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nickybol
10-16-2005, 04:58 AM
Hi,

I teach tennis in a town in The Netherlands. I`m one of two teaching professionals in my club. We have a group of 12 children in the age of 12-16 years, beginners. I personally think we have to learn them the serve with the continental grip right from the beginning, but the other pro thinks we should learn the serving with a eastern fh grip first, and change later. What would you guys think? And what about younger children?

goober
10-16-2005, 06:49 AM
I think kids and adults for that matter should start with the continental grip. If somebody starts with Eastern FH and gets very comfortable with it, he or she may find it very difficult to switch later on. I have seen adults who can't get over the Eastern FH grip and even subconsciously turn their grip back to eastern on their serve after starting the service motion with continental.

I have seen many kids hit with the proper grip for serve so even though the learning curve is steeper in the beginning, the payoff the long run is better.

eggnog
10-16-2005, 06:56 AM
Nickybol, I agree with you.
I think they are old enough that they can master the continental right away. you might have a case for teaching eastern stroke first if they were really young but I think they are old enough that they can figure it out. IMO, I would simplify the stroke by using the "back scratcher" position instead of the full stroke at first. And make sure that they do indeed practice it a lot, hitting lots of buckets of balls in their spare time. Give them simple help like make sure their racquet swings toward the net post instead of directly where they want the ball to go.

arky-tennis
10-16-2005, 07:03 AM
I believe in the cont. but how serious are these ppl? Do they want to play forever or is it the "popular" thing this week in town?

nickybol
10-16-2005, 07:28 AM
Hi, thank you for your support and tips. I personally think continental right away is better because serving with an eastern grip is a totally different motion. These ppl are pretty serious, they`re pretty competitive.

Bungalo Bill
10-16-2005, 07:51 AM
Hi,

I teach tennis in a town in The Netherlands. I`m one of two teaching professionals in my club. We have a group of 12 children in the age of 12-16 years, beginners. I personally think we have to learn them the serve with the continental grip right from the beginning, but the other pro thinks we should learn the serving with a eastern fh grip first, and change later. What would you guys think? And what about younger children?

I am with you on this. Teach the continental from the beginning and they will thank you for it in the long run.

Teaching the Eastern forehand sets a player up for a tough relearning process in the future and to me that is not being a responsible professional.

To hit an Eastern forehand serve well you need to be tall to begin with. The typical height is 6' 4".

I like what a pro hear once advised and think it is a good way to teach the continental from the start and that is to teach the student how to hit a slice serve. This will help them to not pronate too soon as what usually happens with a beginner.

There are many devices that can help engrain the Continental that it makes teaching the Eastern obsolete. You can create a tool that places a ball on a rope to help the student understand the role of the arm. You can place a ball in a fence and have the student slowly see what happens with their arm so they dont have to worry about it.

But I think the best thing is teaching the slice serve. It works, it is a good idea, and it helps a student learn to serve with the continental.

Remember we play tennis with primarily three of our senses. Our eyes, our ears, and our feel. There is mainly only one receptor that provides information to the brain in the ears and the eyes each. But the hand has many many receptors and when the brain begins receiving this information, it begins learning how to move the muscles a certain way to perform a certain action. At first, the Continental may feel awkward, but soon it wont as the brain learns what to do.

It also can be said that once you engrain a certain chain reaction of muscle movement it becomes engrained and performing a similar or the same action but with a different grip sends different signals and the brain sort of "locks" up because the signals the brain wants to send are not matching the sensory information being recieved.

Go with the continental.

rfederer32291
10-16-2005, 08:22 AM
i would start out with continental, because to me it is the easiest grip, and probably the most used grip for serving these days.

nickybol
10-16-2005, 08:43 AM
BB thanks for your post. I feel very supported by you guys.

stc9357
10-16-2005, 03:11 PM
I use continental on every serve except for the slice because I like the spin the eastern backahnd imparts. As far as teaching I think students should be taught the continental and if they want to use the eastern for a particular serve after learning the game they should be able to. my coach taught me the con. when i first started and later on I realized the eastern backhand was better for slice!

Bungalo Bill
10-16-2005, 03:33 PM
I use continental on every serve except for the slice because I like the spin the eastern backahnd imparts. As far as teaching I think students should be taught the continental and if they want to use the eastern for a particular serve after learning the game they should be able to. my coach taught me the con. when i first started and later on I realized the eastern backhand was better for slice!

STC9357,

I am not referring to the Eastern backhand grip. I believe the poster and I are referring to the Eastern forehand grip. As a player gets better, the Eastern backhand grip is a viable grip for spinning the ball. You can either impart topspin or slice depending on what you want to do.

It is the Eastern forehand grip that can present problems for players as they get better and try to improve themselves by changing to the Continental for serves.

nickybol
10-17-2005, 12:07 AM
Yes I am referring to an eastern forehand grip, base knuckle two bevels to the right if you are in an eastern backhand grip.