Tennis Grips - Usually the Fat Pad Doesn't touch ANYTHING! ?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Chas Tennis, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    For the high level forehand, one hand backhand and the serve, the fat pad is most often not contacted by the racket. That's my opinion looking at high level stroke videos and pictures. But when I look at most instructions the 'fat pad' or 'heel pad' is used as a reference point. True or false?

    Google: tennis grips hand placement
    https://www.google.com/search?q=gri...FeD4KHaNkDIIQsAQIHA&biw=1366&bih=891&dpr=0.87
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  2. moonballs

    moonballs Hall of Fame

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    That's where the flared end of the handle rests. I can't see how it is not in contact during the forehand swing.
     
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  3. steve s

    steve s Professional

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    On the serve only use heel pad on bringing the racquet up. On my ground stokes use the heel pad full time.
     
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  4. Daniel_K

    Daniel_K Semi-Pro

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    I think that really depends how far up you hold the racquet.

    Notable examples from the mens game...
    google nadal, his hand is really far off the racquet.
    google Nishikori, he uses AFAIK a 27.25 and his hand rests much farther up the grip.
     
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  5. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    The grips that most are using depends on stats. Do you think that most high level players have their racket handle touching their heel pads?
     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know what the majority of pros do in this respect for their strokes but I believe that there is a lot of both. When the pinkie finger is very close to the end of the handle very little, if any, of the heel pad will be on the handle. some players who do this on groundstrokes will use a shorter grip for volleys -- heel pad on the handle. Others will have the heel pad on the handle for most of their strokes. Either way, I believe that the heel pad is still a valid reference.

    You can still see the alignment of the heel pad wrt the bevels when it is barely on the handle or is not quite on the handle at all. Therefore, we can still use the heel pad as a secondary reference -- even when it is not quite on the handle.
     
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  7. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    I've looked for a while. My estimate is that the butt of the racket most often stops near the little finger and that the fat pad can still be seen.

    In instructions, I don't recall seeing it said that the racket butt stops at the little finger, but I've see it said very often and illustrated, for example, with an 'X', that the butt reaches the 'fat pad' also called the 'heel pad' or 'heel of the hand'.

    A very quick way look at a number of grips is to Google images.

    forehands close ups images
    https://www.google.com/search?q=for...UD-QQsAQIHQ&biw=1366&bih=891&dpr=0.87#imgrc=_

    one hand backhands close ups images
    https://www.google.com/search?q=one...nB4UQsAQIHQ&biw=1366&bih=891&dpr=0.87#imgrc=_

    tennis serve ATP trophy position images
    https://www.google.com/search?q=ten...IPiYKHRBoBCUQsAQIHQ&biw=1366&bih=891&dpr=0.87

    To enlarge a picture on your computer screen hold down the ctrl KEY and press the "+" KEY. Screen magnification reduces using the ctrl KEY and "-" KEY.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
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  8. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    What's the purpose of all that analysis? Wouldn't it be better if you took out a ball machine and hit 100s of balls with with different hand positions and then report back? Discussion about theory is all very well and good but unless it has some real world application to the audience, I'm not seeing its purpose.
     
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  9. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    What analysis? What discussion about theory?

    The purpose is to question the existing instructions that might be at odds with what's being done.
     
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  10. 997turbo

    997turbo Rookie

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    This is my take:

    If you have a semiwestern or Western forehand grip with a wrist flick when brushing the ball, holding the racquet handle with your entire hand up on the handle will result in the handle butt digging into the inside of the wrist during the finish.

    That could be reason so many players hold their racquets down low with their fat pads way off the handle butts, as shown in your Google image links.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Not much of an issue as I see it (see post #66). And not much at odds with existing instructions either. It doesn't really matter if the heel pad is directly ON the the handle or not. If not actually on the handle, we can still determine that it is lined up with a specific corner or bevel of the handle. Here is Will Hamilton talking about Federer's "Eastern" FH grip:

    youtube.com/watch?v=aXcsblS3Jl4&t=65

    Will's description is not really at odds with the heel pad position he is showing -- even tho' Roger's heel pad is off the racket for the most part. Second point: Below we can see the Roger is using a slightly shorter grip for this FH volley. A little bit (more) of the heel pad is on the handle for this shorter grip.

    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
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  12. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    I vote for describing things as accurately as possible with words, illustrations and videos.

    At 1:49 in this 2007 video, Will describes the two references points, index knuckle and heel pad, with clear illustrations and uses the word "rests".


    Does the exact location have any significance? Yes.

    1) If I hold a racket and place bevel #2 on the index knuckle and fat pad, it produces a forearm to racket angle with a relaxed neutral wrist. Try it with a racket.

    2) If I hold a racket and place bevel #2 on the index knuckle and have the racket butt at about the location of the little finger, with the finger gripping the handle there, the racket has a different angle to the hand and therefore the forearm to racket angle is different.

    These angles may vary a bit based on racket handle and hand dimensions. ?

    Try placing the racket in both positions and looking at the racket handle's angle in the hand. Try looking at your open hand and drawing the two lines across your palm. The line to where the little finger wraps around the racket takes a little estimating. Maybe chalk dust on a bevel of the racket handle would show us.

    The forearm to racket angle matters for the serve and I assume for all other strokes. Especially for the kick serve the forearm to racket angle is smaller at impact than for the slice or flat serves.

    Exactly what is being done with the high level strokes is not clear. That's why looking at the best performers helps understand the strokes.

    Back to the OP question - Do most current high level one hand grips for the forehand, one hand backhand and the serve have the racket butt end very close to the little finger or does the bevel rest on the fat pad?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
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  13. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    Interesting thread dealing with this subject. Thanks Toly...
    Discusses this issue in terms of "Pistol Grip" & "Hammer Grip".

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I don't really feel that this concern is really worth obsessing over.

    Don't know if most current high level players have the heel pad most off or mostly on the handle. Doesn't matter that much. Keep in mind that a majority of non-pro players probably employ a grip that is not at the very end of the handle -- the heel pad is more on the handle than not. The primary target audience for tennis instruction is novice and intermediate players. Not usually targeted to elite players who might tend to hold the grip a bit longer.

    Gawd, I detest this terminology. youtube.com/watch?v=AH7NIgPkXFw

    ^ Speaking of describing things as accurately as possible. While his thumb placement on the hammer is different from a tennis grip, the hammer rests across his palm diagonally. His "hammer grip" appears to be closer to your (Toly's) "pistol grip" in this respect.

    Regardless of my pet peeve, both of your tennis grip variations can still use the heel pad as a reference. The heel pad would obviously "rest on" or "line up with" a different bevel for these 2 variations. Still a valid reference IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
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  15. Tight Lines

    Tight Lines Professional

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    So long as we are trying to be accurate with the definitions, the terms like heel pad or fat pad are fuzzy. IMO, the true frame of reference should be the pisiform bone. In toly's "Pistol Grip" diagram, the bottom end of the arrow is wrong. It should be moved over to the right more so that it crosses over the pisiform.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    Following the discussion of reply # 12, I held the racket from the index knuckle to the fat pad and then to the little finger wrap around area. The blue line represents bevel #2 to the fat pad. The red line represents bevel #2 to the area of the little finger. The two "T"'s at the ends of each line were traces of the end of bevel #2.
    [​IMG]

    Here is how the hand looks without the racket. The white bar can be used for a direction reference.
    [​IMG]

    This is bevel #2 resting on the fat pad, blue line. Note the angle between the forearm and the racket.
    [​IMG]

    This is bevel #2 to the area where the little finger wraps around the butt of the racket, red line. Note the decreased angle between the forearm and racket. I measured the angular difference between the red and blue lines on the hand in the first picture with a protractor as 10 degrees.
    [​IMG]

    The two figures shown are applicable to the forearm-to-racket angle on the serve.

    In my opinion 10d. is a large angle in biomechanics and especially for the forearm-to-racket angle for the serve. One point is that the kick serve has a smaller forearm-to-racket angle at impact.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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  17. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    Tennis terminology! - Those are fuzzy terms and in use the servers figure out what they want and probably don't know. But an inch or half inch is huge anglewise across a distance of 3-4" of the palm of the hand.

    Is that the pisiform bone that I feel outermost? It is exactly at the blue line on my hand.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisiform_bone

    Because of the joint shape, the little finger flexes into the palm at an angle to wrap around the butt of the racket handle. Any reference point descriptors for the little finger position?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Does HOW a pro hold a racket have any bearing our OUR game?
    Do we train like a pro?
    Do we have the athletic skills of a pro?
    Have we hit as many balls as a pro?
    Let's have a look at the grip height of the good rec player's. Can that have more meaning that the grip height's of the pros?
    It certainly is easy enough to slide your hand down off the buttcap, holding the racket with just 3 fingers. You can do it, try it, and tell us if it works.
     
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^^ TL was possibly being sarcastic. Pisiform bone, indeed.

    ^^^ Looks like your dark blue line would correspond to classic or conventional grips like the 3-3 Eastern or the 2-2 Continental. The red line would correspond to grip variations where the heel pad lines up about 1/2 bevel to 1 full bevel counterclockwise wrt the base index knuckle placement.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Theory is always nice to discuss, and can often help the young and developing player's.
    What I notice, old fart's who play really well for their physical abilities, they all seem to choke waaaay up the grip, so at least an inch, as much as THREE inch's of grip below the pinkie is showing.
    I'm talking about 70 year olds who can play at the top of 4.0 levels. Those guys can't run, can't see, barely react, have no power, but still they play decently with CONTROL of the racket.
    And slow swing speeds.
     
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  21. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    The blue line corresponds to what I see for the instructions of the '2-2 Continental' (bevel #2), as you say.

    The red line is very close to what I believe most ATP players use. I have not looked at WTA players.

    As you say for the red line, the handle bevel could also be moved to the side to get a very similar racket angular change. (isn't that the 'Strong Continental' of some recent threads, move one bevel or half a bevel?). But the little finger seems to be widely used. I have not studied the details of grips and stats but often you can see the butt cap near the little finger in videos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
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  22. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    What about the size of the pros' hands?
    Length of each finger?
    Palm size?
    Ratio of finger lengths to palm?

    Amateurs pick gripsizes similar the favorite pros but they have no idea on the pro's handsize.

    If Fed is 6'1" with big hands and uses an L3, it will be very different than a 5'3" TW poster with stubby fingers using an L3.

    Just pick a gripsize that feels comfortable/good to you.
     
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  23. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    That's what I feel about this thread. It's pure over analysis paralysis. Tennis isn't coached anything like this.
     
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  24. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Its a good post except for the L3 part. Sure thats what Fed's handle starts out as but he add an overgrip so in reality its more like an L4. In Joker's case he starts with an L3 or L4 depending on who you talk to, but adds 2 overgrips, which at minimum is an L5.

    Edit: And most think Nadal uses an L2, but its actually a custom handle inbetween L2 and L3 plus the OG plus that tape he is really essentially using a bigger handle than we think, probably L4 or larger....yet there are rec players buying an l2 and playing with that...
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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