Getting the grip set in the right way is very important. It is always good to understand this in the initial stage only, otherwise, it may get difficult with altering the grip style or changing something which has been performed on a regular basis. Setting the GRIP is one among the basic Ping Pong skills which one need to master at the first step itself.
The Right Way of Holding a Ping Pong Paddle
If you are an intermediate player, better late than never. You guys may find it difficult with changing the way you handle the paddle, but with practice, you could easily get the Grip set right on your racket.
If you are a beginner, then I would like to appreciate your concern regarding the Way you Hold a Paddle.
There are two basic grip forms – one is the shakehand grip and the other one is the Penhold grip. Again you will find many variations in these types. If you are planning to alter them and get the grip in your style, then I would recommend you guys to first get the basics cleared and then later do the altering work.
This is the good old style of holding a ping pong paddle. Now you might have come across minor changes in the way people use this shake-hand style holding. Almost all the Professional Players and almost 2/3rd of the Asian players make use of this paddle holding technique.
- The grip is similar to the way of hand-shaking, and hence the name of Shake-Hand came into existence. You need to hold the handle portion and wrap it up in your palm. The head portion of the Ping Pong Paddle rests between the V-portion formed by your thumb and the first finger.
- For improved control on the paddle, just place the thumb and the first finger parallel to each other. While the remaining fingers will hold the paddle firmly, and give you a stable support for all the shots!
- Another important point to remember here is that you don’t have to hold the handle tightly. Instead, it should be firm. Just imagine that the paddle is an extension of your body arm. Keep this grip constant till the game finishes. That’s another challenge altogether!
Pros of this grip include- it’s the easiest to master among all the types of grips. With this, you can give out more powerful shots and also give an amazing control to your hands and the way you want to make a returning serve. Also, you can use this grip for a variety of bats. If you have mastered this grip in the right way, you can make it useful for almost any kind of Ping Pong Paddle.
One major drawback which I personally experienced is the locking issue.
Next form of the grip is the Pen-Hold grip, and this one has got more variants than the shake-hand grip style. The variations differ from one region to another, for example; the types of Pen-Hold grips present are traditional Chinese Grip, Back-Hand Chinese Grip, and thirdly the Japanese/Korean style. All these grips fall into the same category of Pen-Hold, still got slight differences.
As the name goes, it follows a way similar to the penhold grip style. Only the thumb and the index finger is used for holding the paddle, and rest of the fingers remain curled up or they are spread along the paddle. The only thing to make sure is that you keep your hand comfortable throughout the game.
- Thumb and the index finger remain joint, while the positioning of the remaining fingers keeps on changing. In the traditional Chinese grip style, your index finger slightly overlaps the thumb, and the gaps keep on varying between the thumb and the index finger.
- In the Japanese Pen-Hold design, you will find a slight rise near the handle portion. This raise is also called as a hook on the paddle. You can curl up the index finger on this hook for better grip while playing.
- Then you will find a Back-Hand Chinese Grip, where the back side of the paddle is used for hitting the ball. When the ball is hit using this grip, it usually hits in the topspin style. Topspin takes the ball from the left to right direction, this could create some kind of confusion to your opponent since the ball is hit in a direction opposite to the arm direction.
So, how can I identify the Pen-Hold models from the Shake-Hand paddles?
In the Pen-Hold model, only one side of the paddle has got a rubber coating. While the other side of the paddle is simply painted with red or black color. You may also find color paper stuck on one side in this style.
Additional Tips for the Beginners:
- It takes a lot of time in mastering any of the above-discussed grip forms. So, make sure that you take proper time in learning them. If you are a beginner, then trying out all the grips won’t do any good. Instead, focus on any one style, and keep your practice on following the same grip.
- Don’t hold the racket too tightly, instead, rest your hands-free with a firm grip on the bat.
- By keeping the index finger just behind the backhand rubber portion, you can get better form and hit power during the game.
- Do not change the grip style while you are in a rally. It will make you distracted, and also slow down the energy. Keep the same grip form till the rally exist. A rally is the continuous hit sessions where both the players do not lose any point, and they keep the game on with all the smashes.
- Take the correct guidance, and learn the right way of holding the paddle before trying out by yourself. Check on how you are resting your hands on the V and the crease formed.
- There is no point in following the same gripping style as your coach or idol. Each one of us has got a different way of holding the paddle, and it can vary too. You need to make sure that, it’s not much poor which can lose a game for you.
You can follow any one method of holding the paddle; shake-hand or the pen-hold style. Do check and follow the tips listed above, though it is listed for the beginners – even a pro and other intermediate players could follow these steps and share this info with their fellow tennis buddies. Make them understand the importance of grip in a Ping-Pong game, and how it can change the whole game for them.
For more info relating to the Ping Pong basics and other in-depth concepts, visit our page here.