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  1. fundefined is offline
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    #1

    The "Swedish" grip - a lesser known variant of Shakehand

    There's many different ways to hold the shakehold grips in terms of pressure and finger placement, and I want to discuss one that isn't mentioned a lot. Normally, in the shakehand grip, your forefinger rests on the backhand side of the rubber. In general, if the forefinger is more extended beyond the rubber, it's a more forehand oriented grip and the opposite for a backhand oriented grip.

    The "Swedish" grip, which doesn't have an official name, is a forehand oriented grip that wraps the forefinger around the throat of the handle (the exposed wood wing of the blade where the rubber isn't attached.) However, in practice, it's actually fairly neutral and has some interesting pros and cons compared to the standard shakehand grip.

    There's 5 notable pro players (3 of whom are Swedish) I see that use this grip:

    Stellan Bengtsson (Swedish legend who likely started this grip, he trained both Persson and Waldner)

    Jorgen Persson

    Aleksandar Karakasevic (Look at his amazing backhands)

    Fang Bo (on the backhand side)

    and Truls Moregard

    _________________________

    Effects of this Grip:

    Your crossover point becomes slightly more towards your backhand and hitting crossover forehands is slightly easier because your index finger isn't restricting your wrist turning. However, your backhand loop is thrown more from the hip then in front of you.

    Your backhand becomes more flat and throwing backhand punch shots becomes more powerful. All of the pro players (besides Karakasevic, maybe) have flatter shots.

    Backhand smashes are much easier: just look at these crazy swats from Persson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVHXZjaHwnM

    Some negatives are that you do lose feeling because your forefinger isn't resting on the backhand rubber. Resting your finger on the wing may not be comfortable depening on the blade and the person.

    Additionally, doing banana shots and backhand flips in general is difficult. As you can see from Fang Bo's last picture, he changes his grip to a standard shakehand for his flicks. Forehand flicks, however, do feel easier.

    _________________________

    The "Swedish" grip is an interesting alternative to the standard shakehand grip. There's even variance in how high up each of pro players hold it, Bengtsson is fairly high up, while Truls is very very low. Your forefinger controls the angle of the blade face so there's a lot of pressure on it, but I felt pretty comfortable trying this grip out. In practice, it's really not too difficult to adjust from a standard shakehand grip.

    Curious to hear if anyone else has seen this grip be used in person.

    Here's some forum posts about it:

    http://mytabletennis.net/forum/truls...opic81138.html

    https://www.tabletennisdaily.com/for...-Backhand-Grip

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    Last edited by fundefined; 05-03-2021 at 01:12 AM.

  2. yogi_bear is offline
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    #2
    I do not think it works for people who are used for the regular grip. Maybe if you started that way it is ok.
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  3. Music&Ping is offline
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    I do not think it works for people who are used for the regular grip. Maybe if you started that way it is ok.


    I do not agree at all: Phillipe Chomis, coach of the Saint Denis USTT 93 women's team near Paris (it's Pritikha Pavade's team actually) has adressed this issue in a Zoom interview with former ITTF n°11 Christophe Legoût since he has done hundreds of statistics on top 10 world pros matches, finding that indeed the game was more BH oriented he then thought that it was now time to make the players switch from a grip to another, and this is what Dima Ovtcharov actually does: he's got a fairly closed angle on FH, and then the thumb apllying pressure he can switch to that kind of grip for BH topspins, with a fairly closed angle too.

    Playing with straight handles is easier for that purpose, it's a kind of "semi twidling" movement. Human's brain is capable of adjustements to build the proper muscle memory in order to achieve these grips switches. It requires some time and proper training of course, but I can tell ya by having taught so much amateur musicians with wrong wrists and fingers positions that it's possible, even if they played with those bad routines for decades.

    Slow and conscious practice can lead to outstanding results ;-)


  4. Der_Echte is offline
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    #4
    Looks like this grip is similar to regular FH grip, but entire hand slides down 12-15 mm on hte handle. I think that is going to give you more wrist snap on the final whip on the FH.

    This grip also looks like it offers a consistent base - look at how the bottom of the handle is "cradled" in the bottom part of the meaty part of the hand on all these players... that is the bottom stable point and the thumb and finger offer another stable point.

    I have a more extreme grip adjustment on FH if I have time where I go another 5 mm or so lower than these pros and pre-orient the blade to BH, but it gives a final FH whip that is another level altogether for spin or power - allows both kind of wrist on FH to be used - the slap or the 20 degree-ish pivot.

    I am not gunna beat down this grip - it is proven by successful pros.

    It would of course be awkward for me to start using this grip, but it looks stable enough that after a couple months it would be natural.
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  5. langel is offline
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    I do not think it works for people who are used for the regular grip. Maybe if you started that way it is ok.

    This is exactly MOG's way of thinking 🤣


  6. Baal is offline
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    #6
    I play with that grip. I don't think it has any real advantage or disadvantage over a conventional sh grip, overall (two world champions). But I've pretty much always played that way, at least since late teens . Nobody taught me to do it. I think the OP correctly points out the issues it introduces on BH side, especially with flicks. For me I suspect it affects opening BH loops too. I sacrifice some power and spin in order to be more consistent. I can feel the ball just fine. I feel like I become erratic when I try a more conventional grip.

    Every coach but one has tried to get me to change it but I can never get comfortable. I can't see any reason to change to it if you are comfortable and effective with your current regular grip.

    Also I wouldn't teach a kid to play with this grip.

    One last thing. Messing with your grip can send you to the ninth circle of Table Tennis Hell. Don't go there without a really good reason.

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    Last edited by Baal; 05-03-2021 at 10:00 PM.

  7. langel is offline
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    #7
    My grip is something between the regular and that described by OP, I call it "shallow".In fact, because my grip is very loose, I switch between firmer regular on stronger attacks and passive blocks, and shallow on looping and more spin oriented hits.What Der_Echte say about the handle edge on the meat is very true.With my Vega Tour blade I'm used to it, though sometimes its more than sensible when I have to play more on the BH.In that regard the longer handle of Rossi Emotion is much more comfortable for the shallow grip - no edge on the meat.
    Last edited by langel; 05-03-2021 at 01:56 PM.

  8. yogi_bear is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Music&Ping


    I do not agree at all: Phillipe Chomis, coach of the Saint Denis USTT 93 women's team near Paris (it's Pritikha Pavade's team actually) has adressed this issue in a Zoom interview with former ITTF n°11 Christophe Legoût since he has done hundreds of statistics on top 10 world pros matches, finding that indeed the game was more BH oriented he then thought that it was now time to make the players switch from a grip to another, and this is what Dima Ovtcharov actually does: he's got a fairly closed angle on FH, and then the thumb apllying pressure he can switch to that kind of grip for BH topspins, with a fairly closed angle too.

    Playing with straight handles is easier for that purpose, it's a kind of "semi twidling" movement. Human's brain is capable of adjustements to build the proper muscle memory in order to achieve these grips switches. It requires some time and proper training of course, but I can tell ya by having taught so much amateur musicians with wrong wrists and fingers positions that it's possible, even if they played with those bad routines for decades.

    Slow and conscious practice can lead to outstanding results ;-)

    If the whole CNT would switch to this grip, I might try practicing it but the reality is they do not.

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