Shots You Can Hit with the Continental Grip
The continental grip is one of the most versatile, allowing players to hit a wide variety of shots without changing how they hold their racquet.
As a result, it’s absolutely a grip new players should plan on learning. To help showcase its versatility, let’s look at some of the more common shots players can hit with the grip.
First up, we have the serve, which is perhaps the grip’s best-known use.
Within this stroke, the continental grip also showcases its versatility by allowing players to hit various serves, including flat, slice, and kick.
As the name suggests, a player executes a flat serve with little to no spin. Here’s an example of a flat serve.
Next, you have a slice serve, which works by applying side spin and is excellent for swinging the ball out wide or into a player’s body.
Finally, you have the kick serve, where a player hits up on the ball to apply topspin. The ball clears higher above the net to increase the margin of error, and it kicks or leaps off the ground when it hits the court.
Like the serve, the continental grip also works well for overheads when a player’s opponents attempt to lob them.
If you find yourself in a defensive position with a lob to your backhand side, the continental grip can also prove useful to return the ball.
Up at net, the continental grip is ideal for volleys.
The neutral racquet face created by the grip is perfect for blocking the ball back or moving forward to cut angles and put the ball away.
Here’s an example of a forehand volley, but it works just as well off both wings.
Half volleys often occur when a player is approaching the net, and their opponent dips the ball in front of them, so they have to let it bounce before returning it, and the continental grip is well-suited for this shot.
Here’s an example of a backhand half volley and it’s as effective on the forehand side.
You’ll also find the continental grip works great when hitting slice groundstrokes, which serve as an excellent tool for neutralizing or changing the point’s pace.
Here’s an example of a backhand slice, which works as well on the forehand side too.
Although a somewhat technical and more difficult shot to execute, if you catch your opponent off balance or sitting too deep, you can use the continental grip to hit a drop shot.
Last but not least, if you find yourself in a defensive position at the baseline, the continental grip can work well to throw up a lob to keep the point alive and buy you time to recover.
Hopefully, these examples give you a sense of why the grip is integral to the sport. However, keep in mind that some players will make minor tweaks to the continental grip for various shots we covered, but it’s typically the starting point.