Coaches and Tennis Enthusiasts: I think we can all agree that there are several ways to hit a tennis ball but I’m sure we can all debate what’s best for the everyday recreational player. Teaching, coaching and managing players of all levels for the past 30 years has afforded me lots of experience! My number one takeaway is everyone is different and should be taught to the best of their abilities.
I’ve watched the game evolve over the years and now I’m lucky enough to implement all types of styles in my coaching. Fundamentally the strokes stem from the same place but the progression of the hit changes.
Modern: Extreme grip open stance, Traditional: eastern grip full follow through, Hybrid: Full eastern/Semi western grip, open stance on the run.
There’s no right or wrong it’s what’s best for you! A good coach should help you develop what comes natural to you. Just because you see Rafa hitting a forehand with a helicopter follow through, doesn’t mean that’s right for you! Believe it or not the pros hit the ball differently so its ok for you to have the style that fits your needs!
Pros and Cons:
1) Modern = Maximize power with extreme topspin and speed.
More moving parts, harder to change grips for volleys and serves, takes more time develop, maintain and master.
2)Traditional = Easier to develop and grasp, easier to develop an all-around game, faster way to start competing, less time to train.
Less topspin, may not hit the ball as hard, may not maximize the body’s potential.
And remember… you don’t have to be a pro to train like a pro!