Weening beginner off of forehand grip on serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by yemenmocha, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    Any tips on how to help someone adjust to the proper grip for serving? I'm trying to teach a family member and she's hooked on the forehand grip for serving, the whole "waiter" motion, etc.

    I know I learned it at some point but it's one of those things where doing it isn't the same as knowing how to teach it.

    Thanks for advice.:)
     
    #1
  2. Rambler124

    Rambler124 Rookie

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    Teaching a slice serve is a pretty solid start. Get that conti grip and have her hit some slice serves.
     
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  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    For students who are reluctant to switch to a continental grip, I offer a compromise -- the semi-continental grip -- the base index knuckle is positioned in the corner between bevel #2 and bevel #3 instead of being squarely on bevel #2. With just a little bit of effort, most students are able to adapt to this compromise grip fairly easily.

    I also will have them start the racquet in the "scratch" position (the racquet drop position) rather than having them use a windup of some sort. The forearm should be rotated so that the racquet is not on the "waiter" orientation at the start. The server should start the upward motion of the racquet after the toss (not during the toss) so that they lead with the (little finger) edge of the racquet head. If the student does this correctly they will most likely produce some sort of spin serve (depending on the placement of the toss).

    Once this simplified serve is mastered, I'll have the student graduate to a "trophy pose" serve -- the racquet is started in the trophy position. Try a lot of shadow swinging with this variation to be sure that the student is still performing a decent racquet head drop (for the "scratch" position).
     
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  4. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Note that players that learn to hit decent (spin) serves with the semi-conti grip usually will find that the transition to a full conti grip is not too difficult.
     
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  5. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    thanks for the suggestions!!
     
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  6. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

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    Show the student how to sharply pronate [forearm rotation CCW] as they hit the ball. They will see the ball fly in to the fence to their right.
    Now show them the way to solve that is to rotate the grip around to continental and do the same thing.

    Sharp pronation is really best with an Eastern BH grip so have them aim left to compensate for the Cont grip.

    This has the benefit if teaching how to get good pace in addition to moving to the Cont grip.
     
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  7. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Have her practice against a backboard hitting flat forehands with a continental grip. When she can do that, it's easy enough to say, "Now use that grip to hit your serve."
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I can't give any technical tips, but I can give an attitude tip.

    I was a total beginner, and a pro in clinic told me I needed to switch to Continental grip. He explained why -- all this stuff about pronation that made no sense. I still wasn't sold. So he made me a deal. He said he wanted me to go practice with the new grip, and if I didn't like it better in two weeks, he wouldn't raise it with me again.

    I tried to make the change, and I noticed something. I had no directional control at first -- serves flew all over the place. But the cool thing was that there was a lot more action on the ball! It was kind of exciting to throw the ball up and see it do all of this cool stuff mid-flight.

    I figured if I could learn to aim this new serve I would kill people. I would never be strong enough to overpower opponents, but I could sure make them dizzy with it.

    I stuck with it serving out of a hopper, and then I unleashed the thing in a practice match. I hit first and second serve with the new grip, so I'd get used to it faster. My 2.5-3.0 opponents were completely flummoxed. The spin confounded them. And I wasn't really DF-ing any more than anyone else, 'cause no one at my level could serve consistently anyway.

    Maybe if you explain that making this change and taking the time to get used to it will bother opponents all the way up to 4.0 level your student will decide it is worth the effort?

    Cindy -- who loves to hit slice for S&V because opponents are so busy dealing with the spin that they hit a more defensive shot that is easier to volley
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, I do have one technical tip.

    Take an ink pen and draw continental grip on her overgrip. After each practice serve, she should check to make sure she didn't migrate out of Continental. It also helps not to have the frustration of trying to find the grip every time. You step up to serve, check your alignment with the ink line, and serve.
     
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