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  1. Bryce is offline
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    #1

    Forehand and backhand grips

    Hey guys, do you change grips while interchanging between forehand and backhand shots? I find it a troublesome and it is some how affecting my game. What do you think about this?

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    #2
    According to the advice that I have received "You absolutely should not !! " .... try to get rid of the habit as soon as you can... Table Tennis unlike Tennis is too fast a game to let you change grips
    Lets go Spinny Looping !

  3. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #3
    I have been told not to change my grip, but it was not from anyone who really mattered. I have seen footage of an old educational video of JO Waldner showing how he changes his grip for forehand and backhand. I think that trumps anything anyone else has told me. But, this is how it works for me. I remember when I used to skateboard and when you are doing it for a long time, you just adjust your feet to the right place for the next trick you are going to do. It happens naturally. You don't try and you don't really do it consciously. With table tennis, something similar happens to me. When I cock my wrist for my backhand, it changes the grip to a slightly different angle. This is forced by the wrist position, and it helps me get more spin on the shot as I close the face of my racket so I can spin over the ball. When I turn open for the forehand and my wrist takes my blade into position for the shot, my grip has to switch so I can get my blade face closed and my wrist back so that there is one line from my elbow, through my arm, to the tip of the blade. To get my wrist in that position I have to change the grip a little.

    To use anatomical terms, for the backhand my wrist is deeply flexed and moderately adducted and for the forehand my wrist is deeply abducted (the opposite of adducted) and can be flexed, neutral or extended, depending on what spin I want to put on the ball (side spin, no side spin, inside out sidespin) or if I want to use the wrist snap more to put more pace on the ball. I am not thinking about this when I do it. It just happens naturally. But, that is an analytical analysis of what happens.

    So I would not stop it from shifting, but let your body tell you how to switch it rather than trying to do it as an intellectual process. At least, that is how I feel about it.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 09-05-2011 at 05:03 PM.
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  4. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #4
    By the way, Atanda Musa is a pro that I know. He is over 50 so he is not really active in tournament play, but at one point he was 19th in the world and at the hight of his career he took some matches from JO Waldner. So his is no joke. He once said to me, even if you don't think you change your grip, you do. That might be how it should be. Zhang Jike changes his grip too much. It makes it harder for him to switch to forehand. But I won't blame him with a backhand like that.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ttmonster
    "You absolutely should not !! " .... Table Tennis is too fast a game to let you change grips
    99% agree, I saw a clip on youtube and in this clip Werner Schlager said that you should not change your grip for fore- and backhand. It cost too much time and when you are under pressure, the grip changing can fail .....
    but ofc no rule without exception, Timo Boll does change between forehand and backhand grip. He internalized this process perfectly

  6. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #6
    Here, in this video, if you start the video at 5:52, Waldner shows how he switches the grip. I don't think he even realizes, when he shifts the angle of his index finger the bat angle in his had shifts subtly.



    Again, my personal opinion is, if you have to think about it, you don't want to mess with it. If it happens naturally and you don't notice it, that is another thing.
    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 09-05-2011 at 09:33 PM.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bollforte94
    99% agree, I saw a clip on youtube and in this clip Werner Schlager said that you should not change your grip for fore- and backhand. It cost too much time and when you are under pressure, the grip changing can fail .....
    but ofc no rule without exception, Timo Boll does change between forehand and backhand grip. He internalized this process perfectly
    For med. / long range loopers I think you can get away with it. But for close to the table attackers, choppers, don't.

    Which brings a question: RPB and traditional backhand. Mix it up or use one exclusively?

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lesliefrancs
    For med. / long range loopers I think you can get away with it. But for close to the table attackers, choppers, don't.

    Which brings a question: RPB and traditional backhand. Mix it up or use one exclusively?
    Mix it up for sure!
    Don't hesitate. If you want to reach your goal, just go for it!

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    #9
    Well, I change my grip slightly for FH from BH. Even my FH, I have 2 variations, 1 is normal grip that most TT players use(close to the table), and the other is the eastern grip for far from the table shots.

    However, I don't think there is a right and wrong way to grip your bat, as long as it works well for you, why should you change? The key words here are "works well". If it doesn't work well, and you have tweaked everything else in your game, then it just could be because of your grip.
    To improve, we must enjoy the game and above all have fun



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    #10
    Sir Carl, i don't use grips that are similar to Waldner. During forehand shots, i have my thumb at the tip of the handle like the usual shakehand grip but during my backhand i tilt the bat slightly to the right to allow my thumb to rest on the rubber for more feeling. But i can't get it to change naturally. So i'll try to stick to the forehand grip.

  11. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryce
    Sir Carl, i don't use grips that are similar to Waldner. During forehand shots, i have my thumb at the tip of the handle like the usual shakehand grip but during my backhand i tilt the bat slightly to the right to allow my thumb to rest on the rubber for more feeling. But i can't get it to change naturally. So i'll try to stick to the forehand grip.
    That sounds intelligent. You do not need to be changing things in a way that makes you have to shift things too much. For the backhand, don't shift the grip, just make sure you cock your wrist to get the bat angle closed. If you are not sure what I mean, look at how Kreanga does it, how Zhang Jike or Ovchtarov, or Dan's video of the backhand. If your forehand is solid, as you switch to backhand the main thing you want is to get the bat face closed enough so that you can spin over the ball.

    If you get the blade face set for the shot and your wrist can move through the shot, the specifics of the grip are not as important and should be fine. Again, I did not even realize I was shifting my grip slightly until I really analyzed things. If you are consciously trying to change your hand and fingers from one position to another that is going get in the way of your next shot.

    After you have enough hits with your backhand with the new grip for it to be comfortable, a good drill to practice is having the ball hit to the same spot over and over by a hitting partner and you using footwork to switch from forehand to backhand over and over again. As you get used to this, switching from forehand to backhand will become more and more natural. The regular drill where one ball is hit to the forehand side and the other is hit to the backhand side is good too, but the first one gets you to work on your footwork in an interesting way that helps integrate the shift from forehand to backhand nicely.
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    #12
    When u have the time to change and it makes u play better, do it. It is as simple as that I think. When u are blocking close to the table u have no time to change grip. When the ball comes slower and u are going to attack, changing grip a bit should be possible since the preperation for the stroke u are gonna make requires time too, and it doesnt hinder the grip change. An extreme advantage of this is that a lot of players flip their bats when the opponent is lobbing. They think that gives them better chances to win the point and there is sufficient time, so why not? I think there is always time for a grip change unless you are under huge pressure, either because the opponent is attacking fast or he is blocking ur attacks fast.

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    Thanks for your advice sir Carl and Wiwa. But i would prefer to stay with either changing or not changing grips. I'll test it the next time i get to train.

  14. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryce
    Thanks for your advice sir Carl and Wiwa. But i would prefer to stay with either changing or not changing grips. I'll test it the next time i get to train.
    In the end, the most important thing is that you are doing something that works for you. In my opinion, there are no real cut and dry rules.
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    #15
    @Bryce .... Most of the opinions above are right one way or another .. and as Carl said .. you need to do what works for you ... but I was having the same problem as you when I started off and this is how I thought / went about trying to fix it :
    BTW , I play mostly close to the table ... third ball attack and/or loop ( try to loop ) on both sides .....hence its important for me to have as less transition time as possible ....because this is one of the first things your opponent tries to figure out ...

    1. Concentrate on holding the blade for all your shots ... meaning the pressure points should be on the blade not the handle .. this will give you a deeper grip and more control
    2. Its not necessary to have a "backhand" grip to loop well on your back hand ...the more important thing is to have your wrist loose and make sure it has freedom to move ... this lessens considerably if you hold the handle too much
    3. You should always throw in alternate backhand .. fore hand rally ... and as long as you don't solve this problem remember to throw in a couple of backhands while practicing forehand rally and vice versa .... this keeps you on track

    Coming back to the most important point ... you should also take into account the flexibility of your wrist ... table tennis is a game that is played by everyone differently ... people may not have very flexible wrists but might have some other advantages over other .. so even if you take a call that you are going to sacrifice one ( either back hand or forehand ) to gain advantage in the other .. does not mean its the end of the world ... BUT ... you should put in a decent amount of effort before you take the decision ...

    so ... Good Luck and and I am sure you are going to get over this ... believe me when you solve this one its going to improve your game dramatically ...
    Lets go Spinny Looping !

  16. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ttmonster
    1. Concentrate on holding the blade for all your shots ... meaning the pressure points should be on the blade not the handle .. this will give you a deeper grip and more control
    2. Its not necessary to have a "backhand" grip to loop well on your back hand ...the more important thing is to have your wrist loose and make sure it has freedom to move ... this lessens considerably if you hold the handle too much
    3. You should always throw in alternate backhand .. fore hand rally ... and as long as you don't solve this problem remember to throw in a couple of backhands while practicing forehand rally and vice versa .... this keeps you on track
    Great info. Especially this: "the more important thing is to have your wrist loose and make sure it has freedom to move", and this: "meaning the pressure points should be on the blade not the handle".
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    My reply has really nothing to do with changing grips during a game but I hold the bat with two fingers like a V up the blade on the backhand. Now I know that this is not the usual way and coaches teach the normal grip. I have been holding the bat like this for 60 years and my backhand was always my best shot and hardly never catching the two fingers which obviously took up more of the blade. At Grant Solders holiday camp at the end of August, I gave the England No. 9 girl junior a knock and even before we started, she said to me 'your holding the bat wrong' which goes to show she had been coached. Anyone else hold their bat different to the normal, the exception of course would be the pen holder.

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Horowitz
    By the way, Atanda Musa is a pro that I know. He is over 50 so he is not really active in tournament play, but at one point he was 19th in the world and at the hight of his career he took some matches from JO Waldner. So his is no joke. He once said to me, even if you don't think you change your grip, you do. That might be how it should be. Zhang Jike changes his grip too much. It makes it harder for him to switch to forehand. But I won't blame him with a backhand like that.
    Hmmm does Zhang Jike really change his grip that much for his backhand? I was never able to notice that big of a change. I mean I think the places the angle of his wrist such that he is able to close his racket for the backhand to a greater degree than most players, but it doesn't seem like he actually adjusts his grip that much when he alternates from forehand to backhand and vice versa. I would love to see some examples of close up videos if you know of any, since I like to emulate some aspects of my favorite players.

    On a different topic, I think I adjust between my forehand and backhand slightly. Usually with my backhand, my grip on the handle will shift counterclockwise, if we are looking from the perspective of the top of the racket. That way my backhand is more closed and I find that I am better at blocking back with my backhand or creating more spin. But the change is so slight that I hardly notice it.

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    #19
    zhang jike doesn't change his grip- he's famous for not doing so, ins't he?

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    #20
    When switching to backhand, I subconsciously like to angle my index finger down to the handle and my thumb up a little to allow for a tad bit more wrist movement/flexibility. I wouldn't call it much of a grip change though, it's really a minor thing.
    Also hi everyone, I'm new

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