Panhandle Grip to Play (New Approach to adopt with Superlite Rackets) for Future
Ok .. Evensince I am playing Badminton ... I am "Left Handed PanHandle Grip Player". I feel very comfortable in that style as in "born natural comfort zone".
Now I know Coaches frown upon that grip and hold on racket. all the articles, material available are based on "Shakehand Grip Style" etc.
Yet I wonder has this trend picked up as part of evolution specially with rackets are becoming lighter 4U / 5U or may be lower as years to come.
In simple word in panhandle grip .. you get far better control on racket and may not able to put too much power (by advanced playing standard). However with lighter racket .. with faster swing speed and whip action ... now it was not as problematic as say .. 10-20 years back.
also based on my person experience ... you use more wrist power than Shoulder ... so you can have very attacking / deceptive / defensive styles mixed in the same "flow of the game in the same rally" to keep opponents completly off balance about your approach to rally.
1) (Remember better control ).. so easy to manipulate directions
2) force applied on shuttle in "same hand action but varing at the strike moment" to take off a pace ot apply more as boost without letting opponent get the hint
1) Just wondering what's your thought about panhandle grip for today & future. any local level / national level coaches / players giving it a try ?
2) As a player have you tried / feel good or bad about it ? (Need more skill / technique / hand-eye co-ordination / reaction time or less etc on given parameters)
3) ant effect of this on physical strength (more injury prone / less inury prone, Foot movement etc)
as far as me ... I can only play in that grip (last 30+ years) as my bio-mechnanic' is set in this way. I can say technique / skill / control wise I am one of the excellent player. My physical stamina / strength is not that good. Yet I can hold many players in respectable fight and many times end up
I learned myself panhandle grip also.
Now I am learning to switch between grips. For forehand smashing I still use panhandle because with the "whip" action you described I can really generate some nice power, even when not using a super light racket (mine is 86 grams).
For overhead/backhand I switch more to the shakehand grip, because it feels easier to control the shuttle. Especially for backhand I can't generate power with panhandle grip.
I don't think your 'biomechanics are set in this way', unless you have a physical defect.
I don't believe your assertion that you are 'one of the excellent players' when you say "you get far better control on racket and may not able to put too much power (by advanced playing standard)"
1) (Remember better control ).. so easy to manipulate directions No. Just no. with panhandle grip and swing everything moves in one plane - the only way to manipulate direction is racket face. With conventional grip and swing you can change lateral direction by merely changing the timing of the pronation.
2) Pronation is superior here since the muscles are stronger.
In short, if pros start to use pan handle grip from the rear court for over head shots, I will eat my hat.
Last edited by amleto; 05-12-2013 at 10:16 AM.
Reason: forum ate my formatting
I can't say that the control goes up when playing with panhandle. Also I think your slice shots would be much more difficult. You probably feel this way because you never really got into using a proper grip.
We're talking about rearcourt forehands, right? I.e. smash, clear, drop. Because obviously the panhandle grip has some real use in other situations (e.g. forehand pushes).
Beginners use the panhandle grip because the technique is easier -- much easier. The racket is always facing the shuttle. In that sense, you do get "more control".
The panhandle grip is extremely limiting, however. You get very little power, and your contact point is too low. This is a fundamental problem that cannot be overcome by rackets, play style, or wishful thinking.
The correct hitting technique is quite difficult to learn, because you have to cope with the racket head rotating during the stroke. If your timing is slightly wrong, you lose control of the shot. This is very frustrating for beginners, which is why they often want to stick with their panhandle technique.
Although I talk about "beginners" here, this includes most club players, even ones with decades of experience. Many players never graduate far beyond beginner technique.
I've known a lot of club players who think their panhandle smash is good. All of them have been wrong -- they just had no idea how hard a good player can hit the shuttle.
i have always been told to use a grip thats halfway between panhanndle and conventional grip. I usually have my thumb on the diagonal bevel, anyone use this grip, or do most people use the conventional grip? I have seen many international players using the panhandle grip for half smashes to get the steapness but never on full on smashes.
This is an interesting one. Let me think about this:
In terms of control, I would say the ONLY thing that limits control, with any grip, is practice. Gollum stated earlier that panhandling is often easier for beginners. This often means that players get "more control" for less hours of practicing. This does not mean there is any "more control" on offer overall, it just feels better to begin with. So there is definitely NO advantage control wise of ANY grip as far as I am concerned. If you practice enough, you could play most shots well with most grips.
The main disadvantage that I can see of panhandle grips, is the limited vertical reach of this grip. In order to reach up and hit the shuttle as high as possible with a panhandle grip, you will have to contort your wrist into a strained and frankly unnatural position. The range of motion is likely to be limited because of this. I think this is an overwhelming disadvantage of panhandling. You can't hit steep if you can't reach up high in my opinion.
If lighter rackets mean you can generate more power through sheer speed given a panhandle grip, I can promise you other players get the same advantage of increased swing speed for their regular grips. So, although I may be able to hit "harder" or faster with the panhandle grip, that does not mean that everyone else doesn't also get the same boost to their skills with a regular grip.
Panhandling requires the use of the wrist and arm extension to hit the shot. These motions are both the motions of joints, and thus I feel are limited. The use of a regular grip (with pronation) will allow the use of groups of muscles, rather than just joints (you can still use all the same joints, but not in the same way). Because of this, there is more power to be had. Regular grips are better. Badminton is won by the attacking team, and an attacking team without the threat of genuine power is not much of a threat.
It is suggested that using lots of wrist (via panhandling) allows for lots of deception and whatnot. I promise you: I can do the same things with a regular grip, just as easily.
In conclusion: I can't see any reason why someone would choose a panhandle grip over a regular grip, given the choice between the two.
However, I have to disagree with Gollum Most club players with panhandle smashes are awful, agreed. However, I have known one (and only one) player who was incredible with a panhandle grip. His smashes were extremely powerful and accurate, and sometimes steep if he wanted to. He played all his shots with a panhandle grip, including backhand net kills. I have never seen anyone play so well without changing grip. He slaughtered every county player I ever saw him play against. But he was a master tactician too (but you can't win without having the tools to implement your tactics!). Of course, the question is, how much BETTER would they have played with a normal grip... scary stuff.
I also seem to remember that Darren Hall played with a mostly panhandle grip. You would NEVER teach people to do it that way, but it worked for him.
Not that I have much experience in this field, but this looks to me like you're suffering from the uncomfortable frustration of cognitive dissonance. Deep down I think you know panhandle technique isn't as effective, but that's what you've stuck with for 3 decades so it's natural to want to justify it. It's also all you know, so how can you compare?
My advice would be to accept it for what it is and just enjoy your badminton. You say you count yourself as a good player; I also know people who've had success with unconventional technique, so there's nothing wrong with it as long as you and the people you play with are happy.
@Thompsen - Seems like at least you have experimented with both.
@MSeeley - Excellent post.
@DRead - Please read the op (original post) one more time. It's about Panhandle style for future with Ultra-lite rackets manufacturing. It’s NOT about my game and how to make my game better question. I am happy and enjoy a lot my game in my life . * Please read carefully before replying to message and don't give impression of mis-placed understanding of the asked OP questions as well as inability to articulate or participate in discussion
@Amalto - unless you are GOD (of whatever religion) DON't be very presumptive about other's game on anonymous internet forums (good player or bad player) without having facts or understanding in place. It just comes out as reflection of "narrow minded limited view" and tendency to follow popular trend as follower but not having ability to fundamentally grasp the situation to show characteristics as Leader (in badminton parlance as Trend-setter). The discussion is about Panhandle style and not me as Player or my ability to control the shuttle. @ other s – Yes Power is less in this style which is agreed even in OP.
Now here is my perspective,
Power is less but could be sufficient with emerging ultra-lite rackets to play as
P = MV or ½ M* (V*V). Please notice V could be improved significantly.
Since the court dimension is remaining same, power trade-off with control could be worth-while consideration for many players (I don’t expect this to be universal trend but alternate options or style for many players)
As the game has become faster, speedier and flatter (especially in doubles) there is less reaction time (and hence changing grip is not possible) but control is at premium (avoiding silly mistake ... make opponents to earn point). * Ability to quickly take shuttle and hold/decide to execute best possible shot to gain positional advantage to set up for the kill is much more dominant. I think along with ‘less power observation by many’... the same folks has observed that “panhandle folks get to shuttle very quickly’ ... so it’s the advantage of this grip as it seems. (Even I get compliments for my ability to quickly take shuttle … not at me but one more data point as panhandle player experience).
The conventional wisdom is against it as there are no international players with this grip. Coaches discourage it... players get forced to change the style (peer pressure or coach pressure). Probably 1 out of 1000 badminton player is using this style by the time they reach some reach club level (from beginner status). But the current national / international players (18+ years old) started playing at least 10 years back and coached by another 10 years old generation. So the current “shake hand trend’ is reflection of 15 year back mind-set and execution as reality (where 2U was latest light racket. Not necessarily conducive for human body to play with panhandle).
May be the current generation will pick-up more on this style and we may see good players at international level 5-10 years from now.
Last edited by cobalt; 05-14-2013 at 12:41 PM.
Reason: removed link for "other"
How can you swing faster with that gimpy panhandle style restricting your range of movement in the joints (I think you lose a lot of the leverage normally gained from there, as also mentioned more elaborately by MSeely; this doesn't change with lighter rackets)?
Also I don't think the increase in swing speed makes up for the loss in mass. As mentioned elsewhere by others: your arm can only move so fast; badminton rackets are light already, even lighter has less and less benefit in terms of power. The reason these lightweights are popping up is a change in gameplay, more reaction/drive based. (I came across an original 20+ years ago ad for an 81gr. racket a while back so it's not like lightweight rackets didn't already exist back then and other brands have had sub 80gr. rackets for years now)
Panhandle reminds me of penhold table tennis grip (at best ) and even that is quickly becoming obsolete ... A panhandle backhand I can only picture as a little kid on the beach with a bucket and a spade, digging up sand: a scooping motion.
I have heard talk of (a) monogrip though but it was not a panhandle and these latest sub 80gr. rackets by Yonex were not out yet. Been a while so don't recall the details but perhaps I can find something relating to it ...
I already sent Superzoom this in a message, but thought I would post it here too:
Thanks for responding to the thread and telling me your thoughts. Just wanted to discuss some of your points:
I agree with your first point - panhandling may allow more players to play at a higher standard. The players I am thinking of are predominantly club players however. I cannot see more internationals playing with this grip, but thats just my view.
You claim that reaction times are getting shorter and there isn't time to change grips. On one hand I agree with you, and on another I disagree. I agree the game becomes flatter and faster. However, most professional doubles players hence use a THUMB grip for all of their mid court shots (on forehand and backhand side) when the rallies get really fast. Why then shouldn't the "one" grip be a thumb grip. It is still possible to play all forehand overhead strokes using pronation using a thumb grip (although its a little bit different - you hit with the side closest to your thumb when hitting these overhead strokes), but this would enable players to use a single grip AND hit with better power overhead. Have you considered that this may be a better approach?
I also think that, no matter how fast some rallies may be, there will always be lifts that give time to switch grips. You will then be able to switch grips and hit with more power, before then reverting to a single "rallying" grip - which may be a panhandle, or maybe a thumb grip. I just can't imagine badminton played with a single grip, as there will always be times when the rally is slightly slower, allowing to change grips to something that gives more power. This, in my opinion, is only sensible. Hence - can't see panhandling being the "preferred" way of hitting overhead shots - but I suppose it could be an alternative in faster parts of rallies.
As to your third point - the convention is not against it JUST because of the lack of international players using the grip. I mentioned Darren Hall. He was England number 1, a VERY good international player, but could never have reached the top of the game because he did't have the appropriate "weapons" in his game to hurt the best players. I will also point out that coach Lee Jae Bok advocates a very panhandlish grip on forehand overhead shots, but even in spite of this, his players cannot compete with the best in the country. The main reason coaches teach the regular grip, is because of the massive improvements we see in players games when they make the switch, they are able to hit harder and steeper (both useful) without sacrificng anything else (it would seem...)
Finally, I just wanted to say that I think if more professionals used only panhandle grips overhead, they would not be able to hit the same angles that they can now, and that this would mean that the players who hit better angles (steeper) would win. The players that try to do this would be the players that can hit steeper more easily - the ones with a regular grip.
Anyway, as I said, just wanted to say thanks for the discussion, and to reply to your comments you sent.