Joe: Tennis grips. There are probably as many tennis grips as there are
tennis players, but there are some basic ones and important ones that
you have to use for particular shots. The most basic and classic grip
is the Eastern grip. It's used on the forehand when you hit a forehand
ground stroke. It's basically what we call the shake hands grip. You
put your hand slightly to the right of the middle and you always want to
look at your grip, by the way, with your racket in this position. Don't
put your racket in this position, or this position. Always have the
racket in this position when discussing grips and when finding out what
grip you have. Eastern grip is here. Shake hands. Almost like I'm
shaking hands with the racket. A very prevalent grip today for the
forehand is what we call a semi-Western grip where we move the hands
slightly to the right. It's slightly underneath the grip. My fingers
are slightly underneath the grip. That's a semi-Western. It creates a
lot more top spin and that's a big thing in today's tennis. Another
grip not so prevalent and not recommended is a Western grip where I turn
my hand even further to the right so it's almost underneath the racket
and that creates a tremendous amount of topspin but also creates a lot
of problems because you can't get underneath a low ball and it's very,
very hard to hit the ball deep. So, Eastern, semi-Western, Western.
Going the other direction, we have what we call the Continental grip.
The Continental is vital for three shots. First, the serve. You can
not be a master at the game of tennis without using a Continental grip
for the serve. Also, it's vital to learn to volley with a Continental
grip. The overhead, like the serve, same motion, you want to use a
Continental grip. Those are the basic grips in tennis - Continental,
Eastern, semi-Western and Western. That's it.
Kurt: Tennis pros these days, when they hit their forehands, are
typically using the semi-Western grip. The simplest way to find the
semi-Western grip is to put the racket on the ground, pick the racket up
in this position. You're basically ready to go. This is not a natural
volley grip, though. That's why Joe mentions the Continental. If
you're going to play with the semi-Western, when you come to the net,
you need to change your grip to the Continental grip.
Joe: Also, where your hand is on the grip is important. Most tennis
players that play at a high level hold the racket at the very end of the
grip almost from my little fingers at the very bottom. You don't have
to hold it there when you first learn tennis. Sometimes, it's a good
idea to choke up so that the racket is a little shorter. You have a
little bit more control. At the end, when you get good at the game,
maybe a little higher when you start out.