Western/Extreme grips are exhausting to play with!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ballinbob, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Hey everyone

    I changed to a full western forehand grip and a semi-western backhand grip and I've experienced a big change in my game in terms of consistency. I've really felt that changing grips have helped me get a lot more consistent and I'm happy with them. But I have experienced one problem with these grips.....they just exhaust me after like 2 hours. I mean I consider myself a pretty fit guy, but after a while I just get tiered all around. Is this normal with these grips? You have to swing alot faster with a full western grip, could this be the problem right here?

    Any comments on this are welcome
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, yes, yes...
    That's why few old farts employ western grips.
    That's why few top pros employ full western grips.
    That's why few top pros bend and extend their legs like what's taught in American tennis academies.
    Old folks slice. It's easy to swing hi to low.
    They say..... " youth is wasted on the young".... :):)
    And all old farts WISH they were young again.....
     
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  3. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    I shudder at the thought of playing with a Western forehand. That looks like a very demanding stroke where timing is the difference between a well-hit ball and an ugly shank. Makes me wonder how Henin was able to hold up using that grip.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I didn't watch Henin much, but seems only her backhand was full western.
    Short peeps employ westerns with more success (than other grips) because they always get high balls to hit.
     
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  5. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Oh I know lol I shank alot. But overall I really like this grip, my consistency has really went up. My baseline game is pretty much like Nadal's but with a onehanded backhand. I hit with too much spin.

    These grips are so exhausting though. All of my 3 set matches lately I get really tierd and I go back to my S&Ving because it requires like no energy compared to my normal baseline style of play. If I didn't know how to S&V I probably would have collapsed from exhaustion. I'm putting too much energy into my shots. I'll play great while I'm energized and I just run around like a rabit getting everything back..But after the 2hr mark I just die

    edits- So you guys are saying its normal for these grips to make you a little more tired than others??
     
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  6. late start!

    late start! New User

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    i used to have a western forehand and i consider myself a pretty fit guy too. i hit the gym 3 times a week and play tennis almost every day but the western just wore me out. after a while i'd get really tired and subconsciously ended up hitting lobs so i changed to a SW. but if you can tough it out, more power to ya ;]
     
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  7. 150mph_

    150mph_ Semi-Pro

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    dont almost all top pros use western grip forehands
    except federer...
    many women players use full western grips too...
    a lot of young girls now use full western... they hit flat as hell though
     
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  8. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    ^ i think the majority would be semi-western
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    SW yes.
    And the shorter the player, the more likely you'll see a grip towards full Western.
    Lotsa girls are short. AmandaCoetzer was like 5'1" and employed one of the best Western forehands of her era.
    HaroldSolomon and EddyDibbs, AlbertoBarasatichi, and a few other fellas.
    They used more energy, ran lots more, hit more balls to win or lose each point.
    Me, I'm lazy, rather end it in 3 shots, so hit flat with any grip, including SW forehands.
    Some coach's, not here, tend to teach younger players to hit with a "karate" chop....ie, the edge of the hand, for more power.
     
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  10. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Wait a minute, you went from a serve and volley player to an all out baseliner already? Make up your mind, Bob.
     
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  11. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ What made you think that? I mean I'm definitley staying back more but I still S&V more than anything. The past 5 or so practice matches I've had against my friends I've tried to stay back more so I get the hang of it, but definitley not an all out baseliner. I'd probably move down a whole level if I only stuck to my baseline game, as my backhand (as much as its improved) is still a work in progress.

    I have to, have to get a video up soon. I need feedback on my kick serve and everything else. I've just been so busy with everything and stuff that I usually am not busy with.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
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  12. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Shank you

    A quote by LeeD:
    "I didn't watch Henin much, but seems only her backhand was full western."


    The last part of the sentence above is a bit misleading.
    There is no crying in baseball and no "full western backhand".
    The only possible phrase could be "EXTREME BACKHAND GRIP"
    if applicable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
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  13. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
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  14. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    Try using more your upper body, pass your shoulder in front of your hips.
     
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  15. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    i normally use a grip between eastern-SW for my ohbh, but today i was messing around with the replacement grip and OGs, and as result i couldnt hold that exact grip, i always ended up holding a extreme eastern backhand or western maybe. i def needed to hit much harder for my shots to go deep. and the point of impact was more in front than with my normal grip, and i couldnt hit flat, every shot had too much spin. i didnt like it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Forget us and back to BallinBob...
    It takes more energy to hit from low to high, than vice versa. Couple that with long stroke, early prep, low to high legs, and it uses more energy than this old fart can summon.
    I'd rather watch what the current pros are doing, instead of trying all full Western strokes.
    Yes, if you follow them, you'd never pass them. BUT, if you follow them, you can get right where they are now, and that's not all that bad.
     
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  17. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I agree that a western grip takes a lot more energy to acheive the same shot pace because so much of stroke energy goes into brushing and not hitting the ball. If you need to pace yourself, you can go for a lower velocity, 80% effort shot that has more height for better depth. Not quite a moon ball, but pretty high (6+ feet over the net). This is my standard rally ball and very hard to be offensive against.
     
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  18. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Just to clarify

    It is NOT commonly used name at LEAST in Europe and North East of US.
    Majority coaching manuals call it Extreme Backhand grip.

    Additionally the name Western backhand grip should be avoided because
    it is the bevel #8,when western forehand grip is bevel #5.
    Bevel #5 is 5 bevels away from bevel #8.
    The site you are referencing is using their/his own terminology
    for example
    http://tennis.about.com/od/forehandbackhand/ss/bh1gripclosewt.htm

    and the quote overthere
    "The Full Eastern backhand grip (sometimes called Western, but see below)"

    Additionally there are some other problems at the site you quote-
    see for example the sentence:
    "The Continental grip places your palm on the upper right slant bevel, 45 degrees clockwise from the Full Eastern"
    If one teaches grips I would suggest to use an USPTA
    certification manual or ITF Advanced Coaches Manual.
    How far Henin grip deviaties from say Eastern backhand is far from obvious.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Obvious, no.
    But Henin hits her backhand out in front of her body much more than any other pro tennis players, which leads one to suspect her grip is closer to true Western than other pro players.
    Couple that with the fact she is like 5'6", short by pro standards, and could hit heavy topspin balls even shoulder high to her, all the evidence points to a sorta western backhand grip.
    No one positively knows, not even her or her coach, because there are always DEGREES of extreme eastern backhand and DEGREES of western backhand.
     
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  20. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Once more

    Extreme eastern grip and western backhand grip could be identified by TWO
    numbers : a location of underside of base knuckle of index finger and location of heel palm.
    Amount of topspin is related but should be separated from definitions/these two numbers.
    A grip should be identified by a picture of a player hand (relative to a handle
    of a racket).
    See definitions of grips at www.tennisplayer.net
    See as well a link below for a related picture of Henin
    http://www.tennisplayer.net/members..._unit_turn/the_grip _shift_and_unit_turn.html
    and
    http://www.tennisplayer.net/members....html?JHHBHCenterArmActionCourtLevelSide1.pct
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
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  21. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    An eastern backhand is the opposite of a western forehand, so it would not be a surprise for a western backhand to be the opposite of an eastern forehand.
     
    #21
  22. lawlitssoo1n

    lawlitssoo1n Professional

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    im inbetween a SW and a W
     
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  23. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Ballinbob, I would advise for you to really think about your grip. I'm not saying the Western Grip is a bad grip; far from it. It is an excellent grip, especially if you play at a higher level of tennis, or you play on courts that are slower and have higher bounces.



    However, if you play on faster surfaces generally (as many hardcourts are) I highly suggest you gravitate more towards the conservative SW grip, which is a highly versatile grip for many amateur players.



    Just think of where you generally make contact. At chest height? Waist height? Knee height? How fast do you cover the court? What are your strengths and advantages? What type of game do you play?



    Also, yes. The Western / Extreme grips generally do take alot of energy out of you. This is because your contact point is moved out in front, forcing you to move quickly into position. Also, it is harder to generate pace due to the positioning of the racquet. This grip makes it easier to generate spin, but harder to generate pace.
     
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  24. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    The problem I see in most people (including myself) that use W and even SW grip is that they try to generate pace with their arms and headspeed. IMO the pace comes from your shoulder rotation, that is what makes your ball "run" and it doesnt have to be a fast movement just kind of leaning into the ball. JMO.
     
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  25. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    They can be exhausting because you can get away with swinging like a lunatic and keep the ball in. If you moonball using trajectory, it's not that tiring.
     
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  26. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    grips

    Try to think what does it mean opposite in terms of grips
     
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  27. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    When you go from forehand to backhand in this case, you're twisting the wrist, but the hand is in the same position. You're just hitting off the same side of the stringbed for both forehand and backhand.
     
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  28. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Wasn't it Kuerten who used to hit with the same racquet face on both sides? Western forehand and Eastern backhand?
     
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  29. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    When i'm messin around and not playing a serious match i like to hit full western. Man its tiring trying to hit winners but the spin production can be quite crazy at times. My racket head speed is also quicker too. I find my legs get the most tired as i need to be in the correct position every time and hit out in front. It does not let me get away with my sometimes lazy footwork like my semi western does. If i could find a good balance of pace, consistency and not being so tired i would definately use this grip.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Basically, the learning of the western grip strokes require lots of running, fetching, retrieving, as well as hitting many many balls to end the point.
    That is work, that is not fun, that is pure excersise.
    Me, I'm into first strike, dictate the point, end it in 3 strokes tennis. Easier on my legs, my brain, and on my body.
    Up to you. You wanna react and retrieve the other guys shots? OK, use Western and go for long rallies.
     
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  31. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    I think this is a missconception. You can definitely dictate points and win them in 3 shots with a western grip. You can even hit as flat as with an eastern grip. I can undestand that the kind of shots you hit will make you have an specific game plan, but you can hit any type of shot regarding the grip. What grip does Bjorn Bjork (Borg, sorry ;)) use?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
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  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, you CAN.
    But BallinBob is brushing UPwards on his strokes, for spin instead of pace, so he is not hitting flat. This post is all about BallinBob, not your concept about what can be.
     
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  33. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    oh, ok, my mistake, I thought you were talking about the western grip in general.

    Anyway those arent my conceps, it is what is actually done.

    About BallinBob, You are supposed to brush upward but you must use your shoulders to get pace, if you use only your arm you will get tired in no time.
     
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  34. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Before she joined the Sugarcubes? :)


    Yuck yuck.
     
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  35. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    LOL, no, I was think more in her solo carrer after that and pre swan dress..
     
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  36. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for your advice Nam. Yeah I mean it takes alot of energy out of me but so far I'm happy with it. My biggest strengths aren't my baseline game though. My serve is my best stroke by far. My game is pretty much identical to Karlovic's. I mean I liked the semi western grip but I just felt the extra spin helped alot with consistency. I don't know, I think I'll just give this western grip a shot and see where it takes me and we'll see what happens. If I find that exhaustion is the only thing bad about this grip then I'll keep it, but I haven't had this grip for too long so i want to give it a chance.

    Will definitley keep your advice in mind, that really helped alot. and thanks to everyone else about the body rotation advice. That has always been a problem for me
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Karlovic would be an excellent pro for you to model your game off of...
    But he's a first strike, take no prisoners, dictate the point hard hitter, going for broke quite often.
    You talk about "consistent" strokes just doesn't jive with someone who has the height, strength, and skill to DICTATE the points.
    Maybe for your current game, a consistent stroke is favored over a penetrating, forcing shot, but tall strong guys should not spend time reacting to other player's shots..... not successfully anyways. Let the little guys make all the gets, create the multiple shot points. You can finish off a point in 3 shots! Why hit any more?
     
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  38. Jaxon

    Jaxon Rookie

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    when i play with an extreme grip i tend to produce more racquet head speed so every shot takes a little more effort. Tiring after a match...
     
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  39. everyday09

    everyday09 New User

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    Thats a horrible review of the western grip and completely false.
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    "the LEARNING of the Western..."
    Please read a little and comprehend, before shooting.....
    Once you learn the Western grip, you can hit flat, hard, and dictate points.
    BallinBob is still LEARNING the western grip, he's been doing it for ONE month!
     
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  41. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    LeeD is right, I have only had this grip for about a month. I'm still learning. I think I got it down pretty well now though. I got the point where my balls are landing deep now instead of spinny and short. I've also learned to flatten my shots out a bit (its pretty hard, but its a little better) and that's the shot im using when going for winners. Your right though, it does require all of fetching and the points tend to last longer because your not hitting as many winners.

    Also, my game is modeled after Karlovic in the sense that he has a really good serve and just average/above average volleys. He slices alot of his backhands, so do I. He has an average forehand, so do I. He has a bad return game, so do I. My whole game is almost identical to Karlovic's I found, except that I don't serve 153mph lol.
     
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  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    But Karlovic is a full grown adult.
    At 6'2" now, you'll still add some height. Most in the know say you don't reach your strength peak till mid to late 20's. You WILL hit over 125 first serves, like next year when you're 17 or so. Then more faster if you continue to practice.
    Yeah, your game should be modeled towards "tall guy with big serve" thread also.
     
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  43. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    yeah I'll try my best to model my serve after the 'big serve' guy. I really liked his motion, and I think mine is pretty close to it now. I'll have a video up on my kick serve and my faster flat serve soon now, so you guys can see how my serve has been progressing. And yeah i like to be aggressive, but I feel like i'd rather use my fitness and outlast/outrun people. and i sure hope i'll be able to hit 125mph serves in the next 2 years or so. That would really help me when trying out for a DII college at 18 years old. I think my serve will get to that level (125mph), but I need another weapon to develop beside my serve. I'm going to start focusing on my forehand more and try to make that more of a weapon. Either that or make my volleys better
     
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  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Good stuff...
    It'll be a pleasure, in 3 years, to tell everyone that I once "knew" this BallinBob kid when he was a junior....
    Also, when you play 4.5-5's, they'll test your running, shape, and aerobics more than you'd believe. Most are in shape, lacking only some big forcing shots, so basically in the same boat as you.
    Keep going....
     
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  45. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    100% agree with LeeD, although his way of explaining it was utter shiite.

    Matt
     
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  46. Babb

    Babb Professional

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    Now down to 4 feet behind the baseline.
    You went from Nadal to Karlovic... I'm so confused...

    If western really wears you out that bad, then you're not in good shape. I'm 6'0'', 150 lbs and full western is not tiring to me. If just the swing of the racquet (regardless of what grip you're using) is making you tired, then do some push ups, pull ups, dips, etc. Medicine ball throws are also good.
     
    #46
  47. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    We weren't all born as baseline animals, Babb. :)
     
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  48. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yes I know, I'm confused too lol. I said Nadal because my groundies are really spinny. But I dont know to be honest... I guess I just have my own playing style haha:)

    And I think my upper body needs work, that's probably why im so tierd. I have a ~5:20 minute mile and a 11.77 second 100m dash. I mean I'm pretty fit. But my upperbody is weak, so maybe I'll work on that and see if that helps.

    Thanks
     
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  49. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Bob, an excellent baseline model for you would be Djokovic, not that I'm biased, hahahaha!

    He takes the ball on the rise at will and can hit a wide variety of paces and spins with the full western grip. This is not easy though, by any means. It takes practice.

    Personally, I found that the SW offers more than enough spin for my game without placing my hand in an awkward position. If you feel comfortable with it, then that's great. But don't use the western grip because you think it's necessary for generating monster spin. Technique determines spin, not the grip.

    Matt
     
    #49
  50. Babb

    Babb Professional

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    Now down to 4 feet behind the baseline.
    Haha! Never said I was a baseline animal. A baseline specialist, but no animal at anything.
    Fitness for tennis goes beyond the legs, from my own experience. I play my best when I've been hitting the upper body pretty hard. I know a guy who is faster than me and really athletic but can't do one single pull up.
     
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