volley grips changing to conti

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by josofo, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    so when i played a bit as kid. the people taught me conti grip. but of course at the age i knew better than the teaching pros. so i taught my self eastern forhand grip for volleys and eastern backhand grip for backhand volleys. (and have had them ever since)

    so i am trying to learn how to serve and volley and i have trouble with high volley coming it a lot of the time. so people have suggested i switch to conti grip.

    however i am good at getting a lot of power on the chest high volleys.

    i think if i switched to conti i would miss more volleys long.


    i dont know i just think my grip on my forehand volley is good and i just need more practice.
     
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  2. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    going from E grips to conti you'll have to turn a little more sideway and the contact point follows more sideway as well and not as out in front.
     
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  3. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    You taught yourself to volley with eastern grips? That's hard to do...

    But anyway, anything continental is awkward in the beginning, because it feels like you're going to hit with the side of the racquet. But just keep practice, it'll feel natural soon. It (should be anyway) is the most natural grip for tennis.
     
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  4. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I don't think you will hit more long with a conti grip. If you hit it right, you should have more control with just a bit of backspin. You probably can hit high forehand volleys with an Eastern grip harder than with a Continental.
    It really depends on what level you want to reach and how much time you want to put into it. For volleys you have time on that are waist high or above, the Eastern grip should be fine.
    I know 4.0 players who are very good at the net with grips quite far away from Continental. They've been playing that way for many many years. I don't know of any 4.5 players in the same situation, though. The game is too fast and the opponents too good at giving you uncomfortable volleys.
    No question that volleying with an Eastern grip is a liability at any level, however, you have to decide if that is where you want to put your effort into now, vs. serve, or groundies, or movement, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
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  5. FedMex

    FedMex New User

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    I play with a grip in between the Eastern and Conti. It's a half step from conti and technically would look like a conti. I think Fed and other pros realize that to keep the same grip is better/faster. But the conti is difficult for high volleys on forehand side. It's better for backhand volleys.
    When you half step it (which takes awhile to master), it is acceptable for backhand volleys (nearly as good only the contact point is a bit further back on the backhand side) and the best for forehand (low and high volleys).

    A full conti grip for forehand volley is well positioned for low volleys and below the net, because it's angled upward a bit, but for chest high and up it's harder to get the punch of an Eastern. Voila the half step in between grip. I think it's the grip that's never taught but if you research enough you will see evidence that it is an advanced grip. Harder to find in a quick motion until you master the muscle memory, but well worth it.

    If you look at how far Fed hits his volley out in front, he has to have a grip like this. If you use a full conti, you better have super strong wrists to support a direct shot at you on the forehand side. Mac had that kind of wrists, but most don't. I also overhead with this grip and it allows you to spin the overhead (sideways) or hit more up to down, whereas a straight continental is also more of a sideways overhead with slice (which some people say is preferable). If you look at Fed's angled volley's they indicate alot of up down motion and from further back he can slice drive it. I do this too with this grip.
     
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  6. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Sometimes I volley with a bh eastern grip. It has more punch and keeps the ball from poping high. However I know if the opponent hits back to me to the fh side I may be slow on changing grip. The best is to stay on continental unless you got time.

    Edit: only on the bh side!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
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  7. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    That's called an Australian grip.
    It's pretty much an archaic term for it, though.
     
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  8. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    josofo, every pro uses a continental grip on the volley, bh and fh. This isn't like a fh ground stroke grip where there is variation among high level players.

    Why you ask? Because almost all volleys are hit with an open face. The continental grip naturally opens the face of the racquet on both bh and fh. The grip also allows you to reach out and easily create angles, which in my mind is one of the major reasons to volley in the first place: low risk, high reward angles. The grip also naturally puts a tad a back spin on the ball that will tend to keep it low when it bounces. The grip makes low balls way easier to handle which you will get if you're volleying. Drop shots are easier. Lastly you can hit both bh and fh volleys with the same grip.

    That E. fh grip is going to be hard for low balls, not a great for angles, no natural back spin, and you're going to have to change grips for your bh which in and of itself is reason enough not to use it.
     
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  9. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    I struggle to even understand how you hit volleys with eastern grips. Mind blown!
     
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  10. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Exactly right - if you are volleying with eastern grips, you are basically standing like a traffic cop, holding out your hand forward. It will be awkward to change, but your volleys will really improve (more touch, more slice, more power, better reach, better ability to hit low volleys, etc.) by using less arm and stepping into the volley with a continental grip.
     
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  11. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    You taught yourself the wrong way and now you have to learn the right way. There's no real debating this if you want to get better.
     
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  12. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Some books recommend switching toward eastern if you have time, particularly on the FH side.
     
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  13. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I have seen SW grip on the serve and the volley. It works if the player does not know how to turn/step. They usually just face the net straight on with that kind of grip. Weak as baby shots and got nothing on the bh side.
     
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  14. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    Mind even more blown!
     
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  15. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I was preparing to sleep until I read that. Now my head hurts. Damn you, what have I done to you?
     
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  16. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Volleys are somewhat counterintuitive shots - the way you've learned them is more in keeping with the mechanical approach we take when hitting from the baseline. Unfortunately one of the only things they have in common is that both strokes and volleys get their best energy from good footwork and "leg drive".

    There's an excellent chance that your grip is forcing you to push the racquet through the ball on either side. Several problems going on there which will hold you back, but the biggest issue is that you're actually changing your grip to volley on either side. If you want to get better at handling hotter shots up around the net, you need to get on with learning to use the continental grip for everything. Your reaction time will be best when you don't need to change your grip.

    Will it be uncomfortable at first? Yep. Un-learning old habits typically feels awful at first. If you're aspiring to be strong around the net though, a lesson that's focused on some solid volley technique should help with building better fundamentals. When this happens, you'll be able to break the court open with huge angles no matter what comes your way.
     
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  17. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    Just think flat..
     
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  18. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Agassi and Roddick used weak E to SW grips on volleys early in their careers. They sucked at volleys. They got better when they moved to more conti grip. Commentators used to make fun of Roddick trying to volley with his FH grip when he was new on tour.

    Vic Braden, in his book Tennis for the Future CC 1977 advocated using a EFH and EBH grip for volleys. I have also seen video where Vic and another player stood about 6 feet apart and kept a volley rally going switching grips from EFH to EBH for each volley to show it could be done fast enough for high levels.

    But, I agree with you - learning a conti grip for volleys is the way to go. I use a conti for FH volleys and basically a conti for BH but my palm position does switch just a little toward EBH for BH volleys. In other words, my FH volley conti is not exactly the same as my BH volley conti but the difference is very slight.
     
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