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Tennis racquet grip and fatigueFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to study the effect of failing to grip a tennis racquet properly while serving tennis balls. The science project experiment involved evaluating the standard/typical continental grip and an unconventional grip.

Hypothesis

Tennis players will experience less muscle fatigue using the standard continental grips.

Scientific Terms

Octagonal, friction, grip, ruler drop test

Background

Tennis racquet grip

There are several methods for gripping a tennis racquet. The most common methods of gripping the racquet are the continental, eastern and western grips. Normally, a tennis player changes the method of gripping his racquet several times depending on the type of shot that he will be taking.

The handle of the tennis racquet is octagonal in shape. If the handle was square, its sharp corners would hurt the player's hand and if it were round, there would not be enough friction for him to grip the handle firmly. The size of the handle is also important. A small handle will require the player to grip the handle harder and this results in greater muscle fatigue.

The style of gripping a racquet normally depends on how the player plans to serve or return the ball. The continental grip is obtained by holding the racquet like an axe. This is the reason why it is nicknamed the "chopper grip". It is used at professional levels to execute a "flat" serve with little or no ball spin.

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
60
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found at a sports store
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements