Thumb Position On Eastern Backhand Grip.

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
For reasons of stability, Kevin does not want the thumb as in pic #1. Wants thumb as in pic #2.
My thumb is closer to pic #1. How much leeway is there on this thumb positioning?




 
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Goof

Semi-Pro
FWIW, I have held my racquet like the first pic ever since after I broke my hand back in high school, and while my backhand is quite good, I have never seen a single other player (rec or pro) who uses my grip, except for maybe Don Budge from like 7000 years ago.

I use the thumb-out grip specifically for MORE stability, and I believe it definitely provides more stability. It does however severely limit your racquet head speed and ability to create spin.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
FWIW, I have held my racquet like the first pic ever since after I broke my hand back in high school, and while my backhand is quite good, I have never seen a single other player (rec or pro) who uses my grip, except for maybe Don Budge from like 7000 years ago.

I use the thumb-out grip specifically for MORE stability, and I believe it definitely provides more stability. It does however severely limit your racquet head speed and ability to create spin.
I try to hold it like the second pic but often find myself reverting something closer the first pic. Think I have better feel and it feels just as comfortable as second pic. Tend to agree that thumb down produces more topspin. Not sure why... Suspect many students use the first pic and find it comfortable and that is why Kevin made a video advising against it.
 
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Dragy

Legend
Using your thumb as support against handle can only work with slower swinging. When you want to swing fast, you need to lead with the buttcap, otherwise you'll struggle to repeatedly and consistently bear the load of 300+ SW with the wrist, let alone thumb.

With efficient techniques you don't need to push racquet head around. You pull the handle forward, up, and then across, and you in some cases (for "draw" shot) release RH outward. What you do with your thumb is push RH up via all-arm rotation (ESR), and you need thumb below handle to do this.
 

Goof

Semi-Pro
Having your thumb out does not prevent leading with the buttcap or ESR and, in 20+ years has not led to any injury or pain for me. It does however slightly limit the racquet head speed you could otherwise get with a windshield-wiper type of swing (and has accompanying limits on spin production due to that). I have used the thumb-out grip to provide extra support for my hand/wrist after having a series of stress fractures in my right hand when I was in high school. It has meant that I generally have to drive my backhand more with a more "old school" type of swing, but it is definitely workable for a good high-4.5 level backhand. With that said, I still would only advocate it be used as a workaround for someone who needs more stability/wrist support for injury reasons (and is fully incapable of hitting a decent two-handed backhand, like myself).
 

1HBHFTW

Rookie
Have you tried allowing your thumb to naturally go around the racquet? The thumb around bevel 7 seems awkward for slice.
Yes it's a subconscious thing that only happens sometimes when I'm particularly concerned with placement. It makes me feel (perhaps falsely) like I have more control. I actually notice it more on dropshots than aggressive slice.
 
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