The way a player grips his racket is of a major significance in how he plays. There are several types of which decide the direction and the impact of a particular shot. This article will shed some light on the different grips that are used in table tennis.
This is one of the most basic grips in ping pong. This grip is done with the index finger extended over the racket head, in a perpendicular angle to the handle. Even distribution of power over the backhand and forehand shots is facilitated by this grip. The shakehand has two styles―shallow grip and deep grip.
In this grip, the index finger is stretched over the bottom of the racket. The thumb is held relaxed on the blade, and not the rubber. To grip the handle, the bottom 3 fingers are used.
The deep grip is almost the same as the shallow one, except for the fact that the hand goes further up the handle towards the head of the racket. Likewise, the index finger is stretched along the bottom of the racket. The thumb is held relaxed on the rubber. This is one of the most common grips in table tennis.
This grip facilitates the function of blocking and drives various attacks back at the opponent. It makes the opponent commit a mistake by change of angles and rhythm.
The chopper is like a neutralizing shot, using the chop to return an attack which has a back spin. The opponent is thus compelled to attack all over again. What distinguishes this style is its 'cool cat' sort of function, because it does not look to attack and gain initiative.
Talking of different grips, the penhold grip seems to have taken a beating somewhat. The reason being, the weakness it brings about in the backhand shot. As the name suggests, this grip resembles the way in which a pen is held for writing. The index finger and thumb are used to hold on to the racket, and the other 3 fingers give support, curling around the back of the racket.
Loopers bring into play the forehand top spin loop as the primary shot. The person using this style has fabulous footwork, and mostly tries to use the forehand for covering the entire table.
Akin to the looper, the Korean penhold involves the forehand top spin loop. Players using this style have more of a reach in comparison with others.
Named after Danny Seemiller, an American table tennis champ, this grip is a result of the modification of the shakehand grip. The forefinger and the thumb are kept on the same side of the racket. Such a grip permits forehand as well as backhand shots to use the same side of the rubber.
This is a style which is being worked upon in China. It is basically an experimental style. The grip entails holding the racket between the fore finger and the middle finger, and the other fingers rest on top of and under the handle. This arrangement of fingers forms a 'V' for victory.
Eventually, it is difficult to say which one is the best grip in the game of table tennis. It all depends on the player, what he wants to do and comfortable with.