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    Default grip tightening for overheads

    I still don't get it. I can't play atm due to a nasty blister so I'm restricted to air swings at home - this is what tightening looks like for me after having seen Stu's blog post here.



    I just don't get how that is going to do anything useful. Am I doing it wrong?

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    Hmm.

    Try rotating the racquet handle slightly clockwise.

    Then, when you squeeze the fingers, try not to rotate the handle at the same time.

    If you go to Kwun's finger power thread, the fore finger and thumb hold the racquet very loosely.
    The pivot point of the racquet would be somewhere at the wrist.


    Now, I am not sure if Stu was trying to demonstrate this method, hence my advice on showing a photo from the below the hand angle.

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    It looks like you are not squeezing with your fingertips, but just rolling the racket within the hand. I think there is no gap between the handle and your palm, so there is no room for grip tightening. From that same starting position, if you slowly open up your fingers, the handle will leave your palm and create a gap. If you then squeeze your fist as if you would want to kill a fly sitting in the middle of your palm with your fingertips, the racket will bounce against your palm.

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    If I understand it right, basically there must be a gap of air, not skin-contact, under the broad bevel opposite the bevel your fingertips are leaning on. As it is now, that bevel is pressed against the top of your palm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vixter View Post
    It looks like you are not squeezing with your fingertips, but just rolling the racket within the hand. I think there is no gap between the handle and your palm, so there is no room for grip tightening. From that same starting position, if you slowly open up your fingers, the handle will leave your palm and create a gap. If you then squeeze your fist as if you would want to kill a fly sitting in the middle of your palm with your fingertips, the racket will bounce against your palm.
    Quote Originally Posted by vixter View Post
    If I understand it right, basically there must be a gap of air, not skin-contact, under the broad bevel opposite the bevel your fingertips are leaning on. As it is now, that bevel is pressed against the top of your palm.
    it seems to me that what you are describing is not what is shown in the picture in Stu's blog post linked to in op (http://badmintonguide.files.wordpres.../wp_001028.jpg)

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    I think in that picture he is just demonstrating that the racket is held mostly by the fingers and not the palm. From that particular picture he can't make much use of finger tightening himself. Or you could view it as an "after"-picture - that he has just completed finger tightening. The tightening is supposed to make the racket head jump forward, not turn sideways

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    Can Mr. Stu or Mr.Cheung post video to explain the grip ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by amleto View Post
    I still don't get it. I can't play atm due to a nasty blister so I'm restricted to air swings at home - this is what tightening looks like for me after having seen Stu's blog post here.



    I just don't get how that is going to do anything useful. Am I doing it wrong?
    Yes, you are doing it wrong.

    My first comment, is that if you are not doing this on court and focussing on the feeling of your grip tightening, and experiencing the increased swing speed, then you are focussing on the wrong things. These kind of details should be left for on court feeling, rather than vigorous analytical study.

    Now, more to the point, as a relatively competent player, you are probably grip tightening when you play overheads already. Stop stressing about it!

    Finally, the reason your grip tightening is "doing nothing", is that you are not relaxing the bottom three fingers BEFORE you tighten them. They are not moving anywhere, because you are not letting them move. Hence, the racket doesn't move at all.

    I think this is an important time to stress that what Stu showed in his post is not the "how it looks just before I tighten" picture - its a demonstration of how to hold the racket in the fingers. He is not demonstrating the finger power technique, but how to hold the racket. If you asked Stu (or any coach) to demonstrate grip tightening, they would show you how to use your WHOLE hand for grip tightening. Why? Because the index finger and thumb are cirtically important in anchoring the racket, to let the bottom three fingers relax, which creates a gap between the racket and the hand, which can then be closed by tightening the bottom three fingers. So, trying to perform grip tightening using only the bottom three fingers won't get you anywhere.

    Now, in order to experience grip tightening, you NEED to anchor the racket using your index finger and thumb. This keeps the racket pointing in the direction you want. You then need to relax the three bottom fingers. That does not mean let go of the racket with those fingers, but to unbend them slightly, so that a gap can be found at the bottom of the grip (i.e. the butt of the racket moves away from your hand, whilst the top of the grip stays securely lodged between index finger and thumb - you are pivoting the racket around the point at which you grip the racket with the index finger and thumb). At this point, if you had started with the racket pointing directly upwards, the racket would now be at more like a 45 degree angle. You then tighten your grip, which brings the racket closer to your hand, and causes the racket to move back to its upright position.

    So, the revelation here is that in order to tighten the grip with power, you need to relax the grip first. And in order to do that, you need to hold on to the racket whilst you relax your fingers. And in order to do that, you need to hold the racket with your whole hand, not just half of it.

    Good luck everyone!

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    If you asked Stu (or any coach) to demonstrate grip tightening, they would show you how to use your WHOLE hand for grip tightening. Why? Because the index finger and thumb are cirtically important in anchoring the racket,...
    Thanks, that makes much more sense. and I know that I did/do this. A coach once pointed out that my lower fingers totally came away from the handle - I was loosening too much.

    However, I still find that when tightening with a forehand grip, the motion of the racket is more slicing than swatting ie the racket moves parallel to the strings, not perpendicular. Hence I find grip tightening useful for panhandle/thumb grip shots, but I seem unable to take any benefit from overheads.

    Thanks again for your post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amleto View Post
    Thanks, that makes much more sense. and I know that I did/do this. A coach once pointed out that my lower fingers totally came away from the handle - I was loosening too much.

    However, I still find that when tightening with a forehand grip, the motion of the racket is more slicing than swatting ie the racket moves parallel to the strings, not perpendicular. Hence I find grip tightening useful for panhandle/thumb grip shots, but I seem unable to take any benefit from overheads.

    Thanks again for your post.
    This is a good observation you have made:
    1. you should not loosen too much - this means you loose control of the racket head more often than not
    2. finger power is very prominent in all backhand shots and for drives, and less prominent overhead. Hence, if people are trying hard to use finger power for overhead strokes, they are focussing on the wrong things. It is far less pronounced as one other shots. However, grip tightening in the correct direction is still possible for overhead strokes, but its a little different to most other shots.

    I personally believe that backhand strokes using a thumb grip are the best place to learn finger power technique. You will then naturally use it everywhere.

    Good luck!

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    Thanks Matt, very good explanation. I hadn't given much thought to applying this to all the other strokes you can play as well.

    Have you considered writing your own blog as well?

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    correct me if i'm wrong.

    holding the racquet as shown in the video allows for decent shots that utilizes the wrist the most. but what about smashes. do you also hold the racquet with gap between the racquet and the palm?

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    ...cont'd

    also, aren't you supposed to hold the racquet more tighly since the motion involves swinging your arm during overhead backcourt clear?

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    Here amleto, I made this video to show what Matt is referring to, I think...

    I may have exaggerated the motion a bit in order to show the effect. The grip relaxation and tightening (ie. finger power) is done to maximize the acceleration of the racket face directly into the bird, ie in the direction of the shot.

    The gap between the butt of the grip and the hand is automatically created due to gravity weighing down on the racket head when winding up in preparation.

    Last edited by visor; 03-12-2014 at 09:07 PM.

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    And btw, as Matt says, you're probably already instinctively doing it, so don't overthink it...

    But it's still a good reminder for beginners and intermediates, to consciously incorporate this into their strokes, especially the backhand.
    Last edited by visor; 03-12-2014 at 09:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmile View Post
    ...cont'd

    also, aren't you supposed to hold the racquet more tighly since the motion involves swinging your arm during overhead backcourt clear?
    To answer this post, and your previous one. This is the correct way to hold the racket, regardless of which stroke you play... HOWEVER, when you play a stroke, the grip you start with and the grip you finish with are often different because of grip tightening (the final result of using finger power). Hence, at the end of the stroke, you may be holding the racket MORE towards the palm of your hand than when you started the stroke.

    So, whilst each stroke is different, power strokes will finish with a firmer grip than non power strokes.

    However, as I have said before, focussing on these details is not nearly as important as getting on court and just doing what is natural. I will promise everyone here, that as long as you continue to use the correct grip for the correct situations (e.g. the basic grip for overhead shots, making sure you are nice and relaxed before you hit), that once you have practised each shot 10,000 times, you will be using excellent technique.

    Focus on the feel of hitting the shuttle, rather than the details of the mechanics - just get the grip right

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    I made this video
    This is why I don't make videos or blogs myself... thanks for posting this! A nice demonstration of the relaxation of the hand followed by grip tightening.

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