I play my best forehand with continental grip...should i still change?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by morten, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    I am in my mid 30, played for years, tournaments too, ranked in my country. 5.0 ntpr i guess. Mainly serve and volley, but don`t hit hard, have a game based upon feel and placement. I have tried to change my forehand grip to at least eastern, thing is my continental(developed idolizing Edberg)forehand is so much more consistent, and ..just feels more natural/solid, but no one plays like that anymore (and i am not like 55yo either LOL, Edbergs fault ;)) still i don`t know if it is wise for me to change as i am not 15yo either, would take too long to change etc...... Opinions?
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As usual, depends.
    Do you have the energy to put something extra into each forehand? Can you always follow thru low to high with a long, powered stroke. Do you have the excess energy to burn?
    Then consider your opponents. Are they hi bouncing balls over your shoulder on the forehand side? Are they quick and cover every forehand winner you go for?
    Then consider.... can you change grips fast enough and consistently enough to have 3 grips total. One topspin forehand, one continental do it all, then maybe coupled with your new forehand, you might want a topspin backhand to boot.
    Then, do you care what other's think of your game?
    Are you effective enough at your level?
    Me, I changed in the mid 90's, but playing 4 months a year, even after 10 years, have never completed the whole changeover.
     
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  3. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    my teacher uses a continental grip and he does pretty well with it. he's 65 tough.
     
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  4. oneguy21

    oneguy21 Banned

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    You should stick with it if it feels natural for you.
     
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  5. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    i do have problems facing high bouncing balls yes.. I do not expect to hit forehand winners suddenly.. But i face problems on the high bouncing clay courts in my country. Also, i use mids only as well :) yes i wished we were in 1984 now .. LOL
     
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  6. oneguy21

    oneguy21 Banned

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    If you have problems with high balls, then try to gradually change it to an eastern. Could you hit decent topspin with continental? I've tried and to me it was impossible.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Seems as my game evolves and I get older....
    That really high bouncing ball to my forehand doesn't bother me anymore, I just continental hard slice with forward body movement, usually crosscourt over the lowest part of the net, and make the opponent really have to dig hard and up to hit a topspin return.
    My switching to full western forehand hasn't improved my ability to crush a high forehand, hence the continental grip hard slice. It's not a floater by any means, it usually clears the net less than 2', skids really low, goes really deep, and makes for mishits.
    Obviously, anyone over 4.5 can handle it and make me run.
     
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  8. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    I see LeeD, good advice. But what would be the key to hitting high balls with continental?
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Someone once said Laver could hit high balls topspin with continental, but he didn't face it as consistently as even 4.0 players do nowadaze.
    Shoulder rotation, turn your feet, expose your back to the opponent...like in a serve, all help you get solid, strong contact on a high ball hit to your continental forehad.
    I don't embrace this philosophy. My take is.... if I try to hit like the other guy, it just plays into his game! I like to hit like me. On headhigh hoppers to my forehand, I stand in, move slightly forewards with stable body positioning, high racket continental and hard slice that ball. Not defensive slice, but a really forward body moving stiff armed HARD slice low and usually crosscourt. Of course, you have to move it around.
    Same as backhand, a solid prep early helps you control the overspin, whether it's a kicker/twist or a heavily topped groundie. Solid base...legs, trunk, stable, consistent body position allows you to slice it hard and deep into one of the corners.
     
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  10. tailofdog

    tailofdog Semi-Pro

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    Change Is Worthwhile

    I am 60 and have used a semi western grip for 7 yr.
    I think the big thing is also using open stance which is an advantage.
    I took a lot of group lessons to get the feel but the big key to the grip is open stance.
    I know a lot of people dont like him but OSCAR WEGNER puts out some great dvds that you will have to refer to if, you purchase them. His teaching is simple and easy to understand.
    I serve and volley in doubles and have no trouble changing grips. I think the only trouble you would have is if you went to a full western grip.
     
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  11. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

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    If you are playing on clay courts a lot than it is really a must to switch to at least an eastern so you can better handle high bouncing balls. If not, just stick with it. When playing serve and volley it really is all about placement and you shouldn't be at the baseline too much and will probably enjoy slicing the ball more as it gives you time to approach the net. If you aren't going to change the grip then at least work on getting some speed on your forehand because if it is slow the ball is going to simply sit up.
     
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  12. Okazaki Fragment

    Okazaki Fragment Semi-Pro

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    It'll open up a whole new aspect of the game for you. It may be fun and exciting. Just don't expect to win matches you used to win for a while....and a lot of shanked balls.
     
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  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I would think that most true 5.0 players would not have a lot of trouble making such a grip change, even one who is 30-something. In my early 40s (some 15+ yrs ago), I found myself using a conti grip on FHs -- probably as a result of teaching (feeding balls). Once I realized this, I found it very easy to switch to an Eastern FH grip. This has evolved into an extreme Eastern in the past 5-6 years. For high balls, I'll often switch to a full-fledged SW grip. I did not start using the latter grip until my late 40s/early 50s.

    Maybe its me, but I found that my learning curve on these new grips was very quick. But then, I am already accustomed to using a multitude of grips for badminton.

    For a high ball using a conti grip (perhaps even an Eastern grip), I'd probably tend to slice a lot of FHs. Perhaps you, like me, can learn to use 2 FH grips -- a conti or semi-conti grip for low/medium balls and using an Eastern or extreme Eastern for higher ball or on ball where you'd like to hit with more topspin.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
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  14. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    If you can only slice high balls, (by which I mean chest to shoulder high balls), then yes, you absolutely definitely should change to an Eastern, it isn't a big deal at all.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Personally, since there's not a chance of ever making 6.0 or better levels, I'm content SLICING the high forehand. Works fine.
    For you guys who want to turn Pro soon, better adopt the SW or W forehands.
    That high slice is more a high forehand volley approach than a traditional defensive slice. It's got forward motion, penetration, hit deep, and bounces weird.
    Everyone nowadaze can hit high forehands and backhands. Variety can be a spice in a very dull life.
     
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