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View Full Version : Racquet Strength or Crappy Technique?


Reveille1984
11-24-2006, 01:09 PM
I currently use a Wilson n4 101" that's pretty light and stiff. The tension is about medium between the two extremes.

What I notice a lot about my strokes (primarily my forehand) is that when I really try to go for a winner or into attack mode, I end up hitting the ball long by a couple feet past the baseline. When I keep my strokes at a more moderate speed though I have no problems, it's more when I'm going for that finishing shot that I seem to punch it out.

I've never had an actual individual lesson, but I've taken group lesson sessions before. I guess my main questions is this: would a slightly lower powered racquet or tighter strings help me out substantially enough to make a difference with my strokes, or is it mainly my technique that needs help? I know it's probably hard to give me advice since you've never seen my swings or seen me play, but any advice would be appreciated.

Bottle Rocket
11-24-2006, 01:24 PM
Most likely the racket is not helping, but is not the problen.

On the harder hits it is easy to try and go for a little more than you're capable of. Just take it easy and it will come with time.

Make sure you're really getting setup and keeping your form. If you're only hitting a couple feet out, just use more spin. Cheat a little and use a slightly more extreme grip to keep the ball in. Convince yourself this isn't a problem, just concentrate on getting them on. Don't get into the mindset that you will hit out every put-away shot, just keep working on them.

Shots that are too deep are much better than shots that land too short.

prostaff18
11-24-2006, 01:35 PM
Demo some other frames and see what it is. Another question is what kind of stroke do you have? Do you have a nice swing or do you kind of punch at the ball? If you have a nice swing then you may be able to fix the problem with a different racquet, but if you punch the ball or have a short swing then maybe when you go for the winner your stroke may be to fault. Another thing is that maybe when you swing faster you might not get your feet set or you pull up off the ball, which would make it fly. Next time you are playing try when going for a winner try to make sure you do everything the same with your shot and make sure that you stay down on the ball, and not pull off it. Because probably what you are doing is you swing and open up your shoulders which causes the racquet face to open and you arenít solid on contact, which would result in the ball flying.

thomas martinez
11-24-2006, 02:28 PM
No, the better money would be invested in lessons and possibly stringing tighter, not a new frame.

haerdalis
11-24-2006, 02:42 PM
Or hit your normal shot and follow the ball to the net and finish the point with a volley.

fuzz nation
11-24-2006, 08:17 PM
Or...

Here's a thought; if your defensive shots are "first gear", your regular rally shots and warm-up strokes are "second gear", and your big bad pressure cooker shots are "third gear", try to never hit any harder than second gear. Yeah it sounds really simple, but keep it in mind for the near future and it may keep you more settled when you switch into offensive mode.

Your racquet isn't necessarily right or wrong for you, but it's quite powerful and a little more oomph makes substantially more velocity on your shots. A less powerful frame requires a bigger dose of oomph to make the same increase in velocity happen, so the gas pedal on a low powered racquet can be easier to regulate. If it's too low powered for you though, it's not fun to swing for a long match and you may have no pop in your shots even at the start of a workout. If you're worried about getting more control from your hardware, try a tighter string job first, but don't be afraid to occasionally demo different frames. If nothing else, you'll love your racquet even more if other ones seem horrible.

jonolau
11-24-2006, 08:27 PM
I currently use a Wilson n4 101" that's pretty light and stiff. The tension is about medium between the two extremes.

What I notice a lot about my strokes (primarily my forehand) is that when I really try to go for a winner or into attack mode, I end up hitting the ball long by a couple feet past the baseline. When I keep my strokes at a more moderate speed though I have no problems, it's more when I'm going for that finishing shot that I seem to punch it out.

I've never had an actual individual lesson, but I've taken group lesson sessions before. I guess my main questions is this: would a slightly lower powered racquet or tighter strings help me out substantially enough to make a difference with my strokes, or is it mainly my technique that needs help? I know it's probably hard to give me advice since you've never seen my swings or seen me play, but any advice would be appreciated.

If you want to take your game to a new level, I would strongly advise lessons.

Correct me if I'm wrong, are you hitting the ball long on baseline shots, or is it the short balls that are going long? You will have to work on both technique and strategy.

Technique will help you generate more topspin on the ball, therefore allowing you to put more power into the shot whilst ensuring that it has a higher chance of dipping into the court.

As for strategy, you will need to learn a basket of different styles to suit the area of the court you're covering. If you're up front at the net, you might want to just drop the ball or hit it wide so that it is out of your opponent's reach.

chess9
11-25-2006, 12:27 AM
Most likely the racket is not helping, but is not the problen.

On the harder hits it is easy to try and go for a little more than you're capable of. Just take it easy and it will come with time.

Make sure you're really getting setup and keeping your form. If you're only hitting a couple feet out, just use more spin. Cheat a little and use a slightly more extreme grip to keep the ball in. Convince yourself this isn't a problem, just concentrate on getting them on. Don't get into the mindset that you will hit out every put-away shot, just keep working on them.

Shots that are too deep are much better than shots that land too short.

I happen to agree with this post, but I would add that a large percentage of amateur players overhit consistently. James Blake is a good example of a pro guy with enormous talent who might be one or two places higher (this IS a small quibble that makes a big difference) if he didn't overhit quite as many balls. He might be forgiven this overindulgence given his huge engine, which is sorely lacking in most of us.

Anyway, most of us simply don't have the athletic ability to hit hard consistently. Most of us have the ability to get the ball back with a modicum of speed and most of us can improve our foot speed with drills, conditioning and maintaining a proper weight. In my humble opinion, most of the guys on this list would be better off spending a week with Pat Etcheberry than with Nick Bolletieri.

In sum, hit slower, work on accuracy and your conditioning and you will grind out more wins. It may not look like Grand Slam tennis, but there is a reason you hold down a full time non-tennis job. :) j/k

Good luck!

-Robert