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View Full Version : Grip selection has a lot to do with the player's height


Ripper
05-16-2006, 07:28 AM
It's clear that the semiwestern grip is the favourite forehand grip between TW forum posters, but it would be interesting to look more deeply into the reasons behind this favouritism. I mean, for example, it's not the same to be 6 feet tall and try to use a western grip than to be 5.5 feet tall and try to use a western grip; I stress, IT'S NOT THE SAME. Have you noticed the amount of new players on the WTA using western grips? A considerable amount, imo. Is this related to the average height of a woman pro? Imo, it is. Also, have you noticed that it's easier for young, not fully grown, players to use western grips? My point is, when people here ask for opinions regarding their grip selection, instead of just pointing out their style and gear, they have to say their height. Same for people saying that, in their opinion, grip "x" or "y" is better, because of this or that; please, include your height! Maybe, for some, this is not such a determining factor, but what nobody can't deny is that it's an important factor to be considered.

donnyz89
05-16-2006, 01:06 PM
Im very short... 5'3ish and I use a semiwestern. I think it is easier for taller players to use eastern because its hard to hit eastern when the ball is at your shoulder most of the time.

but I dont htink its a big deal... if the foundation is good, any grip will work.

katastrof
05-16-2006, 09:23 PM
I concur. I m 6 feet tall & eastern always felt more natural. I recently tried to switch to SW with some pain but eventual success. I think I will settle for something in between.

Btw, isn't there anyone that can use all grips during a game, depending on the shots they want? Or do most stick to one grip throught their game/recreational life/career?

joe sch
05-16-2006, 09:52 PM
Very good point!
Players more comfortable hitting higher balls will naturally be more comfortable with western grips and ofcourse the players height works into this comfort level.
Players that are comfortable hitting balls off the rise can more effectively hit with an eastern grip and in this scenario, the players height will not be as much of a factor.

Bungalo Bill
05-16-2006, 10:23 PM
I concur. I m 6 feet tall & eastern always felt more natural. I recently tried to switch to SW with some pain but eventual success. I think I will settle for something in between.

Btw, isn't there anyone that can use all grips during a game, depending on the shots they want? Or do most stick to one grip throught their game/recreational life/career?

I was hitting with a strong SW today and was loving it. Took a little time to get consistent with it, but finally figured my measuring points to ensure the strings met the ball in an upward path (contact point was adjusted).

The power in the SW and the Western comes from using less windshield and more Nike swoosh. Man can you kill it.

ShooterMcMarco
05-16-2006, 11:36 PM
I'm 5'5" and use a strong eastern, works fine for me.

katastrof
05-17-2006, 02:01 AM
I wa hitting with a strong SW today and was loving it. Took a little time to get consistent with it, but finally figured my measuring points to ensure the string met the ball in an upward path.

The power in the SW and the Western comes from using less windshield and more Nike swoosh. Man can you kill it.
I love this Nike Swoosh thing. I was having a really bad hitting session about 10 days ago with the SW. Then, the forum flashes before my eyes: Nike Swoosh, the butt cap, double bend... loose wrist, shoulder pull & I hit the best forehands of my life one after the other. Still working on proper timing, hitting through the ball more, but the improvement was amazing.

Thanks to everyone who contributes to the forum. I'll buy everybody a round of drinks when I walk off the court having laid down my serve :) That shouldn't be far off now.

brucie
05-17-2006, 01:05 PM
But if you start young when your short youl probly use semi western for like and as strength increases may progress to full western!

SFrazeur
05-17-2006, 01:12 PM
I'm 5'9 play with semiwestern, if its a short ball eastern.

Teaching young childern, or new players; continental.

Teaching older childern, mid level player; eastern.

Teaching good players semiwestern.


CLARIFICATION:This is what I use while teaching, not what I teach.

TennisAsAlways
05-17-2006, 01:13 PM
I The power in the SW and the Western comes from using less windshield and more Nike swoosh. Man can you kill it. love this Nike Swoosh thing. I was having a really bad hitting session about 10 days ago with the SW. Then, the forum flashes before my eyes: Nike Swoosh, the butt cap, double bend... loose wrist, shoulder pull & I hit the best forehands of my life one after the other. Still working on proper timing, hitting through the ball more, but the improvement was amazing.

Thanks to everyone who contributes to the forum. I'll buy everybody a round of drinks when I walk off the court having laid down my serve :) That shouldn't be far off now.Haha. I can imagine the tennis newbies reading this and are like: "Huh? What the ....? Nike-swooshing? .... Windshield-wiping?"

Good day now. 8)

Bungalo Bill
05-17-2006, 03:19 PM
5'9 play with semiwestern, if its a short ball eastern.

Teaching young childern, or new players; continental.

Teaching older childern, mid level player; eastern.

Teaching good players semiwestern.


There is no chance in hell, I would teach "newbies" or children the continental as their grip. I started my kids right away in a SW grip and have had no problems. You have to teach the right swing path and let them wrestle with the grip a little. Communicate to them that the feel will come and keep feeding slow balls for them to make the adjustments.

Waiting to teach a good player a semi-western is the biggest joke on the planet.

str33t
05-17-2006, 03:31 PM
14 years old

5'9"

semi-western

to me, western grip is harder than semi-western

Kevo
05-17-2006, 04:00 PM
I switch my grip around on my forehand side during practice every now and then just to get a feel for which grips I want to use for certain situations. I've found that hitting a few strokes flat with a continental or eastern and then switching to the massive jump over your shoulder spin of a full western almost always results in a won point. At my level, there are very few people that vary their shot and this is really successful tactic.

Steven87
05-17-2006, 04:18 PM
I use a classic eastern for most my shots, but I tend to use semi-western for "safety-high-topspin" esque shots

Im 14, and 5'5". I use the Wilson nCode nSix-One 95 with white wilson pro overgrip.

Juggurnaut
05-17-2006, 04:43 PM
Im very short... 5'3ish and I use a semiwestern. I think it is easier for taller players to use eastern because its hard to hit eastern when the ball is at your shoulder most of the time.

but I dont htink its a big deal... if the foundation is good, any grip will work.

Sorry, this is a bit off topic, but I noticed you and my team's varsity #1 are almost identical. Our guy is around 5'3 (he's Philippino), uses a Prince Diablo, and, like aforementioned, is our Varsity #1 singles player. Would you happen to be a lefty?

And about the height, i'm 6 feet, and a semi-western grip feels perfect to me.

SFrazeur
05-17-2006, 07:27 PM
There is no chance in hell, I would teach "newbies" or children the continental as their grip. I started my kids right away in a SW grip and have had no problems. You have to teach the right swing path and let them wrestle with the grip a little. Communicate to them that the feel will come and keep feeding slow balls for them to make the adjustments.

Waiting to teach a good player a semi-western is the biggest joke on the planet.

NO, no, no! That is what I use!, while I teach. Teach a kid to hit continental no way in hell!

As I wrote teaching, not teach.

Rickson
05-17-2006, 08:17 PM
Grip selection has a lot to do with the player's height

No it doesn't.

SFrazeur
05-17-2006, 08:21 PM
No it doesn't.

To be as brief as you: Yes it does.

ShooterMcMarco
05-17-2006, 10:07 PM
No it doesn't.

cosigned.

SFrazeur
05-17-2006, 10:42 PM
cosigned.

It isn't that hight has everthing to do with the grip; but it has a lot.

Rickson
05-17-2006, 11:07 PM
It isn't that hight has everthing to do with the grip; but it has a lot.
Aside from that beach dude's video, I haven't seen any little kids using a western grip. I've seen more short adults using eastern than western and I've seen a few tall players using the western. It has more to do with preference than height. BTW, I use a sw and I'm only 5'6 1/2. According to your logic, I should be using a full western.

SFrazeur
05-17-2006, 11:14 PM
Aside from that beach dude's video, I haven't seen any little kids using a western grip. I've seen more short adults using eastern than western and I've seen a few tall players using the western. It has more to do with preference than height. BTW, I use a sw and I'm only 5'6 1/2. According to your logic, I should be using a full western.

My logic? When did i propose a thesis? I just agreed that height has a lot to

do with grip choice.

Bungalo Bill
05-18-2006, 09:16 AM
NO, no, no! That is what I use!, while I teach. Teach a kid to hit continental no way in hell!

As I wrote teaching, not teach.

Got it. Thanks for clarifying, you scared me for a moment but now I see it was my error in not reading more carefully. :)

kevhen
05-18-2006, 09:40 AM
Height and grip choice may be correlated but anybody should be able to use any grip. Tall guys might struggle to hit low balls with a western grip. Shorter guys might use a more extreme serving grip to add more spin to help clear the net. But anyone with enough practice should be able to learn and use any grip.

treo
05-18-2006, 09:55 AM
Height/grip matters both on your body height and shot height relative to where you are contacting the ball. When returning a high topspin shot go more western and a low slice, more eastern.

Bungalo Bill
05-18-2006, 10:02 AM
But anyone with enough practice should be able to learn and use any grip.


Hmmmm...don't think I agree with you here. I have never used a Western grip and never plan on doing so. Based on your statement, you are saying that I should. Hardly think so...:rolleyes:

Have you learned to hit a continental with your first serve yet? Have you finally switched from using your EASTERN FOREHAND grip for your BACKHAND VOLLEY?

If you did switch, should I now learn to hit a backhand volley with an Eastern forehand grip? Duh, no? ;)

SFrazeur
05-18-2006, 10:35 AM
There is no chance in hell, I would teach "newbies" or children the continental as their grip. I started my kids right away in a SW grip and have had no problems. You have to teach the right swing path and let them wrestle with the grip a little. Communicate to them that the feel will come and keep feeding slow balls for them to make the adjustments.

Waiting to teach a good player a semi-western is the biggest joke on the planet.

I have to admit that when I first read your post I got upset; thinking that

someone thought I would teach that way. That is my real last name and my

reputation is important to me.

Bungalo Bill
05-18-2006, 12:43 PM
I have to admit that when I first read your post I got upset; thinking that

someone thought I would teach that way. That is my real last name and my

reputation is important to me.

Ahhh, being upset at me is okay with me. I have been called so many names it makes me it hard for me to remember what my real nickname is. lol

Many people get upset with me. It is water off a duck's back and I usually enjoy the sword fight that comes from it.

If you do get mad at me, you won't be the first. I figure it comes with the turf. :)

Ripper
05-18-2006, 12:59 PM
I have to admit that when I first read your post I got upset; thinking that

someone thought I would teach that way. That is my real last name and my

reputation is important to me.

Mr. Frazeur, imo, it was more your fault than B. Bill's, becuase of the way you wrote it. I understood it the same way as he did and I re-read it several times, because I couldn't believe it. Hey, but it's clarified, now. So, don't worry about that.

Ripper
05-18-2006, 01:11 PM
Aside from that beach dude's video, I haven't seen any little kids using a western grip. I've seen more short adults using eastern than western and I've seen a few tall players using the western. It has more to do with preference than height. BTW, I use a sw and I'm only 5'6 1/2. According to your logic, I should be using a full western.

Average Joe kind of people, regardless of their height, are rarely going to use western grips, simply because it feels (at the beginning) and looks so awkward (most people's eyes go wide open when they see you hold a raquet like that). I was refering to people (kids, teenagers, young adults, etc.) in the competitive side of tennis. Western grips are very popular among the newer players. Look, I'm more or less your height and I use a semiwestern, too, ok? However, I've experimented quite a bit with a western and I know I could use it as my main grip. Some things, I would be better at; others, not as much.

Edit: The thing is I have the option and what ****es me is when someone tells me that changing to a western grip would be bad for me.

kevhen
05-18-2006, 02:22 PM
Hmmmm...don't think I agree with you here. I have never used a Western grip and never plan on doing so. Based on your statement, you are saying that I should. Hardly think so...:rolleyes:

Have you learned to hit a continental with your first serve yet?

I never said that you should use a western grip, plus you are tall so you shouldn't need to. Just that anyone can learn any grip if they work at it.

Yes I am hitting some first serves with continental (30%), most with eastern backhand (60%) and now the minority are eastern forehand (10%) that a couple years ago was the only grip I used. I use the eastern forehand more when serving indoors on fast courts during singles and use continental more in the wind, on slow courts, and when playing doubles. But I am using eastern backhand most both for slice and topspin serves. I used the continental for some flat into the wind and for some slice.

I am still hitting backhand vollies with an eastern forehand (I often use two hander for vollies), but am drilling with a great volleyer now and will be using continental, racquet head up, stepping forward with my right foot, bend knees, short punchy swing, etc. I just need a lot of repetition with a good instructor to point out my inconsistencies and get the right feel for it. This guy played for Kalamazoo U. I didn't start playing until after college and have never paid for instruction.

SFrazeur
05-18-2006, 03:52 PM
Ahhh, being upset at me is okay with me. I have been called so many names it makes me it hard for me to remember what my real nickname is. lol

Many people get upset with me. It is water off a duck's back and I usually enjoy the sword fight that comes from it.

If you do get mad at me, you won't be the first. I figure it comes with the turf. :)

I was not upset with you, just upset that it would be thought that I would teach that way. You are a blunt man; I like that.

jackson vile
05-18-2006, 03:59 PM
6'3" SW-full

Especially full when playing agian people that can kick the ball with the forhand, but really I like to take these on the rise and that might be why as well.