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Old 01-28-2013, 01:54 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by FrisbeeFool View Post
I've been playing tennis for a long time, and I've never heard of the steak knife grip. I'm not aware of any coaches that are teaching the "steak knife grip." Is the steak knife grip a continental? An eastern? Or somewhere in between?

If you want to learn the grip that most of the pros use, put your index knuckle on the top bevel. If you start with a continental grip and shift one bevel over you'll be in an eastern grip.

As I've said very often, an "Eastern" grip actually encompasses many grips because the palm positioning can vary.

If you do a Google image search under "eastern backhand grip", most of the instructional photos on the top few rows show someone holding the racket like a steak knife (hence, my made-up terminology). This has been more commonly referred to as a "pistol grip" because the finger looks like it's on a trigger. But I figure more people have used a steak knife than a pistol...

Most of these instructional photos are terrible. The worst is the one with a quarter on the back of the hand, but most are some variation of that.

These are not the grip the pros use. Compare these top search results with that the pros actually do. Hint: Look at the pictures from my last post.

If you still don't know what I'm talking about, see my own article that I've been referring to to avoid saying the same thing repeatedly.

By the way, here's a pic that should show up on the top row of a Google search (but sadly is in the 11th row on my screen):

(Fabian Seixa)

If grabbing your racket this way results in a significantly different grip from what you currently use, you might benefit from a grip change.

Originally Posted by FrisbeeFool View Post
Let me reiterate what Cheetah and Borami have already said, most pros use an eastern grip. If you look at Wawrinka and Federer's topspin backhand grips, they're not extreme at all. Federer is closer to continental than some of his contemporaries.

If you're learning the one-handed backhand, using an extreme grip will not magically help you tap into the modern game and give you a Wawrinka-like backhand.
The problem is that many rec players, including those who have studied the game, are using a weak grip to begin with. They do this for several reasons:

1. The aforementioned Google search (as well as Youtube videos that implicitly advocate a weak grip)
2. Their instructors are bad regarding the 1hbh (common).
3. They naturally picked up the racket with the weak grip. After all, what sane person would naturally pick up their racket like in the picture above?

Therefore many players do need a more extreme grip, though not necessarily a grip that is actually "extreme."
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