continental grip fore hand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Wilsonbro11, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Wilsonbro11

    Wilsonbro11 New User

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    I just started using the continental grip does anyone have any tips on it such as getting the ball to a certain spot or getting more power on it?
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Which spot do you need to go to?
    I won a big draw C tourney using a conti forehand and 2hbh backhand.
    Turn your shoulders more than closed, back almost facing the incoming ball. Use a full, early takeback and don't try to hit topspin on balls higher than chest high.
    Late contact point, just behind your other shoulder.
    How much power? Laver and Rosewall used conti forehand grips.
     
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  3. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    For forehand slice? Sure.
    For serving? Sure.
    For volleying? Sure.

    Do NOT use Continental grip for a forehand topspin shot! It has a severe handicap for topspin forehands. Why make it hard on yourself? I use Eastern but a semi-Western is what I believe the most versitile for topspin forehand.
     
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  4. lpth

    lpth New User

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    With a continental grip you would use the forehand slice technique which produces a flat or underspin shot.

    For more power you could try the grip right next to the continental, the eastern.

    For placement if you hit a forehand slice sideways you simply align your body to where you want the ball to go.
     
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  5. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    Continental grip can be used for topspin...if you're reallly good. Check out any Ilie Nastase video. He did it with the wood, 65 sq. in. head Dunlop Maxply Forte, no less.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    One of the best conti forehands ever was hit by AdrianoPanatta, who could absolutley CRUSH his topspin forehands using a conti grip.
    More than closed shoulders, closed stance, late contact point.
     
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  7. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Why are you using a conti forehand? Just curious.


    What's your assessment of the Edberg fh groundstroke?
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    To me, Edberg uses a weak eastern for his forehands. OK for a net player's game, not ideal to pound from the baseline against consistent players.
    In my case, I often use a conti everystroke grip when I play right handed. I play right handed maybe 3 days a year, so the normal strong SW can get flyers and groundballs on consecutive attempts. Conti gives me the controllable low slice, lob, and drop angles needed for doubles. Pace is lacking, but sufficient for 3.5 level play.
     
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  9. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, basically agree. Eg., I go from something sort of close to Continental to something just slightly past Eastern on forehands ... from undercutting to more or less flat to coming over the ball. Not really much of an adjustment. Pretty slight, and it seems to happen automatically ... at least I don't think about it when I'm playing. Hmmm, maybe I should? :)
     
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  10. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I'm impressed that you can play righthanded. I've dabbled with playing lefthanded, but I think it would take LOTS of practice to get anywhere near proficient at it.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If I had any kind of second serve, my rightie would approach my lefty in doubles. First flat serves close to lefty, volleys much better, vision much better, overheads close, but that elusive second serve placement is killing the rightie game.
    Most lefties are somewhat ambidextrious, and I've had multiple shoulder injuries from motocross crashes.
    I can slice wide rightie, and twist off to the right, but that's it, period.
     
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  12. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    I use the right handed continental grip for all my serves , volleys and return of serve to really fast pace flattish serves
    If the serve is slow then I go to my baseline type grip which is more semi western
    I tend to take my right handed grip feeling like my hand is resting on top of the grip so as not to feel gravity of the racket until the precise moment for my western type grip
    For the running forehand it more difficult to use the western forehand so you see my trying with an eastern forehand when I'm sideways to the net
    I like to separate my continental grips into hegu and hypothenar subtypes as those are the pressure points I feel in my right hand when I attempt different shots
     
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  13. caltiger123

    caltiger123 New User

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    You will want to have your contact point much lower and try not to go for as much topspin and I would recommend slicing the ball when you are at the baseline instead of using topspin. You will not be able to sustain baseline rallies with players of equal level using an easter, semiwestern, or western grip so you will want to go to the net more often then not and play serve and volley tennis. I would not recommend a continental grip however. It is not to hard of a change to rotate your hand a little bit clockwise and then you will have an eastern grip which is much better for today's game.
     
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  14. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    BevelDevil, to answer your question, I use the continental grip because I was taught that way in the early 1960s. Never have to change my grip on any stroke.
     
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  15. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    I can use scissors to cut my grass -- but it's inefficient. Yea, On occasion I've used shears (big scissors) to cut some blades of grass I could not get to with the mower. Still the weed whacker is best for that. Anyway...

    Sure you could use a continental for a forehand but I'd do my best to convince any new player to not use it for forehand topspin. It's just not designed for that shot. You can easily slice or block fast serves back with it. I do both (but I'm a net guy so it's natural) but that's for fast stuff. For any shot you have time to set up on to hit topspin, a continental grip is the worst choice.

    Now in your case, as you've been using the continental grip for 50 years, well, that's the grip you should use. You've had it most of your life and it's worked so why change it? Yet for the tennis noobs we all know we can't have a good conscience if we don't try to tell them there are vastly better choices for the topspin forehand.
     
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  16. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    just seems like this would feel so unnatural on a standard forehand stroke from the baseline.
     
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  17. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Originally Posted by USS Tang View Post
    BevelDevil, to answer your question, I use the continental grip because I was taught that way in the early 1960s. Never have to change my grip on any stroke.


    there is a lady in a clinic I go to that does this exactly. She said it just feels natural to her.
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Newbie...
    Continental was used for topspin forehand for maybe 40 years or more.
    Some guys, like Panatta and Roche, can actually hit real power and topspin on their forehands, while most don't, as you guys say.
    If USSTang want's to use continental, then he should. Tennis is a game, and he should enjoy his game any way he wants. And he might just beat you, you using your W forehands and SW backhands.
     
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  19. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    The OP said he, "just started using the continental grip."

    btw, it seems that any usable conti grip ts fh would have to be a pistol grip.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Surprisingly NO.
    I used a pure conti grip topspin forehand for 5 years, my first 5. After my 3rd, I found it hard to pass A/Open net players using a pistol grip, so one of them showed me a more hammer grip, to get the rackethead around faster, allow the natural snap of the wrist to accelerate the rackethead, like a service motion (nobody pistols, but uses light hammer). It worked.
    Pistol like McEnroe/Connors gives him the control, not the swingspeed. Guys who conti forehand topspin with pace and spin use a high prep, racket pointed up at the sky on the takeback, which is a result of the hammer grip. Or a high, long loop takeback, same modified hammer grip.
     
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  21. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    If you just started using continental grip, I'd suggest just changing grips. It's going to make hitting topspin shots much more difficult.
     
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  22. TennisA

    TennisA Rookie

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    Like everyone else says, do not stick with a continental grip for your forehand if you want to remain relevant in modern tennis.
    Now, if you really want to keep playing continental, you could always try and emulate John Mcenroe's forehand, but you're probably going to need exceptional net play and become a S&V player if you want to win matches.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Couple of tall old guys at SanPabloCourts, 4.5's for sure, use conti and slice almost every ball. They surely DO hit topspin forhands, but save it for passing shots and sharp CC angles.
    70% of groundies, low skidded slices, well placed, and deep.
     
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  24. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Good points, imho. But then, I'm a diehard old school type of guy.
     
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  25. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    I loved Mac, but he still looked like dork, um, so unorthodox on his forehand. I NEVER knew why, but he looked wrong. I only found out a couple of years ago it was because he used the "wrong" grip for baseline forehands.
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    While Mac could swing out and hit solid CC forehands, most of his DTL forehands were a sidespin with top component PUSH, guided DTL with a skill only HE and Connors had.
     
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  27. daved

    daved Rookie

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    Kinda true, kinda not. Kinda like saying only Nadal and Ferrer and Verdasco have the skill to make the heavily spun, strong grip ultra-modern FH useful.

    I go back and forth between modern and Conti-on-all-strokes. I hit the ball "better" -- it looks more "pro" and clean, anyway, during drills or a hitting session -- with a modern approach. Competing at my level (3.5) I win consistently with either approach. Playing up, there are a number of 4.0 guys I have only beaten when playing Conti/attacking style.
     
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  28. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Some context would help here. What level are you playing (NTRP level, no clue what level and just have fun with friends), what do you want to accomplish (win Wimbledon, win a local tournament, just having fun)? What were you using and why did you change?
     
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  29. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I play with a Continental grip and here are some of my thoughts:
    When people say you can't hit big topspin with a Continental grip, they are wrong. When they say you can't hit with big power, they are very wrong.

    The Continental grip gives a more flexible hinge point in the wrist. This allows more degrees of freedom in the stroke and gives the ability to hit the ball harder than with a semi-western or western grip. It also allows more flexibility in terms of the swing path of the racket, so varying swing path and therefore spins is much easier. Therefore, all spins are available to be hit including hitting slice easily, thus people use it a lot for slices. It is also easy to hit topspin with the proper swing path and you can even hit windshield wiper forehands with a loose grip.

    The advantage a semi-western grip has is in consistency and in hitting higher balls. In reducing the wrist flexibility, it reduces a variable in the stroke which can go wrong - and is possibly the one most likely to go wrong. With a small wood racket, extra power was useful. With the big-headed rackets these days, it's easy to get a useful level of power, keeping the ball in the court is the key and consistency is imperative.

    The other issue is the height of the bounce. The Continental grip puts the hand on top of the racket. The optimal contact point is lower and farther back than with a semi-western grip. However, these days most courts are high bouncing and the topspin that players hit (for consistency) these days causes the ball to bounce high. I certainly am able to hit topspin on a head-high ball, but it isn't a comfortable natural shot, which it would be with a more Western grip.

    Posters on TT who try the Continental and say that you can't hit with power or spin are equivalent to me trying a Western grip saying that it isn't possible to hit the ball deep or hit a flat shot - I can't do it, but they can.

    All that being said, I taught my sons semi-western grips on the forehand. The consistency and ability to hit high balls easily trumps the extra flexibility of the Continental forehand these days.
     
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  30. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Playing with a topspin continental forehand allows you to elevate to GOAThood on TTW forums. If you master an eastern forehand grip for a serve grip, you'll elevate to the legendary.
     
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  31. CaptainCool309

    CaptainCool309 Rookie

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    I agree with NLB's assessment on the continental forehand.

    I use the continental forehand myself and I've enjoyed every minute of it since I made the switch from the eastern to the conti about a year ago.

    The continental grip for ground strokes was designed to handle low bouncing balls on grass courts and was a very popular ground-stroke grip, until tennis started to move away from grass courts and more into clay and hardcourts. The change in surfaces, combined with new racquet and string technology, turned modern tennis into a heavy topspin game where a lot of balls bounce very high on ground strokes. This of course led to the demise of the continental grip on ground-strokes. I believe that if tennis ever returns to the point where the contact point of most ground-strokes are at the bellybutton or lower, the continental grip on ground-strokes will start to become more popular again. But until then...The continental grip for groundstrokes will remain an unpopular ground-stroke grip.

    Anyone who says is it's hard to hit topspin with a continental forehand grip is half right. In today's game it sure is. That's because the of the higher contact point for ground-strokes. In a time where the usual contact point for ground-strokes was the hip, the topspin continental forehand reigned supreme! Lew Hoad, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Panatta, Tom Okker, Nasty Nastase, Roy Emerson, etc... all helped to usher in a new age of the topspin forehand, and they all used a continental or modified continental grip for their topspin forehands.
     
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