my ball will be flat and even have unwanted sidespin. I rarely hit into the net, although I do net a lot of FHs when I am pulled wide and try to hit a spinny angled crosscourt ball.

I will bet you that it is because you are turning your palm up before contact. That is an easy thing to solve and if I am right, is the exact problem I had working with my current student. She also golfed the ball.

Golfing the ball comes from not bending your knees and drooping the racquet head. Turning up the palm comes from not trusting your rotation to power through the ball and the strings to brush up the ball for topspin. You think you have to hit it "on" the strings instead of brushing up the ball with the strings. Movement and your position to the ball can have something to do with this as well.

For some reason she was thinking topspin, topspin, and then "the kick is up, it's goooood."

We slowed down the feed and all she did was angled the top of the racquet head forward, and slid the strings up the back of the ball. Over and over and over again. I could careless if the ball went over the net. I could care less if it simply went into the ground. All I wanted was to see the ball spin with topspin and no golfing or 50 yard field goals.

She just spun the ball and spun the ball and spun the ball.

When she got it, then I had her lift the ball using her legs and body. Now, she rarely if ever does that anymore and if she does, she immediately corrects it by the next ball herself.

I am starting to wonder if my grip is a part of the problem. I use an Eastern FH grip. But I am starting to think that my FH grip migrates toward Continental sometimes. Another pro told me this recently, so maybe he was onto something. This grip problem could be the explanation for why I will sometimes be in good position but will still have the ball fly really high and long. I mean, if I look at my racket head position at contact point with Continental grip, it sure looks like it would give me a ball that flies too high with no topspin.

Here's the question: Should I migrate my grip a teensy bit farther over, away from Continental and just past Eastern? How long would it take to get used to such a change and become consistent with it?

I am not sure that switching to the next grip past Eastern (semi-Western?) is the answer. When I do that, my ball frequently bounces before it gets to the net. But if this is the answer, I guess I had best get started now . . . .

I don't even teach Eastern anymore. I haven't for years. I can't even remember the last time I taught an Eastern forehand. SW are the way to go for me and if the student wants a Western, I tell them to learn it on their own.

One of the hidden drawbacks of the Eastern is it does not lock in the elbow to hand well. This can cause a player to easily have elbow roll during thier stroke and the palm turns up easier. The SW does a better job making the elbow/wrist/hand more of a unit. I am not telling you to change but I have found it is a heck of a lot easier to teach the SW than the Eastern and get good results.

Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the Eastern as I used to teach it and play with it (I will hit certain balls with an Eastern), I just think the SW grip or an inbetween grip (eastern/SW) is a much better grip these days.

Cindysphinx
07-25-2009, 02:27 PM
Yeah, that makes sense. In fact, I find if I grip my racket harder, I will hit with more reliable topspin and won't sky the ball. Perhaps that is because the extra tension in my arm is causing me to not roll the wrist?

OK, it's settled. I'm changing my grip, starting this week. I think I will go with halfway between eastern and SW. That shouldn't feel too drastic.

If my pro asks me what has gotten into me all of a sudden with this new desire to change my grip, I will tell him that Some Guy On The Internet suggested it. :)

If you need me in the meantime, I will be the chick spending a whole bunch of time hitting off the wall.

Bungalo Bill
07-25-2009, 09:16 PM
Yeah, that makes sense. In fact, I find if I grip my racket harder, I will hit with more reliable topspin and won't sky the ball. Perhaps that is because the extra tension in my arm is causing me to not roll the wrist?

Or roll the elbow inward. This could also be caused by being too close to the ball or hitting late.Keep the top edge of the racquet at contact forward all the way through.

http://tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:G6dL6fvbUi74uM:http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/06_02/FedererAction_650x460.jpghttp://tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:-aA6H2m9k8A4wM:http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2008/0526/ten_a_federer_300.jpg

http://jbbeh.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/2008_05_08_federer_02.jpg

OK, it's settled. I'm changing my grip, starting this week. I think I will go with halfway between eastern and SW. That shouldn't feel too drastic.

That is fine, that is the grip I use. However, you really need to spin that ball over and over again and don't worry about if it goes over the net. If it lands short, don't worry about it. That is solved through your rotation and legs and getting the racquet head below the ball a bit more.

If my pro asks me what has gotten into me all of a sudden with this new desire to change my grip, I will tell him that Some Guy On The Internet suggested it.

If you need me in the meantime, I will be the chick spending a whole bunch of time hitting off the wall.

Hahaha, yeah, that is all I need. :)

Cindysphinx
07-26-2009, 06:42 AM
Seriously, I think this could help me a lot.

I remember when I changed my grip to Continental for serving. To make it work, I had to swing the racket harder, and I got used to the grip by going out and hitting lots of serves and not worrying about where they went.

So yeah, this change will need lots of practice to get used to the new feel, but I'm up for it!

skiracer55
07-26-2009, 02:53 PM
Yeah, maybe I should force this idea on my coach. I say "force" because he has long said that my grip is not my problem with my FH.

But I have a new theory, see. I volley, serve, and hit my BH with a Continental grip. Sometimes I serve with a grip that is past Continental. It has been drilled into me that if I decide to come in, I need the racket out in front with a Continental grip.

I think what might be happening is that I am not changing the grip after I serve when I am going to hit a FH. My pro doesn't see me serve, so if I am doing this he would have no idea.

It would surely explain a lot. I have lots of service games where I serve well to the deuce court, draw a weak, easy ball to my FH, which I sky to Mars. Wouldn't it make sense that my grip is wrong and I never changed it to Eastern FH?

That, coupled with taking my eye off the ball, *has* to be the problem. Let's see what the pro says next week . . . .

Thanks, all!!!

...as I said, it's not recommended, but you *can* hit topspin with a Continental grip! I know that for a fact because Edberg did it. It's not something I'd recommend for most players, however. So if you're sticking with a Continental on the forehand *and* your swing pattern doesn't match Edberg's then I'm not surprised that your hitting rainmakers. I think a grip change is fine, and if you're going to do it, go all the way. Try a full Western, but see what I said, above, about the kind of swing path you typically use with a full Western. It's entirely possible that you're taking a good swing path for a semi or full Western grip, and your only problem is that you're using a Continental grip. Easy way to find out is, just change your grip, take your normal swing at it, and see what happens...

Tim Tennis
07-26-2009, 03:36 PM
Some great information, don't know what I can add, but I did have this thought. If you are hitting topsin with an Eastern forehand grip, you maybe, ever so slightly, unconsciously, be rolling your hand clockwise to better support the swing path which will open up the racquet face. I would love to see you try a true Semi-Western grip, increase the swing speed and power out. Just have some fun with it. I think you might be surprised at the results. It sounds like your stroke/mechanics are evolving to the wonderful SW grip.

Best regards,

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

Cindysphinx
07-26-2009, 04:00 PM
SkiRacer and Tim,

I gave it a go today. I hit some balls with my husband, focusing on getting good topspin. I tried being halfway toward SW, full SW, and Western.

Western was a nightmare. Nope, not gonna work. Not in this lifetime.

A mixture of SW and Eastern/SW was awesome. (I say "mixture" because I wasn't fully sure I was in exactly the same grip every time). Oh, the topspin! The angles!! It felt really natural. I was generating the kind of heavy ball that gives me trouble. It wasn't hard to aim, either. I would hit a ball and think "Uh oh, no way is that going to land in," and then at the last minute it would dive right in. Cool.

The trouble I had was that sometimes I would swing flat, and then the ball wouldn't go anywhere but the bottom of the net. Also, a lot of balls landed short, but that would be OK for now given I play so much doubles. It seemed like their was a much better connection between where I wanted the ball to go and where it actually went. In the past, I would think I wanted the ball to go to the baseline, for instance, and it would go 9 feet past it.

The other weirdness I encountered was that my mid-court shots and approach shots were quite dodgy. I would have guessed these short balls would be easier, but I missed more than usual. I think I was flattening out my swing too much, which is probably the opposite of what I needed.

I don't know if I'll wind up being a stronger player because of this grip change, but I'll have a blast finding out!

Thanks!!!

chess9
07-26-2009, 05:28 PM
SkiRacer and BB, as usual, have been spot on, but I'd like to add one other element that I see with players, particular on return of serve.

That element is body position and balance.

When returning serve, you will see many players fall back onto their heels. They are actually leaning back. That opens the racquet face and sends the ball flying. That's one of the many problems with forehands...and backhands.

If you occasionally fall back when out of position for a ground stroke you would probably have the same result.

This was a serious problem for me in high school until a local pro got me staying on my toes and balanced forward. Notice FED's balance in the pics above. Perfect...well, almost!

-Robert

skiracer55
07-26-2009, 06:26 PM
SkiRacer and Tim,

I gave it a go today. I hit some balls with my husband, focusing on getting good topspin. I tried being halfway toward SW, full SW, and Western.

Western was a nightmare. Nope, not gonna work. Not in this lifetime.

A mixture of SW and Eastern/SW was awesome. (I say "mixture" because I wasn't fully sure I was in exactly the same grip every time). Oh, the topspin! The angles!! It felt really natural. I was generating the kind of heavy ball that gives me trouble. It wasn't hard to aim, either. I would hit a ball and think "Uh oh, no way is that going to land in," and then at the last minute it would dive right in. Cool.

The trouble I had was that sometimes I would swing flat, and then the ball wouldn't go anywhere but the bottom of the net. Also, a lot of balls landed short, but that would be OK for now given I play so much doubles. It seemed like their was a much better connection between where I wanted the ball to go and where it actually went. In the past, I would think I wanted the ball to go to the baseline, for instance, and it would go 9 feet past it.

The other weirdness I encountered was that my mid-court shots and approach shots were quite dodgy. I would have guessed these short balls would be easier, but I missed more than usual. I think I was flattening out my swing too much, which is probably the opposite of what I needed.

I don't know if I'll wind up being a stronger player because of this grip change, but I'll have a blast finding out!

Thanks!!!


Sounds good, to whit:

- you pretty much found your natural grip, which is somewhere between Eastern and SW. Great, go with it. You may later on find out that full Western is not so bad, but go with what works for now.

- It's really hard to swing flat with a SW and have it do anything other than take a dive into the bottom of the net. See what I said earlier: you can use any grip you want, and hit any spin you want, but if you're going to go to extremes...where SW grip and a flat ball is an example...you are going to have to change your swing path to make it happen. If you don't want to change your grip, then, percentage=wise, the best plan is to use a consistent swing path, where, the standard move for SW, is through the court, but a heavy accent on low to high...

- Mid-court shots, and so forth, if you've just switched to SW, are, predictably, going to be dodgy. If you want to keep the same grip for all balls, in all tactical situations, you will have to change your swing path accordingly. See what I said, above. My standard baseline=to-baseline rally forehand is SW, low to high, through the court, moderate topspin. If I get a mid-court ball on the forehand, what I did from the baseline ain't gonna cut it. Instead, I do one of three things:

- Go to a Continental grip, hit a slice forehand into the backhand corner, come to net.

- Stay with the SW, hit a heavy topspin ball into the backhand corner, come to net.

- Switch to full Western, hit a sharply angled forehand cross court that stays inside the serve box, come to net on that side.

So on a mid-court ball, if you're just learning the Eastern/SW grip, the percentage play...for you...is SW grip, heavy topspin ball into the backhand corner. This is not a ball you have a lot of experience with, so you have to work it out in practice, and it might take longer than the 6 weeks you've allotted yourself for it to happen. But it will happen, if you do what you're supposed to, and do it over and over again, until it feels automatic, even if you miss the first twenty....

Kevo
07-26-2009, 06:50 PM
That, coupled with taking my eye off the ball, *has* to be the problem.

This is a major reason people sky the ball. It isn't really that they aren't seeing the ball, I mean it's just about impossible to see it anyway, but it does indicate a very major issue. That issue is not being properly prepared to hit the ball.

I will echo what BB said. Sometimes it really isn't important where the ball goes during practice. You need to try to build some good habits in practice. One of those is always positioning yourself properly to take a swing at the ball. If you are looking away into the court and not focusing on the point of contact, you will never train yourself to position for contact.

Have you ever noticed how often a return goes in so easily when the serve is out. I think part of the reason this happens is because you have already accepted that the ball doesn't count, and you just hit with no worry about where it goes.

Then on the next serve, same spot basically, you try to "look" the ball into the corner and it flies out.

Try hitting some shots in practice with whatever grip you want and make it a goal to not see the ball cross the net. Keep your eyes focused on the contact and try to see the ball disappear, or look for the blur of your racquet. If it's a slow enough shot, you should at least be able to see where the ball hits on the racquet and what angle the racquet face was when contact was made.

It's surprisingly difficult for most people to do that 10 times in a row. Some people never make it to 5.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 04:24 AM
Try hitting some shots in practice with whatever grip you want and make it a goal to not see the ball cross the net. Keep your eyes focused on the contact and try to see the ball disappear, or look for the blur of your racquet. If it's a slow enough shot, you should at least be able to see where the ball hits on the racquet and what angle the racquet face was when contact was made.

It's surprisingly difficult for most people to do that 10 times in a row. Some people never make it to 5.

Spot on, Kevo.

I remember doing a similar drill with my pro last year. He set up a target area (a *big* one) in the deuce corner, and I was supposed to see how many FHs out of ten feeds I could hit into the target area from the deuce court. My first attempt was two into the target area. To me, this was proof of what I experienced in matches: hopeless inconsistency and pitiful aim.

Then he told me I couldn't look at the target area at all. Not before or during or after. He would keep count. I got 8 into the target area.

Now I just have to be disciplined enough in matches to employ this principle. It's really hard on set point, though . . . :)

Cindy -- hoping the rain holds off enough so she can go out and work on this stuff some more

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 04:34 AM
Your grip migrates? is your grip size too small?

No, I don't think so. When I say "migrates," I don't mean it slips. I think I subconsciously go with what feels most familiar. Right now, that is Continental for most shots.

I did change my overgrips yesterday, just to be sure! :)

Tim Tennis
07-27-2009, 05:12 AM
SkiRacer and Tim,

The trouble I had was that sometimes I would swing flat, and then the ball wouldn't go anywhere but the bottom of the net. I would have guessed these short balls would be easier, but I missed more than usual. I think I was flattening out my swing too much, which is probably the opposite of what I needed.

I don't know if I'll wind up being a stronger player because of this grip change, but I'll have a blast finding out!

Thanks!!!

Maybe, just maybe, when you are trying to flatten out the ball to some extent you are subconsciously rolling your wrist over slightly to an EF handshake position which would close the racquet face if your hand is “somewhere in the vicinity" of a SW.

That is what makes tennis so much fun, practicing and experimenting.

Best regards,

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 05:22 AM
Maybe, just maybe, when you are trying to flatten out the ball to some extent you are subconsciously rolling your wrist over slightly to an EF handshake position which would close the racquet face if your hand is “somewhere in the vicinity" of a SW.

That is what makes tennis so much fun, practicing and experimenting.

Best regards,

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

Perhaps. Along a related line, let me ask this:

I understand from Bungalo Bill's posts that you are supposed to "pat the dog." So that starts you off with a closed racket face in your takeback, if I am understanding things correctly. And the SW grip closes your racket face. The combination of these two things led to a really, really closed racket face, which caused the ball the go into the bottom of the net. If I disregarded the "pat the dog" thing, then the SW grip worked well.

I imagine the fact that I couldn't "pat the dog" with a SW grip means I am doing something wrong. Any idea what it could be? Should I just keep working at it, or should I lay off of the "pat the dog" bit for now? This sounds like something I will have to get the pro to help me with, but if you guys could give me a head start, that would be great.

Power Player
07-27-2009, 06:24 AM
Just make sure the grip feels natural to you and that you can get to it real fast. That is how i dscovered the western grip when I was around 11 years old. I did not know what it was called or anything.

I switch between SW and W depending on what I want to do, but it is pretty intuitive now because they both feel very comfortable.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 07:15 AM
Just make sure the grip feels natural to you and that you can get to it real fast. That is how i dscovered the western grip when I was around 11 years old. I did not know what it was called or anything.

I switch between SW and W depending on what I want to do, but it is pretty intuitive now because they both feel very comfortable.

When you are at the baseline in the ready position, which grip do you have as your default?

In other words, do you stay in a neutral Eastern FH position and then switch for either FH or BH, or do you just wait in the FH (SW) grip and then switch if you need to hit a BH?

I hit against the wall and out of my hopper again today. This new grip is like having a magic wand. I'll hit a ball high over the net and it will still drop in. Or I will scoop one up and be surprised how it will barely clear the net and then dive. I can't wait to see how it holds up in clinic tomorrow . . . .

I'm like a little kid playing with a new toy! :)

larry10s
07-27-2009, 07:51 AM
roger federer hits great topspin with an eastern forehand grip. check out this link http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/grips/roger-federers-forehand-grip/

larry10s
07-27-2009, 07:56 AM
btw i use a eastern/ sw grip . i stay in continental in ready position and when waiting to return serve . this way i dont have as far to go in either direction when i have to change grips . and if i chip the return there is no change at all.

crystal_clear
07-27-2009, 07:56 AM
No, I don't think so. When I say "migrates," I don't mean it slips. I think I subconsciously go with what feels most familiar. Right now, that is Continental for most shots.

I did change my overgrips yesterday, just to be sure! :)
I envy you~ :D

I often migrate my grips to SW or forget to switch to Continental for volley.

Tim Tennis
07-27-2009, 08:00 AM
Perhaps. Along a related line, let me ask this:

I understand from Bungalo Bill's posts that you are supposed to "pat the dog." So that starts you off with a closed racket face in your takeback, if I am understanding things correctly. And the SW grip closes your racket face. The combination of these two things led to a really, really closed racket face, which caused the ball the go into the bottom of the net. If I disregarded the "pat the dog" thing, then the SW grip worked well.

I imagine the fact that I couldn't "pat the dog" with a SW grip means I am doing something wrong. Any idea what it could be? Should I just keep working at it, or should I lay off of the "pat the dog" bit for now? This sounds like something I will have to get the pro to help me with, but if you guys could give me a head start, that would be great.

I think the "pat the dog" is a good concept. In my opinion it moves the elbow away from the body and supports a circular swing path. When you do this the racquet head angle changes dramatically through the forward motion to square up to be in the correct postition at the point of contact. It sounds like, maybe you are taking your racquet back more on a relatively straight or a slightly upward arched path, then dropping your hand and tilting the racquet face down to the level that will define the steepness of the forward swing path. How far down you drop your hand determines how much topspin you are going to get on your shot. Visualize this, your entire swing path is more along the lines of a semi-circle. The take back is more along a straight line and the forward motion is the arc.

The point is, FINALLY, you can go through the entire motion and keep the racquet head angle "fairly" close to the position you want at the contact point. Like David Smith said in his great book, TENNIS MASTERY, "Keep the plane the same." Having said that looking through his book I do see a lot of pictures of pros with the racquet face in the pat the dog position.

In analyzing my swing path I just realized I actually have two motions. One is the pat the dog circular motion which I use when I am trying to create excessive top spin. The other, which is my bread and butter swing path is, wow, I was just wondering how I was going to explain it and I had one of the those "little visions." It's a pendulum, it's a golf swing. The take back is fairly consistant but the path of the forward motion depends on just what type of shot I am trying to hit and just how well I am able to postion myself to take on the incoming ball (foot work, contact point) I think using this swing path does help to limit the extreme changes in the racquet head angle which a lot of people do have trouble with.

Well, Cindy, I sure I have totally confused you but in trying to understand your game I have actually come to a better understanding of my own. I am sure the people who really know what they are talking about are going to "eat my lunch" after this post.

Best regards,

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 08:03 AM
...as I said, it's not recommended, but you *can* hit topspin with a Continental grip! I know that for a fact because Edberg did it. It's not something I'd recommend for most players, however. So if you're sticking with a Continental on the forehand *and* your swing pattern doesn't match Edberg's then I'm not surprised that your hitting rainmakers. I think a grip change is fine, and if you're going to do it, go all the way. Try a full Western, but see what I said, above, about the kind of swing path you typically use with a full Western. It's entirely possible that you're taking a good swing path for a semi or full Western grip, and your only problem is that you're using a Continental grip. Easy way to find out is, just change your grip, take your normal swing at it, and see what happens...

Please do not "try" a Full Western.

Tim Tennis
07-27-2009, 08:04 AM
I switch between SW and W depending on what I want to do, but it is pretty intuitive now because they both feel very comfortable.

Wow, that is great!

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 08:08 AM
SkiRacer and BB, as usual, have been spot on, but I'd like to add one other element that I see with players, particular on return of serve.

That element is body position and balance.

When returning serve, you will see many players fall back onto their heels. They are actually leaning back. That opens the racquet face and sends the ball flying. That's one of the many problems with forehands...and backhands.

If you occasionally fall back when out of position for a ground stroke you would probably have the same result.

This was a serious problem for me in high school until a local pro got me staying on my toes and balanced forward. Notice FED's balance in the pics above. Perfect...well, almost!

-Robert

Yes, your post is correct.

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 08:15 AM
Perhaps. Along a related line, let me ask this:

I understand from Bungalo Bill's posts that you are supposed to "pat the dog." So that starts you off with a closed racket face in your takeback, if I am understanding things correctly. And the SW grip closes your racket face. The combination of these two things led to a really, really closed racket face, which caused the ball the go into the bottom of the net. If I disregarded the "pat the dog" thing, then the SW grip worked well.

I imagine the fact that I couldn't "pat the dog" with a SW grip means I am doing something wrong. Any idea what it could be? Should I just keep working at it, or should I lay off of the "pat the dog" bit for now? This sounds like something I will have to get the pro to help me with, but if you guys could give me a head start, that would be great.

The four positions that I wrote on with one of them being the "pat the dog on the head" naturally allows the arm to supinate and square up the racquet head as you make contact with the ball.

You do need to need to bend your knees and get the racquet head a foot below the ball as you come up towards contact.

Your legs, and angular momentum (rotation) is what drives the back shoulder through the ball and you are to extend still in the followthrough.

Your arm should naturally supinate as the racquet comes forward and you want your elbow to move in front of your body plane at contact.

If you are hitting the top of the ball or your racquet is too closed, you are either to high on the ball or are not allowing your arm to naturally supinate letting the racquet face square or be slightly closed at contact.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 10:00 AM
[snip excellent advice that is way above my pay grade

Methinks it is time to consult with my coach. :)

soyizgood
07-27-2009, 10:31 AM
I use an extreme eastern grip and I made a significant tweak to how I point the racquet head. Before the head was pointed sideways. Now I'm holding it more firmly as the head's pointed more upward. After 3 years of breaking racquets, changing racquets, changing grips, etc. that one change has been the biggest difference. Figures...

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 10:44 AM
Extreme Eastern? You mean SW, or halfway in-between?

Power Player
07-27-2009, 10:51 AM
When you are at the baseline in the ready position, which grip do you have as your default?

In other words, do you stay in a neutral Eastern FH position and then switch for either FH or BH, or do you just wait in the FH (SW) grip and then switch if you need to hit a BH?


I usually wait in the forehand position and stand left of the hash to favor my forehand. But I have the racquet held lightly in both hands and switch my grip pretty fast.

My biggest issue is that continental grip is still not automatic for me...like I can not FEEL it as well as I should yet, so sometimes I hit my backhands with a double eastern.

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 10:53 AM
Methinks it is time to consult with my coach. :)

Just look it up because it has pictures and information in there that might helpyou understand. Then ask a ton of questions. That is what we are here for. Then in the next year, you can show off you pro-levle forehand and whip the ball around on me while I stare in awe (and clap). :shock:

Power Player
07-27-2009, 10:55 AM
Wow, that is great!

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

It is kind of cool, but there is no way to do it but play. I try and play at least 12 hours a week, and I am sure you know that once you do that, you develop the intuitive stuff that you do not have to think about.

I noticed that a lot of pros do the same thing where they use slightly varied grips for different strokes. I always wondered how until I found myself doing it automatically just from lots of practice.

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 11:03 AM
It is kind of cool, but there is no way to do it but play. I try and play at least 12 hours a week, and I am sure you know that once you do that, you develop the intuitive stuff that you do not have to think about.

I noticed that a lot of pros do the same thing where they use slightly varied grips for different strokes. I always wondered how until I found myself doing it automatically just from lots of practice.

That is true. As a player progresses certain adjustments can be intuitive. For instance, when I get a high short ball, I switch to a more Western grip while barely thinking about it. I just know and sense to do so.

MNPlayer
07-27-2009, 12:41 PM
That is true. As a player progresses certain adjustments can be intuitive. For instance, when I get a high short ball, I switch to a more Western grip while barely thinking about it. I just know and sense to do so.

Interesting comment. Do you hit that high short ball with topspin or hard and flat(ish) down into the court (in which case it seems like you have to jump up to the ball or something)? I have trouble with this shot - I often hit it with too much spin and cannot get it through the court fast enough. Also, do you hit with a more horizontal swing in this case? I've had conflicting advice in this area.

Power Player
07-27-2009, 12:50 PM
Interesting comment. Do you hit that high short ball with topspin or hard and flat(ish) down into the court (in which case it seems like you have to jump up to the ball or something)? I have trouble with this shot - I often hit it with too much spin and cannot get it through the court fast enough. Also, do you hit with a more horizontal swing in this case? I've had conflicting advice in this area.

Im not going to speak for BB who obviously knows his stuff, but I will say what I do and maybe he can correct me.

If it is ball that bounced high from the service box, I antcipate the bounce and move back diagonally a few steps from the baseline. This way the ball comes down and I am able to step into it and meet it in my strikezone. I learned this from watching Verdasco play Nadal.

The other much more uncoventional thing I do if the ball is high is swing up at it with a western grip..I hit the ball and swipe the racquet over and to the left side so the racquet face is facing the right on follow through. This will cut down the ball and also put massive sidespin that will kick to the right real hard when it bounces. This is totally something I do, and I have no idea who else does it, or if it is even a good thing to do. What I notice is that it exposes a poor player from a good one because a poor player will pull his head up early and miss the ball completely because of the spin.

Nellie
07-27-2009, 01:43 PM
Further comments above, I would suggest working with a pro regarding a grip change, because a grip change does not mean turning the racquet and hitting the same way. with a transition from eastern to semi-western, you will have a different footwork, body positioning (relative to the ball) and swing path to get desired results. Not impossible, but you will need to do a lot of "unlearning"

soyizgood
07-27-2009, 03:23 PM
Extreme Eastern? You mean SW, or halfway in-between?

It's roughly in-between eastern and semiwestern. I think mine's drifts more towards eastern, but a part of my heel palm touches the semiwestern. Basically a best-of-both-worlds grip.

soyizgood
07-27-2009, 04:41 PM
Further comments above, I would suggest working with a pro regarding a grip change, because a grip change does not mean turning the racquet and hitting the same way. with a transition from eastern to semi-western, you will have a different footwork, body positioning (relative to the ball) and swing path to get desired results. Not impossible, but you will need to do a lot of "unlearning"

Agree on that part. That was a brutal step backwards I took when I tried going from eastern to semiwestern. The swingpath, contact point, stance, direction of racquet head during take back, amount of force applied, etc. I just assumed a grip change would be no big deal and WHAMMO my forehand went down the toilet. It got to the point where I was running around forehands to hit backhands. I got scared of coming to the net because I didn't know what my forehand approach shot would do or where exactly it would go. I had a coach for a few lessons but he didn't really help me much.

It took me almost 3 years to finally say my forehand is better than it was prior to making these changes. In the end, I had to resort to trial and error (practicing and critiquing) on my own. I decided I wanted to drive the ball more and not whip/brush so much, so I drifted the forehand grip closer to eastern. Also realized I didn't need to swing as hard and that I didn't need a long take back. I wanted to feel more comfortable when hitting forehands and ditched the notion that topspin was everything. I was an okay player when I hit flat forehands and recently a few people have told me I hit a lot of spin as it is. Basically, I had to find the right forehand setup for my needs. Been a long, painful, frustrating, gut-wrenching ordeal.

It's only been a week since I made breakthroughs with my forehand and serve. I'm practicing as much as I can so I get get rid of the old habits (arming the shot, reaching out instead of stepping up, going trigger-happy on slow sitters, etc.). But at least I'm looking forward to doing this. My confidence is improving and I was hitting fairly well against several hitting partners over the weekend.

Enough about me. OP, a grip change may or may not be the best thing to do. You might want to try hitting against a wall and compare the eastern and the semiwestern for a few days. Maybe even video yourself so you can notice tendencies in your forehand that might need improving. A grip change is not a cure-all and if not learned properly could open up a whole new can of worms. Good luck.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 04:53 PM
Oh, man. Here I was looking for a quick fix, and now I hear it might take *years?*

Well, I hope it happens faster than that. In hitting off the wall, I like my FH much better. My theory was that my existing set-up etc. fit the mold of a SW better than an Eastern. I hope that proves to be true. .

You know, it is possible that I will still make as many errors with a grip change, just different types of errors. Even that would be an improvement. My current FH is a ball that doesn't seem to bother anyone. Balls with more topspin bother a lot of 3.5 women. So if I get the same percentage of these balls into the court, I should still draw way more errors.

I will test drive this theory tomorrow morning, in a clinic. I will hit with SW the whole time and attempt to spin the fuzz off of the ball. Wish me luck!!

soyizgood
07-27-2009, 08:39 PM
I tested out my new and improved forehand tonight. I was hitting against some old man I met before. The sun was directly in my face when rallying. But I surprised both him and myself with the amount of pace and spin I got from the forehand. Nailed a few sharp-angled forehands too. There were times I struggled to see the ball even with sunglasses but most of my forehands had pretty good topspin that he had to hit cheat to shoulder level. My backhand was okay, but this is the first time in a long time where my forehand outdid the backhand. I would have made fewer errors if the sun wasn't beating down on me, but I made up for it with some good touch volleys and consistent slices. Overall I was quite pleased with my play, especially off the forehand. I wasn't even using my main racquet. :) Long live the eastern and extreme eastern forehand!

Power Player
07-28-2009, 07:15 AM
Cindy the best way to groove the SW grip is to grab a tennis ball and find the nearest wall in your house or garage. Then use your hand to hit the ball. All you do is focus on your right hand following through and touching your left shoulder every time. The ball should not be slapped at, but come off your palm with topspin and hit the wall around the 6-8 foot mark.

This is a technque taught by Oscar Wegner and it works real well for getting the stroke basics down.

Raid
07-28-2009, 07:20 AM
Oh, man. Here I was looking for a quick fix, and now I hear it might take *years?*

Well, I hope it happens faster than that. In hitting off the wall, I like my FH much better. My theory was that my existing set-up etc. fit the mold of a SW better than an Eastern. I hope that proves to be true. .

You know, it is possible that I will still make as many errors with a grip change, just different types of errors. Even that would be an improvement. My current FH is a ball that doesn't seem to bother anyone. Balls with more topspin bother a lot of 3.5 women. So if I get the same percentage of these balls into the court, I should still draw way more errors.

I will test drive this theory tomorrow morning, in a clinic. I will hit with SW the whole time and attempt to spin the fuzz off of the ball. Wish me luck!!

It will definitely NOT take you years, just start slow, as slow as possible, if you see your balls are going straight down or up, make small adjustments until you start getting the feeling of what is the "right" way to hit.

By the way, not sure if anyone told you here, but the contact point of a SW grip is about chest high and a little bit more out in front, this way your racquet will not have a so closed face at contact.

Hope this helps.

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 07:22 AM
Oh, man. Here I was looking for a quick fix, and now I hear it might take *years?*

No it should not. First your grip change is not severe. Second, it takes several hours to learn what to do. Then the rest is practice to groove it and make it automatic.

To be real good at anything takes time so you need to plan on spending time with it. However, if it is taking you years to get this down, something is definetly wrong.

Well, I hope it happens faster than that. In hitting off the wall, I like my FH much better. My theory was that my existing set-up etc. fit the mold of a SW better than an Eastern. I hope that proves to be true.

Hitting on the wall is fine. However, it isn't reality. You will need to hit a lot of balls with a rally partner so you can learn to use the grip while you do the other things you need to do in a rally. The wall will not give you the same challenge or ball bounces.

skiracer55
07-28-2009, 10:11 AM
No it should not. First your grip change is not severe. Second, it takes several hours to learn what to do. Then the rest is practice to groove it and make it automatic.

To be real good at anything takes time so you need to plan on spending time with it. However, if it is taking you years to get this down, something is definetly wrong.



Hitting on the wall is fine. However, it isn't reality. You will need to hit a lot of balls with a rally partner so you can learn to use the grip while you do the other things you need to do in a rally. The wall will not give you the same challenge or ball bounces.

...the other thing you need to realize is that it's probably not just a grip change. I think what you're hearing is the SW is the way to go, for most players, in the era of the modern forehand. But an Eastern grip will work...if you're in balance, if you prepare early, and if you have a clean, consistent swing path. Look back at what you said in your original post:

"My biggest problems are that routine FH balls fly really high and well long for no good reason.""

That's a problem, IMHO, other than your grip. I dunno exactly what it is, but, as I said earlier, work with your pro and take a wholistic approach.

You also said:

"I am starting to wonder if my grip is a part of the problem. I use an Eastern FH grip. But I am starting to think that my FH grip migrates toward Continental sometimes."

Two things:

- First, I don't think your grip is necessarily part of the problem, but, as I said in an earlier post, if you switch to SW, that can give you the opportunity to hit with more topspin and safety...if all the elements, such as balance, early prep, and an appropriate swing path are in place. You kind of have two choices:

1 - Stick with an Eastern grip and try to make other changes to make your forehand work for you.

2 - Change to SW and follow that path. Per what BB says, it isn't necessarily going to take years (although it did for me), but what you need to understand is that this path involves not just a grip change but a change to the whole way you hit your forehand.

- Second, the migrating grip thing. In general, if you're conscious of a grip change, and if you know where the racket sits in your hand for an Eastern (or any other) forehand grip, you should, theoretically never migrate to any other grip. What's probably happening is that, like me, like a lot of other players, when you don't know what the next ball is going to be, you hold the racket in a Continental grip...which isn't a bad idea, because it works well for most strokes except a topspin forehand...and never make the change to an Eastern or SW grip when you read the next shot as a forehand. You have two choices:

- Earlier recognition, earlier and more positive change to a forehand grip.

- If you get stuck with a Continental grip, just hit a slice or block forehand.

Finally, you're trying to advance your whole game, and although all of us have periods where we have a "problem" stroke that needs fixing, don't focus exclusively on just fixing the problem for the following reasons:

- It's good to work on your game, but too much work and no play makes tennis a dull game. It is supposed to be a game, and it is supposed to be fun, right? Sometimes you just go through a bad patch on a stroke that's been dependable, and you need to give yourself a mental break, stop obsessing about the shot, and let it come back by itself. When Dave Hodge was coaching me, we had a lot of long sessions working on my serve, which needed help. Sometimes I'd get so frustrated that even though tried to focus and work harder, things only got worse. At that point, Dave would say "Enough...let's just look at the mountains for a minute, then do some one on one volley drills, then we'll come back to working on the serve." 9 times out of 10, I started serving much better once we went back to serving drills. So, yeah, you have to work to improve, but you have to give yourself some slack in the process and remember to have fun out there.

- If the forehand problem is at least partly fundamental...as in, you need to improve your movement patterns and setup for the shot, you need to work on being more balanced and letting your body's kinesthetic chain power the stroke, you need to work on a more consistent swing path...well, other strokes can inform that process as well. For example, if I'm coaching somebody who is struggling with the movement, timing, and swing path for a forehand ground stroke, one thing I may do is back off and have him or her hit a bunch of forehand volleys. A lot of times, what I'll then see is some deficiencies on the volley...as in, late prep, taking a big swing at the volley, and so forth. So we'll clean that up, hit some volleys, then go back to the baseline for some more groundies. What I'll explain to whomever I'm coaching is that what we just did was emphasize quick, efficient setup for the volley, a good shoulder turn and step into the shot, and a precise, clean swing path...so the forehand groundstroke is a different shot, but now it's time to take those fundamental principles that we just reinforced from the net to the baseline.

Sound good? Try it, you'll like it...

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 10:26 AM
OK, I test drove the new grip today in a four-person clinic.

I didn't say anything to the pro about it, figuring it would be more entertaining just to see if he'd notice. :) He didn't say anything to me. But one of the poaching drills had two people at net, with another lady and me at baseline. He was encouraging the baseliners to shorten their backswings. I was having trouble, and he said I probably wouldn't want "that grip" in that situation, as it would require more backswing. So I guess he noticed.

Anyway, I say the new grip is a huge success. Usually, I am the player who misses groundstrokes in these drills. Today, I was able to rally with my new grip really, really well. I would just be careful not to hit flat, and all kinds of good things happened.

Best of all, my ball was driving my opponents back, which made it really easy to come to net. One of the ladies was actually squealing at the topspin I was giving her from the baseline. And if I had to hit a passing shot, my ball was diving down just like it should. Huzzah!!

The biggest problem I am having is Grip Confusion. Geez, it feels like all I am thinking about is my grip. I found myself at net trying to volley with a SW grip, or hitting my FH with a Continental because I would get it backwards. I think I am going to need to practice my ready position in Eastern and then switch as needed for BH or FH or volley.

Regarding the "pat the dog" thing, I played around with that a bit after the clinic finished, and it works really well. It gives just that teensy bit extra topspin. I like it!

Thanks, everyone!!!

larry10s
07-28-2009, 10:43 AM
i would not use eastern for ready position if you are trying to learn sw (maybe later). use continental for ready and sw for forehand. when yoy are home get your racquet and practice FEELING the sw grip. change from bh to fh. CLOSE YOUR EYES and feel the new grip. do this off the court .in no time the new grip will feel familiar and comfortable

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 11:10 AM
OK, I test drove the new grip today in a four-person clinic.

I didn't say anything to the pro about it, figuring it would be more entertaining just to see if he'd notice. :) He didn't say anything to me. But one of the poaching drills had two people at net, with another lady and me at baseline. He was encouraging the baseliners to shorten their backswings. I was having trouble, and he said I probably wouldn't want "that grip" in that situation, as it would require more backswing. So I guess he noticed.

You are using an inbetween grip right? The backswing comment was a little farfetched. If he sat down and studied it, he would be okay. I think he is a coach that cares a lot about your development and that you don't go out in left field and srew up your game. That is a sign of a good coach. I like that.

However, the SW or inbetween does not need a big backswing to support it. You need to use your legs/hips/torso more and rotation to drive through the ball. SW grips are used all day long in doubles.

Anyway, I say the new grip is a huge success. Usually, I am the player who misses groundstrokes in these drills.

SW is a great grip and a very good grip to develop players on. Kids and adults can benefit from the SW grip.

Today, I was able to rally with my new grip really, really well. I would just be careful not to hit flat, and all kinds of good things happened.

Eventually, you need to learn to hit flat. Also, I don't know if you watch the tennis channel, but they had a great little drill that made a player mix up spins. They had to hit underspin, flat, and topspin in a rotating fashion on both wings. Eventually, you want to be able to do this, so don't think your Eastern or Continental is gone forever. Take your time and get comfortable with your new grip.

Best of all, my ball was driving my opponents back, which made it really easy to come to net. One of the ladies was actually squealing at the topspin I was giving her from the baseline. And if I had to hit a passing shot, my ball was diving down just like it should. Huzzah!!

Good, sounds like you are having fun. Don't be surprised if you have some setbacks with something new. You might not, but don't panic if you do.

The biggest problem I am having is Grip Confusion. Geez, it feels like all I am thinking about is my grip. I found myself at net trying to volley with a SW grip, or hitting my FH with a Continental because I would get it backwards. I think I am going to need to practice my ready position in Eastern and then switch as needed for BH or FH or volley.

Hahaha, yup. That is perfectly normal. You have introduced something that was automatic before. All of your sensory information was geared around your hand being in a certain spot on the handle. Now, all of a sudden you need to "think" or "be sure" your hand is in the right spot and that causes delay in your response and if the ball is coming at you, perhaps confusion.

Work it!

Regarding the "pat the dog" thing, I played around with that a bit after the clinic finished, and it works really well. It gives just that teensy bit extra topspin. I like it!

Thanks, everyone!!!

You know the four general positions. Just relax and let your arm shape through each of the positions smoothly. Dont try to be perfect with it or you will slow down the swing momentum.

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 11:21 AM
You are using an inbetween grip right? The backswing comment was a little farfetched. If he sat down and studied it, he would be okay. I think he is a coach that cares a lot about your development and that you don't go out in left field and srew up your game. That is a sign of a good coach. I like that.

Let me clarify the backswing thing.

See, the volleyers were trying to drive their volleys deep with underspin, so we baseliners were almost dealing with half-volleys. My attempts to wind up and hit a regular groundstroke weren't working too well. He was advocating an on-the-toes, knees bent position and keeping the racket out in front more with minimal backswing. It did work much better for me without the SW grip.

Let me ask, though. For a FH half-volley, is the SW grip still a good idea? It seems that if the ideal contact point for SW grip is chest high, hitting a half-volley with SW grip would be difficult, no?

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 11:34 AM
Let me clarify the backswing thing.

See, the volleyers were trying to drive their volleys deep with underspin, so we baseliners were almost dealing with half-volleys. My attempts to wind up and hit a regular groundstroke weren't working too well. He was advocating an on-the-toes, knees bent position and keeping the racket out in front more with minimal backswing. It did work much better for me without the SW grip.

Let me ask, though. For a FH half-volley, is the SW grip still a good idea? It seems that if the ideal contact point for SW grip is chest high, hitting a half-volley with SW grip would be difficult, no?

I use continental for half volleys. I might be in an Eastern at times. If I use an Eastern, I sort of have to lift up more. But the backswing for a half-volley??????? Not sure I am following.

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 01:05 PM
I use continental for half volleys. I might be in an Eastern at times. If I use an Eastern, I sort of have to lift up more. But the backswing for a half-volley??????? Not sure I am following.

No, you're following. He didn't want us to have a big backswing for half-volleys. He wanted no or little backswing.

Bungalo Bill
07-28-2009, 03:01 PM
No, you're following. He didn't want us to have a big backswing for half-volleys. He wanted no or little backswing.

That is correct. You dont want an SW for half-volleys. Work it girl! :)