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The most dominating grip in table tennis today, used by over 90% of American players, is the shakehands grip. The shakehands grip is the most popular and will be the one taught here. It is the most versatile and popular grip in the world. It is recommended that all students use this grip unless they already use or have a strong preference for one of the other grips.

The grip is the first thing you will teach your class. Line them up against a wall and show them how it is done. Then have them all try it. (It is assumed that they all have a racquet to use.) Go down the line and check each grip, making corrections when necessary. Praise them for doing it correctly. Even the least coordinated students can do the grip properly, and the coach should give approval for doing so.

Shakehands Grip

To check the grip, you will of course have to know how to do it yourself. The shakehands grip is easy to learn. It is done as follows.

  • Start by “shaking hands” with the racquet handle. Now extend your index finger along the bottom of the blade. This gives extra stability to the blade.

  • Now check the thumb. It should be along the bottom of the blade, on the opposite side from your index finger. The thumbnail should be perpendicular to the blade. The soft part of the thumb should not be touching the blade.

    Now check the crook of the thumb and forefinger. The blade should rest there, perhaps a little to the index finger side but never on the thumb side. The exact placement can be varied somewhat.

  • With this grip, there are now two anchors - the thumb and index finger and the last three fingers around the handle. In addition, the middle finger helps support the weight of the blade. With the fingers in proper position, the blade is very stable. When hitting a backhand, the thumb gives a firm backing; when hitting a forehand, the index finger does this.

Once the students have learned to grip the blade properly, you are ready to start!


Shakehands Grip - Backhand


Shakehands Grip - Forehand


Copyright Larry Hodges

Copyright Mark Nordby, Dan Seemiller, John Oros

Copyright USA Table Tennis

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Last Update : 06 Kasım, 2002

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