Western grip

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by kimba, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. kimba

    kimba Rookie

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    Hi all,
    I have been playing tennis for a number of years and was thinking about swapping from a semi western grip to a full western grip. I hit with a fair amount of top spin and feel comfortable using a western grip. Do you think it will help with my consistency if I change to a western grip? I seem to have more margin for error as it allows me to hit higher over the net and still bring the ball back down.
    Do you guys think it is a smart move?
     
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  2. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Work on improving your SW grip, instead.
     
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  3. brad1730

    brad1730 Rookie

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    I switched,and am glad that I did - but it was a big change for me. Switching my grip to a continental (for volleying) and back was not natural and I was often caught offguard during matches. I do get a lot more topspin, and for me it was worth the 6 months transition time.
     
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  4. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    However, you can achieve plenty of topspin with a SW grip as well. It's been shown over and over in still photos that Nadal now uses a SW grip.
     
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  5. kevoT

    kevoT Semi-Pro

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    Nope, I think the SW gives enough spin as it is. Like Bud said, just work on your SW.

    The Western grip is a bit too much, IMO, but that is because I came from using a grip in between an Eastern and Semi-Eastern.
     
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  6. Carolina Racquet

    Carolina Racquet Hall of Fame

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    I think a SW grip has many more advantages than a Western.

    A SW grip can allow you to hit a lot of topspin, it can also allow you to drive the ball with less topspin when needed. In short, vary your shot with the same grip.
     
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  7. Andre D

    Andre D Rookie

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    I believe It would be easier to put the ball in with a Western grip, but like in the laws of equal exchange you will lose something, find what is best suited for you, for me, I alternate between semi western and eastern on forehand, and continental and western on backhand. It sound pretty dumb but It works for me, personally it would take lots of speed from the ball but would increase spin, like I said figure what you like the most
     
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  8. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    now we are getting into the '1 grip is better than the other' debate without even looking at the players body type and swing pattern.

    *sign*
     
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  9. eliza

    eliza Guest

    Elaborate guys, elaborate!!! I come from western grip school, and I am fighting the Pro here who yells at me .....
    What has the body type to do? Swing, is not the same, low to high over the shoulder?
    Share your wisdom :)
     
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  10. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    body type is a general term encompasses all of the following -

    weight
    height
    flexibility
    bone structure
    ligament structure
    muscle structure

    hence the term 'different folks different strokes'..... everybody has their own built in 'optimal contact point' and 'optimal swing steepness'....... the more forward the contact, the more steep the swing, the more extreme (aka Western) the grip should be, and vice versa.

    find what works, adjust while your skill level progresses, and don't fight (against your own anatomy and instinct).
     
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  11. eliza

    eliza Guest

    I love the last sentence: do not fight your anatomy/instinct.
    I am fighting (litterally) with this coach, who wants me to 1) close the stance 2) adjust the grip to SW, actually is almost continental 3) kind of crouch on the incoming ball so that (FH) my left knee points at the incoming ball..
    Result: I am late, lose balance, get a weak and short ball. Then I show him my normal FH, which goes with very nice top, and he says that with his method I still have enough top (yeah, right).......I am a mess... but he maintains this is how you play tennis.....
     
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  12. Andre D

    Andre D Rookie

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    I actually agree with almost everything he says, you are missing the basics, If you cant hit a ball with a closed stance it must mean that your balance is messed up, i understand what he means by crouching, you must do that in order to get more explosive power. my advice? hit the gym, work harder to make it work, If he is the one who is coaching must be because he knows more than you right?If not, then do not take lessons from him. When i started playing I did everything by the book and by what coaches told me, I got beat up plenty of times, but I stuck with it and at a certain rate I started to improve very very fast and now I got the fundamentals down and now I play a kind of decent tennis( depends on who I am comparing of course).

    I wont be judging or anything, this is just my opinion

    About the grip, well, I never saw you playing so I cant say anything about that
     
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  13. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    if you are strong enough, go for it. as long as you dont leave the ball short, you could get more kick on your balls, which can be a kick in the balls for your opponent
     
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  14. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, dozu, but the western grip is just not a good choice for recreational players. This isn't just me speaking, I've heard lots of pros including my own, Ian Westermann and Will Hamilton discourage the western for rec players.

    Further, I've seen lots of high school kids trying to use a western grip and all of them have had more success after switching to a SW or eastern. Your contact point has to be way out in front and if you get a low ball you're in BIG trouble.
     
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  15. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    i play a billion times better with the Eastern/Semi-western grip hybrid, extreme eastern? and i am able to hit less lofty but more spin than i was with western. but i think if you can keep the ball deep and not moonballing with the western then its okay to use.
     
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  16. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I just think players with western grips are in big trouble if they're not getting loopy shots from their opponent.

    This kid I know is not a great player, but he could hit well in practice when I was giving him balls with decent height. We started playing a match and I sliced pretty much every backhand really low and he just couldn't deal with it. I think he actually had to change grips on low balls. Of course, there are players with eastern grips that can't get low balls back either, but I think this player's western grip was really hindering him.
     
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  17. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Quoted for truth. I feel like many people do well with a western in spite of the grip, rather than because of the grip. I'm not saying the SW is the be-all of forehand grips either, but the western tends to make a player more one-dimensional.
     
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  18. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    To the OP... the SW grip is the best and most versatile grip for recreational players. As another poster stated, it allows a nice blend of topspin and drive. It's also an easy grip to find for beginning players as you simply lie the racquet on the ground and pick it up. You're automatically in the right grip. Not enough coaches teach about proper grips to beginning students, IMO.

    Work on it rather than switching to a western grip.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maybe we should consider the HEIGHT of the person and what bounce he/she faces predominantly.
    EVERY short pro tennis player, man or woman, uses almost a full Western grip, because they face balls bouncing head high all the time.
    Only problem with that grip is you have to swing fast every time, or you put up a sitter ball. Some people don't have the energy to swing fast every time, so sitter balls come from them quite often.
     
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  20. eliza

    eliza Guest

    Maybe is my mental block. See, I started with a coach from CA, who left too soon. I was improving at dramatic rate, honestly, I could rally with guys 4.0, and I was always on the ball.
    Now I only have this guy, and I am not going anywhere......I mean I am worse than ever. I think I need another Pro......
     
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  21. Andre D

    Andre D Rookie

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    I dont know about that, as I stated before I dont know you, If you don´t like his methods then do it.
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    E, don't concentrate on the grip you use, just make sure you can hit with pace and spin, fast enough so your groundies are not attacked by the other person. You don't need to hit winners every shot, but your groundstrokes do need enough pace so the opposition cannot attack it. Beyond that, it's gravy.
    If you loop high slow balls all the time, a switched towards SW or strong efh will give more pace with less swingspeed, making it EASIER to hit the ball faster. It depends what YOU want to do in tennis.
     
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