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View Full Version : I need help with my grip!


majordude
10-22-2009, 07:04 PM
Okay, I don't think I know what I'm doing. I just picked up a racket five days ago for the first time in about 30 years.

My natural grip is something like a baseball grip with my thumb on the top of the racket (like a thumb's up hand sign)... which obviously means my thumb is in the wrong position for strength... but it feels good.

Anyway, an experienced friend of mine tried to show me a few grips but my brain didn't internalize it.

I went to a few video sites and found a few videos on different grips.

I tried them out today but after practice my hand hurt... like it was cramping or something. I don't know if my hand just hasn't developed the muscles yet or if I am doing something incorrectly.

My natural grip has the handle running parallel to the knuckles which can't be right for tennis. The videos show to put the handle under the first fingers knuckle and the pad of my palm... like a 45 degree angle versus 90 which feels natural (like a baseball bat).

When I do it this way my first finger naturally spreads out from the other three fingers so my thumb can fit between my first and second finger. Which I think is right.

I tried the Continental, Eastern and several Westerns. I think. Again, I just looked at videos.

The Eastern seemed the most powerful and a semi-Western naturally gave me a tilted down racket (for top spin) and a better follow through.

Anyway, after 25 minutes my hand was cramping. Is this because I'm just a n00b or could I be doing something wrong?

Also, if I am to start out with one predominant grip as a beginner (and I don't want to develop any more bad habits that are already come natural for me :shock: ) which one should I concentrate on for an all round game but mostly forehand, waist high shots?

VaBeachTennis
10-22-2009, 07:09 PM
Okay, I don't think I know what I'm doing. I just picked up a racket five days ago for the first time in about 30 years.

My natural grip is something like a baseball grip with my thumb on the top of the racket (like a thumb's up hand sign)... which obviously means my thumb is in the wrong position for strength... but it feels good.

Anyway, an experienced friend of mine tried to show me a few grips but my brain didn't internalize it.

I went to a few video sites and found a few videos on different grips.

I tried them out today but after practice my hand hurt... like it was cramping or something. I don't know if my hand just hasn't developed the muscles yet or if I am doing something incorrectly.

My natural grip has the handle running parallel to the knuckles which can't be right for tennis. The videos show to put the handle under the first fingers knuckle and the pad of my palm... like a 45 degree angle versus 90 which feels natural (like a baseball bat).

When I do it this way my first finger naturally spreads out from the other three fingers so my thumb can fit between my first and second finger. Which I think is right.

I tried the Continental, Eastern and several Westerns. I think. Again, I just looked at videos.

The Eastern seemed the most powerful and a semi-Western naturally gave me a tilted down racket (for top spin) and a better follow through.

Anyway, after 25 minutes my hand was cramping. Is this because I'm just a n00b or could I be doing something wrong?

Also, if I am to start out with one predominant grip as a beginner (and I don't want to develop any more bad habits that are already come natural for me :shock: ) which one should I concentrate on for an all round game but mostly forehand, waist high shots?

Maybe you are hitting too much for your fitness level. Take a break and wait for the DVD's to arrive and start from scratch............. Good Luck! You can practice the techniques on those videos with your wife, that's actually pretty cool!

shawnpadro2222
10-29-2009, 08:38 PM
At least you do not have your index finger pointed up while swinging. There was a woman pro that had a backhand (which was her best shot) and she extended her index finger.
I would assume a baseball grip is like the handshake grip, so practice the eastern forehand grip in clinics at your local club. And maybe experiment with the semi-western which is very popular on tour.
You will naturally lean towards one of these grips the more you hit. Keep it up.

Geezer Guy
10-29-2009, 09:32 PM
Your hand & wrist will get stronger as you play. If the Eastern grip feels the most natural, start out with that. It can give you plenty of topspin and power, and you can always change it later if you want.

MayDay
10-29-2009, 10:29 PM
I also came back to tennis after several years of break. I didn't pay too much attention to how I held my racket and how tight I was hold it. What I realized was that I was holding the racket like baseball grip for one hand backhand and for some reason, also did the same on the forehand. I also used a deathgrip. That combination caused some major soreness to my wrist and forearm - and I felt like I had a weaker hand/fingers because of it. I also noticed that I just couldn't hit consistant forehands (but backhands were somewhat fine) with the baseball grip.

On forehands, I tried relaxing my grip (still baseball grip) and a firm wrist, it caused still more soreness to my forearm. It seems like the baseball grip just doesn't provide enough leverage and puts major load on my wrist. The moment I put my hands in the "45 degree" angle (I was checking out www.fuzzyyellowballs dot com and look at the grips lessons), I felt a lot more support and control of the racket, and it placed less stress on my wrist.

Now I'm concentrating on:
1. loose hands before impact (still firm wrist along with smooth pronation)
2. proper grip (not baseball grip) for both forehand and backhand - although it seem I still use baseball grip for my backhand sometimes.
3. keeping my wrist 90 degrees (I think people call it "double bend"?) and not break down. (I might get the wristassist thing to see if it helps - I'm probably going to hear some Brad Gilbert jokes from some people. :) )

My hitting session today felt pretty good while concentrating on the above 3 points. I still feel a little strain on my wrist and forearm, but to a much lessor extend. I plan to take a couple days off to rest the arm and will be continuing the 3 focus points afterwards.

MayDay
10-29-2009, 10:41 PM
Or, if you just got back, like... ...just this week, then yeah, it might be that your hands just need time, practice, and maybe some weight exercises to get stronger.

majordude
10-30-2009, 10:45 AM
The moment I put my hands in the "45 degree" angle (I was checking out www.fuzzyyellowballs dot com and look at the grips lessons), I felt a lot more support and control of the racket, and it placed less stress on my wrist.

The EXACT same thing happened to me. I was gripping the racket from knuckle to knuckle (90 degrees to my fingers) and then I saw one of those videos that said to go from knuckle to palm (45 degrees to my fingers) and that makes a big difference!

MayDay
10-30-2009, 03:34 PM
The EXACT same thing happened to me. I was gripping the racket from knuckle to knuckle (90 degrees to my fingers) and then I saw one of those videos that said to go from knuckle to palm (45 degrees to my fingers) and that makes a big difference!

Yup. :)

By the way, I use semi-western for forehand and full eastern grip for backhand. Volley with conti. The only time I'm playing with my grip type is during serve returns, where it depends on the type of server I'm facing.

Try and avoid death gripping the racket - that might help with the hand pain.