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lethalfang
02-09-2007, 06:03 PM
I've played tennis for about 8-9 months, and my regular racquet is a POG OS and I love it.
A few days ago, I bought a used Flexpoint Prestige Mid for a pretty low price ($70) when I accidentally came across it. I hit with it a few times, and I'm definitely NOT good enough to use it right now. I'm shanking lots of balls with it. But do you guys think I would improve my stroke using it during practice, drills, and friendly rallies?

Emphasizing here: I have no plan to switch racquet. I'm only considering practicing with the prestige mid.

hyperwarrior
02-09-2007, 06:35 PM
The best way to improve your strokes is to take tennis courses or private lessons. If you're not comfortable with it 100%, then it's better to stick with your POG OS. Be wise about your choices.
Probably if you shanked a lot is due to the fact that you're struggling to hit properly and also because of the small headsize. There's no shame about it and I see you're new to tennis.

If I was you and I want to give that racquet a 2nd chance, it's up to me to go to a gym and if I can't afford that, I'll buy some dumbells. It's not expensive. I think that racquet is more suited for players who's been in tennis for a long times.

By the way, I dream to go in LA one day and how's the tennis court over there. What's the rate to play for an hour and is there many free tennis courts? What's the main colors?

dowjones
02-09-2007, 06:36 PM
Different rackets can teach you different things. If you can apply the FPM knowledge to your POG OS then yes. But, it sounds like you don't hit the FPM very well and you would have to determine if it makes you better with your POG OS. Sorry to sound like freakin' Yoda. ;)

lethalfang
02-09-2007, 06:41 PM
The best way to improve your strokes is to take tennis courses or private lessons. If you're not comfortable with it 100%, then it's better to stick with your POG OS. Be wise about your choices.
Probably if you shanked a lot is due to the fact that you're struggling to hit properly and also because of the small headsize. There's no shame about it and I see you're new to tennis.

If I was you and I want to give that racquet a 2nd chance, it's up to me to go to a gym and if I can't afford that, I'll buy some dumbells. It's not expensive. I think that racquet is more suited for players who's been in tennis for a long times.

By the way, I dream to go in LA one day and how's the tennis court over there. What's the rate to play for an hour and is there many free tennis courts? What's the main colors?

There're many well-maintained public courts either for free or for a nominal fee (like $5/hr). Most courts are green.
As a (grad) student at UCLA, I can reserve courts at LA Tennis Center (where they play countrywide classic) for free when it's not in use. General public can also use the recreational facility at UCLA (including all the tennis courts) for a pretty low annual fee.
Oh yeah, I don't really plan to switch to the prestige mid. I only bought it because I thought the price was pretty low, and I was just hitting it for fun. I hit lots of balls short with the prestige mid because I didn't find the sweet spot.

Mr. Sean
02-09-2007, 06:43 PM
I posted a question very similar to this in regards to a prostaff 6.0 . And what I got was varying opinions. I concluded that the argument can go either way. Heres my opinion on the matter. A lot of the replies stated that the whole forcing you to hit the center and keeping the eye on the ball is all a mental thing and can be done with any racquet. However when I usually play I go into "winning mode" and regress to my sloppy techniques that I can get away with a OS racquet. For me Im very stubborn and need something physical to change my habits and that of course was a smaller headed 90 sized racquet., When I was hitting with it it really made me keep my eye on the ball, and I could really tell what part of the racquet the ball hit. It was so weird, I never experienced that with my babolat. I really liked how it communicated with me. Like if I shanked a ball I knew why I shanked it and could blame nothing but myself. If you are shanking balls taht mean you are taking your eye off the ball too soon. I also changed by swing to be less compact, which translated well when I started hitting with my babolat again. I think in the long run playing with a smaller sized racquet will only improve your strokes, if you are club player who competes then it would be wise to stick to with what you got right now unless you really want to dedicate maybe like a month or so of hard practice with your new racquet. What it all boils down to in these message boards is your own opinion/experiences. Probably everything you read here more than likely wont affect your decision especially with this topic.

fuzz nation
02-09-2007, 07:22 PM
Oh, this ol' hornet's nest again. HA!

I think that the Prestige can be a good training tool for you if nothing else. To hit well with it, you'll need to concentrate on a few areas, but it can redefine frustration trying to hit with a frame that doesn't match your swing well right now. Use it as an occasional measuring stick or try it for warming up before you go hard with your main racquet. It may force you to watch the ball better or use better footwork and timing for your shots, but if you only hit frame-balls with it, don't insist on using what plainly doesn't work. Hitting with a low powered racquet last year was good for my lazy feet because suddenly I had to move to the ball earlier to hit it right. Positive outings generate progress, so be selfish enough to use whatever you have a good time with, even if it's a more challenging frame.

lethalfang
02-09-2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks, fuzz nation and Sean for the valuable input.
Many people have asked similar questions, but I think I've a slightly different purpose. I realize that, perhaps I will NEVER become good enough to use the prestige mid as my primary stick. I'm just entertaining the idea of using it as a training tool, kinda like runners running with weights on their ankle. (Well, if there are runners who have legs so powerful that they have to lead them up to keep their control on the ground, then sorry for my bad analogy :D)

NoBadMojo
02-09-2007, 07:36 PM
There really is no benefit to doing this..in fact it most usually hinders progress....and often leads to really bad technique rather than good technique, or even injury. if people want to improve their hand/eye, they should go play video games or see how many times they can bounce the ball off the edge of their frame rather than them forcing a too demanding frame to work and ingraining bad habits and precluding themselves from ingraining good technique
If people are gonna do stuff like that, they should also play in a scuba belt and construction boots <i recommend high top metatarsals> because when they take that stuff off, their footwork will be truly amazing! they will be sooooo fast.
tennis is played from the feet up, and if people dont do the feet right, they're going to be hosed anyway regardless of their headsize....a too demanding frame malkes things even worse..makes it more difficult.

EricW
02-09-2007, 07:37 PM
In my opinion that question only comes into play when you hit very high level strokes, but they may be inconsistent, with that, and a demanding yet rewarding racquet, you will progress well, enjoy yourself, and be rewarded when you do the right technique!

For you, i'd recommend you stick with the POG OS

lethalfang
02-09-2007, 07:52 PM
I have decent groundstrokes, decent pace with good spin. I can clearly see how the path of the ball is influenced by the topspin when I hit with my POG OS. And yes, after hitting back and forth for a while, I get comfortable and lazy and take my eyes off the ball a little sooner than I should. Perhaps that's why I shank the ball a lot with the prestige mid.
However, since I have played tennis for only a very short time, I haven't had the time to put equal time in each stroke, e.g. my overhead sucks and I've never seriously practiced lobs.

Mr. Sean
02-09-2007, 08:50 PM
Thanks, fuzz nation and Sean for the valuable input.
Many people have asked similar questions, but I think I've a slightly different purpose. I realize that, perhaps I will NEVER become good enough to use the prestige mid as my primary stick. I'm just entertaining the idea of using it as a training tool, kinda like runners running with weights on their ankle. (Well, if there are runners who have legs so powerful that they have to lead them up to keep their control on the ground, then sorry for my bad analogy :D)

Thats exactly what I want to do with a prostaff 6.0 or k90. use them as trainiing tools. Common sense and logic will tell you if it forces you to keep an eye on the ball and have cleaner strokes it will benefit you more than beginner os racquet that just lets you enjoy the game by being lazy and allowing you to hit balls with improper technique.

Mr. Sean
02-09-2007, 08:54 PM
There really is no benefit to doing this..in fact it most usually hinders progress....and often leads to really bad technique rather than good technique, or even injury. if people want to improve their hand/eye, they should go play video games
How does hitting a racquet that demands hitting it in the exact center with a full swing develop bad technique over a os that allows anyone to practiacally hit a ball over a net? And how the hell are videogames supposed to develop good tennis technique. I might understand your injury argument but the other two arguments dont seem to make sense. I hope you are joking

NoBadMojo
02-09-2007, 09:01 PM
There really is no benefit to doing this..in fact it most usually hinders progress....and often leads to really bad technique rather than good technique, or even injury. if people want to improve their hand/eye, they should go play video games
How does hitting a racquet that demands hitting it in the exact center with a full swing develop bad technique over a os that allows anyone to practiacally hit a ball over a net? And how the hell are videogames supposed to develop good tennis technique. I might understand your injury argument but the other two arguments dont seem to make sense. I hope you are joking

no man..i'm not joking..let me try and exlain what i posted.

i didnt say video games would give you better technique.,.i said they would give you better hand eye...seems foolish to penalize your tennis development to try and develop a basic skill like hand/eye when you can do that off court where it doesnt penalize your stroke production, by the way, most advanced players dont hit it in the exact center anyway..also there is usually more asociated with a demanding racquet than a small sweetspot..there is the swingweight which is sometimes quite high and there is the power level which is often quite low

Mr. Sean
02-09-2007, 09:18 PM
There really is no benefit to doing this..in fact it most usually hinders progress....and often leads to really bad technique rather than good technique, or even injury. if people want to improve their hand/eye, they should go play video games or see how many times they can bounce the ball off the edge of their frame rather than them forcing a too demanding frame to work and ingraining bad habits and precluding themselves from ingraining good technique
If people are gonna do stuff like that, they should also play in a scuba belt and construction boots <i recommend high top metatarsals> because when they take that stuff off, their footwork will be truly amazing! they will be sooooo fast.
tennis is played from the feet up, and if people dont do the feet right, they're going to be hosed anyway regardless of their headsize....a too demanding frame malkes things even worse..makes it more difficult.

no man..i'm not joking..let me try and exlain what i posted.

i didnt say video games would give you better technique.,.i said they would give you better hand eye...seems foolish to penalize your tennis development to try and develop a basic skill like hand/eye when you can do that off court where it doesnt penalize your stroke production, by the way, most advanced players dont hit it in the exact center anyway..also there is usually more asociated with a demanding racquet than a small sweetspot..there is the swingweight which is sometimes quite high and there is the power level which is often quite low

Hand and eye coordination are completely different when you are comparing a videogame and a hand a tennis racquet. A tennis racquet is a separate piece of equipment that is not directly connected to your body so the only way to improve hand and eye coordination for tennis is to do it with a tennis racquet while hitting a ball. A videogame in no possible way can effectively improve tennis hand and eye coordination. With Videogames all you are doing is pressing buttons at an imaginary object on a tv screen. A tennis racquet you are swinging something thats 27-27.5 inches away from your hand and it requires muscle with a yellow ball coming straight at you. The most advanced players almost always hit in the center on a stroke or slightly off. They arent framing balls. Swingweight is a different thing that I can see could cause fatigue in some. But wouldnt that only improve your conditioning if you keep using the racquets. And power level these racquets force you to create your own power and that is what most of the pros and good players alike strive for if im not correct.

MacBorg18
02-09-2007, 09:20 PM
The best way to improve your strokes is to take tennis courses or private lessons. If you're not comfortable with it 100%, then it's better to stick with your POG OS. Be wise about your choices.
Probably if you shanked a lot is due to the fact that you're struggling to hit properly and also because of the small headsize. There's no shame about it and I see you're new to tennis.

I agree with hyperwarrior. I started out playing with an OS racquet, and then decided to experiment with something with a smaller head and heavier weight (LMP Mid). I shanked balls left and right too. But that's since gone away because I have been taking lessons since the time of my experimentation and my strokes have improved considerably.

To answer lethalfang's specific question, IMHO I don't think you can really use a FXP Mid effectively as a training tool unless you are taking lessons or getting instruction in some other way. If you decide to take lessons, I think you'll be rewarded. I've long retired my OS; I now use the N6.1 90 and the PS6.0 85 exclusively. :)

Mr. Sean
02-09-2007, 09:25 PM
I agree with hyperwarrior. I started out playing with an OS racquet, and then decided to experiment with something with a smaller head and heavier weight (LMP Mid). I shanked balls left and right too. But that's since gone away because I have been taking lessons since the time of my experimentation and my strokes have improved considerably.

To answer lethalfang's specific question, IMHO I don't think you can really use a FXP Mid effectively as a training tool unless you are taking lessons or getting instruction in some other way. If you decide to take lessons, I think you'll be rewarded. I've long retired my OS; I now use the N6.1 90 and the PS6.0 85 exclusively. :)

Agreed I take classes as well, which only further improves technique. The more demanding racquet will also help you outside of the lessons too like when you train away from class and theres no one there critiquing you, it will be like your little nagging racquet prompting you to hit everything perfect. I honestly thinks it makes more sense using a smaller headed racquet when you first start playing then using a os. I know the os makes it funner playing the game with friends, but I am more concerned about improving my technique than i am at winning matches. With better technique you are bound to win more matches in the long run.

NoBadMojo
02-09-2007, 09:31 PM
Hand and eye coordination are completely different when you are comparing a videogame and a hand a tennis racquet. A tennis racquet is a separate piece of equipment that is not directly connected to your body so the only way to improve hand and eye coordination for tennis is to do it with a tennis racquet while hitting a ball. A videogame in no possible way can effectively improve tennis hand and eye coordination. With Videogames all you are doing is pressing buttons at an imaginary object on a tv screen. A tennis racquet you are swinging something thats 27-27.5 inches away from your hand and it requires muscle with a yellow ball coming straight at you. The most advanced players almost always hit in the center on a stroke or slightly off. They arent framing balls. Swingweight is a different thing that I can see could cause fatigue in some. But wouldnt that only improve your conditioning if you keep using the racquets. And power level these racquets force you to create your own power and that is what most of the pros and good players alike strive for if im not correct.

hand/eye is hand/eye..people are better off trying to get better at that off court without making an already difficult game like tennis more difficult by using a sweetspot which they can not reliably hit
and no. many of the better players dont hit the exact center..many of the best servers hit up high and they all hit off to the side slightly, and in the case of Nadal he hits pretty darn close to the sides of his 100 inch frame based upon where he breaks strings. i also dont suggest people improve their conditoning by using too heavy a racquet..that leads to poor technique and possible injury. and lots of people using racquets too low powered for their skill sets do contrived incorrect things in an effort to create ball speed..you're sure welcome to do whatever you like though

Mr. Sean
02-09-2007, 09:37 PM
hand/eye is hand/eye..people are better off trying to get better at that off court without making an already difficult game like tennis more difficult by using a sweetspot which they can not reliably hit
and no. many of the better players dont hit the exact center..many of the best servers hit up high and they all hit off to the side slightly, and in the case of Nadal he hits pretty darn close to the sides of his 100 inch frame based upon where he breaks strings. i also dont suggest people improve their conditoning by using too heavy a racquet..that leads to poor technique and possible injury. and lots of people using racquets too low powered for their skill sets do contrived incorrect things in an effort to create ball speed..you're sure welcome to do whatever you like though

Yeah most pros do that on serves like mardy fish but they intentionally do that. When someone hits on the sides or out of the sweetspot when they are beginning they usually do it by accident and the os lets them get away with it. When you have a racquet with a small sweet spot it teaches you how to place the racquet in order to have the ball hit the center therefore teaching you if you wanted to do so later how to have the ball hit different parts of the racquets.
and lots of people using racquets too low powered for their skill sets do contrived incorrect things
The tennis lessons this guy is taking will teach the proper strokes. I am sure it will not lead to any serious injuries either. This guy is not a complete noob.

Jet Rink
02-09-2007, 09:37 PM
No secret here, but I am a firm believer that you should indeed play with a more "demanding" racquet. This is a means to developing proper and life-lasting fundamentals.

With a "demanding" stick, you know when you've made an error. You've got to use your legs. You've got to watch the ball - heck - all the things Federer (or any great you choose to follow/emulate) does.

It may be harder - you can't hit crappy volleys and weird wristy shots right out of the box - but once you've got your fitness and timing and concentration in line, your game will soar.

Essentially, you gotta earn it a little more - and what's wrong with that? Especially when the results are long term.

Good luck.

Jet

retrowagen
02-09-2007, 10:02 PM
No secret here, but I am a firm believer that you should indeed play with a more "demanding" racquet. This is a means to developing proper and life-lasting fundamentals.

With a "demanding" stick, you know when you've made an error. You've got to use your legs. You've got to watch the ball - heck - all the things Federer (or any great you choose to follow/emulate) does.

It may be harder - you can't hit crappy volleys and weird wristy shots right out of the box - but once you've got your fitness and timing and concentration in line, your game will soar.

Essentially, you gotta earn it a little more - and what's wrong with that? Especially when the results are long term.

Good luck.

Jet

Well said. +1 to all the above.

lethalfang
02-09-2007, 10:05 PM
I do take lessons, and that's why I have progressed rather quickly in a span of 8 1/2 month, from a complete beginner to about a 3.0. I play about 4-5 hours a week (remember there is no winter in LA!).
I have tried a couple of different racquets (Head i.Radical OS, Ti.S1, Ti.S6, and Hyper Hammer 5.3) before and I have settled in with the POG OS about 8 months ago, and I have developed a pretty decent swing with it.
I believe I'll stick with my POG OS as my primary stick for a very long time.
I also think POG OS has a rather "large" sweet spot, and I am able to get away with off-center hits with it, especially for the fact that POG OS is quite comfy on off-center hits.
So I don't think injury will be an issue for using prestige mid. I don't have horrible technique, and actually POG OS has a higher swing weight (but more power and bigger sweet spot).

Mr. Sean
02-09-2007, 10:13 PM
I agree. Would you say the asian versions of these demanding racquets are better though since they are a lil bit lighter. Thefore comepletely factoring out the weight and injury argument.

lethalfang
02-09-2007, 10:31 PM
My biggest worry is that prestige mid is a very different racquet from the POG OS. Prestige mid has a 18/20 string pattern on a 90 sq. inch. head.
I just worry that if I practice too much with the prestige mid, it will actually mess up my timing when I go back to the POG OS, due to the different swingweight, different aerodynamics, and the power I need to supply to get the same pace/spin, etc. ;)

thejackal
02-09-2007, 11:03 PM
i'd actually be more worried about the grip shape, which might mess with your hand positioning. head and prince are polar opposites in that aspect

lethalfang
02-09-2007, 11:21 PM
i'd actually be more worried about the grip shape, which might mess with your hand positioning. head and prince are polar opposites in that aspect

Haha, indeed. The Head grip does feel weird in my hands. It took me a good 30 seconds to figure out how to hold my semi-western grip, but the Head's grip shape seems solid for my continental serving grip.

thejackal
02-09-2007, 11:25 PM
i cannot find the eastern backhand bevel to save my life with Heads.

Ross K
02-09-2007, 11:34 PM
You obviously need to allocate yourself a time period to become accustomed to it (that's what everyone does with a new racket, and v often there is a lot you need to get used to - example, my bab didn't initially feel too great on volleys and slice bh, however, 2 months later, this has improved a lot.) Patience and hard work is called for when dealing with a change in rackets.

If you're still no better off after a few months, then, yep, maybe ditch the racket for something more suited to your game and skill level; or maybe you really do need to invest in good quality coaching.

Midlife crisis
02-09-2007, 11:54 PM
No secret here, but I am a firm believer that you should indeed play with a more "demanding" racquet. This is a means to developing proper and life-lasting fundamentals.

With a "demanding" stick, you know when you've made an error. You've got to use your legs. You've got to watch the ball - heck - all the things Federer (or any great you choose to follow/emulate) does.

It may be harder - you can't hit crappy volleys and weird wristy shots right out of the box - but once you've got your fitness and timing and concentration in line, your game will soar.

Essentially, you gotta earn it a little more - and what's wrong with that? Especially when the results are long term.

Good luck.

Jet

I think the problem with most players as they develop is an inability to handle the higher ball speeds and quicker, more athletic play as they progress. All of these things you mention, being FORCED to watch the ball, being FORCED to move your legs; someone without the discipline to do these things in spite or or despite a racquet is not going to make a high level player anyway, because getting there requires discipline.

My advice would be to make sure you have a coach that teaches and reinforces correct form and technique, and use the racquet that allows you to compete your best against the highest level players you can handle. This is the way you will become better, faster. By using a more demanding racquet, you will be stuck playing against lower level players for longer and take longer before you realize what is necessary to continue your move towards higher skill levels.

hadoken
02-09-2007, 11:57 PM
No secret here, but I am a firm believer that you should indeed play with a more "demanding" racquet. This is a means to developing proper and life-lasting fundamentals.
Jet

I completely disagree on this post. I am always amazed at how many Federer racquets are sold (see all those buying K-Feds without even trying them) and how detrimental this is to people's games. You can most certainly develop good form strokes with tweener racquets and have less agony while you are at it. I can rationalize not recommending big 115sq inch super power frames, but the Fed, PS 85, Redondo et are so oversold on this board, it is unbelievable. I would say most of the Fed sticks sold today go to weekend warriors who were not top high school/college players and have under-developed strokes (under 5.0 skills) and will stay that way. Most of us aren't kids any more who can spend endless hours banging balls to learn the fundamentals.

For reference, I use a 93in 12.5+ oz Prince from 1988 and even I think the fed racquet is WAY too demanding.

sloe_torture
02-10-2007, 04:38 AM
It's possible that a less-forgiving frame can bridge your current game to the next level.

When I learned to play golf I used a standard cavity-back intermediate irons. As my game progressed and spent more time at the Rancho Park range I needed to gauge my level of improvement without the benefit of an instructor. So I borrowed my friend's 1970's old set of Wilson muscle back irons. These old-school clubs gave my hands instant feedback if I didn't hit the ball on the spot. Going back to a more demanding, though not necessarily better, set of clubs allowed me to improve my 'feel' which led me to focus on my eye coordination. I learned to keep my eye on the ball before and during contact.

With a smaller racquet head you're forced to maintain your sight on the ball longer than when you're using the Prince Oversize and should significantly improve your game.

danix
02-10-2007, 11:30 AM
I've been using the FP midplus for around 8-10 months now. I too wondered if there were benefits to "playing above" my level in terms of stick.
While I hve maintained my level, I don't see that I am getting any better, so I am still contemplating moving to the Pure Drive for a while...

lethalfang
02-10-2007, 05:58 PM
I completely disagree on this post. I am always amazed at how many Federer racquets are sold (see all those buying K-Feds without even trying them) and how detrimental this is to people's games. You can most certainly develop good form strokes with tweener racquets and have less agony while you are at it. I can rationalize not recommending big 115sq inch super power frames, but the Fed, PS 85, Redondo et are so oversold on this board, it is unbelievable. I would say most of the Fed sticks sold today go to weekend warriors who were not top high school/college players and have under-developed strokes (under 5.0 skills) and will stay that way. Most of us aren't kids any more who can spend endless hours banging balls to learn the fundamentals.

For reference, I use a 93in 12.5+ oz Prince from 1988 and even I think the fed racquet is WAY too demanding.

The only agony I worry is the agony of my hitting partners, that they would complain I don't hit the ball as well with a prestige mid in warm up rally than I do with my POG OS, which I use when I "play for real."
I'm a very patient guy. I put in lots of effort in tennis to become a better player, not to immediately beat these recreational players who never learned to strike the ball properly.
Frankly, I don't give a damm if I win or lose these insignificant matches. I will beat players who are worse than I am, and I will get crushed by players who are a lot better than I am. I just want to become as good as I can be.

So anyway, for your 93 sq. in./12.5 oz. Prince from 1988, is it a POG mid? ;)

tennisplayer
02-10-2007, 06:35 PM
However much we like to believe that a demanding racquet will teach good fundamentals, I have to admit I don't believe that any more. One can learn good fundamentals on any "reasonable" racquet with the right motivation and/or coach.

That said, I don't see any harm in an advanced player switching to a more demanding racquet than his normal racquet, occasionally as part of a practice session, to focus on a particular aspect of his game accentuated by the demanding racquet.

alb1
02-10-2007, 08:29 PM
The POG OS is a great frame and if you're making progress with it why take a step back at this time by switching to something else. There are a lot of great players who began with an OS just as there are those who began with a Mid. Practice with whatever you're going to use. Take lessons, watch dvds, hit a lot of balls and keep working to improve. There's enough to do at this stage and varying frames just makes it more difficult imo.

BlankenshipBabaganoosh
02-10-2007, 08:31 PM
there are no benefits to practising with a frame more demanding than what suits you best. Why? because that's like a Kindergarten child trying to learn calculus