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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Questions about gripping the racket?

From: <>
Date: Thu 30 Oct 2003 15:41:54 EST


"The firmness of the grip at impact is the single most important factor
in hitting a tennis ball."

1) I have to be careful not to micro analyze but I would say, mostly wrong.
Making contact is the last sequence in a whole chain of events. They all
are important. What is the Gestalt theory? The whole is greater them the
sum of its parts. Well, actually that is not even correct, you still have
the follow thru. Having said that, if you have done everything perfectly up
until making contact, it would be a shame to not have the right racquet head
angle and to lose power because the loose grip absorbed a lot of the energy.
If you are accelerating the racquet thru the strike zone the flesh on the
hand is compressed and will transfer more energy to the ball. If you are
not accelerating the racquet thru the strike zone a firm grip will transfer
more energy to the ball vs a loose grip. Well now, everybody is confused.

I tell my students that they should grip the handle most firmly for volleys
and rather loose (but not too loose) for serves. I agree but for the
reasons stated above. On volleys most players are not seriously accelerating
the racquet thru the strike zone and don't generate much racquet head speed
so they need a tight grip. On the serve they have a much greater range of
motion to generate the inertia required to power through the ball.

Thus this woman would actually have to grip the racket rather tightly for
such a powerful passing shot, whereas this man would not because is his
inherent great strength. Well, yes and no. If they both exerted 50 lbs. of
grip pressure the man would still have a great advantage because of his
greater hand size. The fulcrum point and the leverage created would be much
greater for him. Assuming they both grip the handle the same way she might
have a lever range of 3" and he might have a range of 4". That is one big

3) I recommend racket grips with clearly defined sides, as opposed to
rounded or very round grips. Absolutely agree, you have got to be able to
move your hand on the racquet handle with precision to make grip changes.

Best regards,

Edward Fagen

Tennis Geometrics Company
1844 Walker Valley Rd
Charleston, TN 37310

Phone: 423-336-3953
Web Site:
Received on Thu Oct 30 2003 - 20:50:53 CST

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