Well…it’s been a while.
But I’m trying something new this time. Today we’ll be talking about the batting grip. I hope this video is helpful and as always, I’m happy to discuss to the topic at hand with you all! Enjoy! Oh, and please subscribe too!
The Batting Grip
Today we are going to talk about the batting grip and discuss the effect your grip can have on the way you play.
So basically, the grip determines how you are able to swing the bat backwards and forwards. It also affects how you make contact with the ball and how you are able to deal with the bowling you are facing.
The grip is almost entirely with your finger and your thumb. But understanding the grip properly will help you realise how your batting grip can affect your playing style.
So, the most important function of the grip is to allow you to swing your bat in a straight line.
If you try swinging your bat first with your top hand and then with your bottom hand, you can see how each influences the path of the bat. When both your hands are together, you want to make sure that you’re swinging in a straight line.
When your head or shoulders start to dip or sway too much, then you know your grip is incorrect. Remember that you want to keep your head as still as possible when batting.
The most important thing you should know, is that your grip should feel comfortable to you. What works for one player, may not work for another. So you have to try out the grips and determine which grip is most suitable for you.
So, we are going to talk about three different types of batting grips.
The first is the Orthodox Grip.
The orthodox grip is classified as the ideal grip. It’s also known as the ‘V’ grip.
This is because a ‘V’ shape is formed by the thumb and fingers of both hands. You want to align this somewhere in between the spine of the bat and the outside edge.
When picking up the bat, you can lay it down in front of you, and then pick it up with both hands focusing on the position of your index finger and thumb on both hands and ensuring that you are forming the ‘V’ shape.
When taking your grip, make sure your hands are not too far apart. Around a distance of two fingers would work well.
The knuckle of your index finger on the bottom hand should point down the spine of the bat, and the knuckle of your thumb on the top should also point down this same line.
Your top hand should be firm and your bottom hand should be relaxed. A good way to think about this is to imagine that you are holding a baby chick in your bottom hand, so you must make sure you are not holding it too tight.
That is the basic orthodox grip.
Another grip we are going to talk about is the ‘O’ grip.
An easy way to think about this is to imagine that you are trying to climb a ladder. This grip feels more natural than the orthodox grip but can cause some issues with the swing of the bat since your bottom hand now has more influence.
Essentially, you are choking movement of the bat and as you are swinging through, you are reducing the size of the hitting area because you are beginning to play across the line.
So as the bat is moving down, it begins to swing across the body, and in some cases this also means that your head and right shoulder begin to move down as well. This in turn can also have some impact on your timing.
Another issue with having such a hard grip is that it can make it difficult to play through the off-side or when playing square of the wicket. If you pick up your bat and play a few shots with this adjusted grip, you’ll be able to feel the difference.
Just as a quick note, the ‘O’ grip is common for people when they are using bats that are too heavy for them. So make sure you are using a bat that is the correct weight for you.
The third grip I’d like to talk about is the Knott Grip.
So this grip was adopted by Alan Knott as a method to cope with fast short bowling, mainly as a method to deal with excessive pace and bounce.
The difficulty with the Orthodox grip was that it was harder to play deliveries that were rising off a length. So this involved the adjustment to the grip of the top hand. The top hand is now turned around the handle until the back of the hand is facing backwards.
But if you guys take you bat and try out the grip now, you’ll realise that this grip makes it difficult to play straight. This is because you are choking movement of the arms.
This effectively means that it becomes difficult to generate power. So this method is highly useful in attempting to just work singles or twos as opposed to hitting boundaries.
However, it is important to note that the was a great method in which to deal with extra quick bowling, and even though the grip imposes limitations on stroke play, it can be used effectively to start an innings and then later on you can revert to a more orthodox grip.
An important part of the grip is the ability to hinge. Without hingeing, your backswing is affected. The backward swing of the bat is made easier with a hinged grip. This becomes more apparent when you try to use the ‘O’ grip. So you should make sure that hingeing is an automatic movement when your bat is being lifted behind you in your backswing.
For a suitable hinged grip, the three fingers on your bottom hand should be simply resting on the handle, with the thumb and index finger supporting the bat.
Soft Hands are the opposite of holding the bat too hard. A hard grip has an impact on both the back and forward swing of the bat.
So the first step to playing with soft hands is hingeing, which is where the bottom hand is only a guide.
It is important to note that soft hands are a great defensive tool. It helps you take pace off the ball. In some cases, you do want all the power that the bottom hand can provide but when you soften the bottom hand, it allows you to reduce the impact on the ball. If you have too much bottom hand, generally you will scoop the ball up in the air when driving.
To play with soft hands, your arms have to be relaxed. Rather than hitting the ball, you are attempting to guide it. So to really be able to play with soft hands, you should try to ‘hold’ the ball on the face of the bat for a brief second.
So there are a few key points you should consider when taking your grip:
- You want to make sure you understand the Orthodox Grip first.
- Your top hand should be holding the bat firmly.
- Your bottom hand should simply support the bat as opposed to gripping it tightly.
- The grip should allow you to swing the bat in a straight line, both forwards and backwards.
So, what I want you to do is pick up your bat and try out some of these grips. Have a go in the nets and then work out which grip is most suitable for you. Remember that you can always adjust your grip as your progress through your innings.
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