How to Hold a Tennis Racket

How to Hold a Tennis Racket

Learning how to hold a tennis racket the right way will massively improve your swing and serve performance whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced tennis player. Although many players have a preference for one or two types of grip, it is important to develop an understanding of a broader range of grips. Grip adjustment allows you to change the angle of the face of your racket. A standard grip will usually prove more than enough for tackling a ball from the rear of the court, but you will want to change things up when it comes to serves, smashes and volleys. Below, we will break down some of the most popular grips you can adopt when handling your racket. In all cases, we will use the clock principle when detailing proper alignments of your hands and fingers.

How to Hold a Tennis Racket in the Continental Grip

Otherwise known as a neutral grip, this is the most basic techniques in tennis. In order to achieve a continental grip, you should place your hand on the tennis racket so that your forefinger and thumb form a V shape. This V should be pointing slightly to the left if you are right-handed, or slightly to the right if you rely on your left hand. This is a flat style of grip that is ideal for using when serving, or if you want to smash or volley on the ball.

How to Hold a Tennis Racket in the Semi-Western Grip

A semi-western grip is the way to go if you want to generate more spin when playing tennis. To adopt a semi-western grip, you should be looking to move your hands further around the racket handle. This will result in your racket being placed in a deeper position when compared to other grips. A quick way to ensure you are using is a semi-western grip is to check to see if the V shape of your forefinger and thumb is pointing toward 2 o’clock.

How to Hold a Tennis Racket in the Full Western Grip

The full western is fairly similar to the semi-western grip. However, the V shape of your finger and thumb should be pointing more toward 3 o’clock if you want to make use of a full western grip. The additional twist of this grip means that you can generate a considerable amount of speed with your racket. This grip also allows you to create a huge amount of spin.

How to Hold a Tennis Racket in the Eastern Grip

To use an eastern grip, move your hands in a clockwise direction around your racket. Eventually, the V shape formed by your finger and thumb should be pointing toward 12 o’clock. This is a fairly relaxed style of grip to utilize. When playing with an eastern grip, racket acceleration is relatively low. As such, you can expect slight levels of spin and relatively flat ball flight.

How to Hold a Tennis Racket in the Backhand Grip

If you wish to switch up your grip from a forehand to a backhand, you can follow the guidance outlined above, but simply reverse positioning in an anti-clockwise direction. You can position the V shape of your finger and thumb at additional increments if you want to generate more spin when hitting the ball. An eastern grip is a good option for those looking for a comfortable one-handed backhand.


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