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pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 04:21 AM
It may seem counterintuitive, but I think we are doing new tennis players a disservice these days by putting oversized, light weight, super-powerful rackets in their hands. Beginners should use low-powered, arm friendly, head light "player's" rackets.

When new players are practicing forehands and backhands for the very first time, they are developing muscle memory. They are gathering information about how the game works at an extremely rapid pace. During this time, both bad and good habits can be formed, and often stay with the player forever.

One problem with beginning with a "beginner's frame" is that these frames encourage the wrong habits in new players. With a beginners frame, you are rewarded when you just take a poke at the ball rather than stroke the ball. By not having to take a fluid stroke, the developing player never really learns strokes; they learn bad habits that have to be broken by teaching professionals later on. You cannot learn to properly perform a forehand swing if your racket is so powerful that the ball sails beyond the baseline.

Another issue is that because of bad technique, beginners are prone to arm injuries. If some advanced players were asked to use one of these "game improvement" frames for a month, a lot of them would worry about the health of their arm, yet these same players continue to recommend such frames for beginners. Why put a frame that is not arm friendly in the hands of a new player who is already prone to arm issues? What happens is that this new player gets tennis elbow, then they associate tennis with pain, then they quit before they have had the chance to enjoy the game.

Super-powerful frames also send the wrong message to beginning players. Essentially, what we communicate to new players is that "since you're not very skilled yet, this racket will help make up the difference." This mentality is completely wrong. No "game improvement" frame really improves the beginner's tennis game. The best type of frame for a new player is one that teaches feel, smooth strokes, and offers consistent shot production without too much power. I'll take it a step further and say that new players should use low-powered rackets. Only when a player has developed consistent strokes should they even consider switching to a "tweener" type frame. The message we should send to new players about rackets is that "since you're not very skilled yet, this arm-friendly, low-powered racket will help you to hit more consistently. You will be able to have longer rallies, and you will learn good stroke technique which will make the game more fun."

All of this commonly accepted information regarding what beginners should use and what advanced players should use is really a product of big companies' marketing campaigns. It's not based upon factual evidence that these frames actually help to improve the developing player's game. Large corporations have decided for us that beginners need super-powerful rackets. They push these rackets on new players by lavishing them with the latest "technology", and they charge incredibly high prices. "You're a new player, so how about our One model which retails for $300?" What they are actually doing is ******ing the development of decent strokes in the new player, giving them increased chances for injury, and preventing many from ever enjoying the game. The way tennis equipment is marketed needs a good re-think, and we have to debunk all of the falsehoods that have been developed and nurtured by big corporations.

Sure it may seem counterintuitive, but is it really? A beginner has little control, and needs an arm-friendly racket that encourages the development of good technique. Head Prestiges, Wilson Pro Staffs, Pro Kennex Redondos, and POG's are all excellent beginner frames. A player's racket provides lots of control, a predictable response, and good safety for the arm. Can a new player handle a 12 ounce racket? Of course they can! They always have been able to, and they always will. We've only recently convinced ourselves that they can't. If you put a player's frame in the hands of a beginner, and don't expose them to the commonly accepted notion that it's for advanced players only, that new player will never question whether or not they can handle it. Control oriented frames are for beginners. KSix-One Tour 90's are for beginners. The Head Prestige line is pure beginner stuff. The Jack Kramer Wood is an excellent beginner frame. Anyone else agree?

ThA_Azn_DeViL
05-13-2008, 04:32 AM
your thinking seems logical, but some beginners are bound to make more mistakes and get frustrated using players racquets, and you know what happens to beginners that get frustrated... bye bye.

pow
05-13-2008, 04:38 AM
I agree to a point, I have had a beginner using a big frame pick up my frame Redondo Mid and prefer it over what she was using despite my frame having a small head and good weight.

I have also seen my friend get arm problems from trying to exert himself on a heavy frame when he first picked up tennis.

Recon
05-13-2008, 04:38 AM
Agreed, I thought me and my coach were the only ones who thought this. Since the players racket give you nothing, it is the ultimate training tool. It makes you have perfect clean strokes because of the weight and small headsize. It rewards early preparation and great footwork.

pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 04:41 AM
your thinking seems logical, but some beginners are bound to make more mistakes and get frustrated using players racquets, and you know what happens to beginners that get frustrated... bye bye.
I hear ya, but don't believe it actually works that way. I think that if you take a couple of new players and give them low-powered frames they actually have a better chance of sustaining a rally. Keeping a rally going is about as much fun as can be had when just starting, since it's less time spent fetching the ball.

urbo73
05-13-2008, 04:56 AM
Please see this thread (from my post #236 onwards to the end) and my questions. Am I going down the wrong avenue in thinking?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=160692&page=12

pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 05:11 AM
Please see this thread (from my post #236 onwards to the end) and my questions. Am I going down the wrong avenue in thinking?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=160692&page=12
I learned to play with a heavy wood tennis racket, even though I'm not old enough to have played wood. It felt a lot like the K90 you use. It's just what was lying around at the time I decided to play. I *never* thought it felt too heavy, or that it wasn't powerful enough. It allowed me to swing naturally and freely while keeping the ball in the court. It had a nice soft feel, and I did not struggle with arm pain like I hear so many beginners struggling with now. It didn't kill me on shanks, because it had enough mass to absorb the impact. Many professional players learned tennis as young kids using "players rackets." If some 5 year old was able to swing a wood frame, I don't see why a 35 year old man can't handle that extra 3 ounces and use a K90.

raiden031
05-13-2008, 05:14 AM
I completely agree with the OP that players are better off using more advanced racquets. I don't know how many often middle-aged women I see at clubs wearing some kind of wrap around their arm near the elbow, giving me the indication they are probably suffering from tennis elbow because they have terrible strokes and are using a big granny stick. Sure they would be better off if they had instruction and used a more arm-friendly racquet, but the only issue is that alot of players don't have the time, money, or desire to learn proper mechanics (through lessons) that would be required to have success with these more advanced racquets. Instead people would rather have the instant gratification of picking up a racquet and being able to play right away with or without any actual tennis skills.

The whole purpose for manufacturers to create this huge range of racquets is to keep players interested in the game and buying racquets. Not only does this marketing of progressive racquets make it easier for beginners to start playing, but it also forces them to upgrade to more advanced racquets with every milestone they hit in their development.

I think it should be up to the individual to do whats right for them, but if I were a tennis instructor I would certainly encourage my students to play with racquets that promote better technique unless they have some physical limitations where they just can't generate any power on the own. 99% of the time players who use these beginner sticks wouldn't need them if they learned more proper mechanics.

deme08
05-13-2008, 05:40 AM
Head Prestiges, Wilson Pro Staffs, Pro Kennex Redondos, and POG's are all excellent beginner frames. A player's racket provides lots of control, a predictable response, and good safety for the arm.

Absolutely agree! Great thread!

charaseac
05-13-2008, 06:36 AM
I'm actually one of those players who improve using player's rackets..

The thing is, i'm a self taught, i spent lots and lots of time to read and watch videos ask people around and learn how to play tennis correctly. Now, not everyone have the same amount of time to spend or even have the passion to do that.

Some people just want to play tennis for fun, and they want to learn it fast, and they dont care about proper techniques as long as they can play with their friends and/or families.

So i think it's relative. For beginner who actually wants to have proper techniques, then player's racket is the way to go. For beginner who just want to have fun, beginner racket is the proper one.

And trust me, the "just want to have fun" group is a lot bigger than the other one, hence beginner's racket is there for them.

furyballs
05-13-2008, 06:49 AM
I totally agree with the op.

pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 06:53 AM
^^
I don't agree that it's more fun for beginners to play with a "game improvement" racket, nor have I ever observed that these rackets actually improve anyone's game. For beginners, if you want to take your best shot at reeling them into the game, give them a real racket, imo. Give them the one that helps them keep the ball in the court, that doesn't hurt their arm. Give them the one that's a good match for the weight of tennis balls, not one that gets pushed around every time they hit off-center shots.

Have you ever met a beginner that couldn't manage to hit the ball over the 12 foot back fence, from the opposite baseline? Beginners aren't typically short on power, it's control they need. The entire notion that rackets are progressive, in that you start with a Big Bubba, and progress to a Prestige is completely backwards. Beginners should start with low-powered equipment, and when they learn the game, then consider the possibility of tweaking their equipment for a *little* more power, once they know how to harness it.

CGMemphis
05-13-2008, 07:04 AM
What ever happened to demoing racquets with a good tennis pro or coach and finding what works for you? Swing mechanics are swing mechanics, bad foot work is bad footwork.

ramos
05-13-2008, 07:05 AM
Finaly someone that thinks like me ...:)

pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 07:09 AM
What ever happened to demoing racquets with a good tennis pro or coach and finding what works for you? Swing mechanics are swing mechanics, bad foot work is bad footwork.
Nothing at all, amirite? Pro's make a couple recommendations, and they vary on what those recommendations are. Some pro's think like I do, and some are caught up in the beginner frame hype. A good question to me is, "What ever happened to thinking for ourselves, as opposed to allowing big companies and tennis retailers to think for us?"

fuzz nation
05-13-2008, 07:15 AM
When I was maybe thirteen and playing with the Dunlop Maxply Fort (I switched away from wood a few years later than some), I needed a 2nd racquet and instead of getting the typical "light" that you'd see everywhere, I ordered a "medium" which was even heftier and I adored it! No argument here against kids/beginners learning with more of a player's frame, but I don't expect the cravings for short term success (or lighter racquets) to disappear anytime soon. I also DON'T think that everyone needs to learn just like I did, but I agree that it's not reasonable to declare and entire group of heavier, smaller headed, softer, etc. racquets as inappropriate for certain players because of their level.

In more recent years, I switched away from my very stiff frames and started working out with soft, heavy, low powered racquets with a longer term goal in mind - I needed to get away from serve and volleying and become a more competent all courter. In empirical terms, I needed to work on me, not my choice of racquet, but the lower powered sticks turned out to be a much better fit and I've made substantial progress with my stroke mechanics and footwork.

Teaching and coaching high school teams has been interesting and thought provoking along the lines of this topic, too. Unlearning bad muscle memory is a big deal when I want to improve an aspect of a player's game and some of these fly swatters that are around really let the kids get away with some horrible mechanics. That crap has to be unlearned, maybe even exorcized before building in the right direction. That takes a while. Often times the lighter frames let the newer players get away without much using their legs. While that may be helpful for some folks with marginal physicality who want to get out there and play (I'm all for that), I think it can help to make a bit of a mess for others.

Blah, blah, blah... sorry, my coffee hasn't kicked in yet. I can say with some clarity though, that I've never really understood the idea of getting a player into a full sized racquet that's intended for them to use until they get better and can move on to a player's frame. That just sets them up for the frustrating phase of unlearning the old muscle memory, right?

pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 07:23 AM
I'm so happy to see some people agree with me. Lately in my home town, it seems that every time I recommend a player's frame to someone struggling with arm pain and/or game improvement issues, they look at me as if I've asked them to mow the lawn with a pair of scissors. It's 3 ounces and a different balance, people! =P sheesh

Nellie
05-13-2008, 07:24 AM
I am in the middle on this - I agree that a wide-frame racquet does not do any favors to beginning players, but most people I know really benefit from an lighter, oversized racquet due to the more foregiving, larger sweet spot. Likewise, the lighter racquet (10-11 ounces) tends to be better for novice players because they don't have the shoulder strength for a 12 ounce frame. Something like a Pure drive Oversize or a Radical OS.

Starting with too heavy of a frame will encourage bad technique as well becauce player will tend to be late or overswing.

LanEvo
05-13-2008, 07:33 AM
It may seem counterintuitive, but I think we are doing new tennis players a disservice these days by putting oversized, light weight, super-powerful rackets in their hands. Beginners should use low-powered, arm friendly, head light "player's" rackets.

When new players are practicing forehands and backhands for the very first time, they are developing muscle memory. They are gathering information about how the game works at an extremely rapid pace. During this time, both bad and good habits can be formed, and often stay with the player forever.

One problem with beginning with a "beginner's frame" is that these frames encourage the wrong habits in new players. With a beginners frame, you are rewarded when you just take a poke at the ball rather than stroke the ball. By not having to take a fluid stroke, the developing player never really learns strokes; they learn bad habits that have to be broken by teaching professionals later on. You cannot learn to properly perform a forehand swing if your racket is so powerful that the ball sails beyond the baseline.

Another issue is that because of bad technique, beginners are prone to arm injuries. If some advanced players were asked to use one of these "game improvement" frames for a month, a lot of them would worry about the health of their arm, yet these same players continue to recommend such frames for beginners. Why put a frame that is not arm friendly in the hands of a new player who is already prone to arm issues? What happens is that this new player gets tennis elbow, then they associate tennis with pain, then they quit before they have had the chance to enjoy the game.

Super-powerful frames also send the wrong message to beginning players. Essentially, what we communicate to new players is that "since you're not very skilled yet, this racket will help make up the difference." This mentality is completely wrong. No "game improvement" frame really improves the beginner's tennis game. The best type of frame for a new player is one that teaches feel, smooth strokes, and offers consistent shot production without too much power. I'll take it a step further and say that new players should use low-powered rackets. Only when a player has developed consistent strokes should they even consider switching to a "tweener" type frame. The message we should send to new players about rackets is that "since you're not very skilled yet, this arm-friendly, low-powered racket will help you to hit more consistently. You will be able to have longer rallies, and you will learn good stroke technique which will make the game more fun."

All of this commonly accepted information regarding what beginners should use and what advanced players should use is really a product of big companies' marketing campaigns. It's not based upon factual evidence that these frames actually help to improve the developing player's game. Large corporations have decided for us that beginners need super-powerful rackets. They push these rackets on new players by lavishing them with the latest "technology", and they charge incredibly high prices. "You're a new player, so how about our One model which retails for $300?" What they are actually doing is ******ing the development of decent strokes in the new player, giving them increased chances for injury, and preventing many from ever enjoying the game. The way tennis equipment is marketed needs a good re-think, and we have to debunk all of the falsehoods that have been developed and nurtured by big corporations.

Sure it may seem counterintuitive, but is it really? A beginner has little control, and needs an arm-friendly racket that encourages the development of good technique. Head Prestiges, Wilson Pro Staffs, Pro Kennex Redondos, and POG's are all excellent beginner frames. A player's racket provides lots of control, a predictable response, and good safety for the arm. Can a new player handle a 12 ounce racket? Of course they can! They always have been able to, and they always will. We've only recently convinced ourselves that they can't. If you put a player's frame in the hands of a beginner, and don't expose them to the commonly accepted notion that it's for advanced players only, that new player will never question whether or not they can handle it. Control oriented frames are for beginners. KSix-One Tour 90's are for beginners. The Head Prestige line is pure beginner stuff. The Jack Kramer Wood is an excellent beginner frame. Anyone else agree?

i gotta say i kinda agree with this because when i first began with tennis, i used a huge OS, but then i switched to an mfil 300 and improved drastically

The Pure One
05-13-2008, 07:38 AM
I agree 100% with the op.

jmverdugo
05-13-2008, 07:43 AM
I do not agree with the OP, not because i think a begginer couldnt use a players racket but because i think rackets do not teach technique, professional instructors do. A person without proper teaching will have bad technique regardless the reacket.

The main problem, IMO, of players rackets and begginers is for how long they can hadle the racket. Tennis it is not a 30 min game and you do not get good by only practicing, you have to play matches, long matches and in the end the weight and the lack of power of the racket will defeat you.

Once you start to evolve, your own game will ask for a more demanding racket, that is the way it shoudl be, again IMO.

Also, i think it makes no sense to say that in the old days young kids learned with heavy wood rackets and so young kids today should be ablt to do it to, basically because the strokes are not the same.

And finally I have never ever seing a young kid or a begginer having problems with the technique with a tweener racket, but I do have seing begginers having problem with their technique and using a "players frame". JMO. Obviusly in the case that both palyers have the proper guidance.

NoBadMojo
05-13-2008, 07:53 AM
. Anyone else agree?

I dont agree. I say this after giving a few thousand hours of lessons and observing how people get better and what impedes their progress

There are a big number of racquet options which fall in between too demanding and too light/powerful, and that's where many/most tennis players belong if they wish to not be stuffed by their gear.

Picking something too demanding delays development and encourages bad technique and can lead to injury...not the opposite of this

Picking the right racquet for your CURRENT skillset is the right thing to do...a concept which many dont seem to understand

pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 08:04 AM
Picking the right racquet for your CURRENT skillset is the right thing to do...a concept which many dont seem to understand

OMG the G.O.A.T! =P

All due respect of course; that's a lot of posts. But, I think the right racket for the beginner's skillset is the one that offsets what they struggle with the most while contributing to their development. Beginners struggle with keeping the ball in the court, and are prone to feeling discomfort due to mishits and bad technique. The extra mass and the balance of a player's racket is perfect for them, since it's more arm-friendly, and helps with control.

New players will very quickly adapt to whatever you put in their hands. There's something special about a racket that's about 12 ounces in regards to how it handles the impact of the tennis ball, and a head-light balance is easier on the body. I don't buy in to the notion that a player's racket will impede a beginner's progress, rather, it will help. So, I respectfully disagree.

bluetrain4
05-13-2008, 08:20 AM
I basically agree with the OP, but would make a few points.

For "beginners" who are actually learning the game for the purpose of developing into better players (i.e., they will eventually not be "beginners"), I agree that a more traditional racquet can (but not always) help develop better strokes and give honest feedback as to what they have to do to improve.

But, there is a huge segment of recreational and club players who are basically "beginners" forever. People who play once or twice a month. Club players who play "everyone at the baseline" doubles with the same people every week and enjoy themselves, but see it as more of a social event than serious competition. For these "perpetual beginners", I think beginner frames or tweeners are the way to go. They can get more enjoyment out of the game because they can do more (hit harder, hit deeper) than with tradtional frames. Of course, I'd encourage them to get better, but the reality is that many of them won't.

PandaKuo777
05-13-2008, 08:25 AM
when i have kids one day, I will start them off with tennis with heavier rackets. Not rackets that will break their arms like the k90 that i'm using, but maybe the kteam-k95.

Kirko
05-13-2008, 08:38 AM
Agree. I started with the kramer auto. in 1965 and continued with it until 1982. I still can remember when I started to hit forehands & backhands the length of the court with ease. I was thrilled and knew I was on my way as a tennis player.

TenniseaWilliams
05-13-2008, 08:39 AM
It may seem counterintuitive, but I think we are doing new tennis players a disservice these days by putting oversized, light weight, super-powerful rackets in their hands. Beginners should use low-powered, arm friendly, head light "player's" rackets.

The benefit of stiffer, larger headsizes is mostly for hits off center, ie. softer stringplane, higher twistweight to static weight ratios, psychologically larger margin for error, etc. Lighter racquets help timing control and even swing speed for beginners, and let the fine control muscles develop. Low power requires technique, the beginners tend to throw themselves around too much instead of using the kinetic chain and hitting cleanly. The arm friendly super head-light heft is great, but is mostly needed by hard-hitting frequent players, not beginners.

I agree that extreme beginner frames can slow down development once the player begins to develop a longer swing, footwork, and timing. Almost any of the middle of the road frames (11oz or so, mid-plus or mildly oversize heads, reasonably balanced) can be used for long periods of time without limiting development, and can be easily customized (with stiffer string, or weighting) if necessary for advanced use. This includes most tweener and MP player frames.

Some of the fastest beginner development uses short/very light frames, and low compression and/or foam balls. Mostly used for kids, I think adult beginners would benefit from this as well, if they can get over wanting to look advanced as quickly as possible. Looking advanced is really why beginners want player frames...

urbo73
05-13-2008, 08:39 AM
OK, now I'm just confused. If you read this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showt...160692&page=12

#236 onwards, you'll see a good explanation. But which way to go?

Whom to believe? Why such radical differences among coaches? Do you coach? What is your background? Just curious, because it seems to radically different as I said. And it should NOT be. Maybe a pro can prefer this or that, but for someone like myself 2.5/3 player, looking to keep the same racquet, learn, and improve, there are simply too many choices and opinions. So who do you trust? As I said in my posts in that thread, most racquets feel comfortable for me at my level. But what happens 5 months down the road, as balls come faster, etc.? Which is the problem? The weight or the small head? Just baffled..

urbo73
05-13-2008, 08:40 AM
Correct URL:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=160692&page=12

pr0n8r
05-13-2008, 08:57 AM
^
I don't coach; I'm a 4.0 recreational player. Let's get that out of the way. I do still feel that I have been around this game long enough to objectively understand the equipment dilemma beginning players face; hell, I know equipment much better than most teaching pro's. On a side note, has it ever shocked anyone else how LITTLE pro's know about equipment sometimes?

I am calling it as I see it. Sometimes professionals buy in too much to the current trends with gear. The equipment manufacturers sell to them, and push propaganda on them, and they feed on it.

I have had lessons from several pro's and I have heard both sides of this argument. In the end, in my final analysis, I think the player's frame is the way to go from the outset.

I have started my wife playing, and she had a tough time controlling her shots with a wide body, 9 ounce Head she had acquired at some point. As soon as I gave her one of my PS Tour 90's, she immediately appreciated the feel of the racket, and she had no problem handling the extra 3 ounces.

In the end, it's your call, but as you can see I'm not the only one who has made this observation regarding the hype, smoke and mirrors that permeate the tennis racket industry.

urbo73
05-13-2008, 09:36 AM
I don't agree or disagree. I can see both sides. I'm just not sure which path to take. It's not about taste - I wish it were that easy.

Pros know about equipment - but they are not gearheads. They play. This is true in every domain - art, sports, etc. Pros not talking may simpy mean that it's in fact not so important?

benasp
05-13-2008, 09:48 AM
I think heavier is better for begginer cause the mass help produce power without needing to swing hard, and for beginner swigning hard mean hitting all over the place. Also if your timing is not top notch and you use a light frame the ball speed will own your racquet beside, when you use a heavier frame, the racquet will handle the ball for itself.

Then for the headsize, it's probably peference but my experience told me that the bigger sweet spot on oversized racquet just make the racquet twist on offcenter hit. Twisting also has a lot to do with the weight of the racquet

so for me the equation is over sized + light frame + beginner = frustration

in the last few years, i switched from head IX3 to pure drive to aero storm and i've always seen improovement mostly due to higher weight. And i don't buy the ''not enought power argument'' cause anyone can hit long even with a friing pan and beginner don't with game with power but with consistency power become a factor only at higher level.

Bubba
05-13-2008, 10:54 AM
I totally agree with the op.

I agree with most. However, you need to realize that kids start with the larger, more forgiving frame as early as 3 years old... and today's instructors teach them primarily brush top-spin and 2hbh.

As they progress, they migrate to frames that support that learning and therefore the huge mid+following.

Show me 1 teaching pro that advises kids to use a small headed frame... in fact, no manufacturer even makes one!!!

Come on instructors... teach mid-style technique!!!

Satch
05-13-2008, 12:35 PM
i agree... i started with 13oz Fischer stick and now i can't play with anything below 12.
I just don't have a stroke to do that.

and i like this sentence i am saying it all the time
"All of this commonly accepted information regarding what beginners should use and what advanced players should use is really a product of big companies' marketing campaigns."

Cup8489
05-13-2008, 12:39 PM
i guess i can see where you're coming from, but i've seen people, including those on my own team, become discouraged by player's frames.

i was just playing another guy yesterday in fact. he normally plays with this goofy prince recreational gimmick of the o-ports, it was white and black. he had broken the strings, and so i lended him my o3 tour ms, which needs to be restrung since it's lost a lot of tension (left in the car for a few hours).

he was so shocked at how much pace i could apply compared to him when he used the same frame, that he stopped playing and said i shouldve been number 1. i laughed and said that the two guys above me also used similar frames, but could hit even better.

he said he wasnt gonna ever improve, and he didnt enjoy playing anymore. i talked to my cousin (assistant coach) and asked him to practice with the kid for a while to get his spirits back up.

Steve1954
05-13-2008, 12:39 PM
I dont agree. I say this after giving a few thousand hours of lessons and observing how people get better and what impedes their progress

There are a big number of racquet options which fall in between too demanding and too light/powerful, and that's where many/most tennis players belong if they wish to not be stuffed by their gear.

Picking something too demanding delays development and encourages bad technique and can lead to injury...not the opposite of this

Picking the right racquet for your CURRENT skillset is the right thing to do...a concept which many dont seem to understand

I agree. Who is this beginner we are talking about? My sister-in-law is 50 years old and 5 foot 3. My nephew is 21, over six feet and over 200 pounds. If they were just starting out in tennis, I wouldn't give my sister-in-law a players' racket because she wouldn't be able to hit the ball over the net, and I wouldn't give my nephew a light powerful racket because his shots would hit the back fence. My sister-in-law needs a racket powerful enough to get the ball over the service line with her normal swing, and my nephew needs a racket low powered enough where he can swing out and keep the ball inside the baseline. A racket that is too heavy and low powered forces the player to overswing and overstress the arm, while a racket that is too light forces the player to shorten up and learn improper technique, which can also hurt the arm. "Picking the right racquet for your CURRENT skillset is the right thing to do."

Steve

sureshs
05-13-2008, 12:45 PM
OP overlooks the fact that most beginners are juniors. Some even start with junior-size racquets. As they grow older, they need to start playing matches if they are serious about tennis and want to make it to school teams and local tournaments. The game today is played with huge topspin and high bouncing balls. Watch any junior tournament, and you will see balls landing deep and bouncing over the head of the player. To win these matches, the junior has to return the ball with racquet above the height of his shoulder, and still keep the ball down. From personal experience hitting with juniors, I know how hard it is to swing above your shoulder and still put speed and spin on the ball. A player's racquet would be beyond their ability to play this way.

Cup8489
05-13-2008, 03:14 PM
OP overlooks the fact that most beginners are juniors. Some even start with junior-size racquets. As they grow older, they need to start playing matches if they are serious about tennis and want to make it to school teams and local tournaments. The game today is played with huge topspin and high bouncing balls. Watch any junior tournament, and you will see balls landing deep and bouncing over the head of the player. To win these matches, the junior has to return the ball with racquet above the height of his shoulder, and still keep the ball down. From personal experience hitting with juniors, I know how hard it is to swing above your shoulder and still put speed and spin on the ball. A player's racquet would be beyond their ability to play this way.

perhaps he simply neglected to mention that his post mightve been aimed towards adult beginners?

fps
05-13-2008, 03:18 PM
i don't know... you have to have the physique for it.
my g/f started playing with me recently borrowing one of my modest 11.5oz racquets- waaaaay too heavy for her, she v petite and the thing was all ends up too big! she's got her own racquet now (same grip size as mine), weights about 10oz. I'm coaching her to swing properly and she's coming along great!

drakulie
05-13-2008, 03:22 PM
Beginners have no business playing with a "players racquet". :)

Babb
05-13-2008, 03:25 PM
^^^
Then why are you using that MG Prestige, Drak? Huh? Huh? ;)

drakulie
05-13-2008, 03:27 PM
I like to go against the grain, and be a non-conformist. :)

matchmaker
05-13-2008, 03:29 PM
I agree partially with the OP. Although I would not go as far as putting a 12 oz. plus midsize frame with a swingweight of 330+ in the hands of a beginner. I think they are best served by a 11 oz MP with a moderate swingweight. A serious tweener so to speak.
Some of the so-called game improvement frames are actually dead and don't have any power at all because of their ridiculously low weight.

symon_say
05-13-2008, 04:07 PM
I agree partially with the OP. Although I would not go as far as putting a 12 oz. plus midsize frame with a swingweight of 330+ in the hands of a beginner. I think they are best served by a 11 oz MP with a moderate swingweight. A serious tweener so to speak.
Some of the so-called game improvement frames are actually dead and don't have any power at all because of their ridiculously low weight.

I agree with you, i don't think a players raquet can make any good to a noob, cause it's a lot harder to learn, you learn the right way, yeah, but most of the people how wants to play tennis is for fun, they are not so concern about great strokes, they want to get the ball over the net and have fun with some friends.

I'm still a noob i'm just 3.0 player, i star with and Wilson H2 OS, and this raquet was great as i start, but as soon as my coach speed up a little i start getting pain in my arm, so i get another raquet a Ncode 6.2 and as soon as i play the first time my game improves a lot i try my coach raquet K90 and it's a lot of hard to play with it.

So to all the noobs how wants to have fun, and maybe like play some local friendly tournament, just get a MP and enjoy your game.

ThA_Azn_DeViL
05-13-2008, 05:25 PM
ok, i think a beginner can try a tweener racquet, it basically has qualities of both player racquets and improvement racquets, but you also need a dedicated beginner to get anywhere.

SOY78
05-13-2008, 05:31 PM
I think all beginners should start with a woodie ;) Then work your way up to the current racquet technologies :D

Alafter
05-13-2008, 08:08 PM
Reality speaks for itself, regardless of what we think. I enjoy my POG OS and HEad AA OS.

klementine
05-13-2008, 08:10 PM
The logic seems sound, but too much emphasis is being put on racquets and equiptment. The one big difference between today and yesterday??? KIDS ONLY PLAY AND PRACTICE ONE SPORT.

Im not young or old (tewnty eight), I remember starting to play when I was 10 with my dad's racquet (adidas GTX Pro, 14+0z.), but the racquet is NOT what helped me develop sound technique. SOCCER- developed good footwork and stamina. FOOTBALL- Gave me a nice hip rotation and instilled a low center of gravity. BASEBALL- How to syncronize my movements, hand eye co-ordination and keep my shoulders loose. SWIMMING- Overall endurance.

A couple of days ago I tried to help a younger kid, 13, (at the local courts), on how to get good follow through and racquet head speed with his serve, how to flick and pronate his wrist, I said, ' Like a good curve or knucle ball, keep your shoulder loose and dont lock your wrist'. He looked at me as if I was speaking swahili. Wouldn't you know it, he only plays, practices and is taught TENNIS. With every sport I learned and played I brought some lessons from the previous ones, so, no, in my opinion equipment is the last thing they should be concerned about, athletic diversity and experience should be a number #1 priority.

mishin900
05-13-2008, 08:20 PM
What you're saying seems right to me, but the thing is those beginners who uses player's frames should be trying to improve their skills.

ohhgourami
05-13-2008, 09:43 PM
agree 100% too. and most of the players frames arent even that heavy anyway. once i picked up a k95, my strokes were nice and i could hit the way i always dreamed of.

Leoboomanu
05-13-2008, 11:06 PM
I believe beginners should start with a light raq (10-11oz) and a good coach...

Beginners start with slow swing speeds so they should use light powerful racket... 'Poking stokes' with a powerful racket can be avoided with a meticulous coach...

I think a pd is even too heavy for an ordinary 10 year old to swing... But they can still do proper swings with even lighter rackets with the coach's guidance...

Swings get grooved and become faster eventually, then you'll realize you can't hit out with your current frame... Then it's time to change...

Then buy a raq as you improve... You may end up with a K90,95, 200s,t-fight,V10s,PD, etc doesn't matter as long as it suits your game...

Let me give an example:

driveZ lite(5-12yrs old), PD(10-15yrs old), PDR,PSTour or any heavier frame(15+years old)

Also, let me add that tennis playing experience may influence frame weight...

A 20yr old playing for 10 years can handle heavier rackets, while a 25yr old beginner may find player frames too heavy to swing...

Peace

HoVa
05-13-2008, 11:57 PM
i disagree.. you think all beginniners are gonna hit open stance forehands with extreme western grips right away?

how can they handle such high SWs?


you don't give a rookie driver a Ferrari.

pr0n8r
05-14-2008, 03:38 AM
i disagree.. you think all beginniners are gonna hit open stance forehands with extreme western grips right away?

how can they handle such high SWs?


you don't give a rookie driver a Ferrari.

By your analogy, a Ferrari is too powerful and fast for a rookie Driver. Beginner's sticks are too fast and powerful for beginners. The racket industry has it all wrong. Rookie drivers need control (Honda Accord, perhaps?), and beginning tennis players need control as well.

It doesn't matter what grip and style they use, if you don't ruin a new tennis player's mindset by suggesting that what you are about to put in their hands is too heavy, they can handle 330 SW just fine.

pr0n8r
05-14-2008, 04:09 AM
perhaps he simply neglected to mention that his post mightve been aimed towards adult beginners?
For size-challenged people, I like that QuickStart program. Since they aren't hitting real balls on full-sized court, they use smaller rackets. Everything is scaled down for them; it's really cool. Once they graduate to a full-sized court, and regular balls, it's K90's for all of them, LOL!

jmverdugo
05-14-2008, 04:27 AM
A 300gr racket with a 325 of SW is still a demanding racket for a begginer. He/she may hadle it for the first 15 min at the begining of the week. but I am sure that by the end of a match he will be struggling with the racket, hitting whatever kind of strokes as long as he can put the ball back on the court, and yes you can hit crappy strokes with a players racket. I dont even want to say how his arm will be by the end of the week.

pr0n8r
05-14-2008, 04:42 AM
^
And after a short while, to their betterment, will have developed the strength to handle those extra 3 ounces. It's not racket weight beginner's struggle with; that's a falsehood. They are just as capable of adapting to a player's racket as your average 4.5 league player is. Beginner's struggle with control, hand-eye coordination... these types of things. They miss-hit a lot, and hit outside the lines a lot. A control oriented frame which handles miss-hits without jolting the arm is the right platform. We've gone down the wrong path with beginner equipment.

jmverdugo
05-14-2008, 05:03 AM
^^ Well maybe is just me , but it takes a lot of time to develop the strength. You are right about the control and hand-eye coordination, but it is harder to get them if you cant put the racket where is supposed to be, at the speed it is supposed to be to hit a proper shot. I dont beleive there is nothing wrong with the definition of beginers racket and advanced racket, IMO there may be problem with the definiton of "control" in a racket. Just because a racket is "control" doesnt oriented mean that you will have more precision.

0d1n
05-14-2008, 05:44 AM
Please see this thread (from my post #236 onwards to the end) and my questions. Am I going down the wrong avenue in thinking?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=160692&page=12

Jollyroger and a few others actually know what they are talking about. I suggest you listen to what he and others said to you (myself included) with regards to your problem and ignore people like the op who have an obvious bias, and think there are only 2 options in tennis equipment ->
"players rackets" and "beginner rackets" (which is a load of crap, and these labels change all the time).

^
And after a short while, to their betterment, will have developed the strength to handle those extra 3 ounces. It's not racket weight beginner's struggle with; that's a falsehood. They are just as capable of adapting to a player's racket as your average 4.5 league player is. Beginner's struggle with control, hand-eye coordination... these types of things. They miss-hit a lot, and hit outside the lines a lot. A control oriented frame which handles miss-hits without jolting the arm is the right platform. We've gone down the wrong path with beginner equipment.

A control oriented frame can also be a Microgel Radical which is around 310-315 grams strung and has a swing weight of 315-320. That frame and others are still comfortable to play with, have plenty of good control, and are preferable for ANY beginner (yes ... including the 25 years old body builder) to a LM Prestige Mid or a K 90 which can have swing weights in the 340's and significantly more mass and can actually be MUCH MORE uncomfortable to play with for a beginner regardless of his size.
Nobody in their right mind is saying that everybody should start with a 120 sq inch 250 grams racket...in fact probably NOBODY should (nobody with a normal physique and under the age of 60 anyway ...).
There are plenty of options IN BETWEEN those extremes ... and that's where most people should look for their equipment.
If any beginner (like I said ... even a 25 years old body builder) tells me that a Radical, Instinct or even Pure Drive is "way too powerful" for his heavy beginner shots I will tell them ... "learn how to hit with some freaking topspin in order to control the ball, that ball isn't supposed to hit the ground only due to the laws of gravity".
My 2 pence.

pr0n8r
05-14-2008, 06:07 AM
Jollyroger and a few others actually know what they are talking about. I suggest you listen to what he and others said to you (myself included) with regards to your problem and ignore people like the op who have an obvious bias, and think there are only 2 options in tennis equipment ->
"players rackets" and "beginner rackets" (which is a load of crap, and these labels change all the time).
The labels change all the time, but in their latest incarnation, beginner's frames are light, head heavy things. That's what I have a problem with... the racket industry is sending the wrong message in regards to what players should start with. I know, you know, we all know there are rackets which run the gamut from light to heavy, head heavy to head light, etc. I simply think that we have it backwards in regards to what we start players out with, when they are developing feel. *shrug*


A control oriented frame can also be a Microgel Radical which is around 310-315 grams strung and has a swing weight of 315-320. That frame and others are still comfortable to play with, have plenty of good control, and are preferable for ANY beginner (yes ... including the 25 years old body builder) to a LM Prestige Mid or a K 90 which can have swing weights in the 340's and significantly more mass and can actually be MUCH MORE uncomfortable to play with for a beginner regardless of his size.
Nobody in their right mind is saying that everybody should start with a 120 sq inch 250 grams racket...in fact probably NOBODY should (nobody with a normal physique and under the age of 60 anyway ...).
There are plenty of options IN BETWEEN those extremes ... and that's where most people should look for their equipment.
If any beginner (like I said ... even a 25 years old body builder) tells me that a Radical, Instinct or even Pure Drive is "way too powerful" for his heavy beginner shots I will tell them ... "learn how to hit with some freaking topspin in order to control the ball, that ball isn't supposed to hit the ground only due to the laws of gravity".
My 2 pence.
The Microgel Radical may only be 11 ounces, but it is head light, and is low-powered and flexy. You don't have to be a body builder to handle a 12 ounce racket, though. I used a 12+ ounce wood racket as a young kid. No one told me it was heavy, so I never thought it was. I do remember how sweet the racket felt at impact, and I fell in love with the feel of the game. If I had gone out there with the frames that are currently pushed on beginners, I don't believe I would have had the same experience. So yea, you might find something in the middle like a Radical, but that's marketed here as "a solid choice for 4.5+ level players." A beginner, following the retailer's advice would steer away from that frame, and go for the KOne which is supposedly "a must demo for beginning to intermediate level players as well as stronger players seeking some controllable power." You see, the marketing and retailing is ill, and needs to be re-thunk.

0d1n
05-14-2008, 06:43 AM
The labels change all the time, but in their latest incarnation, beginner's frames are light, head heavy things. That's what I have a problem with... the racket industry is sending the wrong message in regards to what players should start with. I know, you know, we all know there are rackets which run the gamut from light to heavy, head heavy to head light, etc. I simply think that we have it backwards in regards to what we start players out with, when they are developing feel. *shrug*


The Microgel Radical may only be 11 ounces, but it is head light, and is low-powered and flexy. You don't have to be a body builder to handle a 12 ounce racket, though. I used a 12+ ounce wood racket as a young kid. No one told me it was heavy, so I never thought it was. I do remember how sweet the racket felt at impact, and I fell in love with the feel of the game. If I had gone out there with the frames that are currently pushed on beginners, I don't believe I would have had the same experience. So yea, you might find something in the middle like a Radical, but that's marketed here as "a solid choice for 4.5+ level players." A beginner, following the retailer's advice would steer away from that frame, and go for the KOne which is supposedly "a must demo for beginning to intermediate level players as well as stronger players seeking some controllable power." You see, the marketing and retailing is ill, and needs to be re-thunk.

Exactly...which means that it's very playable and comfortable for a wide range of players...even beginners. A K 90 is NOT.
I do agree that in an ideal world...when everything clicks ... when you are in the perfect position ... etc etc ... nothing feels like a 12.5 - 13 oz flexy frame when you hit that ball in the sweet spot. HOWEVER that happens once every 150 shots for a beginner...which is simply not often enough to be a good reason to use such a racket. Beginners and intermediate players need to be able to bring repeatability into their games...they need to be able to hit the same shot 10 times in a row in order for their so called "muscle memory" to kick in during match play. No beginner in this world regardless of size and physical shape is "best served" by a K 90 when trying to hit the same backhand 10 times in a row.
I know you don't have to be a body builder to use 12-13 oz frames with 330 SW's, but one needs good body mechanics and a reasonable fitness level in order to do so effectively and REPEATEDLY. I use a Tour 10 Gen 1 which is over 340 grams and close to 330 in SW...so you're preaching to the choir when saying that "generally" or "theoretically" more mass/swing weight is better for one's tennis game...but I have been playing for years, am 28 years old, 1.83 m and around 73-74 kg's and can run all day (still). I play tennis in the summer 5 times a week for more than 2 hours / session, and the other 2 days in the week I usually play football (soccer ... as you call it) for another 2 hours. Even so, due to my mechanics still not being as good as they should be, when playing against consistent hard hitters on clay (where rallies are longer than usual) I get tired regularly in the 3rd set....and it even happens that the tiredness causes me to lose the match in the 3rd set...which means I am still probably using a racket that is too demanding for my current level (even though I play as often as my time constraints allow...not being married or having children...and hence being able to play OFTEN at a reasonably high level). I hope you see where I'm going with this...I'm not saying that one should use a gamma big bubba (or whatever the name is), but I don't think ANY beginner in this world can tell me that a LM Instinct or Pure Drive is "too powerful" for their games. They hit the ball out of the court because they don't have the technique...not because the racket is too powerful. The beginner that buys a Pure Drive, hits a few balls out...reads the tennis warehouse forum, and decides based on the feedback received that the Pure Drive is "too powerful" so he should switch to a K 90 strung with Luxilon @ 65 pounds for "more control" isn't best served by this switch ... and is IMO an idiot.
I HATE the Pure Drive...but I would still recommend it wholeheartedly to a beginner/intermediate instead of a LM Prestige Mid.

anirut
05-14-2008, 06:49 AM
....

Guys, I haven't read all the posts ... but what I want to share is:

That's why I and a couple of other people are starting a "Wood Clinic" here in BKK. We want kids to know the classical basics, no just stand bashing topspins from the baseline.

Many of the kids I've seen are good, rallying for minutes and minutes, holding extreme western and putting topspin. But once they are handed a woodie to try, their strokes died, just died.

Yes, topspin will help you keep the ball "in play", but why not learn the proper classical basics of driving the ball with good follow through? Once the classical basic is learnt (no need to master it) that knowledge can be applied to their more modern strokes and techniques, and add variety to their game.

ClubHoUno
05-14-2008, 06:52 AM
Best post I've ever read on this forum - BAR NONE !!!!!!!

jmverdugo
05-14-2008, 07:04 AM
....

Guys, I haven't read all the posts ... but what I want to share is:

That's why I and a couple of other people are starting a "Wood Clinic" here in BKK. We want kids to know the classical basics, no just stand bashing topspins from the baseline.

Many of the kids I've seen are good, rallying for minutes and minutes, holding extreme western and putting topspin. But once they are handed a woodie to try, their strokes died, just died.

Yes, topspin will help you keep the ball "in play", but why not learn the proper classical basics of driving the ball with good follow through? Once the classical basic is learnt (no need to master it) that knowledge can be applied to their more modern strokes and techniques, and add variety to their game.

But what is the point to teach them to use a wood racket and classic strokes if their are doing fine with modern rackets and modern strokes? It is not like they are going to have to suddenly change to use wood rackets... JMO, I just not see the point.

0d1n
05-14-2008, 07:19 AM
....

Guys, I haven't read all the posts ... but what I want to share is:

That's why I and a couple of other people are starting a "Wood Clinic" here in BKK. We want kids to know the classical basics, no just stand bashing topspins from the baseline.

Many of the kids I've seen are good, rallying for minutes and minutes, holding extreme western and putting topspin. But once they are handed a woodie to try, their strokes died, just died.

Yes, topspin will help you keep the ball "in play", but why not learn the proper classical basics of driving the ball with good follow through? Once the classical basic is learnt (no need to master it) that knowledge can be applied to their more modern strokes and techniques, and add variety to their game.

Learning some "classic technique" is fine by me. Using some wood racquets for a couple of weeks can be a great bit of fun also. It makes you think about your game and options...and that's always a good thing. You perhaps learn that a good follow through can be just as effective (or more) in putting pace on a ball as taking huge swings at that same ball.
However, what you're talking about is a "temporary" thing and is fine by me. The op is talking about making a particular so called "players racquet" a beginner's MAIN weapon, and that recommendation is IMO wrong and can hurt a player's development just as much as using an extremely light oversize frame which is why I would say..."for adult beginners go with an Instinct/Radical/300 series spec and you can't go wrong". After a couple of years of playing one will develop his strokes and will try some different rackets and decide if that particular instinct/radical/ag300 suits him and/or his taste. By that time he will probably also be able to make an INFORMED decision since he's not a complete beginner anymore. He can choose to stay withing those specs...and work on his game...and if he ever gets to play at a really advanced level add weight to it "for stability against heavy hitting" (this "line" is oh SOOOO overused on this forum)...or change racquets to a Prestige/Tour 10/Pro Staff/T-Fight/200 series/Pro no 1 series...and so on type of racquet.

furyballs
05-14-2008, 07:21 AM
I gave my 9 yr old a junior racquet and he developed some bad habits with his wrist. He tried some frames I had in my bag and really liked a player stick weighted to 12.6 oz. I was able to correct the wrist problem in one session.

I think that when a beginner goes to purchase a frame, they are overwhelmed with such a huge selection of which to choose. After doing a little research they will find that racquets are classified from beginner thru to advanced. Naturally they are going to choose a beginner frame especially if it's a parent shopping for their kid.

also I think that most teaching pro's and sales people will push certain types of frames the same way doctor's will push certain types of drugs. The one's the manufacture rep's push on them.

anirut
05-14-2008, 07:22 AM
But what is the point to teach them to use a wood racket and classic strokes if their are doing fine with modern rackets and modern strokes? It is not like they are going to have to suddenly change to use wood rackets... JMO, I just not see the point.

I'll put it this way:

Are you a musician? Or play musical instruments?

If so, you'd understand the value of classical music training. I can play piano and guitar, but I've not had any formal music education. And I regret that.

My brother, on the other hand, is a very fluid classical pianist. When he comes home for some booze and when alchohol has gotten the better of him, he'd play Thai classical music on the piano and changing the moods to blues and jazz and rock and roll -- just like a medley -- flowing from one mood to another just like that.

Now, that'd give you a better picture of the value of classical training.

timokabo
05-14-2008, 07:32 AM
I totaly agree with op. I am only 20 but i learned how to play on jack kramer woddie when i was a kid. After a few years of that I went with the srd tour 90 and ever since i make sure all my frames i use are at least 11.5 oz. I cant wait untill next week when i take my donnay pro ones for a drive. also if a player nowdays is not comfortable swinging a mid id recomend a pog os or any other great players os from yesteryear

urbo73
05-14-2008, 07:34 AM
I think Jollyroger said it best in the thread I posted, quoted here:

"I just like that 11-11.5 oz, 98-100", 315-325SW, range for a ton of players."

"To me that is a great spec range, suits a really really broad cross section of players, something you can learn to play with from the beginning and stick with up to 5.0+"

And after more thinking and reading, I have to agree. I just do not see how this range of racquets will hinder correct learning. And I DO see how heavier racquets with a heavier swingweights MAY hinder learning by forcing one to use incorrect strokes just to get the ball in. It's just logical and this range is anything BUT extreme. As our Romanian friend Od1n agreed to as well (BTW I'm originally from Bucharest - moved to US when I was 9).

So that being said, here are the demo racquets I'm looking at:

1. Wilson K-95 Team - 11oz, 325SW, 95", 18x20
2. Wilson K Pro Tour - 11.6oz, 300SW, 96", 16x20
3. Wilson K Blade 98 - 11.3oz, 325SW, 98", 18x20
4. Wilson K Pro Open - 11.1oz, 306SW, 100", 16x19

Now since I'm a 2.5+, I won't be able to really tell this or that. But I'm going to hit with a 5+ player this week and have him run me around to see. Right now I CAN handle the K-90 for hours w/o ANY pain. But that's playing with 2.5-3 players - which is easy. I thought because I had no pain and could handle the K-90, no big deal right? Wrong. I'm just inconsistent in my strokes because I'm late or swing short many times. Sometimes they are great, and sometimes totally off. And it's because I'm learning that my swings are not fast enough, prepared enough, late, etc. And that IS due to my not being able to handle the racquet, even if I have ZERO pain. See?

Anyhow, if any of those 4 stick out as BAD racquets (for whatever reason), please let me know ASAP. I'm not talking about minute preferences. Just something you see that should be off the list. Please let me know as I'm getting started tomorrow and state the reason. I'm sticking with Wilson (though I know the Head, Dunlop, Yonex, etc. have equally good racuqets), simply because I can get good prices on Wilsons through a friend and I like their grip the best.

urbo73
05-14-2008, 07:36 AM
I'll put it this way:

Are you a musician? Or play musical instruments?

If so, you'd understand the value of classical music training. I can play piano and guitar, but I've not had any formal music education. And I regret that.

My brother, on the other hand, is a very fluid classical pianist. When he comes home for some booze and when alchohol has gotten the better of him, he'd play Thai classical music on the piano and changing the moods to blues and jazz and rock and roll -- just like a medley -- flowing from one mood to another just like that.

Now, that'd give you a better picture of the value of classical training.

I played classical guitar for many years. Don't get me started there. I took lessons and all that. And I learned that the pro guitars are NOT what you want to get started with. Believe me...

anirut
05-14-2008, 07:48 AM
I played classical guitar for many years. Don't get me started there. I took lessons and all that. And I learned that the pro guitars are NOT what you want to get started with. Believe me...

I ain't talkin' about pro equipment. I'm talking about "some" classical training.

jmverdugo
05-14-2008, 07:52 AM
I'll put it this way:

Are you a musician? Or play musical instruments?

If so, you'd understand the value of classical music training. I can play piano and guitar, but I've not had any formal music education. And I regret that.

My brother, on the other hand, is a very fluid classical pianist. When he comes home for some booze and when alchohol has gotten the better of him, he'd play Thai classical music on the piano and changing the moods to blues and jazz and rock and roll -- just like a medley -- flowing from one mood to another just like that.

Now, that'd give you a better picture of the value of classical training.

Funny thing, I play guitar, I first learned on my own, then when to a classic academy for a couple of year and ended up playing electric bass on a rock band and later the big wood stand bass (I do not know its name on english) on a jazz band.

The way i see it, teaching them to play with wood rackets may provide them with a new tool, however the technique of swinging thru the ball can be teached with modern rackets too, and frankly i think most instructors do it.

IMO you experiment will be a lot of fun, but you should teach them to use the tools that they will be using in the court on match day. JMO.

sureshs
05-14-2008, 07:59 AM
Why not remove calculators and computers from education so that students can get a classical education? Why not make all cars with manual transmissions so that everyone can learn classical driving?

Most pros today never learnt with wood racquets, but their technique is sound. Why should anyone become proficient with obsolete equipment when the world has moved on? What is the point with having skills which don't apply, unless it is for a hobby, which upcoming juniors don't have time for? Every generation has limited time, money and energy, and they like to maximize their chances of success in their life. My parents wrote long letters with beautiful handwriting, but I type on a keyboard. Frankly, calligraphy skills are not important to me.

anirut
05-14-2008, 08:06 AM
Why not remove calculators and computers from education so that students can get a classical education? Why not make all cars with manual transmissions so that everyone can learn classical driving?


This just reminded me of a sarcastic joke.

... just forget it.

FaultsNAces
05-14-2008, 08:36 AM
....
Many of the kids I've seen are good, rallying for minutes and minutes, holding extreme western and putting topspin. But once they are handed a woodie to try, their strokes died, just died.

Yes, topspin will help you keep the ball "in play", but why not learn the proper classical basics of driving the ball with good follow through? Once the classical basic is learnt (no need to master it) that knowledge can be applied to their more modern strokes and techniques, and add variety to their game.

This is a really interesting thread, but I think the rackets are only one piece of the equation:

I have recently watched some teaching programs in my area (lower CT, USA), and univerasally, at all levels/ages (tots to adults, beginner to intermediate), the programs use a results approach: get the ball (regulation, even for the tots!) over the net (full size!) into the court -- the deeper the better -- and you get an accolade. No focus on good mechanics, no time on detailing correct stroking, and little to no discussion of left-right placement, etc. The instructors tell me this is the modern approach, every student finding their own 'style', generating/inventing a stroke most uniquely appropriate to themselves that will get them playing the game sooner. (I kid you not.)

Now obviously I have not seen all development programs, or even most, and it's always dangerous to draw large conclusions from small samples (hey, I'm in financial statistics professionally), but to me, this exemplifies everything wrong with American tennis today: focusing on immediate term get-them-playing results encourages the use of big, lightweight, powerful rackets along with poor mechanics -- the ultimate result being a casual player that may be able to play recreationally at 3.0-3.5, but one who will find it extremely difficult to progress. Un-learning is far more difficult than learning! And without a focus on mechanics and placement, I think it is very, very difficult to understand the higher-level aspects of the game such as shot selection and positioning on court -- without which, even watching pro tennis must be like watching an opera in a foreign language: pretty and entertaining and obviously challenging, but no comprehension of what's really going on.

Perhaps I'm biased as I learned tennis the old-school way in a well-known rigidly-structured setting on LI, and have had a series of old-school coaches (that I have deliberately selected on this basis), but to me, even though I have a long way to go, I feel I have a decent mechanics foundation which I am very thankful for. Then again, had I had more focus on playing the game than on developing a foundation, I might have stuck with tennis and kept playing instead of dropping it...!

But deeper, this problem of immediate results versus developing a foundation is a problem that pervades modern life: everyone today wants themselves and their kids to have myriad skills, tallents, and experiences without wanting to pay the time cost of developing deep foundations in all of these. And who's to say this isn't right: in my area, it's more important to be able to play at a base competence at the country club, than to have the foundations to get into a D1 scholarship program, or, heaven forbid, succeed on the Tour....

urbo73
05-14-2008, 09:35 AM
True, racquets are one piece of the equation. But they are a piece. I see it as three indepenedent pieces that must fit together. People focus on one more than the other it seems:

1. Proper racquet (see my last post with the range in bold - i.e. no extremes).

2. Proper instruction.

3. Patience and the willingness/effort put in to learn by the student.

Now these ARE independent but at the same time they must work together. This thread is about choosing the proper racquet. However, you also need to find the proper instructor, and have the proper amount of patience and put in the required effort to improve.

That being said, it's becoming harder and harder to figure out 1 & 2. 3 is up to the individual. But choosing a racquet is made way too complicated, in part due to marketing, in part due to people showing their own preferences/biases, etc. That's why the range I quoted is sound advice in my opinion. Everyone should look at that. And pick something from it. Brand names don't matter. Then work on finding a proper instructor and not take the easy way out.

For myself, having narrowed down my choices, I'm ready to just demo them as I said and then stick with one for a long time. I'm now in the process of talking to instructors at my club to see how each one thinks and what their process is.

FaultsNAces
05-14-2008, 10:41 AM
Why not remove calculators and computers from education so that students can get a classical education? Why not make all cars with manual transmissions so that everyone can learn classical driving?


Wow, two subjects I can speak to directly:

Calculators: definitely, it is pathetic and sad that slide rules have disappeared from education. Perhaps not for everyone, but for engineers and math people, learning to use a slide rule provides a unique and hugely beneficial insight into how numbers and math work. You can't understand this unless you do it; in my case, I learned slide rules out of curiousity and it was an amazing revelation. Calculators shouldn't be banned from education; there's a place for them of course -- but the classic tools, including slide rules and long math belong in the curriculum, too. (I'm a quant.)

Manual transmissions: if you drive seriously, as in on a race track, you need to learn with a manual transmission. After you have mastered a manual, and preferably a crash box (= no syncros), then and only then will you have the tools you need to get around the track fast in an automatic. (I've spent a lot of time on track in a variety of Porsches and Audis.)

In both of these cases, as in tennis, there are people at high levels of these activities who learned exclusively with the modern tools. But using the classic tools, which are definitely more challenging as they remove certain convenience attributes, leads to a different and deeper learning, and I believe that most people would actually learn foundations quicker following the evolutionary path. Of course, the tools and the instruction go together -- the instruction needs to be tailored to the tools and vice-versa....

sureshs
05-14-2008, 12:18 PM
Wow, two subjects I can speak to directly:

Calculators: definitely, it is pathetic and sad that slide rules have disappeared from education. Perhaps not for everyone, but for engineers and math people, learning to use a slide rule provides a unique and hugely beneficial insight into how numbers and math work. You can't understand this unless you do it; in my case, I learned slide rules out of curiousity and it was an amazing revelation. Calculators shouldn't be banned from education; there's a place for them of course -- but the classic tools, including slide rules and long math belong in the curriculum, too. (I'm a quant.)

Manual transmissions: if you drive seriously, as in on a race track, you need to learn with a manual transmission. After you have mastered a manual, and preferably a crash box (= no syncros), then and only then will you have the tools you need to get around the track fast in an automatic. (I've spent a lot of time on track in a variety of Porsches and Audis.)

In both of these cases, as in tennis, there are people at high levels of these activities who learned exclusively with the modern tools. But using the classic tools, which are definitely more challenging as they remove certain convenience attributes, leads to a different and deeper learning, and I believe that most people would actually learn foundations quicker following the evolutionary path. Of course, the tools and the instruction go together -- the instruction needs to be tailored to the tools and vice-versa....

I don't feel sad about slide rules at all. Why not go back to the abacus? It is still used in China. Using slide rules does not deepen mathematical knowledge, or if it does, the extra insight is not useful for anything. Today's mathematicians and physicists are as good as yesterday's, and if they are not, it is not for you or me to comment on it. If I hear a famous old mathematician say that younger mathematicians are no good because they don't use slide rules, then I will believe it. I don't want to hear such stuff from lay people who just make blanket statements like "they don't make them like that anymore."

I knew the manual transmission of race cars would come up. The analogy would be valid if recreational players used graphite racquets and pros used wood racquets to play amazingly well. Since that is not the case, the sports car analogy just doesn't hold water. Nor the case of pro baseball players playing with wooden bats. Pro tennis players don't use wooden racquets even though the rules allow it. Heck, Laver uses a Babolat for his exhibition matches now - it is only old 3.5 players on this board who whine about graphite. The reason race cars have 11 manual shift gears is because it gives fine control over the machine at high speeds, which automatic transmissions don't. Wood racquets however don't make pro players capable of beating other pros who use graphite.

Fumoffu
05-14-2008, 12:27 PM
depends on how serious this beginner wants to become with tennis. if he honestly wants to play, yeah you'd be right. if he's just doing it a weekend now and then, who cares

FaultsNAces
05-14-2008, 09:58 PM
I don't feel sad about slide rules at all. Why not go back to the abacus? It is still used in China. Using slide rules does not deepen mathematical knowledge, or if it does, the extra insight is not useful for anything. Today's mathematicians and physicists are as good as yesterday's, and if they are not, it is not for you or me to comment on it. If I hear a famous old mathematician say that younger mathematicians are no good because they don't use slide rules, then I will believe it. I don't want to hear such stuff from lay people who just make blanket statements like "they don't make them like that anymore."
Well, I'm neither a mathematician nor a physicist, but I'm not exactly a lay person, either: I'm a quant, and I run the Analytics division of my company. And I can tell you the extra insight gained from learning to use a slide rule is huge. Using two sliding sticks to multiply, divide, and work trig problems gives real insight that can't be gained through just doing the math with pen and paper, let alone by calculator. And using a slide rule leads to intuition to know the size of the number you are expecting from the computer/calculator, avoiding problems with blind trust. I don't pine for the old times at all, not having been around for them! If you have even a passing interest in math, you should have someone show you how slide rules work; I bet you will learn something.


I knew the manual transmission of race cars would come up. The analogy would be valid if recreational players used graphite racquets and pros used wood racquets to play amazingly well. Since that is not the case, the sports car analogy just doesn't hold water. Nor the case of pro baseball players playing with wooden bats. Pro tennis players don't use wooden racquets even though the rules allow it. Heck, Laver uses a Babolat for his exhibition matches now - it is only old 3.5 players on this board who whine about graphite. The reason race cars have 11 manual shift gears is because it gives fine control over the machine at high speeds, which automatic transmissions don't. Wood racquets however don't make pro players capable of beating other pros who use graphite.

When I said automatic, I meant paddle-shifted boxes -- even though these now shift better and faster than any human can with a crash box, new drivers always learn the old-school way. It's not the number of gears or the fine control; the thing that has to be learned is the timing and the behavior of the car with shifting; far, far easier to learn this with the old technology. And yes, the old technology is way harder to use, way less tollerant of errors of timing. Just like with tennis, crash boxes are legal for F1, but it would be silly to use one there, and yet all the drivers learned with them.... It's an excellent analogy; the only deficiency is that modern tennis players don't bother learning the old-school technology.

superstition
05-14-2008, 10:13 PM
I am giving lessons right now and I've determined that the best starter racquet for the man I'm teaching is a Wilson Ultra 2 standard strung with 17 gauge NRG-2. It's a stiff graphite with the wood racquet head size. The grip is also 5/8 with an overgrip. Even more than the small head, the bigger grip stabilized his strokes. The small head, though, encourages him to hit correctly and helps him to keep poorly hit shots in the court.

I've been arguing that beginners should start with small-headed heavy racquets for years, and I've been seeing this in practice lately.

urbo73
05-14-2008, 10:40 PM
What is the man's profile, aspirations, etc., and would you use that racquet on all students? If no, why not?

urbo73
05-14-2008, 10:43 PM
BTW, a correct stroke is a correct stroke. It's body motion. You can do it w/o a racquet even. Headsize/weight seem to matter only for power/control - something you develop later. And unless you play people at your level that use old racquets (or new small/heavy ones), you'll progress slower this way. Because most people will simply overpower you. It's how the game is - good or bad.

jmverdugo
05-15-2008, 04:27 AM
I am giving lessons right now and I've determined that the best starter racquet for the man I'm teaching is a Wilson Ultra 2 standard strung with 17 gauge NRG-2. It's a stiff graphite with the wood racquet head size. The grip is also 5/8 with an overgrip. Even more than the small head, the bigger grip stabilized his strokes. The small head, though, encourages him to hit correctly and helps him to keep poorly hit shots in the court.

I've been arguing that beginners should start with small-headed heavy racquets for years, and I've been seeing this in practice lately.

Maybe that would be a good racket for him to start if you teach him classic strokes, an even doing that i really think that he will have to change to a lighter racket because he will start to feel some discomfort in his arms and shoulders.

BTW unless you are going to sell him that racket he is going to have a hard time to find one and in the end he will have an old racket and a pain in the arm.

I really do not see the problem on teaching with lighter rackets, the guy who teaches small kids in a tennis academy around here, uses the half of a broom stick to teach them the movement, they are supposed to do the same movement with whatever they are using and he is supposed to be there to make sure of it.

pr0n8r
05-15-2008, 06:10 AM
If you find yourself suggesting that beginners should start with a middle of the road frame around 11 ounces... "Self, OP is wrong... beginners should start with a head light frame around 11 ounces, and say a 315 swing weight" be aware you are agreeing with my larger point.

You can hold up a player-tweener, and say "NoNoNo Ohh Pee, not that... THIS!" all day long. That's only ONE OUNCE off of what a pure player's racket is. Most of those frames are right up there in the swing weight department too. You're splitting hairs.

My larger point is what? The frames that are MARKETED to beginners are super-light, super powerful, head heavy BEASTS. RAWR! The racket industry and the tennis paraphernalia retailers are sending the wrong message to beginners.

An example:

Someone brought up the MG Radical. It's 11 ounces, flexible (57), and head light. I'd say player-tweener. This racket is marketed as "A solid choice for 4.5+ level players." Four point five level! Any beginner with a reasonable amount of faith in the message being sent from the retailers and manufacturers would stay far, far away from this racket.

What would they go with? Why, the Head Metallix 10, of course. It's 9.4 ounces, stiff, and has a 124 sq. in. head. It's marketed as "Best suited from beginner to 3.5 level players."

So, sure, if you really want it, really really want it... I'll give you an ounce. I'll give you 10 swing weight points. These "in the middle" frames you're holding up are almost at the pure player frame level. It's obvious, though, by virtue of your recommendations, that you still agree with me that the racket industry and retailers are sending the wrong message to beginners. This newfangled idea that frames are progressive from beginner (KOne) to advanced (K90) is crazytalk.

Welcome aboard, scallywagers.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m241/cmanfsu/pirate.jpg
* Excessive formatting provided for your early Thurday morning viewing pleasure.

urbo73
05-15-2008, 08:30 AM
Yes, we agree, but you seem bent on one extreme saying - it's so close, why not? Why not add 1oz more, etc.? Why not play 90" instead of 100"?

Well, I'll tell you, and I'll say what I said before (which came from Jollyroger):

"I just like that 11-11.5 oz, 98-100", 315-325SW, range for a ton of players."

"To me that is a great spec range, suits a really really broad cross section of players, something you can learn to play with from the beginning and stick with up to 5.0+"

Now that just made a lot of sense to me.

I'm 35, fit, can handle even a 13oz racquet. I don't get arm pain. But you know what happens? I'm having to re-learn bad habits in my mechanics/fundamentals (fh, bh, etc.) because I never had any instruction when I was young and I learned to play my own way - which is not correct. So I'm re-learning correct strokes. And it's in slow motion at first. And with the K-90, I'm missing more and being more inconsistent. With the K Pro Open or Babolat PD, I'm very consistent. And the important thing is that I AM consistent now as I build muscle memory again. Same would be the case for a total beginner w/o any bad habits. To get a proper stroke down, you have to repeat it over and over and over and over.. And you need to be consistent with it. And it's harder with the K-90 because of the 90", because it's harder to hit correct topspin, etc. Why? Because it requires a FAST swing. Due to weight. So it's not that weight is hurting my arm, because it's not at all, but you need to look at more than that. You need to look at how weight, particularly swingweight, affect a beginner's consistency. I've been playing with the K-90 for 2 weeks now and while I could slam in some serves and winners, it was hit or miss. With the K Pro Open I tried last night, it was a LOT more consistent. And it wasn't doing anything bad to me. That's they key. Was it hurting my technique in any way for down the road? Absolutely not! How could it? Do you see what I'm saying? I don't know enough to know why I was more consistent, but I was. So it must be something.

Now, I do agree that marketing is BS. That's the definition, no? ;) Like I said, no extremes are good. And I also agree that ratings like "this racquet is for 4.5 players is BS too - just meant to sell other racquets). It's a business. I don't think anyone would disagree with the above comments.

But, I do believe, and now have experienced it first hand, that there IS such a thing as a less demanding racquet, and that a K-90 is just not suitable for most starting out. For many reasons. Ones I may just feel and cannot explain. Again, it's not just about weight and pain. And in saying that, I believe that that range is very good. And if you can stay with a racquet in that range and get to a 5.0, what's the problem later? What has happened that was bad in any way? Are you a "lesser" player? C'mon! Was Agassi a lesser player for using 100+"? See?

sureshs
05-15-2008, 08:53 AM
Well, I'm neither a mathematician nor a physicist, but I'm not exactly a lay person, either: I'm a quant, and I run the Analytics division of my company. And I can tell you the extra insight gained from learning to use a slide rule is huge.

My friend is a financial mathematician in one of the world's most successful hedge-fund companies, and neither he nor his CEO, a former mathematics professor, use slide rules.

I am pretty sure, though I cannot prove it, that if you take a poll of faculty members in Math departments, you will find hardly anyone using a slide rule. In fact, the physicists I used to know don't even do calculus derivations by hand any more - they use Mathematica or Maple.

FaultsNAces
05-15-2008, 09:37 AM
My friend is a financial mathematician in one of the world's most successful hedge-fund companies, and neither he nor his CEO, a former mathematics professor, use slide rules.

I am pretty sure, though I cannot prove it, that if you take a poll of faculty members in Math departments, you will find hardly anyone using a slide rule. In fact, the physicists I used to know don't even do calculus derivations by hand any more - they use Mathematica or Maple.

Sounds like your friend has the same sort of job I do. And I didn't say we actively use slide rules! Rather, it is beneficial to learn to use one, as you learn, or rather intuit, a lot through the learning and using process. The things you learn carry well beyond using the slide rule; they are beneficial when using calculators and computers. I require the quants who work for me to learn to use a slide rule (we have fun with this), and I have been told by several (Ivy league math degrees, all) that it has been a very valuable experience.

And yes, we use Mathematica (prefer to Maple) and Matlab, etc.....

So my point is that just as with tennis, it would be pointless to use the old technology in the current environment, though learning the old technology is very beneficial in ways that carry beyond the technology. Of course, this sort of learning is also generally only important to those people who take these subjects seriously; it's not necessarily appropriate for causal users....

jmverdugo
05-15-2008, 09:50 AM
This discussion, has been around on this boards for a long time, this is not new, everytime one kid or adult that is begining to play go out a buy a player´s racket because he is convinced that it will be best for him in the long run, three months later ( sometimes a year!) you see the rackets on the sale section. If you go to any tennis academy you will see most of the kids playing with light to medium rackets, doing just fine, then you will see the kid that bought the marketing and is using Federer racket strugling to swing the racket. This is the reality.

anirut
05-15-2008, 10:52 AM
I think that a beginner can certainly learn with a "player's" racket.

If and only if the TP, or coach or whoever's teaching, teach and drill them really hard the absolute importance of "footwork".

Without good footwork you just can't get into position, and the result is a junk ball. And junk balls are easily played with "beginners'" rackets.

If only they are taught proper footwork they'll have no problem handling any racket, as they can get into position and play the ball "properly".

Footwork, IMO, is a key "stroke" in tennis.

Joe D
05-15-2008, 04:26 PM
I agree wirh you to a point.I sterted playing with a very light trampoline wilson.all it did was make me a pusher.I took lessons and still pushed.finally someone handed me a head ti radical.and after a couple mos my game really started to consist of real strokes and full swings.

drakulie
05-15-2008, 08:53 PM
If you go to any tennis academy you will see most of the kids playing with light to medium rackets, doing just fine, then you will see the kid that bought the marketing and is using Federer racket strugling to swing the racket. This is the reality.

Hey JM, hope all is well.

In relation to what you just posted, I could say this is not thbe case at the Solomon institute, or many of the young up and coming juniors I see at the club where I live. It is quite the opposite. I see a lot of the kids using the K90, Prestige Mid FlexPoint, Wilson K-Blade, and Prince Tour, and some Yonex Mids.

Bobby Rigg's grandson, who plays at the club and is a top junior is one of the kids using the k-Blade. I believe he is 14.

jmverdugo
05-16-2008, 04:42 AM
Hey JM, hope all is well.

In relation to what you just posted, I could say this is not thbe case at the Solomon institute, or many of the young up and coming juniors I see at the club where I live. It is quite the opposite. I see a lot of the kids using the K90, Prestige Mid FlexPoint, Wilson K-Blade, and Prince Tour, and some Yonex Mids.

Bobby Rigg's grandson, who plays at the club and is a top junior is one of the kids using the k-Blade. I believe he is 14.

Hi Drak, all fine around here, I probably will be visiting you guys sometime around Octuber.

On my post I was talking about begginers kids, I do not see anything wrong about advanced kid using advanced players, that is actually my point. The other day the 14 - 16 Nationals were held here in my city, kids were using mostly Babolat, Prince and TF, the rackets they were using were, mostly, the one marketed as players rackets, the storms, TF 305-320, Prince tours, etc.

pr0n8r
05-16-2008, 05:53 AM
@urbo73

Wilson markets three categories of rackets: "Game Improvement", "All-Around" and "Player Frames." The KPro Open is in the "Player Frames" category. Retailers and teaching pro's eat up this information, and pass it along to aspiring players. Wilson is sending a message to retailers, who pass it along to customers that a beginner shouldn't use the KPro Open, as it's a "Player Frame." Regardless, I'm happy to hear that the KPro Open is working out better for you than the K90 did.

One trend that seems to have come along with all of the marketing misinformation in the racket industry is the tendency to blame the racket. If you're late, try swinging earlier. If you're hitting too short, aim higher. I think a beginner could use the K90 or KPro Open and find success.

urbo73
05-16-2008, 08:19 AM
I agree with the over-marketing. But that's business. That being said, if you look at the Wilson "Player Frames", it's pretty straightforward. There are 9 racquets total with 3 in 3 groups - the "red/whites", the "black/oranges", and the "black/lime". And in each group, the first one is the smallest/heaviest, the middle one "mid", and the third the largest/lightest. And it's consistent.

K-90, K.6.1.95, K.6.1.Team

K Blade Tour, K Blade 98, K Blade Team

K Pro Tour, K Pro Open, K Surge

So the thing to do is to go ahead and try the K-90, K Blade Tour, and K Pro Tour. Play for a while and see if after 2 hours you are still hitting deep and consistently. If not, then go down one tier and compare the K.6.1.95, K Blade 98, & K Pro Open. After 2 hours (do this on a different day so you are fresh), are you less tired and more consistent? If you do this methodically, it shouldn't be that difficult to find the racquet for your level.

So it takes some time and planning, but it's not that hard. The problem I had was all the different brands, so I just stuck with Wilson. Differences among brands will not be very significant at each entry point, since they copy each other in specs, etc.

But anyway, it's easy to say "if you're late, try swinging earlier", etc. That is obvious. But if you get tired or whatever, then you won't be able to. So I can't say a beginner can use a K-90. Some may be able to and some may not at all.

urbo73
05-16-2008, 08:29 AM
And of course this can be done with any brand, or even in-between brands once you know your "racquet level". Say I like the K Pro Open. Then I can (if I want to) go also try the similar spec'd Babolat PD, or Head Radical MP, etc.

I think make there should be a guide/sticky post for beginners. The thing is to basically ignore ratings that say 4+ player for this racquet, etc. and cut through the marketing stuff. Make it simple as I did above for Wilson. Same can be done for Head, Babolat, Prince, etc. List their tiers, which to try from each, and then which are similar from other manufacturers. It will make things a LOT simpler, because things ARE usually simple.

sureshs
05-16-2008, 10:34 AM
Sounds like your friend has the same sort of job I do.

If that is the case, you are filthy rich and shouldn't be posting here :-)

His CEO earned 2.8 billion (yes, billion) last year.

FaultsNAces
05-16-2008, 10:54 AM
If that is the case, you are filthy rich and shouldn't be posting here :-)

His CEO earned 2.8 billion (yes, billion) last year.

Well, we're quite a bit smaller than Renaissance, and we're primarily in structured finance, not algo trading..... ;-)

spkyEngrish
05-18-2008, 07:41 AM
I applaud the whole concept of playing up to your equipment (i.e. working on the player), but recognize that this is unrealistic in some cases. IMO, a good portion of beginners wants to see relatively fast improvement, so that they can start playing real games and having fun. I think a player's frame is going to drastically hamper this process, because the player HAS to learn proper swing mechanics in order to consistently play with a flexible, 90sq in head and 320+ sw racquet.

You also assume that "beginner" equates with 12 year old phenom and unlimited potential. Let's not forget the 50+ year old newcomer (way more common in my neck of the woods) with assorted physical limitations that, in most cases, will NEVER develop a full swing, exceptional hand/eye coordination, or fast racquet head speed.

Also, can you really convince most beginners that participating in a shank-a-thon every time they step on a court is "better" bc it will develop their long-term mechanics? And can you do it when every other Dick and Jane in their class or club are bashing effortlessly away in the next court with their oversize, light, powerful racquets?:confused:

JavierLW
05-18-2008, 12:27 PM
OMG the G.O.A.T! =P

All due respect of course; that's a lot of posts. But, I think the right racket for the beginner's skillset is the one that offsets what they struggle with the most while contributing to their development. Beginners struggle with keeping the ball in the court, and are prone to feeling discomfort due to mishits and bad technique. The extra mass and the balance of a player's racket is perfect for them, since it's more arm-friendly, and helps with control.

New players will very quickly adapt to whatever you put in their hands. There's something special about a racket that's about 12 ounces in regards to how it handles the impact of the tennis ball, and a head-light balance is easier on the body. I don't buy in to the notion that a player's racket will impede a beginner's progress, rather, it will help. So, I respectfully disagree.

I think you are thinking in far too simplistic of terms.

1) You are right in that the labeling of 9 ounce racquets as "beginner racquets" is basically a misconception and a marketing gimmick. Tons of people would agree with that, and if you stuck to that argument I would definately agree with you.

Most of these racquets probally are not all that great for anyone except your recreational player who just goes out to play occasionally to hit the ball around.

2) You seem to disagree that there is a drawback to using "too heavy" of a racquet. You are wrong. There are injury issues with using too heavy of a racquet just like the light racquets. Mainly shoulder pain which stems from poor technique and using too much shoulder and arm because you do not use your body weight and trunk rotation.

Heavy racquets are not magically going to make a beginner play better, there are plenty of players with strong arms who can go out and swing a 12 ounce racquet pretty well for awhile until they screw up their shoulder. (sort of like the legions of little league baseball pitchers who blow their shoulder out in High School because they dont have good technique)

A heavier racquet makes the player NEED to swing faster which is not always a good thing. To someone with talent and who has good form already it sounds great (because they realize the simple idea that better players hit the ball harder), but in reality for most of us it's more important to learn how to hit the ball SMOOTHLY rather than quickly otherwise you see a bunch of people with really fast jerky strokes that lead to inconsistancy.

That also leads to shoulder pain like I said above.

And you cant say "that's only a one ounce difference from a "tweener" racquet, because if you cant admit that one ounce makes a differnece, then your whole argument is blown because most tennis racquets are between 9-12 ounces. (only a 3 ounce difference)

NBMJ is right, players should find the racquet that works right for them considering what they are trying to do. Just handing someone a 9 ounce or a 12 ounce frame just because you have some romantism with it, would be extremely lazy and wrong. (because there are tons of good frames in between)

superstition
05-18-2008, 02:58 PM
I think a player's frame is going to drastically hamper this process, because the player HAS to learn proper swing mechanics in order to consistently play with a flexible, 90sq in head and 320+ sw racquet.
It's the opposite. If a racquet requires nearly proper mechanics in order for balls to be hit at all, it is a huge incentive for the player to develop correct strokes. A 90 sq in racquet is gigantic when compared to racquets beginners once learned with like the T-2000 or a standard wood. The idea that someone can't learn the game with a 90 sq in racquet (considered a "big head" racquet in the early 80s) is really amusing.

The player I'm teaching right now is using a standard size Wilson Ultra II graphite and he's hitting the ball better and with more confidence than he did with a 108 sq in Head. Why? He said the bigger grip is the biggest difference. That's right folks, the grip size makes more of a difference to him than the racquet head size. The racquet head size is playing a positive role in keeping his balls in the court, giving him feedback on shots (which he noted), and getting him to generate his own power. But, his focus on the grip size shows that there are factors other than racquet size and weight that are important to beginners.

One thing people are missing is the transition from the training racquet to a more advanced racquet. In this case the more advanced racquet is a lighter stiffer larger headed racquet. Those racquets ARE more advanced. Do you see any pro winning slams with a super oversize since Seles left the game? Did she even win a slam with one, or one of the older model smaller headed designs? In some ways, lighter stiffer larger headed racquets are more difficult to use. A player with poor mechanics can ruin their elbow quickly with a Pure Drive strung with poly. Beginners have difficulty hitting properly with racquets like the Wilson N1. They use their wrists too much and bunt the balls or hit them over the fence. I've seen stubborn players refuse to take my advice and when they buy feather light racquets and get frustrated because their shots die into the net or fly wildly, I tell them they don't have enough stability because the racquet is too light. If a player wants to develop a more contemporary heavy topspin game, the player will need to transition away from a small headed head light model, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea to start the player with one. I don't think players should start out trying to hit like Nadal. They should start with the basics and using a small headed, heavy, head light racquet will help them with those basics more than a big stiff light racquet will.

Don S
05-18-2008, 04:33 PM
Chances are that in about 70% of all cases, it doesn't matter what racquet a beginner plays with - it will get used a few times and then it's gonna end up in the closet and forgotten.

pr0n8r
05-19-2008, 03:59 PM
I think you are thinking in far too simplistic of terms.

I have an opinion which happens to put me on one end of the spectrum, and I don't really agree with the "middle is better" sentiment. That doesn't mean my thinking is too simplistic, though. It's just different.


1) You are right in that the labeling of 9 ounce racquets as "beginner racquets" is basically a misconception and a marketing gimmick. Tons of people would agree with that, and if you stuck to that argument I would definately agree with you.
Yea, that's the larger point. The industry will have us believe that frames are progressive. You start with a beginner frame and advance to a players frame. It's hogwash.


Most of these racquets probally are not all that great for anyone except your recreational player who just goes out to play occasionally to hit the ball around.
Nah, they aren't even good for them. Like I said before, if you'd be afraid of what the racket will do you your arm, why wish it on someone who is just beginning the game, unless you're trying to scare them away. The size of the court and weight of balls makes these rackets a poor fit for anyone.


2) You seem to disagree that there is a drawback to using "too heavy" of a racquet. You are wrong. There are injury issues with using too heavy of a racquet just like the light racquets. Mainly shoulder pain which stems from poor technique and using too much shoulder and arm because you do not use your body weight and trunk rotation.

Heavy racquets are not magically going to make a beginner play better, there are plenty of players with strong arms who can go out and swing a 12 ounce racquet pretty well for awhile until they screw up their shoulder. (sort of like the legions of little league baseball pitchers who blow their shoulder out in High School because they dont have good technique)

A heavier racquet makes the player NEED to swing faster which is not always a good thing. To someone with talent and who has good form already it sounds great (because they realize the simple idea that better players hit the ball harder), but in reality for most of us it's more important to learn how to hit the ball SMOOTHLY rather than quickly otherwise you see a bunch of people with really fast jerky strokes that lead to inconsistancy.

That also leads to shoulder pain like I said above.

I just don't agree with what you're saying here. Nothing about a heavier racket makes a player need so swing faster. You may have to prepare a little earlier, because you can't just take a fly-swatter type swat at the ball with a decent frame, but if anything a players racket will help the player take a smooth swing.

And you cant say "that's only a one ounce difference from a "tweener" racquet, because if you cant admit that one ounce makes a differnece, then your whole argument is blown because most tennis racquets are between 9-12 ounces. (only a 3 ounce difference)
I agree with you that I overemphasized the insignificance of the weight difference trying to make a point at some... point. A player can adapt to a couple more ounces pretty easily. If you never tell a new player that a 12 ounce racket is heavy, chances are they won't think it's too heavy. Where the weight is very significant is on impact with the ball.

NBMJ is right, players should find the racquet that works right for them considering what they are trying to do. Just handing someone a 9 ounce or a 12 ounce frame just because you have some romantism with it, would be extremely lazy and wrong. (because there are tons of good frames in between)
I don't have any sort of "romantism" with any frames. I'm just getting tired of so many aspects of tennis leading to its own lack of popularity, equipment being one of them.

My opinion is clear here. I think that beginners are capable of handling frames that most people would consider to be players frames. The tennis world learned with wood when tennis was at its peak in America in the 70's and early 80's. Because of the weight of the ball, and the nature of the game and how everything sort of comes together, a head light frame hovering around the 12 ounce mark just works.

Does that mean that every player ends up with a 12 ounce frame, and we remove all variety and choice... NO. To me it means that we stop hurting beginning tennis players by trying to sell them on this notion that player development should be linked to a progressive frame system.

I agree that it's important to find a frame that fits the player. And you know what? If that frame fits the player as they are beginning, it's probably the same sort of frame they will be able to use as they advance. There shouldn't be that much difference. Recreational players used to play with frames around the same specifications as what professionals used. Then engineers got creative with new materials and designs, and finally companies sold us on this idea that we aren't capable of handling professional spec frames. The problem for recreational players is that the weight of the ball and physics of the game haven't changed; just the rackets. The rackets that are marketed to beginners are a poor fit for the game.

shatoon
05-19-2008, 06:34 PM
I'm 27 and i started playing at age 9 with a wood Maxply as well. Once i began getting some coaching, my coach used a PS85 which he would let me use when we trained. Although i went back to my woodie and then a Head Cynetic after that, i pretty much bipassed all this tweener and oversize technology. I'm probably only a 4.5/5.0 player and have tried 95,98 and 100 sq in rachets but cannot get used to them at all, and keep going back to 90sqi rackets. Not only do i love the challenge and the on court concentartion i need to have when i hit each shot, i also love the feel and the balance, and i guess this is due to having learnt my strokes on 'proper' racquets. At the same time howver, and even as much as i agree to a certain extent with the OP, i wasn't thrown towards tennis, i gravitated towards it, so there was a natural interest from my part to play, had that not been there, i would have probably tired of my lack of initial progress. Although ina perfect world i would prefer to see most youngsters beginning their tennis journey using a players frame, i also understand the impatience of youth, and this is why tweeners and the like are needed.