Grip Change

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by dtl2000, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. dtl2000

    dtl2000 Banned

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    Hello

    My son started playing 2 years ago. He is 12 now and is not going to be tall.
    He is very speedy around the court and loves the game.

    His coach is pushing to change his grip from a semi-western to an extreme. His reasoning is due to his height (or lack of).

    He seems to hit his forehand pretty good (in my limited experience).

    Coach says that its fine now but as he begins to play nationals in a year or so and begins approaching college scouting age, he won't have the results that he needs.

    Seems to make sense to me. He showed me the difference and I'm almost a "go" with it.

    I have been eyeing this forum for a few months and it seems there are lots of opinions on grips.

    Any tips are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Rebekka
     
    #1
  2. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Is the coach saying to switch from semi western to an extreme western? If so than I am a little confused.

    Smaller players need to hit through the ball more and not rely on just topspin. So in my experience the smaller players usually are better off using a semi western and penetrating the court more.

    But if the coach is giving you the results you seek stick with his opinion. He is seeing things first hand while we are not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    #2
  3. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Agree with TCF, my opinion would be to stay with Semi grip if you go extreme that hinders the game in many other ways and that will hurt college more than anything.
     
    #3
  4. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    Think the OP has mistaken extreme with eastern.

    A smaller player ordinarily generates less power and an eastern grip will help compensate; swing mechanics etc. being equal.
     
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  5. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

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    Extreme grips are hard to justify. We need to make absolutely certain that the coach is advocating an extreme western grip (in a technical sense as opposed to grammatical). Semi-westerns will work just fine for any height. He just has to learn to be fast so that he can take the ball on the rise ad drive through it.
     
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  6. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Of course there are pluses and minuses on each side. The ball bouncing head-high will be less and less of an issue as your son grows much over 5'. As your son grows and progresses and gets taller and learns to move to cause the ball to be in his desired strike zone at impact, the high bouncing balls will be less and less of an issue. Much more often, players move from a Western when young to SW as they grow.
     
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  7. ninaz

    ninaz Rookie

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    It is time to change coach now!
     
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  8. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    I think good coaching looks at the end result when your junior is 18.....
    A long term picture is better than a short term view of winning.

    I would skip this coach.
     
    #8
  9. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I was thinking the same thing. I would think he would be moving the kid more eastern than western. Most coaches would not use the word 'extreme' when making a change either. As you said, more likely he said eastern, which would make more sense.
     
    #9
  10. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Agree. If he is smaller and quick he will need to get on top of the ball with footwork, not grip type. And he will need to get the ball through the court more,which is not easy with extreme western.
     
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  11. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Build his game around the most effective grip "semi-western" if he is gonna be small strengh train his leggs and have him stand one step off the baseline and have him learn how to find the ball when its peaking .

    One of my players does that and is very efffective at 5'2
     
    #11
  12. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    At 12, how do you know he won't grow a lot more? I was only 5'3" at 15 and grew to 6'.
     
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  13. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    ------------------
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  14. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The pediatricians were close to 4" too low on their predictions at that age for my boys.
     
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  15. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    ..............................
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
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  16. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Just wondering, at what age was that? For people that have boys, that's like having a size 4 boys going to a size 9 mens in less than half a year!
     
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  17. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    ------------------
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  18. dtl2000

    dtl2000 Banned

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    Well of course just going on genetics. I am 5'2", my ex is 5' 10", my mother was only 5'1" and his uncles on his father's side never made it to 6.

    Just being realistic on our goals and game.
     
    #18
  19. dtl2000

    dtl2000 Banned

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    The way it was explained to me was that since he is on the shorter side, the boys will try to roll the ball up high out of his hit zone and therefore the extreme western grip will give him a higher hit zone.

    I suppose another question should be: how long should it take to change a grip? And, should he grow, would we change it back? Do the kids do that? Change back and forth?

    I do like this coach and to a degree I trust his advice, however, I am always one to ask around.

    I was ordering a racquet for him a few months ago and saw Tennis Warehouse had a message board so I began reading here. Seems there is lots of information and experienced coaches and parents. We are in somewhat of a remote area so its good to reach out.
     
    #19
  20. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    His coach is correct, the western will give him a higher strike zone if he is going to be shorter. But at what cost? He will give up some court penetration.

    If he goes ahead with it, I would advise that he become as strong as possible as he will need to generate as much top spin as possible to make sure his balls to not sit up to be slaughtered.

    It is a trade off. He will gain some with the western and give up some things. I would not make him change but if you trust the coach, so be it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
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  21. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    just look at the small guys on the tour. most of them have more traditional (sw to eastern) grips in order to drive the ball through the court. even the taller pros who are considered to have 'extreme' grips are actually closer to SW when you look at their contact point. i would strongly advise to stick with what is working. there is no limiting factor with a SW grip. federer has absolutely no problem hitting balls above his head and he has an eastern forehand grip. hope that helps.
     
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  22. dtl2000

    dtl2000 Banned

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    Can't say enough how impressed I am with the info.

    I have printed this thread out and will take it to his coach tonight.

    I am convinced however that I need to stay with how it is.

    He's doing fine and I'd like to continue the progress.
     
    #22
  23. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

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    But this presupposes that he will not only be short but also slow. If he's fast, he can get to the ball early and hit a penetrating shot with a more "normal" grip. Also, a western grip can be neutralized with a sharp slice. As TCF said, there is a trade-off in whatever he does. For example, his returns may suffer due to the time it takes to switch from a FH grip to a BH and vice versa. This could be a huge obstacle in a couple of year. But again, try not to get your info on all the message boards. Maybe getting a second opinion from another trustworthy coach that you know would be more helpful.
     
    #23
  24. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    I think the word " IF " is a tough one also, can really change what your reading 'if' you don't overlook it.
     
    #24
  25. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Agree, I really don't understand any teaching coach out there that would teach a extreme western grip...
     
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  26. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    a lazy coach maybe
     
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  27. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Or a greedy coach?
     
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  28. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Differences of opinon do not make a coach lazy or greedy.
     
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