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jk816
09-27-2011, 08:03 AM
I wonder if any of you tennis pros out there can offer a tip to help with a problem my daughter is having. She changes her grip during her service motion.

She starts with a continental grip and finishes her toss in conti, but during the remainder of the service motion to contact she regrips into an eastern forehand. It is a subconcious habit; she's tried to focus on not doing it and sometimes succeeds, but then it comes back pretty quickly. We've tried having her start in a BH grip (maybe she'd change to conti? Nope, she regripped to FH!), tried various tricks we'd read or gotten from local pros. She volleys in conti, but during her serve her I can see her fingers wiggle and then there she is in a forehand grip:mad:

It is driving her nuts, and I'm at a loss how to help her further. Anyone else figure out how to correct such a habit?

Thanks.

Ramon
09-27-2011, 09:24 AM
What kind of serve is she hitting? Is she hitting a flat serve? Maybe you should get her to hit all topsin serves at first, then try flattening it out after she is used to hitting topsin serves. If she is hitting a topsin serve, try moving over to a kick serve.

larry10s
09-27-2011, 10:11 AM
put a penny under her index knuckle and/or heel pad
tell her she cant let it drop

Fuji
09-27-2011, 10:51 AM
I actually used to have this problem when I was learning to serve properly!

The key for me was to start with an Eastern Backhand Grip, then when I slid over, I was in Conti. It turns out I just liked the feeling of moving my grip during my serve. After a few months of this, I just started in Conti and ended in Conti. It may seem a bit odd, but she might benefit from this little trick!

Now if she slides from Eastern Backhand to Forehand.... :)

-Fuji

Giannis
09-27-2011, 10:56 AM
I dont even know how you can do that guys, for me it is difficult to even do it intentionally :)

fuzz nation
09-27-2011, 11:08 AM
I know someone locally who has slipped in that direction with her grip when she serves. She did some work with a pro last year who taught her a much more extreme grip and open stance to hit a lot of topspin on her forehand and I'm wondering if that different grip position hasn't sort of leaked into some of her other shots. I know that if I were to fix it, we'd probably need to rebuild her serve, but that's not an option while she's in the middle of her high school season.

The thing about that eastern forehand grip is that it pretty much allows for the server to either hit flat or hit a "reverse slice" with an outside-in swing path. From a righty server's perspective, the ball actually curves left to right when they do that. One thing's for sure when a server is using that grip; they have to set up more square to their target and not toss too far over to the side (right side for a righty) in order to land the ball.

If your server can't shake the impulse to cheat over to that forehand grip when serving, I'd say try changing her setup so that it can't work. If she's a righty, have her set up with more of a closed stance and also toss the ball a bit more to her right (simply flip it for a lefty). If she does that and still tries to unconsciously use that forehand grip, she'll probably put the ball into the side fence instead of toward the service box.

Keep in mind that the server's grip affects the angle of the racquet face, but that has to combine with the correct swing path to send the ball in the intended direction either with or without much spin. If her swing path has been sort of "corrupted" by that forehand grip, she may need to try some practice serves where she starts her motion with the racquet pre-set up behind her (along with more of a closed stance). That way, a continental grip will send the ball with right to left spin unless she drives straight through the ball with her wrist turned out a bit.

Remember that changing a serve is especially frustrating at first and alterations will probably turn the shot into a hot mess for a little while. The important thing to focus on when rebuilding a serve is finding solid, consistent contact while incorporating the new pieces-parts. Don't get hung up on serving with accuracy until good consistent contact is happening.

Cobra Tennis
09-27-2011, 11:11 AM
get a "grip finder" strap that wraps around the racquet and makes her hold her hand in the right place.


OR

tape her hand to the racquet in the right position.

ramos
09-27-2011, 11:27 AM
This problem is hard to fix!
The only way for me, is to force the player to serve with a extreme slice, in a way the player could go up with the raquet on edge e stays there til impact, and pronate after the impact.
The firt thing to acheve is go on edge!
The change is inconscient e the reason is the flat serve and the mandatory action to take the raquet square for flat serve. For a slice extreme serve there is no reazon for square and for that the conti will bem manteined.


I wonder if any of you tennis pros out there can offer a tip to help with a problem my daughter is having. She changes her grip during her service motion.

She starts with a continental grip and finishes her toss in conti, but during the remainder of the service motion to contact she regrips into an eastern forehand. It is a subconcious habit; she's tried to focus on not doing it and sometimes succeeds, but then it comes back pretty quickly. We've tried having her start in a BH grip (maybe she'd change to conti? Nope, she regripped to FH!), tried various tricks we'd read or gotten from local pros. She volleys in conti, but during her serve her I can see her fingers wiggle and then there she is in a forehand grip:mad:

It is driving her nuts, and I'm at a loss how to help her further. Anyone else figure out how to correct such a habit?

Thanks.

jk816
09-27-2011, 11:45 AM
I actually used to have this problem when I was learning to serve properly!

The key for me was to start with an Eastern Backhand Grip, then when I slid over, I was in Conti. It turns out I just liked the feeling of moving my grip during my serve. After a few months of this, I just started in Conti and ended in Conti. It may seem a bit odd, but she might benefit from this little trick!

Now if she slides from Eastern Backhand to Forehand.... :)

-Fuji

That was the first thing I tried; she then went from BH to FH!

jk816
09-27-2011, 11:57 AM
put a penny under her index knuckle and/or heel pad
tell her she cant let it drop

That I can try with her today; I'll let you know if it works! Thanks.

jk816
09-27-2011, 11:59 AM
What kind of serve is she hitting? Is she hitting a flat serve? Maybe you should get her to hit all topsin serves at first, then try flattening it out after she is used to hitting topsin serves. If she is hitting a topsin serve, try moving over to a kick serve.

Simple flat serve mostly; we're trying to keep things simple until we iron out a few issues (consistent toss being the worst).

jk816
09-27-2011, 12:15 PM
I know someone locally who has slipped in that direction with her grip when she serves. She did some work with a pro last year who taught her a much more extreme grip and open stance to hit a lot of topspin on her forehand and I'm wondering if that different grip position hasn't sort of leaked into some of her other shots. I know that if I were to fix it, we'd probably need to rebuild her serve, but that's not an option while she's in the middle of her high school season.

The thing about that eastern forehand grip is that it pretty much allows for the server to either hit flat or hit a "reverse slice" with an outside-in swing path. From a righty server's perspective, the ball actually curves left to right when they do that. One thing's for sure when a server is using that grip; they have to set up more square to their target and not toss too far over to the side (right side for a righty) in order to land the ball.

If your server can't shake the impulse to cheat over to that forehand grip when serving, I'd say try changing her setup so that it can't work. If she's a righty, have her set up with more of a closed stance and also toss the ball a bit more to her right (simply flip it for a lefty). If she does that and still tries to unconsciously use that forehand grip, she'll probably put the ball into the side fence instead of toward the service box.

Keep in mind that the server's grip affects the angle of the racquet face, but that has to combine with the correct swing path to send the ball in the intended direction either with or without much spin. If her swing path has been sort of "corrupted" by that forehand grip, she may need to try some practice serves where she starts her motion with the racquet pre-set up behind her (along with more of a closed stance). That way, a continental grip will send the ball with right to left spin unless she drives straight through the ball with her wrist turned out a bit.

Remember that changing a serve is especially frustrating at first and alterations will probably turn the shot into a hot mess for a little while. The important thing to focus on when rebuilding a serve is finding solid, consistent contact while incorporating the new pieces-parts. Don't get hung up on serving with accuracy until good consistent contact is happening.

Thanks we've been trying to make sure her swing maintains the extension you would need for a conti serve, while she works through the grip thing (a larger issue is consistency in toss; she tosses a bit high and it wanders). So accuracy is not something I'm focusing on, but largely a simple smooth motion and getting good shoulder elevation and rotation (trying to teach a girl not to throw "like a girl" is not easy!!). And hitting long is just fine for now.
She can hit an OK serve FH, but we both agree we don't want to encourage it. I pointed out how she can tell if she hits correctly all the way through by listening to the "pop" from a naturally pronated conti serve vice a FH serve struck at elevation, which sounds more like a brushed spin serve (FH serves can be pancake "popped" but the toss must be lower--that's how her mom hits, I gave up fixing that...never "fix" the wife:( "

But yeah frustration and lack of patience is an issue..at least I know where she gets that from...me!

Thanks.

jk816
09-27-2011, 12:17 PM
get a "grip finder" strap that wraps around the racquet and makes her hold her hand in the right place.


OR

tape her hand to the racquet in the right position.

That's what she asked me to do last time out, duct tape her hand to the racquet....of course she'd have to play like McEnroe once she put the ball in play....:???:

jk816
09-27-2011, 12:22 PM
This problem is hard to fix!
The only way for me, is to force the player to serve with a extreme slice, in a way the player could go up with the raquet on edge e stays there til impact, and pronate after the impact.
The firt thing to acheve is go on edge!
The change is inconscient e the reason is the flat serve and the mandatory action to take the raquet square for flat serve. For a slice extreme serve there is no reazon for square and for that the conti will bem manteined.

Thanks, I did try all the "racquet on edge" tricks I knew: drive the nail, split the ball with the hatchet, keep butt cap towards ball for as long as possible, etc; tried to teach her a shortened, pronation heavy serve motion (less time to regrip?). It got to the point of instruction overload, so we went back to simple.

Fuji
09-27-2011, 01:58 PM
That was the first thing I tried; she then went from BH to FH!

Oh jeeze! She's much more ingrained then I was!

I think the penny trick is going to be the next best thing suggested so far, it's so odd that she flips to the FH grip off a serve. Is her FH grip an Eastern? (I didn't see if you posted that!)

-Fuji

CoachingMastery
09-27-2011, 02:55 PM
This is actually a very common problem, one I've written about in a few publications.

While the tips offered here are good to have her feel the grip change, the core of the problem is that she is more comfortable and feels she can direct the ball with the eastern forehand grip better. (As do most beginners.)

Break down the service motion for a while using a very abbreviated back swing, even shorter than the typical "back scratch" position. Make sure she is staying sideways as opening up on the serve will definately promote the eastern grip sense of need.

Have her serve hundreds of serves with the grip and position from the service line so that the perception of necessary power is not an issue. (This is another reason so many shift the grip in mid swing...they feel like they need more power/strength to get the ball over the net.)

Work on the slice serve on both sides, getting her to really feel the strings interact with the ball with the grip and the brushing action with this short back swing. As she begins to feel and master the serve, without changing grips, have her serve with a larger swing path until she is serving without shifts. Then back her up little by little until she is again serving from the baseline.

This exercise could be a simple 1 lesson exercise or it might take several sessions of working these patterns.

But the important point made is that she needs to feel what the serve is really like with the continental.

ramos
09-27-2011, 03:16 PM
Do you remember where we can find this few publications?
Tennisone?
This a very common problem but with very little stuff about it...
Thanks


This is actually a very common problem, one I've written about in a few publications.

While the tips offered here are good to have her feel the grip change, the core of the problem is that she is more comfortable and feels she can direct the ball with the eastern forehand grip better. (As do most beginners.)

Break down the service motion for a while using a very abbreviated back swing, even shorter than the typical "back scratch" position. Make sure she is staying sideways as opening up on the serve will definately promote the eastern grip sense of need.

Have her serve hundreds of serves with the grip and position from the service line so that the perception of necessary power is not an issue. (This is another reason so many shift the grip in mid swing...they feel like they need more power/strength to get the ball over the net.)

Work on the slice serve on both sides, getting her to really feel the strings interact with the ball with the grip and the brushing action with this short back swing. As she begins to feel and master the serve, without changing grips, have her serve with a larger swing path until she is serving without shifts. Then back her up little by little until she is again serving from the baseline.

This exercise could be a simple 1 lesson exercise or it might take several sessions of working these patterns.

But the important point made is that she needs to feel what the serve is really like with the continental.

CoachingMastery
09-27-2011, 04:27 PM
Do you remember where we can find this few publications?
Tennisone?
This a very common problem but with very little stuff about it...
Thanks

Let me see if I can pull up the archive relative to this. It's been a number of years...

I had a top ranked junior move to Florida to train...only to come back to me a year later and he was doing exactly what the OP was describing..which none of the pros in FL caught. And this was a top 400 ranked player! (He came back and said while his serve speed of 120 was fine, it was his second serve that was just giving him fits and many double faults.)

The first time I saw him serve, I said, "A.J...you are shifting your grip in mid swing, effectively moving towards an eastern forehand grip! You can't get the kind of spin to have a huge second serve."

We worked with him on this, and his serve immediately became huge when he began feeling the serve maintaining his continental grip.

(He went on to be Kim Clijster's hitting partner for two weeks at Indian Wells when she became #1 in the world...so not a bad player...he was on the ATP tour for awhile too.)

Needless to say, even some higher skilled players fall victim to this habit!

Limpinhitter
09-27-2011, 05:14 PM
I wonder if any of you tennis pros out there can offer a tip to help with a problem my daughter is having. She changes her grip during her service motion.

She starts with a continental grip and finishes her toss in conti, but during the remainder of the service motion to contact she regrips into an eastern forehand. It is a subconcious habit; she's tried to focus on not doing it and sometimes succeeds, but then it comes back pretty quickly. We've tried having her start in a BH grip (maybe she'd change to conti? Nope, she regripped to FH!), tried various tricks we'd read or gotten from local pros. She volleys in conti, but during her serve her I can see her fingers wiggle and then there she is in a forehand grip:mad:

It is driving her nuts, and I'm at a loss how to help her further. Anyone else figure out how to correct such a habit?

Thanks.

I've seen it a million times among beginner/intermediate players trying to learn to hit a spin serve. She hasn't been properly coached on the purpose of a continental grip and how to use it. The bottom line is that a Continental grip on serve allows for external shoulder rotation and forearm pronation to begin, and build momentum, before contact, so that the racquet face is facing the target at contact, and also allows for more wrist release after contact.

If, for example, a righty tries to employ external shoulder rotation and forearm pronation before contact with an Eastern grip, the face of the racquet will be too far to the right at contact to hit the ball in the service box. In other words, an Eastern grip tends to force you to slap directly at the ball in order to hit it in the direction of the service box.

Some people learn this better by demonstrating the difference between the grips and the effect on serve. Some people need the verbal explanation like the one I gave. Some people need both.

ramos
09-27-2011, 05:40 PM
Ok, but if your method dont work?...
What else to do?

I've seen it a million times. She hasn't been properly coached on the purpose of a continental grip and how to use it.

Limpinhitter
09-27-2011, 06:01 PM
Ok, but if your method dont work?...
What else to do?

Haha, you're right. I edited to add that part.

10sLifer
09-27-2011, 09:07 PM
I wonder if any of you tennis pros out there can offer a tip to help with a problem my daughter is having. She changes her grip during her service motion.

She starts with a continental grip and finishes her toss in conti, but during the remainder of the service motion to contact she regrips into an eastern forehand. It is a subconcious habit; she's tried to focus on not doing it and sometimes succeeds, but then it comes back pretty quickly. We've tried having her start in a BH grip (maybe she'd change to conti? Nope, she regripped to FH!), tried various tricks we'd read or gotten from local pros. She volleys in conti, but during her serve her I can see her fingers wiggle and then there she is in a forehand grip:mad:

It is driving her nuts, and I'm at a loss how to help her further. Anyone else figure out how to correct such a habit?

Thanks.

Well it has to do with the original problem. The reason she had the wrong grip is the same reason everyone starts this game with the wrong grip on the serve. We want to put the palm up and towards the target. If you ask any smart, logical person to hit a ball in a box and throw it over your head they are going to put the racquet in this palm up, pizza serving position. So what do we do we say "Use this grip, this is how the pros hold it". So we hold the racquet with this new continental grip with insufficient information on why so in the middle of the swing we switch back to whats logical and easy. Your daughter needs to learn/understand pronation. This is the process of rotating the forearm from inwards to out wards. It is necessary because of the nets existence. You have to hit over it even on a serve there is no straight line shot from racquet to box. Unless you are about 8 feet tall. When she understands the importance of pronation she will adopt it and get to contact by rotating the forearm and not changing the grip.

Hope it helps!

jk816
09-28-2011, 06:09 AM
Oh jeeze! She's much more ingrained then I was!

I think the penny trick is going to be the next best thing suggested so far, it's so odd that she flips to the FH grip off a serve. Is her FH grip an Eastern? (I didn't see if you posted that!)

-Fuji

Yes, she uses an eastern FH; we' ve been trying to migrate a bit more toward the SW, but mostly eastern to date.

The penny trick did help a bit (actually we went upscale and used a dime!). she lost it a couple of times, but many more you could see she started to shift (her thumb finished more FH than it started, but the rest of the hand stayed put) and some she stayed conti througout. So we'll continue to use this trick for a while.

jk816
09-28-2011, 06:37 AM
This is actually a very common problem, one I've written about in a few publications.

While the tips offered here are good to have her feel the grip change, the core of the problem is that she is more comfortable and feels she can direct the ball with the eastern forehand grip better. (As do most beginners.)

Break down the service motion for a while using a very abbreviated back swing, even shorter than the typical "back scratch" position. Make sure she is staying sideways as opening up on the serve will definately promote the eastern grip sense of need.

Have her serve hundreds of serves with the grip and position from the service line so that the perception of necessary power is not an issue. (This is another reason so many shift the grip in mid swing...they feel like they need more power/strength to get the ball over the net.)

Work on the slice serve on both sides, getting her to really feel the strings interact with the ball with the grip and the brushing action with this short back swing. As she begins to feel and master the serve, without changing grips, have her serve with a larger swing path until she is serving without shifts. Then back her up little by little until she is again serving from the baseline.

This exercise could be a simple 1 lesson exercise or it might take several sessions of working these patterns.

But the important point made is that she needs to feel what the serve is really like with the continental.

Thanks; a while back she and I had talked about my teaching her spin serves instead and cycle back toward the flat (I'd normally prefer to teach her a second serve first, and then she can amp that up for her first, but few of the pros, camps and clinics she's had seem to take that approach, they teach the flat first - it must be easier to teach in a limited time.). Anyway she was reluctant to add somethng new to the serve mix and is determined to work this out first (gee a stubborn teenager, who'd of thunk it?:???: )

I did really simplify her service motion; over time she'd developed a bit of extra movement (weight shifting and racquet movements that have their place, but were adding a lot to inconsistency). I also noticed she had too high a toss and paused in her trophy, creating a hitch (one of the places where I saw her grip change occur).

I'd broken it down into starting with the racquet held low (no down together up together), told her to finish her toss before moving the racquet (on the old Becker 1-2-3 count) so that her racquet must keep moving throughout the motion. This helped her consistency a lot and smoothed out the stroke, but now the grip change point moved to the start of racquet motion.:(
Once she has some consistency with base moves we can add back in weight shift and more knee bend.

I do have her start her serves on the service line and tell her to try to reach up over the top of the ball at the height of her toss and hit down on the top of the ball (either into the other court or bounce it over). Obviously it can't truly be done, but this was to get her the feeling of really extending the hitting shoulder up (hitting flat shouldered was a problem and encouraged the FH grip) and get her to use pronation which is difficult with a FH grip.
Then we'd move back to the baseline. This has helped a lot in giving her a smooth motion with less arm.

I'll definitely work with her staying closed longer, that is a known issue with her. That and finishing her toss motion to vertical after release, but I suspect they are related.

Thanks.

Nellie
09-28-2011, 06:39 AM
As mentioned above, the problem is that your daughter wants to hit with the eastern fh grip (turn shoulders to the net and hit with a waiter grip). Even if you change the grip, the rest of the motion is ingrained.

To me, the solution is in this statement:

Make sure she is staying sideways as opening up on the serve will definately promote the eastern grip sense of need...


So, serve a basket of balls with the shoulders staying sideways. Don't even look at the grip - if she moves to the Eastern forehand grip, the ball will fly way, way, out to the side. Instead, have her think about her shoulders staying sideways (which is a big body movement and easy to see/feel).

jk816
09-28-2011, 06:52 AM
Well it has to do with the original problem. The reason she had the wrong grip is the same reason everyone starts this game with the wrong grip on the serve. We want to put the palm up and towards the target. If you ask any smart, logical person to hit a ball in a box and throw it over your head they are going to put the racquet in this palm up, pizza serving position. So what do we do we say "Use this grip, this is how the pros hold it". So we hold the racquet with this new continental grip with insufficient information on why so in the middle of the swing we switch back to whats logical and easy. Your daughter needs to learn/understand pronation. This is the process of rotating the forearm from inwards to out wards. It is necessary because of the nets existence. You have to hit over it even on a serve there is no straight line shot from racquet to box. Unless you are about 8 feet tall. When she understands the importance of pronation she will adopt it and get to contact by rotating the forearm and not changing the grip.

Hope it helps!

Thanks; she does understand the need for the conti grip and pronation. When she does hit with these, she loves the result! The shift is subconcious (when she's worrying more about here toss and timing -longer term problems we're working through- the focus on the grip gets lost. I'm also a bit concerned that if she's trying too hard not to change the grip, she'll stiffen up her hand and wrist on the service motion, which weakens the serve and long term will create overuse injuries.

She did have the "pizza/ waiters wrist" thing going on years ago, but we fixed that.

I really think the issue is related to muscle memory and comfort; she hits w/ an Eastern FH and the racquet handle just feels "natural" that way when swinging the right arm. She uses Conti for all volleys and in her 2HBH, but the serve motion (swinging) her right arm triggers the EFH. I also did notice that if I faced her away from the court and ghost served swinging into the back screen (a tip from the SERVE DOC videos for breaking bad habits), there was rarely a grip change.

Luckily there are tips to be had here and elsewhere on the net for tricks to try!

Thepowerofchoice
09-28-2011, 07:25 AM
As mentioned above, the problem is that your daughter wants to hit with the eastern fh grip (turn shoulders to the net and hit with a waiter grip). Even if you change the grip, the rest of the motion is ingrained.


So, serve a basket of balls with the shoulders staying sideways. Don't even look at the grip - if she moves to the Eastern forehand grip, the ball will fly way, way, out to the side. Instead, have her think about her shoulders staying sideways (which is a big body movement and easy to see/feel).

Yep I had this same problem until I really focus on staying sideways. Here is a helpful information that helps me

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step12_5.html#stayTurned

Nellie
09-28-2011, 08:05 AM
I really think the issue is related to muscle memory and comfort; she hits w/ an Eastern FH and the racquet handle just feels "natural" that way when swinging the right arm.


Personally, I find that the grip "molds" to the shape of my hand in the forehand position after a lot use. Occasionally, I need to change the grip, even though I use overgrips that I change constantly, or go with a really thin grip without much padding.

Fuji
09-28-2011, 03:57 PM
Yes, she uses an eastern FH; we' ve been trying to migrate a bit more toward the SW, but mostly eastern to date.

The penny trick did help a bit (actually we went upscale and used a dime!). she lost it a couple of times, but many more you could see she started to shift (her thumb finished more FH than it started, but the rest of the hand stayed put) and some she stayed conti througout. So we'll continue to use this trick for a while.

It makes sense as to why she likes to serve with a EFH grip then! :) Trust me, I know an old hitting partner who serves with a SW grip, because that's how he hits his forehand.

I'm glad that trick is helping! The shoulder pointing is another huge part that others mentioned!

Also, does she need to change FH grips? I actually hit Eastern for a few years, and it worked really well, until I started playing guys who could kick balls up to around my shoulder height, (6'0 tall), and it became troublesome to try and flat them back!

-Fuji

ramos
09-29-2011, 02:17 AM
Please, you had focus in stay sideways while fixing the problem? Or are you sideways till now?

Yep I had this same problem until I really focus on staying sideways. Here is a helpful information that helps me

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step12_5.html#stayTurned

larry10s
09-29-2011, 05:00 AM
Yes, she uses an eastern FH; we' ve been trying to migrate a bit more toward the SW, but mostly eastern to date.

The penny trick did help a bit (actually we went upscale and used a dime!). she lost it a couple of times, but many more you could see she started to shift (her thumb finished more FH than it started, but the rest of the hand stayed put) and some she stayed conti througout. So we'll continue to use this trick for a while.

did you put the coin in only one place??(index knucle? or heel pad?)
try it in both places to see which way works better.
if you can use a dime you are a well paid coach!!!!:shock::)LOL
actually being smaller and thinner it could be better

martini1
09-29-2011, 06:47 AM
I used to have this problem (and still have it once in a while). The problem comes from a toss too close or too far away, and the stance is facing forward too early. When one needs to reach hard and tried to serve hard, this will happen.

Also the pronation is not enough sometimes, which makes your grip to turn to make up for it. It is a little different from the proper loose grip for a serve as well.