|Get a Grip
Building Blocks of Tennis: Grips are the Cornerstone
The magic of a tennis lies in the perfectly met ball. Struck
precisely in the sweet spot, the ball flies off the strings.
Power without effort. Swinging slowly yet hitting hard. Though
none of us hit all our shots so "sweetly", the fun
is in that perfect hit. This point of contact between racquet
and ball are truly where the "rubber meets the road".
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The specific way you hold the racquet will determine where
contact occurs and how contact feels. Grips determine your style,
your ability to spin the ball, and ultimately the level of proficiency
you achieve. Each of the three distinct shots in tennis, the
volley, the groundstroke, and the serve is defined by the speed of the incoming ball, the length of swing, the speed of racquet,
and the firmness of the grip.
When volleying at the net, the ball has the greatest incoming speed. A short blocking action is all that is required to
take advantage of this energy. A firm grip is needed to "win
At the baseline, the bounce of the ball reduces incoming speed.
A longer and faster swinging action is necessary to give the
ball the zip needed. A firm grip is still required, but the speed and momentum
of the swinging racquet enables you to win this collision.
When serving, the ball during the toss has no significant speed and adds little
to the power the serve. Racquet speed is key. The longest and
loosest swing is best. In this instance, weakening the grip increases
Measuring Grip Size
One question often asked at the pro shop is "What size
grip should I use"? Although the best answer may be whatever
feels comfortable, the diagram below provides a simple method
of determing an appropriate measurement. Use it as a starting