Higher grip on return of serve

choking up on grip works for my volley for sure. I just read Brad Gilbert suggested gripping higher (up to 2 inches) also helps with ROS especially when struggling to return serves faster than you normally get. Also he said gripping higher can somewhat reduce overhitting when returning opponent's 2nd serve. I'm a little unsure how this is going work out. Did anyone try it and have good results?
 

Mark-Touch

Hall of Fame
choking up on grip works for my volley for sure. I just read Brad Gilbert suggested gripping higher (up to 2 inches) also helps with ROS especially when struggling to return serves faster than you normally get. Also he said gripping higher can somewhat reduce overhitting when returning opponent's 2nd serve. I'm a little unsure how this is going work out. Did anyone try it and have good results?
Choking up is considered cheating and frowned upon by the pros. :)
 

Purestriker

Professional
choking up on grip works for my volley for sure. I just read Brad Gilbert suggested gripping higher (up to 2 inches) also helps with ROS especially when struggling to return serves faster than you normally get. Also he said gripping higher can somewhat reduce overhitting when returning opponent's 2nd serve. I'm a little unsure how this is going work out. Did anyone try it and have good results?
Have not tried that method. But I could absolutely see where it would give you more control on returning a fast flat serve. Would be easier to block it back.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
Sounds a bit like using a 7-iron off the tee on par 5s so you don’t risk hitting out of bounds.
The serve won’t be any slower because you are choked up. I’d fix the issues that are causing you to consider doing this.
 
To read some of the postings, you might think every tennis shot requires its own special grip- a grip for high balls,
low balls, topspin, slice, three kinds of grip for serving, some adjustment for half-volleys, that special squash-shot grip,
At least two grips for the lob, and so on.

So, OK, if that sort of constant changing works for a player, and he/she is happy with their level of play...
But... in my opinion, simplicity is what one should strive for in the long run.

"Gripping" up should not violate this "rule" of simplicity, if it becomes your normal grip, but, having to do that,
suggests the balance or weight of the racket is what really needs changing. You might look into that.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
To read some of the postings, you might think every tennis shot requires its own special grip
Well probably at least 3 shots require special grip.
Variation of SW for Topspin FH
Either a 1HBH or 2HBH grip for BH drive
Continental for serve, volley, half volley, overheads, lobs, slice

People that play with one grip have placed themselves at a disadvantage in my opinion since it's hard to hit powerful topspin FH's with a conti grip and it's hard to hit everything else with a SW FH grip. They also get extremely lazy with their non-dominant hand in my experience. Grip changers are always getting the non hitting hand onto the throat to facilitate grip changes which then also facilitates the unit turns.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
To read some of the postings, you might think every tennis shot requires its own special grip- a grip for high balls,
low balls, topspin, slice, three kinds of grip for serving, some adjustment for half-volleys, that special squash-shot grip,
At least two grips for the lob, and so on.

So, OK, if that sort of constant changing works for a player, and he/she is happy with their level of play...
But... in my opinion, simplicity is what one should strive for in the long run.

"Gripping" up should not violate this "rule" of simplicity, if it becomes your normal grip, but, having to do that,
suggests the balance or weight of the racket is what really needs changing. You might look into that.
Simplicity is overrated. Except for those who cannot handle a variety. I became accustomed to using a multitude of different grips for badminton. Most of these had short (choked up) versions and long versions. Had no problem with these grip changes because I could feel the bevels and was always aware of the racket face orientation.

Brought this habit when I returned to tennis in the late '80s. Had no problem at all adjusting my swing path for various grips. But, I understand that some players cannot do this -- even solid intermediate players
 
Well probably at least 3 shots require special grip.
Variation of SW for Topspin FH
Either a 1HBH or 2HBH grip for BH drive
Continental for serve, volley, half volley, overheads, lobs, slice

People that play with one grip have placed themselves at a disadvantage in my opinion since it's hard to hit powerful topspin FH's with a conti grip and it's hard to hit everything else with a SW FH grip. They also get extremely lazy with their non-dominant hand in my experience. Grip changers are always getting the non hitting hand onto the throat to facilitate grip changes which then also facilitates the unit turns.
I never said a person should play with only one grip, or hit groundstrokes with a continental grip- only that simpler is the way to go rather than have two or three types of forehand, etc.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I never said a person should play with only one grip, or hit groundstrokes with a continental grip- only that simpler is the way to go rather than have two or three types of forehand, etc.
You should have a topspsin FH and a squash/slice FH. The former for offense and the latter for defense. Both require different grips to hit properly.

I agree you don't need two types of topspin FH and I don't know anyone that advocates hitting and Eastern FH for low balls and Western FH for high balls. That's a bit overkill.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Bagumbawalla
I agree you don't need two types of topspin FH and I don't know anyone that advocates hitting and Eastern FH for low balls and Western FH for high balls. That's a bit overkill.
I've come across sources & other coaches who do advocate it. I do it myself quite easily. My primary Fh grip is a strong EFh (an E+). However, for chest / shoulder-high balls, I will switch to a SW grip for topspin. Especially if I am playing against someone who hits a lot of their shots that bounce high.

I've seen quite a few rec / intermediate players who are quite capable of doing the same thing with their grips. Will often switch to conti for squash shots, tweeners, Bucharest Backfires, etc.

Not everybody's cup of tea but, for some of us, it is not really an issue -- certainly not what I'd call overkill.
 

Goof

Professional
@Bagumbawalla

I've come across sources & other coaches who do advocate it. I do it myself quite easily. My primary Fh grip is a strong EFh (an E+). However, for chest / shoulder-high balls, I will switch to a SW grip for topspin. Especially if I am playing against someone who hits a lot of their shots that bounce high.

I've seen quite a few rec / intermediate players who are quite capable of doing the same thing with their grips. Will often switch to conti for squash shots, tweeners, Bucharest Backfires, etc.

Not everybody's cup of tea but, for some of us, it is not really an issue -- certainly not what I'd call overkill.
What in world are those?
 
@Bagumbawalla

I've come across sources & other coaches who do advocate it. I do it myself quite easily. My primary Fh grip is a strong EFh (an E+). However, for chest / shoulder-high balls, I will switch to a SW grip for topspin. Especially if I am playing against someone who hits a lot of their shots that bounce high.

I've seen quite a few rec / intermediate players who are quite capable of doing the same thing with their grips. Will often switch to conti for squash shots, tweeners, Bucharest Backfires, etc.

Not everybody's cup of tea but, for some of us, it is not really an issue -- certainly not what I'd call overkill.
S/A, I realize that you are one of the best-informed and knowledgeable experts when it comes to tennis (and some other things).
I also realize that if something works for a player, and they are happy with their level and quality of play- there is no need to force change on them.

I suppose I am the kind of idealist that would have suggested that Ken Rosewall or Steffi Graf do more with their backhand topspin drive.

As everyone is aware, the further one progresses in tennis, the faster and more intense the sport becomes- time become a valuable commodity. Every simplification, every step saved, every decision refined, every reaction improved, are just so many ways to uncomplicated and refine ones game. Obviously, on the "public park circuit" all this may be irrelevant,
but when someone asks the question, my basic philosophy is to simplify.

Yes, there is a guy I sometimes hit with that has 3 different serve tosses and grips. He serves very well, but I always know what shot he is going hit, and where. His serve could be improved by simplification.

One volley grip should be enough. One, possibly two, forehand grips should be all one needs, same with backhand- two If you drop the second hand to slice- one service grip. Much more than that is just time and attention subtracted from ones game.

Yes, there may be some pro players that one can site,who do some wonky things, but, for the most part,
most pro players have worked out the inefficiencies of the game. Every shot is much like the rest. They don't choose between 3 service grips, change volley grips between forehand and backhand, choose between a variety of forehands and backhands.

Obviously, on the playground, we are not teaching old geezers to become pros, but I think it may be simpler for them to master one single stroke than five subtle variations.

In the case of moving up the grip to volley, a little lead in the butt-end of the racket may make that extra step unnecessary. Simplification.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
What in world are those?
The Bucharest Backfire is a novelty shot, trick shot or emergency shot that was made famous by Ilie Nastase back in the 1970s. I believe the name for this shot came from commentator / historian, Bud Collins back then. Nastase who was born in Bucharest, Romania. Hence, the shot name.

It is often used when chasing down a deep high bouncing ball that has gone over your head (while you were in the forecourt). It is sometimes executed instead of tweener -- if the ball bounces high enough. I actually learned to hit this shot years before I mastered the tweener. Like most trick or novelty (emergency) shots, these two are typically done with a continental grip (or a semi-conti grip)

 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Bagumbawalla

Back in the day, it was quite common to switch grips at the net between forehand and backhand volleys. Sometimes by a half bevel or more. But the game was slower back then. But even in the past 2-3 decades, pro and other high level players will often make subtle changes between the Fh & Bh grips for volleying.

Another volley grip change that is often seen is between low volleys and high volleys. Patrick Rafter, one of the last of the great serve and volley players, would often do this in the 1990s and 00s. A somewhat standard Continental grip for low and medium volleys. He would often employ a semi-conti (Aussie) grip for medium and high volleys on both sides. There are other advanced players in the past two decades that also do this.
 
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