View Full Version : Novice player, can't control my racquet :-( What to look for?

07-27-2008, 05:36 PM
Sorry if this may be a bit long-winded. I bought a Head Flexpoint Prestige Team at the end of last summer after just picking up tennis, which I now think may be too much racquet for a novice player like myself.

I've been playing quite frequently over this summer, but I am finding it tough to control my shots. The racquet is quite unforgiving; unless I hit it with a perfect swing at the perfect spot, the shot likely goes waaaay out or waaaay high.

I tried my friend's racquet today, an old Head Ti, and I found it was much more forgiving. Even if it was hit improperly it still went in the general area where I wanted it. It was quite frustrating going back to my own racquet seeing all my shots sail waaay out.

He noticed that my racquet had a Swing Index of L1, whereas his was S1.

What characteristics/specs should I be looking for if I want one more similar (i.e. forgiving) to my friends'? The Flex of the frame? Power?

Or perhaps would it be just a simple case of getting it strung with a different tension?

Thanks a lot! Highly appreciated!

07-27-2008, 06:12 PM
Look for:

- A coach.

- Flaws in your mechanics. (swing path, weight transfer, racket face, etc.)

- Type & tension of your strings.

There're no hard and fast answers to your problems. Sorry about that.

07-27-2008, 06:47 PM
I'd pick up a well-used recent or clearance new intermediate stick on flea bay for $40, then follow above. Your racquet is too much for you right now, will probably impede your development.

07-27-2008, 08:10 PM
Hate to say it, but doesn't sound like a racquet issue to me. Correct me if I'm off, but the FXP Team was like a super flexy, 102 si head, HL racquet. That's not exactly demanding from a general perspective. Stuff like string tension will certainly make a difference once you're past the novice stage, but unless you've got a 2 year old string job at 30lbs, it's a bit premature to do any tweaking.

May I suggest a good teaching pro, and taking a good, honest look at your swing technique first. If nothing else, your instructor should be able to give you a more honest assessment of your equipment choice.

07-27-2008, 08:26 PM
Thanks for the responses. I'm sure if I had proper technique, training and skill I could handle my racquet, but what irks me is that I played significantly better with my friend's racquet than my own; much more control, never any shots that shot waaaay up high and over. I just want to know what it is (flex? racquet power?) that makes his racquet play so different than mine.

If I had the choice I would go with the coach, etc. But time and cost doesn't allow me to go with this route.

As for the Intermediate Stick, what features does an "intermediate stick" usually entail? Medium Power, high flex?

And this is the specs for my racquet. spkyEngrish is correct it is quite flexible: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCHEAD-FXPPT.html

Perhaps it is just a matter of string tension... Regarding that, should I be going for a HIGHER, or LOWER tension, with the issues I am having?

Thanks again!

07-27-2008, 08:35 PM
sonick, different rackets/string type & tension prefer different types of strokes.

I, for one, have to adjust my strokes when I borrow somebody's racket. It's just that you have to know what to adjust. And that, IMO, is probably a matter of personal experience.

BTW, what's this L1 & S1 rating? Which one is the longer, faster swing?

07-27-2008, 08:39 PM
BTW, I just re-read your original post again.

It's the Prestige family, so the L1 must be long and fast I suppose.

May be why don't you try giving your strokes a long and smooth (don't rush) swing path with complete and full follow-thru? This may help solve your problem.

07-27-2008, 08:41 PM
BTW, what's this L1 & S1 rating? Which one is the longer, faster swing?

The L1 is supposedly rated as a longer swing, but the difference between the L1 and S1 is just one rating, so i don't think it'd make all that much of a difference.

07-27-2008, 09:05 PM
Regarding Head racquets, L is for long swings, and I believe S is for short swing styles.

Something to consider right now is that the the Prestige line for Head is their advanced players racquet, with low power and high control.

What is your swing type like? If you have a long stroke, then getting a high or medium racquet now may force you to change your game, and could actually be a crutch in my opinion.

I am actually going to go against the grain, and say keep the racquet, but get lessons. Build up technique to play with the racquet. I think it will help in the long run. If you are able to hit the ball, but it is going way long or high, it likely a combination of 3 things: 1)technique 2)timing 3) loose string tension.

One thing to look at is the way you hold your racquet. It sounds to me like you may be angling your racquet up a bit. You may most likely need to alter the way the way you hold your racquet. I'm not sure what style you play, but try out different styles- an eastern grip, semi-western, or western grip. Have a good instructor show you differences, and you may be better able to control shots.

07-28-2008, 12:00 AM
I bet you were playing tap tennis with your friends racquet. Then you couldnt do tap tennis with your own racquet, so you had to swing harder into the ball, and the more you have to swing, the more likely you would miss hit.

Balls sail out or high when you dont square off your racquet face. The more force behind an open racquet face approaching and contacting the ball, the higher the ball flies and sail through the air.

07-28-2008, 01:16 AM
PS I have great credentials in hitting high sailing balls one day, and then playing nice and low shots on another day. Performance varies a lot. I think it has to be how much focus on the racquet face I can muster on a particular day.