Tip for keeping loose grip while serving

FiReFTW

Legend
Yep, so important, but really hard to do, even pro's get tight from time to time, and recreational players even more so.. specialy when you want to hit big or whatever, your natural instinct always keeps fighting with ur knowledge to hold the racquet loose and then you automaticaly want to grip it a bit tighter.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I don't find this hard when serving. I've got 20 seconds to tell myself to stay loose. It's during a rally that tightness tends to creep in and my brain has little time to make conscious corrections.
 

acintya

Legend
a loose grip does wonder on forehand - but i am still learning to master it on the serve.

but there is already a big difference when you KNOW you must have a loose grip. You are automatically better. When I started I never though you must be loose and work with the racquet instead I was doing the work the racquet should do.
 

kramer woodie

Professional
The pinky finger off the butt cap technique? How about the pinky finger on the edge of the butt cap that is built up. That's right build
up only the last half inch of the butt cap with 2-3 wraps of J&J 1/2" adhesive tape. Put the tape over the base grip creating a ledge, then
put on an over grip over the tape and base grip. The pinky finger lays on the raised butt cap and the ring finger butts up against that slightly
raise ledge. Allows you to keep grip pressure light and wrist loose, plus racquet will not slip out of you hand. Use this technique on forehand,
backhands, and serves. On volleys side up and have pinky wedge against raised ridge, so that the base palm heel pad sits on top of that
slightly build up for a rock solid volley grip.

I use this method on Yonex racquets which have very little butt cap flare. Works great!

Aloha
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
Well, you can never underestimate how important it is to have a good, clean grip tape for the racket. Sometimes I go for too long without changing the grip, and when I re-grip my racket, it's just an overall quality of life improvement. Everything becomes easier.
 

norcal

Legend
The pinky finger off the butt cap technique? How about the pinky finger on the edge of the butt cap that is built up. That's right build
up only the last half inch of the butt cap with 2-3 wraps of J&J 1/2" adhesive tape. Put the tape over the base grip creating a ledge, then
put on an over grip over the tape and base grip. The pinky finger lays on the raised butt cap and the ring finger butts up against that slightly
raise ledge. Allows you to keep grip pressure light and wrist loose, plus racquet will not slip out of you hand. Use this technique on forehand,
backhands, and serves. On volleys side up and have pinky wedge against raised ridge, so that the base palm heel pad sits on top of that
slightly build up for a rock solid volley grip.

I use this method on Yonex racquets which have very little butt cap flare. Works great!

Aloha
I use Yonex frames as well, maybe I will experiment with your idea a little. I tend to keep my hand low (meaty part of palm off the handle sometimes on groundies) but I could see your method allowing and reminding to use a loose grip.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
hey. and how loose the grip should be on contact point???
First, we should be precise on how loose to hold it during the swing. Tom Stowe said someone should be able to pull the racquet out of your hand with very little effort.
I assume he meant before and after contact.

So check for that during your swing and follow thru. I often find myself gripping too tight.

As far as point of contact, some earlier posts claimed that slo-mo showed some pros grips (Djok?) slightly shift at serve contact, because his grip is so loose. Others will not shift at contact. So there is a range to experiment with. But grip has to be loose.
 
acintya

Just slightly before contact point the grip pressure is firmed, but not too much to lock up the wrist. Experiment, you will get a feel for it.

Aloha
Uh, I do the opposite, I release my pressure during contact so that I feel no shock to my arm at all. I use the sound of the ball as feedback to my accuracy. It's wonderful to have your best most powerful forehands explode off your stringbed without any tension in the arm! Same for serve, if I did it correctly I did not even sense the impact in my arm.
 

kramer woodie

Professional
Uh, I do the opposite, I release my pressure during contact so that I feel no shock to my arm at all. I use the sound of the ball as feedback to my accuracy. It's wonderful to have your best most powerful forehands explode off your stringbed without any tension in the arm! Same for serve, if I did it correctly I did not even sense the impact in my arm.
Yes that can work well also. It does work as long as contact is made in the sweet spot of the racquet. If not in the sweet spot racquet will
twist and accuracy will suffer. When I say slight increase in grip pressure, I mean very slight. In fact some times I only have the thumb index
finger and little finger holding the grip and slightly before contact or at contact the ring finger and middle finger are closed upon the grip.

Aloha
 

webtennis

New User
This is an important post. Thanks for bringing it up. If you practice enough relaxing your entire hand throughout the serve, you'll build a new habit. And if you feel a more relaxed hand helps you, then it's all about developing that as a habit.

I've found on my serve that my toss has to be slightly in front for me to feel I can keep my hand relaxed. If the toss starts to drift back even a hair too far, I tend to squeeze. Find that spot with your toss placement where you feel confident you can do what you want. Go get em ;-)
 

norcal

Legend
I started this thread to show off the cool clip in the OP but after reading the replies/thinking about it I went out yesterday and consciously relaxed my grip on the serve and guess what? More rhs and easy power! +5-10 mph on 1st serve and better spin on second serve with no added effort! I was definitely muscling it before for sure.

Nice reminder since I am serving again after a long break. Added benefit of reminding me to loosen the grip on my fh too. Thanks Fabio!
 

Bagumbawalla

G.O.A.T.
Having an easy, loose grip is not that difficult- but first you need to work on a consistent toss and good timing.

If you have to force your racket to a different contact point every serve, then you will be guiding the racket during the swing with a tighter grip and stiffer wrist.

If you know the ball will be there, waiting for you every time- then you can give up trying to control and power the serve- and just relax and let inertia do its work.
 
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