Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Wilsonbro11, Jun 4, 2013.
When hitting my forehand should I keep a tight grip on the racquet? Or a loose one.
When I hit a forehand the racquet sits on the bottom pad of my right hand. My two middle fingers are the brace and the pad of my thumb is the end of my forehand stroke. My right hip drives through with my shoulder following down to my forearm into my wrist. I will keep the grip loose on down the line shots and inside out forehands So I can get a lot of whip on the stroke. I also like to keep a loose grip and wrist on my first and second serve. I want to produce head speed on both serves.
I hope that helps.
Without going into extraordinary details, loose.
loose until right before contact
What kind of forehand? Hard winner, or relaxed rally ball?
Old school direct path stroke? Or modern loop swing WW finish?
Look at pictures of pro in match play. Do their grimace on their face look like they're relaxed?
Look at pics of Nadal hitting forehands. Does he look relaxed?
Look at Fed hitting forehands. He looks calm.
Look at DJ hitting forehands. He's in between.
Different grip pressure for different styles, and different shots.
If you're a beginner I suggest a somewhat firm grip.
The tightness of grip affects more than just your hand and wrist. It tends to affect your whole arm. If your grip is loose, your whole arm will tend to be loose and if your stroke isn't grooved you're likely to have all sorts of undesirable movements throughout the arm.
I think this is particularly true if you're trying to learn the modern forehand, especially of the ATP variety. A loose arm will tend to cause the arm to supinate and elbow to drop excessively on the forward swing causing the racket face to open up into contact. This is probably why a lot of people end up popping the ball into the air despite using an extreme grip.
So I say, "somewhat tight until you can hit right." Once you can do that, you can experiment with being more loose, if you want.
It is my (considerable) experience that a majority of novices and, also, many intermediate players tend to grip the racquet too tightly when playing tennis. I advocate a loose grip most of the time when playing. Keep it loose between points, when in a ready position, at the start of all strokes and at the end of all strokes.
If you keep the grip loose most of the time, then your grip should tighten naturally on the forward swing (or upward swing on the serve). This firming of the grip should be just enough to prevent the racquet from flying out of your hand. It should also be firm enough to keep the racquet from twisting in your hand on off-center contacts. The degree of firmness might vary for different types of strokes, However, full grip strength is NEVER needed according to grip studies done by Jack Groppel, Bruce Elliot and others...
I never would have thought to grip the racket with full grip strength.
To me, 1/2 grip strength is very firm. So I guess a big problem would be trying to classify and communicate what is meant by loose and firm.
Perhaps "firm" might be something like a "business hand shake" (at least for men)? And "loose" is just strong enough to not drop the racket?
Intended audience is also important. I agree a man on the street would probably hold the racket firm to tight. But I notice that around TW a lot of people have been influenced by (possibly incorrect) ideas about Federer's forehand and the modern/pull/ATP forehand, and it seems that they are going out of their way to have a very loose grip and arm.
So I suspect a lot of these people who have problems on their fh may actually be too loose because they are not naturally tightening on the forward swing like a normal person would.
^ Some good points here. But how does this "too loose" grip manifest itself. I very rarely ever see players with a relaxed grip who do not firm it up on the forward swing.
As I said in my first post, "too loose" can affect not just the hand, but the whole arm. Slight tension in the hand will tend to firm up the entire arm, which may not be a bad thing.
So I think "too loose" can manifest itself as a breakdown in the hitting-arm structure and/or in excessive supination/pronation on the forward swing. These problems would probably be most pronounced on those attempting an ATP-style forehand.
I've seen several posts recently where the OP talks about trying to hit with a loose grip but ends up spraying the ball high or low. So I suspect this is what's going on with them.
Do you take tennis lessons?
Does that mean if one keeps a correct loose grip at the beginning of the stroke, it will naturally firm up on the forward swing towards contact?
I am working on keep a loose grip. I often start out the point with a loose grip but there is a tendency to start gripping tightly as an intense rally progresses.
Sure. Try it with shadow swings. Start with a loose/relaxed grip from the ready position. Maintain the relaxed grip for the unit turn prep and for the racket drop (assuming a loop swing). If you perform the shadow swing with a fast swing or even a moderately fast swing, the fingers should firm up as the racket is accelerated on the forward swing. Failure to squeeze on the forward swing should result in a racket launch from your hand if the swing is fairly (moderately) fast. As you are finishing your follow-thru, make sure that the grip is, once again, relaxed.
Perform at least 2 dozen shadow swings daily for each stroke (FH, BH, serves and, possibly even, volleys). Do these shadow swings whether you go to the courts to play or not. After a few weeks (or months), the loose-firm-loose sequence should become an unconscious habit
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