The Complete Guide to Two Types of Racquetball Grip Techniques (Tips)
Here is the point:
The consistent grip will allow your racquet to become a part of your arm in a way that will enable you to better control and more power.
Luckily, once you learn how to grip your racquet properly, it’ll become second nature.
There are two main racquetball grips that you’ll need to master to play at your highest level,
- Forehand grip, and
- Backhand grip.
Once you learn to do this, you’ll be able to play to the best of your ability.
Let’s get started
The forehand grip is the main grip that most beginners start with and is probably the most instinctual way anyone picks up a racquet. You’ll use your forehand grip for your forehand stroke. The best way to achieve a proper forehand grip is to hold your racquet in your non-dominant hand keeping the racquet’s strings perpendicular to the floor.
Look at the racquet handle as a clock with the top flat side as 12 o’clock, the middle of the right side as 3 o’clock and so on. Keeping this in mind, grip the racquet handle as if you were shaking hands with the racquet. Stretch your thumb and forefinger and hold the racquet loosely in your fingers, not in your palm. Your fingers should create a “V” shape. This should be held pointing toward the 12 o’clock position.
If you’re looking for a more aggressive grip, you can move the racquet, so your “V” shape is positioned toward the 1 o’clock position instead (to the right beveled edge of the racquet). You can further adjust yourself toward the 2 o’clock position for an extreme grip. This will give you more power but can strain you more than the standard forehand grip.
Another way to get an extreme forehand grip is to hold the face of the racquet in your non-dominant hand keeping it parallel to the floor. Hold it on your non-dominant side at waist height and use your dominant hand to grab the handle as you would if you were unsheathing a sword. Once you grip the handle, extend your index finger and thumb. This will put you in a natural forehand grip.
You want to make sure that your grip is close to the base of the racquet, not up near the head of the racquet. If positioned correctly, your pinky finger will be right below the base at the bottom of the handle. Don’t grip the racquet too tight as you’ll tire out your fingers as you play. Keeping a loose grip will also help your wrist flex better as you play. This will help you generate more power and mobility.
With the proper grip, you can execute the appropriate forehand stroke. This should resemble a baseball swing. The stroke should be level, and your knee should lower to the ground (without touching it) as you swing through.
The backhand grip is slighting more involved than the forehand grip, but with some practice, it’s easy to execute. Starting from the forehand grip, turn the racquet clockwise just a little bit (about 1/8 of an inch). Using the clock positioning, you’ll want the “V” formed by your thumb and index finger to be at the 11 o’clock position. This is the standard backhand grip.
If you rotate 10 o’clock, this is a little more of an aggressive grip. It might be better if you have some experience, though. There is also an extreme backhand grip that will have the “V” at the 9 o’clock position. This is usually described as the “frying pan” grip because it’s similar to how you’d grip a frying pan when picking it up by the handle.
These two more aggressive grips give you more power, but they are harder to control with the extreme 9 o’clock positioning being the hardest to control. Most people consider the 10 o’clock position to be an excellent compromise of power and control as the standard backhand grip doesn’t give you a lot of power.
When doing this, don’t rotate your wrist. Your wrist has to stay in the same position as it was in your forehand grip; only the racquet is rotating. This might feel a little unnatural but the more you play, the more used to it you’ll get.
This grip will allow you to execute a proper backhand stroke. This is done by starting from a position near your head and swinging ahead of you around your body so that you finish the swing behind you. When you do this, your thumb takes most of the shock of the impact. This is different from your forehand stroke where your palm absorbs most of the effect. To alleviate this, some experienced players tend to place their thumb at the back side of the handle to get more support.
Hopefully, the descriptions of the two standard racquetball grips have given you a good idea on how to grip the handle properly during your match. To help you gain a better understanding, here are some frequently asked questions that can help clear up details or to give you more information on racquetball grips in general.
1. Why is the proper grip important?
A proper and consistent grip is the only thing that allows you to become one with your racquet. If you don’t have this, you won’t be able to generate the right amount of power while playing and you’ll also run into control issues that will affect your game.
2. How tight do you need to grip the racquet?
You don’t want to grip the handle too tight. You’re not looking to strangle the racquet; you just want to apply slight pressure, so the racquet doesn’t come out of your hand as you swing it.
3. What are some tips to a proper forehand stroke?
Some basic tips for a better forehand stroke are to keep the racquet up and to step into your shot. You want to turn your hips and the rest of your lower body before the top half of your body. Finally, swing through with your leading elbow and hit the ball at the leading heel.
4. How can you practice switching grips?
There is a drill that you can use to practice switching grips. Stand in your serve position and take a step like you’re about to perform a forehand stroke. Then, move your feet again and switch to a backhand grip. Keep doing this over and over again. It’s best to stand in front of a mirror, so you monitor your movements. You’ll feel the racquet moving almost on its own because the center of gravity for the racquet will naturally make it rotate. Your job is to stop it from turning too much by locking in your grip in each position.
Practice this, so it comes naturally to you. This will allows you to switch quickly and effortlessly while you’re playing.
Follow these techniques and try out the different angles of each grip to find what fits your style and comfort levels the best. Remember, the more aggressive and extreme grips do generate more power, but they are more uncomfortable and less forgiving on your body. Keep practicing and running the drill so that you can feel more at ease with each grip and switch between them easily.