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Regripping During a Game?

Published: 24 Dec 2006 - 01:10 by VolleyDrop

Updated: 27 Dec 2006 - 05:06

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I was wondering how many here take a different grip for different types of shots.

For example, do you grip down on the racquet when trying to dig the ball out of the corners?  Do you have a different grip when you serve?  How about when bouncing the ball before serving (rotating your grip)?

In pro matches I've seen it seems to be common.  I could be wrong.  If this is good technique, please explain it to me (and be ready for me to ask more questions!).

Thanks for the info!

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From Adz - 27 Dec 2006 - 05:06

Teaching the change is really difficult without being able to show you face to face. I can try to describe the two basic ideas below, but if they don't make much sense then I can only apologise!


1. Rotation

Hold your racquet in the tradtional grip (see the archives on grip position). You should have the main force being applied by the little finger and ring finger, with your index finger and thumb being used for applying direction to the head of the racquet. Now using your middle finger, index finger and thumb, apply a clockwise twist to the grip, allowing the grip to rotate freely between the palm of your hand and your other two fingers. Stop the racquet spinning by adding pressure with the little and ring fingers. The trick is to stop the racquet in the correct racquet position. Practise this until you an stop the racquet in the correct position WITHOUT looking at it! Try picking the racquet up off the floor and rotating it into position as quickly as possible. This is the first stage of grip movement.


2. Up and Down

Once again holding the racquet with the ring and little finger, use the index and middle fingers with the thumb to grip as close to the ring finger as possible (fingers together), then release pressure with the ring and little fingers, moving them down the grip by spreading your fingers. Regrip with these fingers and release with the other 3. This should have moved your hand DOWN the grip. Now move your index, middle and thumb as high up as you can and grip. Release the ring and little fingers and move them up up moving your fingers together. Add pressure with these two again to finish the grip. This woul have moved your hand UP the grip.


Keep working on both of these changes until you can perform them at speed and without looking. That will allow you to change the way that you grip your racquet during a ralley.



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From rippa rit - 24 Dec 2006 - 07:29

It is difficult to advise with little background of the players ability and technique.
However, the better you get at the game, and the more compact your swing becomes, more "adaptation" is possible.
If you could play a series of shots on command (ghosting) blindfolded I would say you do know where your swing is, and racket face positioning, when approaching various shots; if you cannot, I do not think messing with the grip will achieve anything too much except most likely muck you up.
So, let's go a step further.  When is adaptation necessary:
  • When the ball is low in the corners (front and back).
  • When you are slow to get to the front of the court. (Lengthen grip on racket)
  • When you wait for the ball to rebound off the back or side wall so you can get a swing at the ball before it hits the floor. (Shorten grip to scrape it out)
  • When you over-run the ball. (Shorten to stop end of racket cracking your shin)
  • If you are a tennis player and want to go for the kill on a sitter. (Flatten and BANG)
  • If you play tennis on the squash court, and have excessive swing. (Scared to hit opponent, and/or wall is in the way).
  • If you have a gooseneck backhand stroke, maybe.
My advice, if you don't have the "feel" don't bother about it.
If you do not understand what I mean, put your racket in the opposite hand and attempt to play.
If you do have the "feel" you are probably doing it anyway without realising it - sort of second nature.

Now, does that make any sense to you?

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From VolleyDrop - 24 Dec 2006 - 04:38

Yeah, Adz, I figured the title would be confusing...

So you teach how to rotate and/or move up and down the handle on the fly, but advise that it be used rarely?    Do most pros use only one grip and stick with it for every shot?

How do you do it?  Say I want to grip at the end for drives and high volleys, but choke down for digging out of the corners--how do you teach that one can do this quickly and accurately (still having proper grip fundamentals when changing position) during a rally?


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From Adz - 24 Dec 2006 - 03:04

Now i admit that when I first read the name of this thread I thought you were enquiring about changing a grip in the space between games, not changing the way you hold your grip between shots!

You find that some players change their grip position between shots to move up and down the racquet grip. Higher gives more control over the head of the racquet whilst lower gives more power to your shots. It's a simple matter of physics in the end:

Higher hold means less weight above your wrist, which means you can control and move the racquet head faster.

Lower hold means more weight above the wrist which means that you have more "stuff" being swung into the shot, which gathers more momentum (even from the same swing speed) and hits the ball harder.


I've even gone so far as to teach my students how to move the racquet grip up d down in their hands at speed, as well as how to always move their racquets into the correct grip angle to play the shots (this one involves spinning the racquet and stopping the spin in the same place each time).


So what are the benefits? As Spartacus correctly pointed out, "choking" up on the grip (holding it higher) means that it is easier to dig the ball out of the back corners. This is because you have greater contol of the racquet head and can get under and behind the ball with a sharp "flick" of the wrist. Very useful in those very awkward situations! This higher head manouverability leads itself to lots of other little touch shots like cross-court drops or trickle boasts, but these can just as easily be played without resorting to grip choking.


I always think of grip changing as a tool that I'm glad I have but rarely have to use. Work on playing as many shots as possible with the grip that you do have. Most should be easy, and some will require the ball to be a specific place and height in relation to your body position. At the end of the day, you'll never hit the shot if you don't try to hit it! So get trying!



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From nickhitter - 24 Dec 2006 - 02:41   -   Updated: 24 Dec 2006 - 02:44

I used to change my grip for any type of backhand (right handed - rotate grip left about 1-2 cm) I found this (and still do find actually) much easier to play powerful and accurate backhand length especially. However I have spent the last year changing my grip to what my coach has told me to be 'correct' in that it's the same as the forehand grip. I am now pretty used to playing the 'correct way' although I still lapse every now and then and when I do it's usually a great shot! So I had months of regression and now don't really see why.....

My coach's reasoning was that I wouldn't have time to change grip once my level increased to playing higher up the leagues with the speed of the game. but then I thought " but if I have time to take my racket back, I have time to change my grip...surely?"

I know that Simon Parke always used to grip higher up the neck when digging out of corners, and I'm sure I have seen other players do it too.

Regarding your last point I always flatten my grip (frying pan style) to bounce the ball before serving! is that wrong? oops!

I would be very interested to hear the opinions of the more accomplished players on this site on this one.

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