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bfonz7 03-03-2004 08:38 AM

Finally figured out why my strokes were so inconisistent....
Just alittle backround on me, i have played on a team for 7 years now...3 in high school and now 4 at a small college. I use a semiwestern grip on my forehand, but for the longest time I have used the Jim Courier "Hammer" grip. I never realized it, but i was gripping the racquet too tightly and it was causing me to not only prestretch my forearm, but my whole arm as a whole making it stiff. i tended to hit alot of short balls and wondered why, because it wasnt the fact that i didnt know how to hit a tennis stroke. we cant yet get outside to hit yet, so i was hitting in one of the racquetball courts and a light bulb went off in my head to try the grip like holding a gun. my strokes almost instantly were more fluent and even on the fast surface of the court i was able to rally 20 balls plus in a row. anyone else experienced this? now instead of muscling the ball, i feel like for the first time i can use my whole body to hit an excellent shot

Bungalo Bill 03-03-2004 08:46 AM

That is a big important finding for you! That is very important. Holding the grip for your tennis strokes is a lot like holding a bird that you dont want to hurt nor you want it to fly away. You want to hold just enough pressure to so that if a friend were to pull the racquet out of your hands he could but with some resistance.

Very good! I am sure now your strokes will improve greatly! THe exception on the "sort of" firm grip is if you have a onehanded backhand. That grip is a more firm because the dynamics of the stroke calls for that.

Bhagi Katbamna 03-03-2004 10:17 AM

The reason my strokes are inconsistant is that I suck at tennis.
Glad you found something that could help you.

C_Urala 03-04-2004 07:39 PM

The reason of my inconsistency was that I was meeting the ball late. After I found my strike zone I can hit against a wall 100+ (previously it was about 20).

jayserinos99 03-04-2004 10:27 PM

For me, it was a balance issue. I was constantly hitting off my back foot and 'swinging away'. I didn't follow the basics and relied heavily on arm. So now I try to 'sit and rotate' on every ball and it made things so much simpler.

vin 03-05-2004 06:06 AM

Sure bfonz, I've certainly experienced that. I think every player that likes hitting the ball hard has gone through that.

I used to have my wrist cocked and firm during my backswing, kind of like a lot of the women on tour, but I now keep my hand, wrist, and arm flexed just barely enough to keep my racquet up while going through my backswing. This sets me up for completing a smooth relaxed swing and usually prevents me from breaking the kinetic chain by trying to force things.

It's pretty much a habit for me now, but sometimes wanting to crush a ball gets the best of me and I tighten up.

It's just like baseball, you never hit a homer when you try to.


Bungalo Bill 03-05-2004 01:17 PM

good analogy vin, i will have to remember that one.

Mahboob Khan 03-07-2004 05:06 PM

For forehand with any grip, hold the racket quite relax so that the hitting arm is also relax and bent-- not tight, not straight!

For 1-handed backhand, hold the racquet quite tight so that the hitting arm is stiff and straight at contact (making an L with your arm and the racket).

For 2-handed BH: The double handed backhand is a combination of 1-handed BH (right hand) and lefty forehand: Thus, the right hand grip should be firm, the left hand forehand grip should be relax.

For serve: Hold the racket very loose as if it is going to fall off. A feeling of loss of control should occur. In that feeling of loss of control lies the control!

For volleys: Firm grip (and wrist) at contact!

Smash: Just like serve.

Will this trigger a new debate?

vin 03-07-2004 05:16 PM


Originally Posted by Mahboob Khan
For serve: Hold the racket very loose as if it is going to fall off. A feeling of loss of control should occur. In that feeling of loss of control lies the control!

Mahboob, I'm able to keep a relaxed grip on my serve, but sometimes when I hit the ball off center, the racquet comes out of my hand and goes straight down into the court. I also hold the racquet with the heel of my hand hanging off the end.

Is this common? I just ordered an expensive racquet and would prefer not to crack it doing this as I already have with another racquet.


fastdunn 03-07-2004 11:04 PM

I have lost 2 racquets in my earlier tennis years
because they slipped out of my hand and got smashed
onto ground( thank god they didn't fly to other players..)
while serving. I don't do that any more and I don't know why.
I think my grip firms up unconsciusly while/after I hit serves...

Radical Shot 03-08-2004 04:24 PM

For me, a bit part of gaining consistency was footwork. I was often cramped for room which forced my balance back. Result was a long shot. By giving myself enough room, my full-blooded swings are now unreturnable.
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Mahboob Khan 03-08-2004 06:12 PM

Hold it the way you hold a bird, "too tight the bird dies, too loose the bird flies".

For serve: the position of the pinky finger is almost off the handle -- half on the handle, half off the handle. The grip should be loose enough allowing pronation and whipping action. The idea is that at the time of contact it should firm up enough so that the expensive racket will not fall off your hand. It never fell from my hand!

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