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Friday, February 24, 2017

Continental Grip

Pickleball helps us keep a grip on reality...

Yesterday's post was about my personal decision to change to a continental grip. I tried to describe the grip and some reasons why I made the change. Today we will follow up with a couple of videos from Mark Renneson discussing the continental grip.

The first video is a quick description of the grip. It appears that Mark has removed the video from his playlist but the link I saved still works. The video was called Continental Grip.

The second video is called Pickleball Volley Grips and is a more extensive discussion of the reason to use a continental grip, particularly when volleying. Mark describes the grip as almost like shaking hands and the "V" of your hand is right on top of the paddle.

Mark likes the continental grip because it provides a relatively strong position for both the forehand and backhand volleys. That is advantageous because there is little time to change grips when volleying.

Interestingly, Mark points out that some top players have moved away from the continental grip to a strong forehand grip.

The forehand grip is taken by turning the paddle so that the base knuckle of the index finger moves from the upper corner bevel to the back flat side of the paddle handle. The reason to use this grip is to make the forehand volley more of an offensive weapon. A player can generate more power and spin on a forehand volley when using a forehand grip. 

But, and this is a big but, the backhand volley becomes much weaker as the arm must be contorted just to get the proper paddle face angle. Those players who this grip are willing to concede the backhand volley as a weapon in order to gain the offensive advantage on the forehand side.

It is important to note that Mark does not discuss players switching grips. These players maintain the forehand grip through the NVZ rally. I would guess that is because the rallies are too quick to adjust grips.

My personal choice - as discussed yesterday - is to play with a continental grip. I have to hit too many backhand volleys that I cannot concede it as a weak shot.

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