Is a grip truly this important?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Thomas59, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Thomas59

    Thomas59 New User

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    So I've been playing tennis for a while now with an old worn out grip, and had loads of trouble trying to serve with the continental grip, therefore I served using a eastern forehand grip and sometimes even a semi-western grip. Last week I got my grip changed, and added a Wilson Progrip on top of it, and today I tried serving continental and my flat first serves magically get pop on them. I never knew that a grip change would do so much for my tennis game. Now my question is, should I work on my first serve before developing a decent kick serve?
     
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  2. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The grip is important. When my hand gets sweaty I can't serve at all. I've destroyed a couple of racquets when they've slipped out of my hand and caved in the head when serving with sweaty hands and an old grip. The newer grip allows you to have a looser grip on the racquet without it slipping. The looser grip keeps the wrist and forearm freer to move.

    On the serve, I'd work on the basic motion with the continental grip. It's a big change. Serve for a while at a slow to medium pace and make sure you're hitting all the correct points in the motion. There should not be any quick, jerky motions before you pull the trigger and swing into the ball. It should be relaxed and natural feeling. When it's right, one sign is that you'll be hitting pretty hard with relatively little effort, and you'll end the stroke balanced and ready to recover.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
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  3. Thomas59

    Thomas59 New User

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    Alright, thanks rkelley, I was going to blast full power serves during my practice tomorrow, but your advice seems much more intelligent. Hopefully I'll develop a decent first serve before March. Then again, I still have to practice a second serve.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    No matter how many years you have been playing tennis, you will ALWAYS be working on both your first and second serves.
    Starting out, work on second serves, because you WILL miss most of your first serves for more than 5 years. That way, at least you second has a chance of finding it's way into the court.
    You will NEVER be satisfied with EITHER your first or second serves, because you can never practice them enough.
    Why? You ask?
    1st serves.....flats up the middle, out wide, into the body.
    Top/slices out wide, into the body.
    Twists out wide the other side, into the body.
    That's at least SEVEN different locations and different spins, for first serves alone.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, the TIMING of you being able to hit serves with conti....
    Has nothing to do with the actual gripchange.
    Has everything to do with you being sick and tired of your pancake serve, and now your skills allow you to hit serves with conti grip.
     
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  6. Thomas59

    Thomas59 New User

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    Hey LeeD, you seem to be pretty educated about tennis, can you give me some tips?
    -Should I not even focus on my first serve at all for HS Tennis?(1st Singles at my area is not too good, they usually have a 100mph serve and laser forehands, or amazing consistent topspin groundstrokes, but never both).
    -One of the higher ranked players for HS in my area(number 7 last year) uses a decent kick/topspin serve for his first serve, should I try and emulate that?
    -Should I focus on my serve or my weak two handed backhand more before the start of the season(in March)?
    -Can I practice my serve somehow in the winter without an indoor tennis membership?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Kinda depends how much practice time you have, the weather where you live, and the amount of dedication you can inject and still keep motivated to have fun playing tennis.
    I worked on both my flat first and heavy topspin second serves at the same period of time. Flat's first, maybe 30, then a bit of rallying, then maybe 50 top/slice seconds, which can be used as first serves.
    Gotta work on your backhands, as every decent player hits there all the time.
    I played where year round tennis was normal...SanFrancisco....so don't know your court situation in the winters.
    You can shadow swing all your strokes except volleys indoors, needing only clearance for the racket. Best to have a shadow or reflection to check your form while you swing.
    You gotta practice everything, making your strengths stronger, and your weaknesses up to par.
     
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  8. Thomas59

    Thomas59 New User

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    Okay, thanks for the advice, now hopefully I can train smarter, and harder.
     
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  9. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I tried overlapping my Tournagrip on my K90 more the other day, and it felt all wrong and clumsy, so I guess so....
     
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  10. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    No kidding.

    I think developing a decent second serve is far more important at his level. Unless a player has a dominating first serve, he's not going to get that many free points off it. But if he has a weak second, he will always be under pressure.

    Put another way, the difference between a good and average first is not as important as between a good and average second.
     
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