Like badminton, squash and any other sports that involve the use of a racket, learning the correct grip is vital in table tennis. Tell any table tennis pro to give you a crash course – and we’re pretty sure the first thing they’d highlight is the grip. Why so?
Well, simply because gripping your racket is the most fundamental skill of all. How you hold your table tennis racket has a significant impact on the spin, control, accuracy and speed of your shots. Without a correct grip, you cannot execute the shots properly – much less advance your skill sets. So spend the time building the foundation, and we promise you’ll reap the rewards later on.
Now, while there are different variations of grips for all kinds of shots in the world of table tennis, we’d highly recommend beginners to try their hands on the shakehand grip first before experimenting with varying styles for different types of gameplays. A versatile and comprehensive grip in its standard form, the shakehand grip is certainly a great starting place for beginners.
What is the Shakehand Grip
The oldest and most dominant grip in Table Tennis, the shakehand grip – as its name suggests – is similar to the pose you’d use when you give someone a handshake. With the index finger extended, it allows for an even distribution of power between the forehand and backhand strokes. Some of the pros of the shakehand grip include:
- The grip feels natural and is easy to master
- It can be used forehand or backhand
- It grant players the freedom to move their wrist
- It allows for easy readjustment of the racket angle
Mastering the Shakehand Grip
How to Hold the Bat Using the Shakehand Grip
Firstly, hold the bat with the web between the thumb and index finger of your playing hand, and let the head sit snugly into the “V” shape formed by the thumb and index finger.
The thumb should be slightly bent in a comfortable position, the blade should be perpendicular to the floor, and let the remaining three fingers wrap around the handle for better stability.
Also, ensure that your index finger lies parallel to the straight edge of the rubber at the base of the racket head, as this allows for better control over the angle. You can also choose to hold the bat a little further down the handle – doing so will grant more wrist flexibility and power. However, it is noteworthy that this comes at the expense of a little bit of control.
3 Mistakes to Avoid While Using the Shakehand Grip
There are some common mistakes that beginners tend to make while using the shakehand grip. It’s important to correct that for good before it becomes a bad habit that’s ingrained and difficult to break.
1. Tilting Your Hand Too Much Towards One Direction or the Other
Many beginners have the tendency of tilting the bat too much towards one direction to allow for better forehand or backhand. However, this greatly restricts your movement.
2. Placing the Thumb on the Racket Surface
When you place your thumb on the racket surface, hitting forehand strokes becomes incredibly uncomfortable and awkward. The ball may also accidentally hit the thumb instead of the racket surface.
3. Holding the Handle Too Tightly
True enough, you should hold the handle firmly – but not tightly. Gripping the bat far too tight will also tighten the muscles in your wrist and arm, eventually restricting and slowing your arm movement.
Time to Check Your Grip
We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about the shakehand grip. Now’s the time to find the best grip for your game with a table tennis bat from Sin Ten Singapore. With an inventory of bats from top table tennis brands readily available at your fingertips, finding the right one has never been so easy. Buy your table tennis bat online today.