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View Full Version : Continental or Eastern BH for kick/topspin serve? Please advice


Alafter
10-16-2005, 09:19 AM
I am just beginnning to learn these serves. I use the continental grip, and I am beginning to generate spins on the balls.

On the net, the advice is to use eastern backhand for twists and topspins. Trying it out, I find that it feels extremely unnatural to hit serves with Eastern BH. I'd have to position my wrist all weird to even hit the ball upward/forward.

So the question is can I keep the continental grip and hit twists/topspins just as well as those who can use the Eastern BH?

CrazyScheiner
10-16-2005, 10:36 AM
It does not matter which grip you use, it only affects what happens.

With a continental grip, you produce more pace and less bounce.

With a Eastern BH grip , you produce more bounce but less pace.

supersmash
10-16-2005, 01:52 PM
If you want, try a happy-medium between the two. I do that, but not on purpose though.

MackSamuelHustovisics
10-16-2005, 02:41 PM
I am just beginnning to learn these serves. I use the continental grip, and I am beginning to generate spins on the balls.

On the net, the advice is to use eastern backhand for twists and topspins. Trying it out, I find that it feels extremely unnatural to hit serves with Eastern BH. I'd have to position my wrist all weird to even hit the ball upward/forward.

So the question is can I keep the continental grip and hit twists/topspins just as well as those who can use the Eastern BH?

Transitioning from a continental to EBH grip serve does take a little bit of getting used to. Just make sure your EBH grip serve is executed properly. It is easy to get confused when EBH grip serve is mentioned. Make sure you are using the EBH grip, but when you make contact with the ball, use the same side of the face as the continental serve. So essentially, the EBH grip serve is really an extreme continental grip (for right handers, extreme meaning rotating the grip more clockwise). People get mixed up because when BH is mentioned, a BH stroke comes to mind. The thing is, the EBH serve means EBH grip, not stroke/BHface. If that's not something you encountered, if you can execute the continental, you should get used to the EBH "grip" serve. Your wrist and all other muscles will develop more flex and memory over time. Good luck.

Bungalo Bill
10-16-2005, 03:39 PM
I am just beginnning to learn these serves. I use the continental grip, and I am beginning to generate spins on the balls.

On the net, the advice is to use eastern backhand for twists and topspins. Trying it out, I find that it feels extremely unnatural to hit serves with Eastern BH. I'd have to position my wrist all weird to even hit the ball upward/forward.

So the question is can I keep the continental grip and hit twists/topspins just as well as those who can use the Eastern BH?

Well you can certainly hit EFFECTIVE serves with the continental grip. Maybe that is all you need? By effective I mean generating enough spin and speed with the ability to send it at different speeds and placements.

Generating spin on the serve is one aspect, probably the most important aspect is to be able to PLACE your serve anywhere you want in the service box while giving away minimal information for the returner to learn where you are going.

But you can generate a sufficient amount of pace and definetly spin with the Eastern backhand grip. It does take some time getting used to like anything else but it is also a very effective grip to hit spin serves or second serves with.

MackSamuelHustovisics
10-16-2005, 04:37 PM
I agree with Bungalo Bill's comments. Continental alone can be very effective. You can generate a lot of spin w/ the cont. Try varying your toss locations while swinging using your current cont. grip. Different swing paths towards the ball as well as points of impact contribute to various spins and ranges of motion of your body. The fundamentals of serving in the teaching community are typically:

topspin: Toss in a plane perpendicular to the baseline, lined up with your head or more to the left, and a bit inside the baseline a foot or so. Usually when player's serve, they utilize biomechanical movements and transfer linear and angular momentum from the bottom up to the racquet. That tends to result in a forward movement of the body, and so that's why the toss is a bit in front, inside the baseline. Just know that wherever your body ends up during the swing towards the ball, the ball should land on your head (or in extreme cases, behind you) if your were to let the ball drop towards the ground. Having that toss location lines up your body, enabling a swing upwards into the ball. Normally topspin/kick locations are at the 12 o'clock-11 o'clock angles.

Anedoctally and from my personal experience and belief, if swung along the same path and the ball is contacted on the same point, the EBH type-grips would allow the racquet face to be positioned in a way to impart more spin on the ball than the cont. would. It has to do with the angle of the racq. face throughout the pronation duration. With the EBH grip, the face squares off flat into the ball later and so the face angle is more acute compared to the compared to the continental. Generally, people ackowledge that more spin will sacrifice pace. Everyone is different. Define things by making discoveries yourself. If you want to experiment and adapt to the EBH grip serve for kickers and it currently feels awkward, I would suggest that you gradually move into that grip to give your body time to adjust. If you're right handed, grip the racquet as you normally would for a contin. serve and then rotatate it slightly clockwise. Get used to small increments at a time and don't force yourself into an uncomfortable grip with huge increments. Overall, don't force any motion that your body restrains. Safety! Try not to have a million things on your mnd while you go through the entire motion. Lastly, relax, stay flexible yet soild. Know that tensed muscles inhibit maximum use of biomechanics. You want stretched flexible muscles. It will all come together if you have a positive attitude and stay loose.

Queensryche
10-16-2005, 09:22 PM
I seem to have the same problem regarding the use of EBH grip for service.
When i attempt to use it to serve , it puts my gripping fingers into an uncomfortable position to hit "up" on the ball.

could someone post the grip , which is used for the EBH ? i've seen a couple on this forums but i find them so weird to hit a service with.

i use a developed grip on my own - base knuckle kinda on the bevel , SEEMS to work fine ^^

P.s - The EBH grip is like using a full-western grip right ?? only hitting with the other string plane ?

Tennismastery
10-16-2005, 11:00 PM
While everything said here is correct, (thus far!), remember that very few pros use an eastern backhand grip for their serve. Some adjust their continental to be a bit more open. However, when we see more significant open racquet face among the pros, it is done with the wrist turned more in, simulating how an easstern backhand grip would open the racquet face.

This wrist position held during the serve in this position also simulates the angle of the racquet within the serve to be close to that of an eastern backhand grip.

Many knowlegable teaching pros have mistaken this wrist position as being an eastern backhand grip when in reality it is a continental.

Serving with a true eastern backhand grip does create a lot of spin and does increase the ability of a player to hit more up the back of the ball for more true topspin on the serve. But, it is very difficult for many, especially those who learned first with an eastern forehand grip.

Try it yourself. Turn your wrist in (where if you look down at your racquet in the ready position of your serve) and serve. You will see more spin, more reactionary spin and resulting curve of the ball, just as you would see with an eastern backhand grip. Yet, it won't be as uncomfortable and you probably won't miss hit as many serves!

Alafter
10-16-2005, 11:51 PM
Dear all,

thank you very much for the advice and replies. I will keep my continental grip and work on my wrist position instead. Another question I have is--should jumping on serves come naturally or is it something I should force myself to do?

I am only 5 and a half feet tall, and sometimes when serving the spin i wish I was taller. When watching pros serve, it seems that they jump and apply more spin and more power. To me, I think that the height allows them to concentrate on both spinning motion AND the motion bringing the ball down into the service box.

So, should I try to jump? Or will it come naturally to me one day when i swing so hard my body naturally shoots off the ground?

Queensryche
10-17-2005, 12:26 AM
You don't jump on your service.

When you incorporate heavy knee flexion + upper body(shoulder/torso) rotation
, you somewhat.......err....launch into the ball.

An interesting thing u can try , is infact , try to "ground" yourself to the floor , as in make an effort to STAY on the ground , IF you had used the flexions and rotations as I mentioned in the paragraph above , you will find that you cant really do so (stay grounded).

Now after u try this stupid suggestion , do it with a fluid loose motion now , you will find your naturally lifting off.

Bungalo Bill
10-17-2005, 07:43 AM
Dear all,

thank you very much for the advice and replies. I will keep my continental grip and work on my wrist position instead. Another question I have is--should jumping on serves come naturally or is it something I should force myself to do?

I am only 5 and a half feet tall, and sometimes when serving the spin i wish I was taller. When watching pros serve, it seems that they jump and apply more spin and more power. To me, I think that the height allows them to concentrate on both spinning motion AND the motion bringing the ball down into the service box.

So, should I try to jump? Or will it come naturally to me one day when i swing so hard my body naturally shoots off the ground?

Well you don't want to jump in your serve. Pushing off from the releasing pressure against your feet/toes when your hitting arm is being "thrown" up to the ball is more of the feel you want for lift off.

paulfreda
10-17-2005, 06:30 PM
One thing not mentioned that helps learning to get comfortable with the EBH grip for a serve is to toss the ball behind your head in the direction of the back fence. This makes it easier on your arm and wrist to get those first few topspin hits that feel good. You need a loose arm and wrist and must swing straight up toward the sky (learning to hit it flat comes later). Then you can start moving the toss even with your head and then in front a little bit hitting it more flat as your arm gets used to it.
Also once the toss is even with your head you can move the ball behind your head in the direction of the add court alley (for righthanders). This makes for good topspin kick action serves.

ShooterMcMarco
10-17-2005, 10:33 PM
i use an in between grip for my kickserve and had excellent results. the grip i use is between an eastern bh and continental. just experiment with it. for me, i didnt start seeing my serve actually kick until i let the ball drop a little more than usual and was able to brush up against it easier. thats just what works for me.

Alafter
10-18-2005, 12:21 AM
Ok the questions go on.

Now i am beginning to think I am not doing something right with my serve. While I am getting spin, somehow it's not as effective as I think it should be. out of the many spin serves I do, beautiful ones come out like one out of every 20 shots or so.

Normal ones from my point of view...The ball goes downward from leaving the racquet face, clear the net by about a 1-2 feet and land usually in the mid range of the service box.

Beautiful one...the ball strangely flies kind of straight, clear the net by about 3-4 feet, and make an arc downward.

I still cant grasp how I pull those ones off.

The way I do my spin serve: turn sideways, toss ball over my head, arch body, wait till it comes down and then brush mostly upward. Result:....not as much kick as i envisioned.

Any suspision on what I am doing wrong???!?!

ShooterMcMarco
10-18-2005, 12:48 AM
consistency with your swing path and toss

MackSamuelHustovisics
10-18-2005, 09:20 PM
One thing not mentioned that helps learning to get comfortable with the EBH grip for a serve is to toss the ball behind your head in the direction of the back fence. This makes it easier on your arm and wrist to get those first few topspin hits that feel good. You need a loose arm and wrist and must swing straight up toward the sky (learning to hit it flat comes later). Then you can start moving the toss even with your head and then in front a little bit hitting it more flat as your arm gets used to it.
Also once the toss is even with your head you can move the ball behind your head in the direction of the add court alley (for righthanders). This makes for good topspin kick action serves.

Simply put............excellent advice! Everything stated sums up detailed important aspects. K.I.S.smart is what I would say. I think it's important to have a clear mind. You don't want to be consciously thinking about 70 things all at once when ur trying to execute things. Paul's suggestion could be broken down into a complex mechanical list of steps, causing one to over-think, yet just by remembering/following his advice you leave more room in your head so you can better relax and keep loose.

MackSamuelHustovisics
10-19-2005, 11:56 AM
Ok the questions go on.

Now i am beginning to think I am not doing something right with my serve. While I am getting spin, somehow it's not as effective as I think it should be. out of the many spin serves I do, beautiful ones come out like one out of every 20 shots or so.

Normal ones from my point of view...The ball goes downward from leaving the racquet face, clear the net by about a 1-2 feet and land usually in the mid range of the service box.

Beautiful one...the ball strangely flies kind of straight, clear the net by about 3-4 feet, and make an arc downward.

I still cant grasp how I pull those ones off.

The way I do my spin serve: turn sideways, toss ball over my head, arch body, wait till it comes down and then brush mostly upward. Result:....not as much kick as i envisioned.

Any suspision on what I am doing wrong???!?!

Those topspin serves that are mysteriously automatically executed beautifully are confidence builders. Yeah, once it's programmed in you, it's a great feeling. I occasionally have observers wondering how I am able to get the ball in the box. To them, at first it sort-of looks like the ball should've sailed long but then it breaks down inside. Sharp breaking slices down the T gets a lot of people scratching their heads too. The ball looks like it's heading outside the box towards the other court then it turns inward. Spin serves definitely have their own feel, which are good indicators you can use for feedback to monitor the consistancy of those different types of serves.

Alafter
10-19-2005, 08:33 PM
Those topspin serves that are mysteriously automatically executed beautifully are confidence builders. Yeah, once it's programmed in you, it's a great feeling. I occasionally have observers wondering how I am able to get the ball in the box. To them, at first it sort-of looks like the ball should've sailed long but then it breaks down inside. Sharp breaking slices down the T gets a lot of people scratching their heads too. The ball looks like it's heading outside the box towards the other court then it turns inward. Spin serves definitely have their own feel, which are good indicators you can use for feedback to monitor the consistancy of those different types of serves.

YESYEYSYEYSYEYESSYESS That's EXACTLY what I want! I have seen that ball described fly off my racquet as well but just cant seem to capture that feeling of how i pulled it off!!!!!! It looks like it's flying STRAIGHT, but it curves down at the end!
90% of my ball spins but dont achieve that effect :/

MackSamuelHustovisics
10-19-2005, 11:02 PM
YESYEYSYEYSYEYESSYESS That's EXACTLY what I want! I have seen that ball described fly off my racquet as well but just cant seem to capture that feeling of how i pulled it off!!!!!! It looks like it's flying STRAIGHT, but it curves down at the end!
90% of my ball spins but dont achieve that effect :/

That's good because one of the things you're aiming for is something you pulled off before. Now this pertains to what I mentioned previously about the unque feel from serves being good indicators. "Practice doesn't make perfect, it opens up the horizons for discovery."

eggnog
10-23-2005, 08:50 PM
What about use of the "hammer grip" which is a variation of the continental grip. As an intermediate player if I want to hit a good kicker I use this grip as I am not skilled enough to hit a good kicker with a regular continental . I mean it will kick but not very high or fast.

Bungalo Bill
10-24-2005, 08:29 AM
If you want to hit serves with the EBH grip. You need to get used to cocking your hand up towards you. Preferably the thumb side of the hand needs to be cocked up.

I hit serves with a EBH with base knuckle of the index finger on the top bevel like this. It is more common than one would think.