Hitting both sides on one side

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BarNotchky, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. BarNotchky

    BarNotchky New User

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    I play with a near-western semi-western forehand and a semi-western (one-handed) backhand. With these grips it's natural for me to hit both my forehand and backhand on the same string face. Hitting this way, there's very little, if any grip change involved when switching between backhand and forehand. I've hit this way for as long as I can remember.

    My question is, is hitting backhand and forehand on the same face in any way technically limiting to the strokes themselves? Is this common with folks that use closed grips on both sides. Do you know of any pros that do this?
     
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  2. Bacterio

    Bacterio Rookie

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    There's nothing wrong with it. You'll have some posters here telling you that hitting with the same face and grip is technically wrong, but they start making assumptions like "he's hitting everything with that grip"

    I hit with an eastern leaning towards semiwestern forehand grip, and my onehanded backhand is an extreme eastern. So, the quickest (most efficient) grip change for me is to move over about a cm as opposed to twisting the racket all the way around.

    That's just the way I learned it and what feels most natural to me. Some people are a lot more active with their left hand on the throat of the racket and rotate it so that their grip changes have them going all around the grip, as a result they hit with two different faces of the stringbed but it's all preference.
     
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  3. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    I'm pretty sure Guga played that way and pretty much every wheelchair tennis players does too, there's nothing wrong with it if you can make it work for your level!

    Cheers
     
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  4. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    I'm EE-FH and EE-BH but change grips the "normal way". I've toyed with using the same side, but changing grips from FH to BH is tough-- it's hard for me to find the right bevel when spinning the handle against the direction of my fingers.

    Any tips on making the transition?

    Btw, do any of you guys use a "hammer grip" on your 1hbh (roughly all knuckles on same bevel)?



    After noticing Guga's hammer grip, I thought it might be the product of him using the same face (or vice versa). But I recently checked to see if he same-faced, but he doesn't.


    I'm surprised that more players don't same-face, as it seems to be very efficient. Makes me wonder if there's some kind of liability to it. I've definitely had problems finding my BH grip when attempting it, but then again I haven't made a huge effort.
     
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  5. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I play with those exact same grips. It works well for me, except I think using a classical eastern backhand grip for the 1hbh makes returning easier but thats just my opinion.

    The topspin that the extreme grip gives on the backhand is pretty awesome haha
     
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  6. BarNotchky

    BarNotchky New User

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    Thanks for the feedback. I agree and think it makes sense that same-facing shouldn't technically hurt the stroke. I checked some videos to see if Guga did this. This one clearly shows he does not.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv3tqO1os34

    Thinking more about advantages and disadvantages of same-facing on the forehand and backhand...

    One liability is that I'm not used to making large grip adjustments between strokes. At least not as accustomed as players that routinely switch grips between forehand and backhand. For me this is a problem on the first groundie after serving where I have to quickly switch from conti to semi-western. I find I'm often unsure where the racket head is on that first shot which leads to more frame balls or mishits.

    Any tips on finding the right grip position on the first groundie after serve?
     
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  7. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Alberto Berasategui

    Alberto Berasategui did it.

     
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  8. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Yes, no and no.

    Of course you can do it, but why select a suboptimal style? Naturally this choice will not change the amount of money you make from tennis one bit nor would changing to a traditional stroke.
     
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  9. Geology_Rocks!

    Geology_Rocks! Semi-Pro

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    I think Kohlschreiber does it and I thought about changing my forehand grip to full western to do it too (I have a eastern OHB), just so I could return serves without changing grips.
     
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  10. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I do it. K. does it on returns.. Ab did it.
     
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  11. shazbot

    shazbot Semi-Pro

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    I do this as well and I don't see any down fall in doing this. If you know you are going to come over the ball on your BH side, I don't see any reason to rotate to the opposite side of the racquet face with the same grip.
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Some pros used the same side, and they could hit like....pros.
    Kiteboard does, and hits very well.
    Gotta consistently take the ball very early out in front of your body.
    Can slice, thos low skidders can be a problem.
    Can also volley with that grip, given lots of sidespin to control depth, and a solid swing on every shot.
    Maybe not the best overall for serves or overheads, as it promotes inside out slices and no real topspinning second serve.
     
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  13. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Well, one pro did it - Berasutegui. His forehand grip was way past a Western, though. Kohlschreiber does it on some serve returns only. No other pros have done it in modern times or maybe ever.
    Don't think the problem is so much with the rotation as with the extreme grips and re-setting the muscles in the arm.
     
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  14. Bacterio

    Bacterio Rookie

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    Well here we go again. Give us your analysis on why it's technically limiting and a "suboptimal" style.

    LeeD already did the classic mistake I spoke about in my first post. People hear/read "hit with the same face" and they assume that the player is using one grip for all their shots.

    Like I said, whether you rotate clockwise or counterclockwise when going from one grip to the other is what determines which face you hit with. It is not going to limit the stroke production AT ALL.
     
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  15. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    same grip

    Good points. I used to do it without changing (or only barely changing) for topspin off both sides - before the wrist gave out. Can only slice now.

    Mine was a pretty standard semi-western forehand grip which, "wiped over", turns into an extreme backhand grip. If I accelerated fast enough, dropped the racket head below the ball (not the hand), aimed high enough - and didn't frame the ball - I pretty much couldn't hit a backhand "long". Some even found the high bounce associated with the spin somewhat aggravating. :mrgreen:

    After noticing that the grips were pretty much the same, I tried doing it without changing and by using the same face, but found it "unhandy". Only years later did I make another attempt at it, stuck with it for a couple of days, and it quickly became automatic.

    Kevin

     
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  16. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    For the purposes of the OP (who already has this style) I agree with you in the sense that there is no logical reason for him to switch to a theoretically "better" style. For his purposes other styles are likely not "better". For him this topic is less about stroke efficiency and more about the fact that no one on this Forum is likely to make a dollar from playing tennis, so ultimately who cares?

    I have gone around and around with TennisMastery (now CoachingMastery) about the issue of whether or not it is a good idea for someone with grooved strokes to deconstruct them and seek a new stroke style. Opinions vary and I have been the one supporting the idea of sticking with your grooved stroke. So I support the OP staying with his stroke.

    By the same token I would not encourage a rank beginner to choose an outlier style. In this I wholeheartedly agree with TennisMastery.
     
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  17. Bacterio

    Bacterio Rookie

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    I wanted you to explain why and most importantly HOW, changing grips by going all the way around the grip as opposed to a smaller adjustment is going to alter his stroke at all.

    The fact that none of us are going to be on the pro tour any time soon should have no bearing on this discussion. OP wanted to know if it's technically limiting, because he's at a stage in tennis where he probably doesn't want to be perfecting a flawed technique that will cause him to plateau at an undesired skill level. Not all of us are aspiring to be kings of the 3.5 social hour.

    You're under the impression that it's technically flawed and a suboptimal style and I completely disagree. Is it the modified and extreme grips that you don't like or do you actually believe that the way someone arrives at their desired grip is somehow going to translate into the stroke itself, which makes no sense.

    Like I've said before, the only thing that factors into which face of the racket you're going to use is in which direction you rotate the racket when changing grips. After that, you're still using an Eastern, or a semi-western or whatever your grips of choice happen to be.

    How you got to your grip is not going to translate into your stroke production. It does not affect your takeback, your feet, your swing, nothing.
     
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  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Getting into this conversation per my post from above -
    It is the extreme grips that is limiting. Also, the tendency is not to rotate and re-grip the racket when a player hits with the same face of the racket. If you do not loosen the grip, reset the muscles, and rotate the racket at least a tiny bit, the arm/wrist/elbow/shoulder are not in a good position for the other stroke. Direction of rotation of the racket really doesn't matter.
     
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  19. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    ^^^

    Actually, I think there's one grip that could work great for both sides, and that's the Strong SW fh / Extreme Eastern bh (knuckles on bevels 4.5 and 8.5, respectively.

    Seeing how players with proper technique can hit the Full Western forehand well, then a slightly more conservative grip should also be good.

    As for the backhand, I've argued elsewhere that the Extreme Eastern grip 1hbh (Henin, Kuerten) is the grip that is optimal for the largest number of players, and should be treated as the default modern grip, certainly for intermediate+ players.


    As for problems using different grips when same-facing, I think it's true that players may not "reset" optimally because of some sort of psychological hitch. However, I don't see why one can't train themselves to over come it, assuming this is even a problem.

    I think the biggest problem may be finding the backhand grip on the handle because you are rotating the handle against the direction of the fingers. This is what has prevented me from same-facing so far, although I may make another effort at some point.

    Hmm... come to think of it, I could just wait to return serve using the backhand grip, then finding the fh should be easy. I think I'll give that a try.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Me, if I hold the racket in eBACKhand position, it's pointed well off the my right (me lefty), so would take a much longer prep to hit a forehand!
    I like my racket pointed straight at my opponent, so it takes relatively equal time to get the racket back.
    Most of the one sider's I've seen play hold the racket in the forehand position when returning serve.
     
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  21. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    Berasategui anyone :)
     
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