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  1. #1

    Smile More Extreme, or less Extreme.

    Hi All. First time posting here.
    I have a question about my forehand grip.
    But first I'll give you some background. I play high level comp in Australia, and spent two years assistant coaching (just to give you an idea of my standard).
    I used to have a 2HB and an extreme grip on my forhand, with the V between my thumb and forefinger sitting directly on top of the grip if the racquet were lying on the ground. I used to pretty much stand in the backhand corner and hit off forehands, doing most of the damage with my forehand. My backhand was very solid but not really a weapon. This is when I was about 16-20 year old.
    Then my forehand went to crap (too short and sometimes not even making the net!!!). Not sure if it's because I got taller or what. So I adjusted my grip to semi western and things got better for a while. But my forehand never got back that weapon stage where I could hit the ball as hard as I wanted.
    Because of this, I started coming to the net more and my volleys really improved. I'd say I have much more of an all court game now. I also switched to a single handed backhand, which now feels much more natural.
    My backhand feels very solid. Not really effected by pace and I can flatten it out or hit with topspin and hit some big winners if the situation arises. I use the standard "eastern" bh grip. My shots feel "heavy" even though I'm not trying to whack the cover off the ball.
    Now I want my forehand to feel equally solid. So my delema is this.
    Do I go to an eastern forehand grip and hope that this works on my forehand like it does on my backhand? Or do I go back to western, which worked so well when I was 16-20? I loved being able to hit the ball as hard as I wanted, and the semi-western/western grip feels much more natural to me. But I want the solidarity of my backhand. So not sure what the hell to do!?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Also, theoretically I'm still a little confused about western versus semi western (after all these years). Is western essentially an eastern backhand grip used for the forehand? Or is it a little less extreme than that?
    Geez I've written an essay! Thanks for all who read it all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    173
    We can never recapture the past....
    At 16-20, you might have thought your forehand was godly, but you're stronger NOW, and your competition is also stronger, bigger, and better.
    Question on full western forehand..... are you able to hit out every ball, every time, and still have energy left for the other parts of the game? Do you constantly face high bouncing balls? Do you need to dig out low slices?
    Are you accurate making the grip change?
    W or SW, you hit with lotta top. East, you hit with some top, but flatter and faster with less effort.
    It's up to you.
    If you like to retrieve, W or WSW is consistent.
    If you like to dictate points, Eastern fores go fast with little effort.

  3. #3
    Thanks for getting back to me. I think I can answer yes to all of your question. I still have energy left for other shots and I can handle the grip changes. Still not sure why western is not as good for me as it used to be though. Maybe I just practice less now!! Although back then (I'm 29 now) it seemed like I could never hit a ball out with a western grip. Now I consistantly hit over the baseline. Sometimes it even feels like I'm hitting it flat! It's a mystery to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    173
    Well, are your shoulders turned the same now as before?
    Is your grip exactly the same as 8 years ago?
    Sometimes we forget exactly how we held the racket and how we prepared....after so many years.
    For me, full western means my palm is head dead flat to the ground, so I hit with a KarateChop with the edge of my hand on impact. Hard to me to hit dead flat with that grip, but maybe you're more flexible.

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