Ask the Pro – Why Should I Use a Neutral Grip?

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Question: Why should I use a neutral shakehand grip when so many top players do not?

Coach Larry Hodges:When developing your shots, you want to use a neutral grip; otherwise, your strokes might not develop properly. A neutral grip makes proper strokes more natural. You might be tempted to use a slight forehand or backhand grip as you develop your stroking techniques, but in the long run, this will hurt you.

However, a neutral grip is not necessarily the way to maximize your current play. It’s a tradeoff. At the advanced level, strokes are already well developed, and so experimenting with the grip won’t hurt a player’s strokes much.

What is a neutral, forehand and backhand grip? If the thinnest part of your wrist lines up with the blade (so your wrist and blade both aim in the same direction), then you have a neutral grip. If you tilt the top of the blade away from you, you have a backhand grip. If you tilt the top of the racket toward you, you have a forehand grip.

I used a neutral grip roughly the first decade I played. Then I used a slight backhand grip for roughly a decade. Then I went to a slight forehand grip for roughly the past decade.


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