In today’s blog we’re going to talk about advanced pickleball grips.
In a previous blog we talked about the continental grip which is the most common pickleball grip. If you haven’t seen that blog go check it out.
In this blog we’re going to specifically talk about different grips we use besides the continental grip and explain the scenarios in which we use them and why.
To start off let’s talk about why you would change your grip form continental to anything else.
The simple answer is to make it easier to impart topsin on the ball. When you move up in levels and begin to learn more intermediate and advanced shots, those shots are going to be with a lot of topspin.
Live scenario – Jordan is at the non volley zone and his opponent lift’s the ball up. Jordan is trying to hit a swinging volley out of the air with topspin using a continental grip. As he gets ready for the ball with the idea of having contact out in front of him, the angle of his paddle face is slightly open. If Jordan is trying to do a brushing motion (low to high) in hopes to get the ball up and back down, it has a tendency to sail long or out because of the paddle face. If Jordan changes his grip between an eastern and semi western girl it kind of closes that paddle face a bit and the paddle is more perpendicular to the ground. This position will make it easier for Jordan to impart this top spin and keep the ball in. This is the reason why Jordan changed grips.
Now let’s go over the scenarios where we change grip to impart topsin. These aren’t all the scenarios but they are the main scenarios.
One thing to mention is that our go-to ready grip is the continental grip. Anytime our opponents speeds up the ball, that’s the grip we want to be in just in case we need to block volley any hard shot. In a continental grip we can block anything that comes hard and fast.
Now, if we see a ball that we’re going to want to hit topspin on we can quickly change our grip to more of an eastern grip on our forehand side.
For this first scenario, the opposing team is hitting a third shot drop that sits up a little high and what we’re going to do is step back and change our grip between and eastern and semi western so that we could make it easier to impart topspin on the ball.
We’re trying to keep that serving team back as they hit their third shot by using deep driving top spin shots.
Live scenario – Katrina is hitting her third shot and Jordan is in a continental grip at first but as Jordan sees that ball dropping he quickly changes his grip to and eastern grip so that he could hit that ball and impart a lot of top spin and keep that ball deep. He knows he hit a good ball so he comes back up to the line quickly and he knows he’s probably going to get a weak return from Katrina so he leaves his grip in this forehand topspin grip and then he takes the next return out of the air as a swinging volley.
This happens very often.
If Jordan is on the defence or he knows his opponents can hit a very offensive shot he’s gong to stay in that continental grip because he might have to block these balls.
But, if he knows he’s kind of on offence and has the upper hand in that point he can get ready by staying in his offensive forehand grip so he can hit the next ball with topspin.
Now let’s jump to the backhand side. Same thing, if we want to let that ball drop and our opponent’s are back, instead of eastern forehand grip we’re going to switch to eastern backhand grip. Same kind of idea. We’re going to switch that grip quickly so we can have a more closed paddle face. In this situation our opponents are dropping the ball, it bounces a bit high or we want to be aggressive on it. We can step back and go ahead and swing with that eastern backhand grip.
So that is the backhand topping drive from non volley zone. Next thing we want to show you is the backhand, topspin swinging volley.
We’re going to be in my eastern backhand grip and we’re laying our paddle back and swinging up low to high.
Thank you for reading this blog. We hope you learned the benefit of changing your grip. Every top player, and all great players, change their grip very often. You’d be very surprised how much they do.
These were just a few of the scenarios where we switch our grip from the continental grip to another grip.
Hopefully this blog helps and gets you thinking and trying these different grips out as you advance in levels and learn new shots.