Western forhand grip bad for juniors?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Tennisdork, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Tennisdork

    Tennisdork New User

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    I have a son who plays with A western grip , his knuckle is in between semi and full western just a little past 2nd bevel.I call it an extreme semi.He is not totally underneath the handle but past semi.Many coaches have told him to change to semi ,and quite a few said it is fine.Any opinions?Also I keep having debates about who is western on tour , I think Novak , Andreev, Roddick, Nadal are western but some saying semi.Thoughts??
     
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  2. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Semi is the way to go. Gives you the flexibility to spin and drive the ball. I don't think all those guys are all Western. And Nadal ain't Western, he's Hawaian!
     
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  3. Tennisdork

    Tennisdork New User

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    Berasategui had Hawaiian grip but several people have told me Nadal is semi, I dont see that.I met Micheal Russell at a tournament and he and Ryan Sweeting said Nadal is semi?
     
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  4. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    I've also had people tell me Sampras and Sharapova uses a Semi western. I told them to go jump off a bridge if they believe a fib like that.
     
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  5. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I don't believe Pete was western. And most of the Top 10s I suspect are semi.
     
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  6. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    pete was an eastern. Sharapova is also "eastern" -like.
     
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  7. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    This is a tricky question. We start all kids off eastern as beginners and later let them slide into a semi western if they like it better.

    However, some great players use a western grip, maybe they just started as kids not knowing any better and turned out to be great players.

    So only you can decide whether to change his grip to a semi western grip. If he is a super little player and is amazing with his western grip it could be a tough decision....but the vast majority of kids are better off semi western.
     
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  8. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    Agreed. Key word is "vast majority". Some who plays with a western that knows how to drive the ball can be a major weapon. However Semiwestern is the popular grip with today's tennis.
     
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  9. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Teach him to slide between using both. Really helps out a lot.
     
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  10. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    #10
  11. g.hull

    g.hull New User

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    do whatever works for him, myself i am really western and its working great for me
     
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  12. Radicalized

    Radicalized Semi-Pro

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    I wouldn't be so worried about the grip in itself as long as his overall motion isn't detrimental to arm health. Just be sure that he is able to adjust the grip when necessary for shots that are best hit with other grips.
     
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  13. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    #13
  14. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    #14
  15. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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  16. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    I agree!!!!!!!
     
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  17. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    My 11 year old plays with a western grip, has been since 9 years old. He wanted to hit top spin and so a coach (not in the States) showed him and practiced with him how. I am not a tennis professional so I didn't know what is right and what not. Then in the States two of the coaches he trains with wanted him to change it to semi and worked on it all summer, it didn't take. He tried but they told him when you play a tournament switch back to what you know. He is small for his age so they were worried about injuries from western grip. He trained in Europe all of last summer and I asked two different coaches who worked closely with him about his grip, one said it is perfectly fine and look at the amount of spin he generates. The other one said that my son seems OK with it (hits good and no injury so far), but maybe changing it would be better in the long run to avoid injury. He would have to stop playing tournaments for six months (goes along with why he had a hard time changing to semi in the States), since kids tend to do what they know in order to win, meaning he would play western during matches and that should be avoided.
    Anyway, we are done with making any changes with it, I feel like a lot of work was done and no change happened and only makes him question his forehand. He will on occasion have a weird follow through with his forehand, I think because of the western grip. His backhand is his best shot now, maybe because of all that emphasis on changing forehand. We haven’t changed anything for a year now. He hits really good forehands with so much speed and power that after one of these shots he asked me:” Did you see that? Why should I change that?”
    Just our little western vs. semi story. I guess we’ll see what happens in the future but it seems majority of the coaches I spoke with think semi is the way to go. I hope this helps you make a right decision for your kid.
     
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  18. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    ^^ At 11, he is old enough to use what he is comfortable with. To a continental guy like me, that anyone can hit with a western grip is absolutely amazing by itself :)

    I started my son with full continental for all strokes at 5 yrs. About 6 months ago (7.5 at the time), I showed him the Eastern grips and asked him to hit with whatever he felt comfortable with, for the topspin strokes (i.e. conti or Eastern).

    He has since switched to the Eastern grip when hitting topspin on the forehand side. He is still conti on the 1HBH. He does not feel comfortable with EBH, and I will let him play conti on the BH as long as he wants to.
     
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  19. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Great story. Sounds like your boy listened and tried other grips, then in the end decided the western is what makes his particular forehand special.

    You can not ask for any more than that as a parent or coach.
     
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