Is loose grip really a good thing?

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Interesting enough, there's a thread where they say using heavy thin-beam racquet is a man's ego thing. Now RHS as well. What else? Non-slice BH? Poly strings? Powerful serve? Multiple racquets? Tennis generally?.. huh, seems I've got the answer! Should we be ok with ego/mojo bringing us to the courts? Competition is an ego thing.
:p :-D8-B
but rocket science is a bridge too far...
 
Just noticed this today, because I normally have all fingers on grip, but if your ring finger is at the end of the butt cap (pinky off) you get more forehand lag and it keeps me from gripping too tightly.
 

Curious

Legend
Just noticed this today, because I normally have all fingers on grip, but if your ring finger is at the end of the butt cap (pinky off) you get more forehand lag and it keeps me from gripping too tightly.
Yeah same story, same illusion. Lag, racket head speed, pace and so on.
That sort of grip is what exactly I’m trying to avoid, I’m trying to put even the pinky on the handle not just the ring finger.
I don’t care about the lag and pace, I want a very stable grip, steady racket face at contact.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Static weight less than 340g, sw less than 330 doesn’t feel right.
My judgement... you don't get control over decently heavy frame by gripping tight. Even on volleys, you still pull the handle, and head follows, and you stop handle, and head pivots inertially. Even for very compact volleys.
Maybe 2-handed style both sides? Clearly an improvement for racquet face control at contact!
 

Dragan

Semi-Pro
Both tennis pros I have been practicing with in the past told me to keep my arm relaxed during the swing until a moment before contact with the ball, then to grip the racquet very firmly through the contact, and then relax it again immediately after. For me, it feels like a short "squeeze" of the handle that lasts about ~0.2-0.3 seconds, and it surely takes some practice to master.

IMO, holding the racquet tightly throughout the entire swing may lead to wrist and elbow injuries over time. Fighting the natural pendulum movement of the racquet with your muscles is (1) tiresome on the long run (2) stressful for your small arm muscles and tendons.
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
For me, it feels like a short "squeeze" of the handle that lasts about ~0.2-0.3 seconds, and it surely takes some practice to master.
Hope this worked well for you right off the bat. I feel some risk of tightening not only the grip, but whole arm, slowing down the swing.
What I suggest to do is tightening not for conact, but aiming for full extended position - that will ensure continuous swing through contact without deceleration, and firmer grip around contact. To picture it, you accelerate with loose arm around here:


And then you tighten up from before the contact towards the extention position:


Oops that weak player didn't grip the handle properly, caught a mishit and got the hoop twist, what a shame!

 

Dragan

Semi-Pro
Hope this worked well for you right off the bat. I feel some risk of tightening not only the grip, but whole arm, slowing down the swing.
What I suggest to do is tightening not for conact, but aiming for full extended position - that will ensure continuous swing through contact without deceleration, and firmer grip around contact. To picture it, you accelerate with loose arm around here:

And then you tighten up from before the contact towards the extention position:

Oops that weak player didn't grip the handle properly, caught a mishit and got the hoop twist, what a shame!
You cannot really tell from that video how tightly Stan holds the racquet right through the contact with the ball (I frequently see him playing with his fingers taped due to blisters - why if he has a completely loose grip?)

Also, don't make judgments based on a "cherry-picked" practice video, when most players are intentionally very relaxed and warming up. There are other match play videos of Stan hitting very hard paced forehands clearly off-center and his racquet head not twisting at all.

Regarding the fully extended position of the arm, yes, I mostly hit the ball with my arm fully extended (except when not ideally positioned for the shot). A guy who has a very "whippy" forehand and hits the ball with his arm fully extended through the contact is Rafael Nadal. His fingers are always full of blisters and taped - can you explain that? Out of professional players, only Federer looks like the guy who has a relatively relaxed grip through the contact.

Anyway, I am not advocating that the way I was taught to grip the racquet through the contact is the right way or the best way. If you play consistently with a loose grip through the entire swing, and can control your shots even against hard hitters, good for you. It is definitely "healthier" to be as relaxed as possible.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
You cannot really tell from that video how tightly Stan holds the racquet right through the contact with the ball (I frequently see him playing with his fingers taped due to blisters - why if he has a completely loose grip?)

Also, don't make judgments based on a "cherry-picked" practice video, when most players are intentionally very relaxed and warming up. There are other match play videos of Stan hitting very hard paced forehands clearly off-center and his racquet head not twisting at all.

Regarding the fully extended position of the arm, yes, I mostly hit the ball with my arm fully extended (except when not ideally positioned for the shot). A guy who has a very "whippy" forehand and hits the ball with his arm fully extended through the contact is Rafael Nadal. His fingers are always full of blisters and taped - can you explain that? Out of professional players, only Federer looks like the guy who has a relatively relaxed grip through the contact.

Anyway, I am not advocating that the way I was taught to grip the racquet through the contact is the right way or the best way. If you play consistently with a loose grip through the entire swing, and can control your shots even against hard hitters, good for you. It is definitely "healthier" to be as relaxed as possible.
I was actually not going to argue against you - I started writing the post, picked Stan vid to illustrate my ideas, then it appeared to be a mishit and twist, which was funny. So it ended as it did.

I suggest, if you focus on tightening the grip - do it in unison with pushing arm into extension to avoid tightening at contact location and decelerating.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yeah same story, same illusion. Lag, racket head speed, pace and so on.
That sort of grip is what exactly I’m trying to avoid, I’m trying to put even the pinky on the handle not just the ring finger.
I don’t care about the lag and pace, I want a very stable grip, steady racket face at contact.
Is it not steady now? What is it doing at contact?
 

bitcoinoperated

Professional
What a big illusion to think that you need a lot of racket head speed unless you’re a very high level player. It’s mostly a men’s ego thing! Never seen girls obsessing that much about racket head speed, serve speed, forehand speed...
This illusion will not get you pro-like shots, it will only bring a hefty unforced error count and a sore elbow!
Not the girls I know, they look up to power WTA players not Radwanska.

Fixed grip is more likely to give you more tennis elbow.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
IMO, if you focus on the grip or grip tightness you are focusing on the wrong thing. IMO focusing how to generate energy so that your arm stays relaxed has to be the key. If you can consistently do what it takes to get relaxed power, you will never think about your grip again.

This Mayotte clip has been posted before but I still find it the best in terms of a very small but rarely mentioned thing that Roger does to generate tremendous power with relaxed looking strokes.

 
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Curious

Legend
IMO, if you focus on the grip or grip tightness you are focusing on the wrong thing. IMO focusing how to generate energy so that your arm stays relaxed has to be the key. If you can consistently do what it takes to get relaxed power, you will never think about your grip again.

This Mayotte clip has been posted before but I still find it the best in terms of a very small but rarely mentioned thing that Roger does to generate tremendous power with relaxed looking strokes.

Hip first as he describes in the video requires great timing. Not for everyone. And irrelevant to rec player.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Hip first as he describes in the video requires great timing. Not for everyone. And irrelevant to rec player.
This is a strange reply. Its like you are lost on a journey and someone hands you a gps device and you say nah I am good gps is irrelevant. FWIW I think that has a ton to do with your original question. Its like the kinetic chain and timing go hand in hand with grip pressure.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Hip first as he describes in the video requires great timing. Not for everyone. And irrelevant to rec player.
Not disagreeing. I already preached on another thread about copying Lendl and Sampras fh for most rec players. So despite the Fed infatuation on this board I am not suggesting this is easy to copy. However if you are hellbent on copying Federer as many seem to be then that video does provide a different take than most videos.

All I am saying is that focusing on whether your grip is too tight or relaxed is missing the forest for the trees. The aim should be a nice repeatable motion that consistently works for you. If you have that then you will go through matches and not even fret about your grips.
 

Curious

Legend
Not disagreeing. I already preached on another thread about copying Lendl and Sampras fh for most rec players. So despite the Fed infatuation on this board I am not suggesting this is easy to copy. However if you are hellbent on copying Federer as many seem to be then that video does provide a different take than most videos.

All I am saying is that focusing on whether your grip is too tight or relaxed is missing the forest for the trees. The aim should be a nice repeatable motion that consistently works for you. If you have that then you will go through matches and not even fret about your grips.
It’s hard to quantify the grip firmness and it’s quite subjective. So I guess I’m done with it, I know what feels right for me and it’s on the firmer side. That’s ok. But the other part of my point is maybe more important: choking up on the handle rather than just holding it very close to the buttcap. I strongly believe that’s a better way for a repeatable steady, solid contact. Nishikori style that is.
 

Curious

Legend
This is a strange reply. Its like you are lost on a journey and someone hands you a gps device and you say nah I am good gps is irrelevant. FWIW I think that has a ton to do with your original question. Its like the kinetic chain and timing go hand in hand with grip pressure.
What if the gps device has no battery?
Is it still relevant??
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
What if the gps device has no battery?
Is it still relevant??

But your answer was more like “the gps has all these fancy schmanzy buttons. Give me the good old map and my intuition. Now get off my lawn!!!”

The video by itself showed how Federe gets relaxed power. When a lot of questions here talk about grips or breaking down a stroke to the most anal degree, that is the question they are really asking. So that’s why I thought it was relevant. Might not help you or me, but might help some others.

As for your other post on choking up a bit, I totally agree. Side on, choking up a bit more are not popular advice but can help a lot of casual rec players. Plus it is more stress free on the body. Open stance, full blooded strokes are better for those who are more fit and can devote a lot of time for reps.
 
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