Holding the racquet shorter... opinion, Bungalo Bill, Marcus, Manhoob, and friends ?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by floran ivanisevic, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. floran ivanisevic

    floran ivanisevic New User

    Jul 26, 2005
    Like some batters do hold the bat shorter in Baseball ( Ichiro for control ) or golfers (Langer ), would you say that holding the grip a bit shorter would help for control ?
    When I started playing some racquets where 25, 26 inches. Now they are all 27, or more...
    I personally have better control on my top spin serves or, Jim Courier like forehands when I hold the racquet grip shorter...
    It feels stiffer though, and might lead to injuries ?
    Less racquet head speed, and less whip, or centrifugal force, or use of the wrist, so even if the ball is heavier and has better control, it might be slower ?
    But I can't do like Federer and just hold it at the butt on serves and forehand, having an extreme loose wrist and still have the control of a magician at impact...
    So I wonder... is it really bad to hold it shorter like I do ?
    Or is it OK if I feel good with it ?
    I guess Seles was holding it shorter, and is Safin also ?
  2. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    On ground strokes if you hold the racket shorter (up front), it will make your wrist firm and will provide better control (may be less elasticity).

    On volleys it is preferred to hold it firm so that wrist is firm as well. This can be achieved if you hold the racket a bit upfront.

    On all types of serves, it is preferred to hold the racket loose with continental grip and hold it such that the butt cap is within your palm .. the pinky finger is almost off the handle.

    I think the above is reasonable advice for you.
  3. ktncnttl

    ktncnttl Rookie

    May 30, 2004
    Thats exactly what I do. I hold the racket a bit shorter for groundstrokes and volleys but hold it at the butt cap for serves. By shorter I mean about 1/2 an inch.
  4. Tennis Ball Hitter

    Tennis Ball Hitter Semi-Pro

    May 4, 2005
    I know someone who has cut short their racquets ... he LOVES to slice EVERYTHING. Maybe there is an idea for you ... but I'd hate to cut up a new racquet for experimentation.
  5. floran ivanisevic

    floran ivanisevic New User

    Jul 26, 2005
    very interesting indeed...I will further experiment...thanks guys !
  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    It may feel stiffer because you can relax the fingers a bit more to gain some elasticity. You should strive to utilize the handle for what it is made for. Obviously, there may be opposing opinions to this but I am a firm believer in placing the butt cap (bump part) against the heel of the palm. This will allow you to relax the fingers and gain some elasticity (fluidness) and provide leverage for better control.

    Jim Courier had a club like forehand. He used his stomach, chest, and shoulder muscles along with his rotation to smack the ball. Very short backswing and had an incredible forehand.

    Choking up on the handle does not (as far as I know) lead to injuries. There are many teaching pros that emphasize choking up on the handle for service returns to gain control.

    You will have to somewhat recruit different muscles to accelerate the racket - not much but more emphasis is placed on the chest/front shoulder area while gripping the racket either firmly or semi-firmly. But the racket head speed is going to come from a sudden thrust into the ball.

    No worries on this one. I cant hold the racket at the butt cap and control the racket either. I really dont think Federer is too far off either. It is extremely difficult to control the racket and hit balls at different speeds and spins while holding a "dangling" racket.

    I would stick to what you are doing and develop the feel on how to accelerate your racket. You might find that when you choke up more you can relax the fingers a tad to compensate. Learn to use your chest and shoulder muscles to move the racket forward. Maintain your wrist position until contact is made then relax.

    Blake, Courier, Agassi, all have quick short bursts into the ball. I woudnt over analyze this. If you like the Courier type forehand and it works for you, go on a course to perfect it. It was and still is a good forehand.
  7. floran ivanisevic

    floran ivanisevic New User

    Jul 26, 2005
    Thank you Bungalo Bill, very accurate analizis, gave me some courage ! Can't wait to get back on court !
  8. Burt Turkoglu

    Burt Turkoglu Rookie

    Mar 10, 2004
    ....hmmmmm......sounds like a good idea.....especially if you're having control issues on the return.....

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