Author Topic: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?  (Read 4206 times)

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Love2AceYou

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Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« on: March 15, 2008, 07:22:47 PM »
Which finger do you hold the tighest on your forehand/backhand/volley/serve

I found that each stroke I have has a different finger that is tighter. I just recently changed to swinging my racquet with a tighter index finger and thumb. I used to concentrate on my pinky and thumb but I wasn't getting the results I wanted in my swing.

Anyone else ever experiment with this?


Offline dmastous

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2008, 07:27:21 PM »
Which finger do you hold the tighest on your forehand/backhand/volley/serve

I found that each stroke I have has a different finger that is tighter. I just recently changed to swinging my racquet with a tighter index finger and thumb. I used to concentrate on my pinky and thumb but I wasn't getting the results I wanted in my swing.

Anyone else ever experiment with this?



All but the index finger. There should be a gap between the index finger and the middle finger.

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Offline Dallas

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2008, 07:33:20 PM »
Boy...I must be tired because I totally thought about something entirely different when I read your subject line! :rofl_2:

Offline dmastous

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2008, 07:42:49 PM »
Boy...I must be tired because I totally thought about something entirely different when I read your subject line! :rofl_2:

Hmm... what were you thinking of?

This is the tennis discussion forum you know.

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Offline pawan89

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 07:55:30 PM »
hmm.. i don't really hold any finger tighter than the other.. or do I? I never noticed. if I feel like i am playing too "tightly" my palm will start hurting after a while just cuz i am gripping the racquet hard.. but individual fingers?


Offline dmastous

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 08:03:05 PM »

Your grip should be loose, but tight at contact.

A couple pictures of proper finger postion for illustration:





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Offline pawan89

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 08:25:41 PM »
Yeah, that's what I do, loose in general and tight on contact. its just sometime si get carried away and hold it tight throughout, and.. its not a good thing and doesn't happen often. i am not sure my pointing finger is like that on my racquet as you said, something to think about. thanks.


Offline dmastous

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2008, 08:30:39 PM »
Yeah, that's what I do, loose in general and tight on contact. its just sometime si get carried away and hold it tight throughout, and.. its not a good thing and doesn't happen often. i am not sure my pointing finger is like that on my racquet as you said, something to think about. thanks.

You don't use that grip on the backhand (except maybe a twohander), but you do use it on the forehand and serve.

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Love2AceYou

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 08:33:20 PM »
January 18, 1988
ON YOUR OWN: TENNIS; Subtle Steps to a Better Grip on the Game
By ALEXANDER MCNAB; ALEXANDER MCNAB IS THE EDITOR OF TENNIS MAGAZINE.
LEAD: THE names of the basic tennis strokes, forehand and backhand, should tell you something about the role of your hands in shot-making. The adage is that the racquet should feel like an extension of your hand. You should meet the ball on the forehand side as if you were striking it with your open palm, and on the backhand side as if you were hitting it with the back of your hand.

THE names of the basic tennis strokes, forehand and backhand, should tell you something about the role of your hands in shot-making. The adage is that the racquet should feel like an extension of your hand. You should meet the ball on the forehand side as if you were striking it with your open palm, and on the backhand side as if you were hitting it with the back of your hand. That's why instructors spend so much time teaching beginners about grips - how to place the hand on the handle to make the racquet meet the ball squarely.

There's another aspect of holding the racquet, though, that's important, especially as you progress as a player. How tightly you hold the racquet, and when, can be critical to good shot-making. Arthur Ashe, the former Wimbledon and United States Open champion, divides players into two categories: those who play with hard hands and those who play with soft hands.

''People who are described as natural talents, or who have natural ability, are more prone to grip the handle with soft hands,'' he said. ''That is, they don't hold it tight. They have the correct grip, but they know when to squeeze tight and when to release. Then there are some players who hold the racquet tight all the time, or so it seems.''

With those words in mind, here are some handy thoughts to keep in mind the next time you play.

A soft-hands player generally uses the natural flexibility of the wrist in hitting the ball. A hard-hands player, by contrast, hits the ball with his wrists locked in a stationary position in relation to his forearm.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. You get more versatility by playing with soft hands. You can add more last-second speed, touch, spin and placement to your sh ots by subtly manipulating your wrist. But with soft hands, you also increase the tendency to hit the ball late, to be sloppy with fundamental mechanics like turning the shoulders and keeping your racquet head up, and to hit the ball shallow or be overpowered by an opponent's shot because your racquet head was unstable at contact.

Employing hard hands is a more forgiving technique. It forces you to hit the ball with proper form, generating power from stepping into the ball and correctly rotating your hips and shoulders. It prevents your racquet head from being knocked off line by your opponent's power. But it restricts the amount of touch you can put on a shot. Moreover, if you hit every ball with your wrist and forearm rigidly locked into position, you can develop a sore arm because you negate the shock-absorbing qualities of the wrist joint.

Ashe recommends that you learn the rudiments of hitting the ball with hard hands, then experiment with less tension in your grip. ''Try swinging the racquet and not holding it very tightly,'' he said.

If you can still control the speed, direction and depth of your shots, perhaps you have the talent to play with soft hands. But you never want to get to the point where your shots are nothing but limp-wristed slaps at the ball.

Even if your shots are best when you squeeze the racquet handle hard, don't do it all the time. You need to hold on tightly only from an instant before contact until just after most shots. If you squeeze hard during your entire swing, you'll slow down the speed of the racquet head and restrict the amount of power you can generate.

A loose grip as you prepare to hit is especially important on the serve. As you swing the racquet around and up at the ball, it should be accelerating. A way to insure that this happens is to hold it principally with just your thumb and index finger. Some photos of top pros actually show the last three fingers entirely off the handle at different stages of their service motions prior to hitting the ball. Of course, you should firm up at impact.

While the thumb and index finger are the key grippers during the serve, the last three fingers are the ones to squeeze tightest on ground strokes and volleys, according to Peter Burwash, the former Canadian Davis Cupper who now heads a global network of teaching pros. What that does is ''keep your wrist and racquet head moving together in the same plane during your stroke,'' he said.

You need the firmest grip on returns of hard serves and on volleys, when the ball is coming at you fastest. If you hold the racquet too loosely, the speed of the oncoming shot will knock your racquet face off line and you won't be able to control the direction and trajectory of your return.

Burwash is also a proponent of using your nonracquet hand as a helper as you prepare to hit ground strokes and volleys. His suggestions go beyond the simple cradling of the racquet shaft on one-handed backhands or doubling the grip on two-handers. He recommends that you always wait for the ball with the index finger of your nonracquet hand resting on the bottom of the strings at the racquet's throat, where the shaft joins the head. It's a technique you'll often see used by pros like Mats Wilander and Boris Becker.

That index finger helps you rest your racquet hand and keep the racquet head up. It also serves as a subconscious guide to where your racquet head is and at what angle it is inclined.

Finally, rest your racquet hand between points and even between shots. When a point ends, immediately shift your racquet to your other hand. Your hand can get surprisingly tired from gripping and swinging your racquet during the course of a match. You need to conserve the strength and feel in your racquet hand. Unloading it of its burden between points is helpful.

But be sure you go a step further and release the tension in your hand as completely as possible between shots in a rally. One way to practice, Burwash says, is to wipe your palm on your shorts between each shot in practice, until that loosening and tightening of your grip becomes habit.

Who knows, it may help to make wiping out your opponent a habit, too.


Online Babblelot

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 09:06:45 PM »
Wait, I can't see his new av! Can anyone else?
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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 09:26:05 PM »
I see no avi...
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Offline dmastous

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 09:41:04 PM »
It's a broken link.

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Offline wilsonboy

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2008, 02:15:22 PM »
That's one sexy hand.
Be the change that you seek.

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2008, 02:17:09 PM »
That's one sexy hand.

I worry about you Wilson sometimes  :whistle:
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Offline wilsonboy

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2008, 02:17:47 PM »
That's one sexy hand.

I worry about you Wilson sometimes  :whistle:

hahaha
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Offline pawan89

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2008, 10:37:49 PM »
ok so I am reviving this thread. I have an issue/concern and this is the most relevant topic.

So on my forehand I actually don't have any fingers out of place and extra tight or anything. Sometimes my pointing finger is pointed up the handle especially while volleying but if i am putting any amount of topspin at all its just a normal grip. like


no problems there. my backhand on the other hand, recently i have been trying to put more and more power and driving it fully a lot more. I realize i hold a more eastern grip for my backhand which means i hit more flat and through the ball than topspin but i am working on the topspin too. So I am hitting harder. And on my backhand, my thumb's actually point up towards the head. like this.


(looking at the picture gives me some kinda confidence that i am not doing a "wrong" thing).

After three days of good hitting and one more day of hitting against the wall (which is in some ways more intense on the arms and fingers) my joint between thumb and rest of palm is hurting. Its hurting exactly like it would hurt if I banged against your thumb with more pressure at its base, pusing it away from your palm.. and do this over and over. So its more like a soreness and general hurting, not a "pull it this way and it hurts" sorta thing.

I considered why I had this pain today. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary lately. I thought maybe I am using the space bar so much that my thumb is stretched out  ..-) .. I really didn't think of anything and today in class I realized this. that grip overthere, if you hit harder and harder, the head of the racquet and the whole racquet in genearl is pushed back by the ball isn't it? And whats the major thing that's keeping my racquet from going back at impact? my thumb. my outstretched thumb. And the harder the ball hits my racquet, the more shock i am putting on my thumb.

is that right description of whats happening? if that's so, is this the finger that I am supposed to be holding on tightest or am I not holding it tight enough. Or is it just a strenghtening thing going on or am I doing something wrong. Perhaps the racquet moving back on impact should be stopped by my wrists and forearms/shoulder and there really shouldn't be as much pressure on my thumb? Obviously the thumb also helps guide the ball... am I using it too much to guide the racquet through the impact and perhaps I should watch other things to control that and not my thumb?

I also recently mentioned in my journal how I have more of a push/drive through than a swing through and up on my backhand. Well I am working on it as i said but that also sounds to me like I am basically absorbing all the impact on my extended thumb and driving through the ball right where it came from. I can see how driving up on the ball won't have nearly the same impact on my thumb as what I might be doing has.

Any advice? also in the picture above of the backhand, the forefinger is a little seperated as well. I don't do this. I can see how this might absorb some shock as well but the rest of my fingers are pretty much together. Dmast said above that this isn't done on the backhand usually, especially one hander but this picture shows it like that (I am not saying this random picture is in any way an authority over dmast, I would take dmast's word over garbage i find on the net anyday)

oh sorry for making this a personal rant but hey.. its about time we discussed some real world tennis here in the tennis discussion forum instead of how many hardcourts professionals play on or what bag Roger's carrying lately or the lack of curves on the WTA tour  :)~  :king:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 10:40:53 PM by pawan89 »


Offline Alex

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2008, 10:42:53 PM »
That's one sexy hand.

I worry about you Wilson sometimes
:whistle:
:rofl_2: :rofl_2: :rofl_2:

I'm sorry I'm not contributing here, but this was hilarious.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 10:43:52 PM by Alex »

Offline pawan89

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2008, 08:21:37 PM »
I went and hit against the wall today to reanalyze and i stick with my confusion. the pain is still there but getting less. i'll ignore it for now and hopefully its all gone by tommorrow or dayafter and doesn't come up again ever because i am not chaning my backhand anytime soon.


Offline dmastous

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2008, 08:45:38 PM »

After three days of good hitting and one more day of hitting against the wall (which is in some ways more intense on the arms and fingers) my joint between thumb and rest of palm is hurting. Its hurting exactly like it would hurt if I banged against your thumb with more pressure at its base, pusing it away from your palm.. and do this over and over. So its more like a soreness and general hurting, not a "pull it this way and it hurts" sorta thing.

I considered why I had this pain today. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary lately. I thought maybe I am using the space bar so much that my thumb is stretched out  ..-) .. I really didn't think of anything and today in class I realized this. that grip overthere, if you hit harder and harder, the head of the racquet and the whole racquet in genearl is pushed back by the ball isn't it? And whats the major thing that's keeping my racquet from going back at impact? my thumb. my outstretched thumb. And the harder the ball hits my racquet, the more shock i am putting on my thumb.

is that right description of whats happening? if that's so, is this the finger that I am supposed to be holding on tightest or am I not holding it tight enough. Or is it just a strenghtening thing going on or am I doing something wrong. Perhaps the racquet moving back on impact should be stopped by my wrists and forearms/shoulder and there really shouldn't be as much pressure on my thumb? Obviously the thumb also helps guide the ball... am I using it too much to guide the racquet through the impact and perhaps I should watch other things to control that and not my thumb?

I also recently mentioned in my journal how I have more of a push/drive through than a swing through and up on my backhand. Well I am working on it as i said but that also sounds to me like I am basically absorbing all the impact on my extended thumb and driving through the ball right where it came from. I can see how driving up on the ball won't have nearly the same impact on my thumb as what I might be doing has.

Any advice? also in the picture above of the backhand, the forefinger is a little seperated as well. I don't do this. I can see how this might absorb some shock as well but the rest of my fingers are pretty much together. Dmast said above that this isn't done on the backhand usually, especially one hander but this picture shows it like that (I am not saying this random picture is in any way an authority over dmast, I would take dmast's word over garbage i find on the net anyday)

oh sorry for making this a personal rant but hey.. its about time we discussed some real world tennis here in the tennis discussion forum instead of how many hardcourts professionals play on or what bag Roger's carrying lately or the lack of curves on the WTA tour  :)~  :king:


Had there been a lull in your tennis, like 4 or 5 weeks? Also, did you do anything differently while playing the last time you hit. It's possible you may have just been sore in your hand through inactivity or a change in technique. I've had that happen during one of my many lulls in playing.
As for the finger positioning on the backhand, it really depends on your backhand stroke. If you have a Lendl/Sampras/Corretja type backhand you wouldn't need the separate the index finger. But if you look at Federer's grip he does have it seperate on the backhand. I think that's because his follow through flys off to the side instead of above his head like the others I mentioned.
I do appreciate the kind words, but I'd take a good working tennis coach over mine on most stroke techniques (I did say a good tennis coach :shiny:).

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Offline pawan89

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Re: Which one of your four fingers is the tightest?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2008, 08:53:10 PM »
I tried to notice my pointing finger on my backhand against the wall today and it really isn't that seperated or tight. But my follow through on my backhand is definitely more federer-esque and more liek gasquet when falling back than a sampras type. There has been a lull but I have been hitting against the wall and against md a few times, I would say I have played at least once or twince in 5 weeks. But my backhand defienitely hasn't gotten the kinda workout it got in the last two-three days ever before because you know, playing sets cuts down on rallies quite a bit and if i am not feeling top class i safely slice it back most of the time. I think it might jsut be a matter of getting used to it.

thanks dmast!