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If you’re new to tennis you might be surprised to learn that there is a specialised grip for the tennis serve. It’s called the continental grip, which now a days is used primarily just for serving. But before we get into the details let’s start by talking about why this is the best grip for your serve and the benefits of learning to use it.
One of the main reasons you’ll want to use the continental grip for your serve is because it allows you to hit various types of serves without switching your grip. With the continental grip, you can hit a big flat serve, a slice serve, a topspin serve or kick serve all with a single grip. So once you have it mastered you can change up your serves with ease. Learning to hit each of these serves will allow you to be more aggressive and keep your opponent guessing, while also enabling you to hit a consistent and reliable second serve.
If you’re serious about your serve then you’re going to want to learn the trophy pose, which will set you up for achieving maximum power and the fastest serve. However, in order to get the most out of the trophy pose you need a grip that complements your service motion and the continental grip is exactly the grip for the job.
One of the keys to the continental grip is that it allows you to generate topspin on your serve. It’s topspin that provides you with the necessary control to hit aggressively while keeping the ball in the court.
Last but not least, the continental grip positions the face of the racquet so that your wrist can more easily flex throughout the service motion. As you learn how to serve or spend time refining your current serve, you’ll find that this flex helps enable a fluid motion with your serve while also allowing you to snap your wrist to achieve topspin. If you’re like most beginners you may have started with some version of a forehand grip, which positions the face of the racquet and your strings towards the net when you hold it out in front of you. To be clear, this grip is incorrect for your serve. However, the truth is, without an understanding of the proper technique and mechanics necessary to hit an effective tennis serve this grip is pretty logical. The ball needs to travel forward, so you position the face of your racquet forward too. This way when you hit the tennis ball it moves towards the net and into the service box. The challenge is that a forehand grip severely limits your ability to progress your serve and get better over time because you cannot achieve the benefits mentioned above. So be sure to use and practise the continental grip for your serve and your game will improve in a big way.
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