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Thread: Western Grip

  1. #1

    Western Grip

    My 10yr old son uses a full western grip and I use an eastern grip. I think his grip is really weird. His shots are powerful but too low, hitting the net too much and not deep enough. Does western have serious limitations? Besides, he is 2H backhander and holds continental with RH. As a result, his FH is all topspin but BH mostly flat. I am just an intermediate tennis player but intuitively I think one should have symmetry in his FH and BH to keep the mind not confused. Any feedback greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    The Western Grip is what I and most players use that like to hit as hard as they can and minimize their faults. When you've learned to hit correctly, you can swig from the hip full out and the spin will bring the ball back down to the court.

    Depth is a strategic important factor in tennis, to keep your opponent pinned to the baseline is what we strive to do and utilizing the western grip properly is the best way to accomplish this. The fact that your son isn't hitting as deep as you'd like to see is merely due to him needing to practice this more frequently because he certainly has the tools to do it. This is where you have to establish rules when hitting with you kid. Make an imaginary marker on the court telling him no point will count unless the ball reaches at least or beyond that position.

    Of course he will either hit short to long but the body adapts as time goes on, he will soon adjust his strokes to get the depth desired. One thing to remember, he will never be able to hit deep without going beyond consistently because that's just too much to ask but he must gain confidence that when he comes up on the ball, it will come down.

    I have a drill somewhere in my files I want you to try but I'm going to have to dig it out. I'll try to post it later this evening but for now I just wanted you to know somebody did read your Post and will conclude this very soon.

    Coach
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    703
    Quote Originally Posted by rchen83 View Post
    My 10yr old son uses a full western grip and I use an eastern grip. I think his grip is really weird. His shots are powerful but too low, hitting the net too much and not deep enough. Does western have serious limitations? Besides, he is 2H backhander and holds continental with RH. As a result, his FH is all topspin but BH mostly flat. I am just an intermediate tennis player but intuitively I think one should have symmetry in his FH and BH to keep the mind not confused. Any feedback greatly appreciated.

    PROS
    The positioning of the wrist forces the racquet to whip up the back of the ball severely, generating tremendous topspin. You can hit the ball well above net level and it will still drop into the court. The resulting shot will usually have a high and explosive bounce, pushing your opponent behind the baseline. The strike zone is higher and farther out in front than all other forehand grips. The ability to handle high balls is what makes this grip so popular with clay-courters and juniors.

    CONS:
    Low balls can be very difficult to handle unless you get down to the ball which many people tend not to do. Thatís why professionals with this grip generally donít do well on faster surfaces, where the ball stays low after the bounce. Also, you need a lot of racquet head speed and wrist strength to generate adequate pace and spin. For a son who is 10 yrs old, this may be an issue. Otherwise, your shots will land short and your opponents can attack them. For some, itís also difficult to flatten shots out, so putting balls away becomes a problem. And just as with the semi- Western, transitioning to net and hitting an effective first volley is a major challenge. With all being said, I believe the Semi-Western Grip would be the choice for your Son.

    Think of it as a go between the Extreme Western & Eastern and as his strength approves he will naturally adapt to the Xtreme Western becuz that's what the kids want. They all want to hit like Andre and quite frankly so do I.

    Quote Originally Posted by rchen83 View Post
    His shots are powerful but too low, hitting the net too much and not deep enough.
    Ok if you correct the depth problem, that will correct the Net hitting issue because he will learn to raise his shots high enough to clear the net. If your Son is 10, how tall is he? If he's standing at the baseline are you asking too much for a 10 yrs old to strike a ball with power using a western grip that will clear the Net and pin you at the baseline?

    How often do you paint the baseline? It's not an easy task by any standard less more for a 10 yr old, so as long as he's enthusiastic about hitting the ball, you're above average. It took me months before I could hit a convincing DTL backhand. I sprayed that shot all over the place. I can't tell you how many balls found its' way onto adjacent courts. But one day one shot after another after another, I watched my shot fly down the line with authority and I knew I found it. I had educated my body, muscles & mind to strike with confidence and so will he as long as he keeps trying and that my friend is the best gift you can give, allow him to the time to get it right.

    Watch his follow-through, if he's coming across his chest, that's not going to give the ball the elevation needed to clear the Net effectively. Get the follow-through across his shoulder, that should put the air under his wings ..

    Buenas Suerte Mi Amigo,

    Coach
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    173
    A consideration thru observation....
    Short players tend towards full western groundstroke grips.
    Really tall players tend towards continental or eastern groundie grips.
    You now why.

  5. #5
    Thanks very much for the reply. I could see that his finish (across chest) is the main reason why his shots are short. I bought Oscar's videos and am hoping that I could get him to watch and start correcting his finish. I wonder whether Oscar has any grip suggestions.

  6. #6

    Oscar On The Western Forehand

    Quote Originally Posted by rchen83 View Post
    Thanks very much for the reply. I could see that his finish (across chest) is the main reason why his shots are short. I bought Oscar's videos and am hoping that I could get him to watch and start correcting his finish. I wonder whether Oscar has any grip suggestions.

    I checked with Oscar and here's his answer:

    "changing grips can destroy someone's strokes, especially on young kids. On a Western grip forehand, I recommend to put a string three feet above the net, and hit over it with plenty of topspin, like Nadal. More height will mean more depth, it will make returns more difficult for the opponent, and it will also avoid netting too many shots."
    How good can your game get? You too can play like the Pros with The Wegner Method.
    Discuss The Wegner Method here at TW in the MTM forum or visit www.tennisteacher.com for more info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Yup, hit higher if your ball lands short. Simple as dat.

  8. #8
    Thanks a lot, Tennis Angel and Oscar.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rchen83 View Post
    I am just an intermediate tennis player but intuitively I think one should have symmetry in his FH and BH to keep the mind not confused.
    In my opinion, you don't need any sort of "symmetry" in terms of grip changes.
    Your body very quickly gets used to the grip changes from Forehand to Backhand and they become completely separately "grooved" shots. That's what it feels like to me anyway (western forehand, eastern single handed backhand).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    10
    rchen,

    it's interesting. I started out playing/learning with an eastern grip but eventually went to a very deep western grip. I think a lot of young players do it for finesse reasons. He's probably more worried about putting it out of bounds or likes the nice topspin. I still play with the western grip but I will switch it up a bit b/c I'm at a point in my life where a torn rotator cuff sort of limits my power.

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