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Overview of the Continental Grip and Spin Serve in Pickleball

Jerry Jayapal

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As you start to develop your serve, it’s important to learn how to hold the paddle properly. Most players use a continental or “conti” grip. It’s also called the handshake or hammer grip because you hold the paddle as if you’re shaking someone’s hand or holding a hammer. Begin by holding the paddle out in front of you. With the face perpendicular to the ground, ensure that the outside edge is centered in the space between your thumb and index finger.

Once your grip is set, you can begin to practice your serve technique. The spin serve is a popular one with novice players because its signature curve can be difficult to return. It’s a common belief that the best way to create spin is through wrist movement. However, this can lead to injury and is not recommended.

A more effective way to produce spin is by contacting the ball with your paddle at an angle and using your shoulder muscles to swing at the ball. Ultimately, the best solution for consistent serving without injury is to use proper technique.

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