Change of grip for serving hurting my hand???

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by spadesss, May 15, 2007.

  1. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    I had played tennis for years and served with Eastern Grip. ( I know, its bad but I had no formal instructor)

    I kicked off this year doing things right by using Continential Grip.

    I felt a bit weird at first but warm up to the new grip. I played only weekends and after the 2nd week, my hand gets sore when I grip the racket and other stuff like steerling wheel.
    I am loving this new grip but I have a feeling that my hand isn't loving it so much as I think the change in grip is causing my right hand to tense up and started to hurt to the point that I can't even twist open a gatorade cap. I had rule out other things such as new rackets and all.

    Does anyone felt this behavior change in their hand after going to Eastern grip to Continential?
     
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  2. cam2

    cam2 Rookie

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    No, not really. You probably should be a little sore if your serving a lot with the new grip but what your talking about is much more serious than that.

    It could be something in your technique that is causing this, maybe video tape yourself and analyze it... If you post the video here I'll tell you if I see anything.
     
    #2
  3. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    if you serve with your eastern grip only does it not hurt?

    it sounds more serious then change of technique niggles
     
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  4. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i used to play for HOURS and HOURS.
    no pain, just a bit of soreness.
    never had i been put out of action before with soreness.

    does not hurt at all, not even soreness when using eastern grip to serve.

    in 10+ years, this is the 1st time i encountered this problem with my hand/palm area,

    i played less and less after high school.
    didn't play much in college.
    barely touched my racket in the 6-7 years when i am working (now about 30 yrs old).
    i played doubles mostly on weekends all last year.

    i started out playing singles this year. i think about 2 week ins, i felt this.
    maybe i started out too strong and played too much that my body (hand) couldn't take it?
     
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  5. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i already when to the chiropractor and nothing was loose or out.
     
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  6. sapient007

    sapient007 Semi-Pro

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    is it the palm area close to the thumb??

    if so, i had/have the same issue when i switched from eastern to cont. the issue i believe is during service contact, with a cont grip, you have to pronate the wrist such that the thumb is the only thing stopping the racquet from flying out. during an eastern grip serve, all 4 of your fingers are doing the same task above in a hammer motion so there's more support there.

    anyhow, never got to the level of pain you are describing but i just took it easy. no need to run out and serve bombs all day.
     
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  7. dunloplayah

    dunloplayah Rookie

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    I'm having this problem as I ramp up my game. I too started serving with an eastern, it just felt right and I have been fairly successful with it but no power. No pain when I do it either but when I switch to the continental grip for serving, not only does it hurt the right side of my wrist, i can't seem to get much of anything on the serve at all. I'm continuing with eastern for now and going to a tennis camp next week. i hope to ask how there and they will be video taping. I have a feeling that someone above is right and it's more of a form issue with this grip. We're going to have to change more than just a grip in our service, but the whole service stroke!
     
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  8. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    My guess would be that due to a "grip change" and doubts that generally accompany any grip change you are simply holding on too tight and/or forcing pronation with the slightly different angle at which you now must attack the ball on.

    Be more aware of the muscle tension througout your body during the set-up and entire motion to the follow through. Loose grip, loose wrist, loose arm and shoulder equals speed. Think speed as opposed to "hitting hard". Let it go, don't muscle or force it. Tension in your facial and neck muscles can set the stage for unwanted tension in your grip, arm, shoulder and other body parts. Use Sampras as your model. That "hang-dog" facial expression in his service set-up was aimed at attaining the optimal relaxation in his motion.

    Relax...tension is your enemy, particularly on the serve.

    Good luck,

    5
     
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  9. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    its the big thumb, the palm section directly underneath the thumb, and the index finger. i guessed this forms a V shape or triangle.
    i would say that these 3 parts on the right hand hurt the most.

    serve is my weakness when i used eastern. now i am able to serve WITH power that i couldn't do before ( i just spin it in) with eastern.

    trust me, I am not trying to bomb my way when i serve (great if i can). i try to set my game up on my ground game. holding serve would be a great help and make my life easier. i just don't want to keep on double faulting.

    i believed i have a huge chance of jumping from 3.0 to a solid 4.0 if i have a decent serve that i can hold.
     
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  10. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    same service motion and form, just different grip for me.
    maybe i need to change techinique as well.
     
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  11. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    FiveO. Thanks for the reminder of being "loose" on serve. this is the area that i am making my #1 priority this year. its very discouraging when i can't hold serve due to a high volume of double faults. now that i think about it, it maybe that i am griping it too tight.
     
    #11
  12. ps60

    ps60 Professional

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    i've never heard of that. but i think since it is only palm problem, it will heal if u stop doing that for a while. Just take some rest.

    I changed to continental from Eastern at serve. I don't see any advantage indeed. I used to serve with more power and more accurate. Now it is just soft and some spin. Not really worth it, esp if it brings u some problem.
     
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  13. sapient007

    sapient007 Semi-Pro

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    IMO, there's no way to take away that pressure during contact for the thumb, but over time your body should adjust and get "used to" it.

    if you swing your racquet, you'll notice during contact, your thumb is on the bottom doing the support work. what's physically happening is that the power of your body moving forward is getting transferred on to the ball. this puts tremendous pressure on the contact point of your racquet and your body, thumb in this instance.

    i think this is a good visual of contact with the ball as weight and your stick as a lever. you'll notice that your thumb is the little wedge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever
     
    #13
  14. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i have a 3.0 game. strength based on my ground game. inconsistent serve and no net game. i have no problem out hitting or force errors out of my opponent. but if i want to get better, i think the only way is to learn how to serve "properly" with good technique.

    i hope some rest will heal my pain. of course if its a long term problem, i may go back using eastern to serve. (or seek professioanl help on my serve).
     
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  15. sapient007

    sapient007 Semi-Pro

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    oh on a side note, you can always not pronate your wrist as much but it'll result in a more slice serve with a cont grip.
     
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  16. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    forecast is rain for the weekend.
    might be a good thing as i can rest up a bit.
    hopefully, this will heal and i go take it easy with my serve and enhance my game. i will be very happy when i do only 2 double faults per SET as opposed to per service game.

    so players pray for a decent backhand, i pray for a decent serve!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
    #16
  17. 103xStateChamp

    103xStateChamp Rookie

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    Yea that happend to me when I started using a SW when I was younger.
     
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  18. ps60

    ps60 Professional

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    although some advanced tennis bks say if u would like to become an advanced player, u 'd need to serve with continental, i didn't really see the necessity. i served more consistently when i used Eastern. Now it 's hard to go back, once i got used to the continental but don't see any significant advantage.
    :confused:

    i guess the body movement, from preparation, the relaxed body, to jump and swing up... are more important than the grip here.
     
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  19. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i never learned to serve consistenly or effectively with eastern so this is not bad time for me to learn the continental way. if my darn hand didn't hurt, i would said that my game jumped from 3 to 3.5 already!
     
    #19
  20. bluestreak711

    bluestreak711 Rookie

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    spadesss let me first say talk to your family doctor about that tell doctor the situation and that the continental is the most common grip for serve and that is why you switched

    try to talk to a pro as well if you can


    now for some good advice

    there is a grip between continental and eastern it is called the austrailian grip maybe you should try that grip first

    with that grip you should still get spin but not as much and the impact might not hurt your wrist as bad

    i know you said it was in your hand but it might be a nerve in your wrist causing your hand to hurt


    so first go back to your eastern serve serve a few times
    then don't go for much pace,just to get it in and every so often move closer to the continental grip if your hand starts to hurt move closer back to eastern

    if your hand is not huting now try to stregnthen your wrist get a weight be your own judge to the weight for this exercise

    sit down,rest your forearm on your leg and lift a weight only with your wrist



    ifyou still have pain most likely you should take a long break from tennis til the pain goes away and then try the lifting and then slowlytrying to move to continental

    WARNING:make sure all your pain is gone before tryng what i described

    so basically just take it slow,take it easy and get some rest

    if you want to play badly enough before you recover you can always switch hands over like i did if you do you can start new like you were just learning tennis and start with the continental grip

    if nothing else just try to serve it a couple times with your opposite hand and start with the continental grip and see if you experiencing the pain and come up with some theorys there
     
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  21. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    bluestreak711...
    thanks for the advices.
    let me tell you. i had my share of "injuries". some of it contributed from scoliosis and some due to me being silly, crazy me for not getting in shape or playing too hard.
    i played less and less each year after high school (now approaching 30). i actually found a group of people to play last year so i was looking forward to playing decent tennis and being serious about it. as far as taking time off, trust me, i done enough sitting around from twisting ankles, wearing out my shoulder, bad wrist injury, injuring my big toes...list goes on.
    funny thing is that i was telling myself that i have to do good this year as i am expecting to be a dad in a few months. i will have all the time to heal after the kid is born and then probably have less time to play as i need to babysit. i am not rushing now but i do feel a bit pushed to do well and do well now.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
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  22. bluestreak711

    bluestreak711 Rookie

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    i know how the injuries are i havent had but one bad one and still do

    it started out with a slight tennis strain and after seeing the doctor and getting a splint it seemed to get worse
    now at different times all parts of my playing arm hurts

    it may be one but it seems to be a stubborn one

    then i tried playing with my other arm and with not much experience with 2 handed BHs nalmost hurt it from overuse

    well playing with either hand is no big deal for me until i have to worry about flat or top spin shots on my one handed back hand

    not only that i am still hurt and going to a tennis clinic over the summer that starts 6-11-07

    and my next doctor appointment is may 30th so that doesnt give me much time at all

    and good luck with that serve
     
    #22
  23. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    See my replies...

    ...in the other thread on this subject. I really, really need to see video of your serve to be able to give you an idea of what's going on. Go rent or borrow one...or if you're any where near Colorado, come hit with me and will fix everything in no time!

    There is one other possibility, which is the grip on your racket itself, and there's a number of things to think about:

    - If your grip isn't tacky enough, such that the racket is slipping in your hands, then you're probably gripping the racket too tightly, and, as several of us have pointed out, that's probably the cause of the pain in your hand. You don't need to actually change out your grip, just put on a decent, thin overgrip (I like Wilson Pro overgrips).

    - The kind of grip you have might be a problem. I basically like perforated grips, and do not like grips with a raised bulge in the center...that kind of grip usually causes me all kinds of blisters and hand problems.

    - The shape of the grip is a very personal thing. I use Head rackets and basically like the Head grip shape, which is way different than, say a Wilson grip. Other people hate the Head grip shape; works fine for me. You need to figure out what grip shape works best for you. Go to www.vantagetennis.com and take a look at their configurator...you'll be able to see the variety of grip shapes out there.

    - The size of the grip is also critical. My coach had me downsize from a 4 5/8, which I've used since I was a kid, all the way to 4 3/8, because he felt that a smaller grip would sit in my hand easier and allow me to manipulate the racket better. There is a theory that too small a grip is like trying to grip a pencil, and you'll tense up your muscles uneccesarily. The also is true of too large a grip, and, in general, the trend is downward in grip size, and a lot of players would benefit from it.

    - Lastly, what are you using for a racket? Let's leave head size out of the discussion for a minute. In general, a heavier racket has more mass, and delivers more power...but may be harder to swing, and may cause you to grip the racket too tightly, or may apply excessive force to your hand/arm. As with grips, a super light racket can also be a problem...you basically have a fly swatter in your hand, so you may grip it too tightly and swing it so fast that it causes problems.

    - Last but not least, there's strings. I am currently using a blended string...but if I ever start having hand/arm problems, I'm going to throw in some 17 guage top end synthetic gut, because I think that kind of stuff is the easiest on the old bod....

    ....just some more thoughts.
     
    #23
  24. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i live near Boston, MA. so no can do on going to Colorado.
    none of my friends are high tech enough to own the latest camcorder. but i might get one myself soon but not for tennis! (1st kid coming soon in Sept)

    i normally buy rackets with grip size 3/8 and add 1 overgrip (Prince Duratred). making it about 1/2.
    i am now using a wilson ncode surge already 1/2" as i did not add overgrip.
    this comes with Grip Type: Micro-Dry Max
    i do missed the grip and feel of the Prince Duratred but feel like if i add this one, it would be too big for me so i left it alone and used the grip that was on the racket.

    as for strings, i am using the plain wilson synthetic gut 16g. cheap stuff.
    i have two of these so i rotate in playing them so the tension would be the same.
     
    #24
  25. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like your gear is just fine...

    ...I was using a Surge before I went back to Head, and the Surge is a great racket. Boston, huh? I'm actually from the East coast originally, and go back to the Cape every summer...who knows, maybe we can hook up. Good luck, and keep us posted...
     
    #25
  26. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    2 winters ago, i over use my right arm from serving. i figuered it was the last time i played outdoor before the winter hit. so i played and played. singles and then doubles. did a lot of serving.....big mistake. sore arm/shoulder.
    and then went bowling. i think bowling was the straw that broke my arm. well, its didn't break but i had trouble lifting my arm for a good 6 months. went to the chiroprator and all. so last year, i played exclusively doubles to give my arm more time to heal. this year, i was hoping to avoid the injury bug.
     
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  27. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i used agassi's old radical 260 OS racket in high school. after hs, i played very little. then maybe 4 years ago, i bought a beginners racket as the old agassi racket was too heavy for me. i finally gave up on the stupid begineers racket and got the surge. this was one decision that i made right.
     
    #27
  28. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i didn't played singles but played doubles.
    we splited sets.

    I didn't hold serve once in 2 sets!!!!
    :sad:

    i am in deep trouble if this goes any further.
     
    #28
  29. gocard

    gocard Semi-Pro

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    Maybe once you rest your wrist more you can try the grip bluestreak711 suggests -- I was never taught the proper way to serve with the continental grip and since I'm not used to it, it feels unnatural to me (I'm still trying to work on this).

    However I found that if I hold it such that my knuckle right next to the continental bevel but still on the eastern part (I didn't know it's called an australian grip!), it really works well for my serve. I hope your hand gets better soon!
     
    #29
  30. spadesss

    spadesss Semi-Pro

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    i am willing to try anything when the hand heals. it was not like the eastern grip was working for me anyway. i have nothing to lose except frustration.
     
    #30
  31. tenli

    tenli New User

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    I am having the exact same problem. Anybody pls help.
     
    #31
  32. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

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    cus the follow through and set up will b slightly different. Maybe turn it a little by little like..eastern to semi-eastern/continental then all the way to full continental this way the change can b more subtle. thats how i learn mine cus i used to serve with a weird eastern grip until i was like 10 then start to switch to semi conti for a while then fully conti which been workin great.
     
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  33. bluestreak711

    bluestreak711 Rookie

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    I was feeling better a few days ago and I though I would squeeze a stress ball to stregnthen my wrists a bit and now I am in so much pain it is not funny.

    After much reading on the net I am pretty sure when I twisted my wrists I probably torn something somewhere and the human body own it's own does not have the tools it needs to repair those tendons %100.

    I have not stepped on a tennis court since July 2008 and it is December 2008 now.

    When the tendonitus leaves my wrist I get slight pains from it being unstable and if I try to strengthen it ,tendonitus flares up again and all that pain and inflamation comes back.

    So at best when it heals as far it is going to get I can't put much pressure on my wrists ,strengthen them ,swing a tennis racquet. I can throw a football at best and I am not always interested in that.

    I am supposed to see a hand specialist whenever they call.As slow as they are it is hard telling.


    I can however can volunteer and supervise the tennis clinic for the younger children and I am able to spot bad techniques that lead to such injury as this quite easily.
     
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  34. bluestreak711

    bluestreak711 Rookie

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    If you are still hurt you need to stop playing tennis completely until that heals %100

    It is not worth risk getting an injury that you will carry with you the rest of your life,trust me I know and I am only 17 and I got hurt at 15.

    And if you are thinking about getting a free ride into collage with a sholarship let me say.

    Reconsider.
    Dont do it if you are injured or are proned to injury.It is not worth it.

    I have a friend that got hurt a bit ,also something to do with her arm and it is about to heal but it hurts if she plays too much.She could easily get a free ride but decided not to because she took her health as a priority over tennis.


    My problem happened when I didn't take the correct recovery steps during the healing phase.
    When it first happened they sent me to physical therepy one time and did not give me stretching exercises nor supervise my recovery so I could have full flexibility when it healed.

    If you don't take the proper steps it heals back stiff and can easily be reinjured and that is what happened.I believe that the physical theripysts did not do their job as they should.It was a small injury but they did not take it serious enough.

    What ever the case may be let give everyone a piece of advice from experience if you get a small injury of the least bit either common tenditus or a mild strain or the least thing, make sure you get seen by a physical therepysts even if you have to stay on their toes about it.

    You don't always know what needs to be done,how much stretching to do or know you're progress and cannot tell if you are getting better or worse.

    All they did was give me a brace and they sent me home and told me not to use it for a while and when came time to schedule the 2nd appointment they said it was not neccesary.(I say that was bull malarky.)
     
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