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View Full Version : can a beginner racquet mess you up?


bbbbbb
10-29-2009, 05:41 AM
When i started playing tennis i used a 110 sq inch racquet it was a head tis6 i chose it to generate power for me.At the same time my friend chose an s1 which gives control and is slightly smaller.The other day when we were hitting when we switched racquets i felt like my swing finally freed up.Like with my racquet i had to use less than half of my full capable swing speed,but with his i could swing out.Could this be due to the fact that my current racquets to forgiving with its sweet spot and now that i generate my own pace its causing unessecary errors?

dozu
10-29-2009, 05:43 AM
it will mess you up for sure.

those beginner rackets are only for people who just want to have some fun, but do NOT want to improve.

if you want to become a good player, you should use equipment like a good player does from the very beginning.

GuyClinch
10-29-2009, 05:50 AM
^^^ I wouldn't go THAT far. Some of those true player racquets with the very headlight frame are very bad for beginner players IMHO. Not to mention you develop less spin from the string patterns..

However for a younger guy starting out - I do think a heavier midsize (98 inches) kind of racquet is the way to go. I think racquets are really about body type..

If your a stronger fitter person - you would be foolish not to use a heavier racquet. The super light super big racquets are made for the 40 - 60 something female crowd. And for this crowd with low physical strength they work well.

They don't make my racquet anymore.. but something like this is good for a male beginner I think..

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-SP03BK.html
It doesn't have to be that exact racquet but balance wise, weight and string pattern..its a good start.

Pete

raiden031
10-29-2009, 05:51 AM
I used to have a Wilson Triad 3 which was 115" and like 9.8oz. This was back when I was a weekend warrior and didn't know any better. These types of racquets are only meant for old ladies who can't generate pace and just push the ball. There's no reason to use one of these racquets if your technique even remotely resembles proper technique.

GuyClinch
10-29-2009, 10:11 AM
Yeah my racquet was similiar as well. It's a shame how they are marketed as beginner racquets.

Nellie
10-29-2009, 01:06 PM
I never understood the argument that your racquet prevented development. If I understand correctly, the gist is that the "beginner" racquets are too high powered, thereby encouraging people to use a shorted, abbreviated stroke to poke at, and not hit the ball. So, essentially, these racquets make the game too easy and keep you from developing proper fundamentals that are required by the smaller, heavier racquets.

But nothing about that racquet keeps you from hitting a good stroke. If you hit the proper stroke, with the lighter racquet, you will get a good result.

I think there is also something about a more foregiving racquet that encourages play and allows you to develop better technique without getting hurt.

I would bet that the difference in length between a light stiff racquet and a heavy flexible raquests would be inches on the court.

If you find yourself with a lack of stability and with too much power, you could easily add weight/ or change strings

GuyClinch
10-30-2009, 11:44 AM
With regards to physics for the stronger player there are several disadvantages of a lighter racquet, IMHO.

I think the guy at racquet research says it best..

" If you are inclined to buy a granny stick, consider this: if you were in a car accident, which would you rather be driving, a compact or a truck? We all know that the light car will get crushed. The collision of a racquet and a ball is the same thing: a heavy racquet will keep going on impact, crushing the ball more for better pace and spin.

Light racquet partisans argue that because you can swing the light racquet faster, it will hit harder than a heavy racquet. Granted that if you have the time and energy to execute a long violent stroke, you can swing the light racquet faster and get greater head velocity on impact. Three problems with that: (1) a violent stroke is harder to control; (2) when you are stretching for a shot, you don't have time to execute a long stroke, so velocity will be small and because racquet weight is small also, your shot will be weak; and (3) the light, fast racquet will slow down a lot on impact, stressing the arm. All of that lost energy will have to go somewhere, like your arm. Momentum (mass times velocity) and not force (mass times acceleration) or energy (1/2 mass times velocity squared) is what counts in a collision. Oops, sorry -- a little scary physics there, but the point is crucial for understanding the principle. It's an elementary point called Conservation of Momentum, which any first semester physics student should know. It is a common mistake to think that high racquet kinetic energy is desirable, and therefore a badminton racquet is the best because you can swing it fastest.

What you want is a racquet that will give you the most ball speed for the least effort (Efficiency), and which will not stress your elbow or shoulder (Elbow Safety and Shoulder Safety). What you don't want is to put in a lot of effort on a wild shot that wrecks your arm."

I agree with this guy. The key is though that the point where you can generate enough racquet speed for effective tennis varies from person to person.

For a stronger person they can swing a heavier racquet and get that feeling of accelerating through the ball and playing effective tennis with a heavier racquet.

At a certain point though it becomes TOO heavy and you sacrifce too much racquet speed. Thus my point - a young guy should not be hitting with the same kind of racquet as his grandmother. You have to find the right racquet for your body type though.

Moreover for physical reasons not discussed in his article I believe a light racquet rewards a dinking style. Because your racquet is so light you can "recover" from bad prep and perform effortless "block" returns. Your footwork is bad and your havent even turned your shoulders. But bam - you can block it back.

But if you try a proper hit with your granny stick against a good shot - your likely to be somewhat innaccurate (for the reasons above) and your arm might not feel so good. Plus you don't get the nice feeling of swinging through the ball. This isn't an issue for grannies as they are not dealing with any kind of pace. But for a young guy learning the game its an issue.

Any racquet choice that encourages dinkers is bad. Once you know how to play - yeah you can hit with any racquet. Sometimes pros will use granny sticks when teaching classes for this reason.. They won't get as tired teaching alot of classes. But they aren't really good for learning for most normal individuals. OTOH there are tons of physically weak older players who likely need the light weight.


This is why they call em granny sticks and why grannies should use them. Unfortunately they became know as "beginner" racquets. Racquet selection should factor in body type and fitness level - not just level of play. If I was teaching Lebron James to play tennis I would give him a fairly heavy racquet to learn with.

If I started hitting with my eldery grandmother - a light racquet is a very good choice..
Pete

Cindysphinx
10-30-2009, 06:32 PM
I used to have a Wilson Triad 3 which was 115" and like 9.8oz. This was back when I was a weekend warrior and didn't know any better. These types of racquets are only meant for old ladies who can't generate pace and just push the ball. There's no reason to use one of these racquets if your technique even remotely resembles proper technique.

Ha! That's funny!

When I started, I had a Wilson Triad 2. It was a mattress, at 120". With my incomplete, push-stroke, it worked just fine.

Then I started taking lessons, my pro wanted me to finish over my shoulder and accelerate through the ball. When I did this, the ball never went in, ever. He suggested that I change my racket. I wasn't sure, and then he closed the deal. He said, "That's an old lady racket."

I immediately switched to my Babolat. Nothing will get a middle-aged lady to change something faster than designating it for old ladies!

Cindysphinx
10-30-2009, 06:37 PM
I never understood the argument that your racquet prevented development. If I understand correctly, the gist is that the "beginner" racquets are too high powered, thereby encouraging people to use a shorted, abbreviated stroke to poke at, and not hit the ball. So, essentially, these racquets make the game too easy and keep you from developing proper fundamentals that are required by the smaller, heavier racquets.

But nothing about that racquet keeps you from hitting a good stroke. If you hit the proper stroke, with the lighter racquet, you will get a good result.



Nellie, there is something about those beginner rackets that keeps you from hitting a good stroke. That something is the fact that hitting a bad stroke yields a good result. Pushing and poking is much easier than hitting a correct stroke, so if people are rewarded for it they will have a hard time learning to swing through, IMHO.

I have two Babolats. When one is being strung, I put my old Wilson Triad into my bag. One day, one of my male teammates wanted to try my Babolats, so I hit for a while with my Wilson. I really couldn't control the ball with the Wilson, presumably using the same swing I use on the Babolat. I did better when I pushed and shortened my swing. Ick. I was very glad when my teammate gave my racket back.

mauricem
10-30-2009, 07:07 PM
One of the Williams sisters played with the successor to this racquet the ncode N3, think it only weighed 9.4 ozs stock but who knows what hers actually weighed.

They then played with the nblade 106 which I never managed to tame the power of but my gf loves.

But we cant compare our games to the pros and I generally recommend lower powered softer frames <=100" for anybody serious about getting better.


I used to have a Wilson Triad 3 which was 115" and like 9.8oz. This was back when I was a weekend warrior and didn't know any better. These types of racquets are only meant for old ladies who can't generate pace and just push the ball. There's no reason to use one of these racquets if your technique even remotely resembles proper technique.

GuyClinch
10-30-2009, 10:49 PM
^^^Pros will use racquets that look identical to consumer ones but are different on the inside. You can't go by that..

fuzz nation
10-31-2009, 08:43 AM
When i started playing tennis i used a 110 sq inch racquet it was a head tis6 i chose it to generate power for me.At the same time my friend chose an s1 which gives control and is slightly smaller.The other day when we were hitting when we switched racquets i felt like my swing finally freed up.Like with my racquet i had to use less than half of my full capable swing speed,but with his i could swing out.Could this be due to the fact that my current racquets to forgiving with its sweet spot and now that i generate my own pace its causing unessecary errors?

Sounds like you had the experience of playing with a racquet that was a better fit for your strokes. I kept on with a rather powerful frame for a long time, but when I tried some other racquets with much more flex, I could suddenly take a full comfortable stroke and hit consistently without needing to hold back. A light racquet with extra pop can be great for starting out so that someone can get the gist of hitting a ball, but a more developed swing is often easier to control with a racquet that churns out a bit less velocity, but the same spin.

My impression of a softer racquet is that it takes a larger increase in the swing to get the same boost in velocity than with a light, powerful cannon. The more flexible racquet has a "less touchy" gas pedal and typically makes a higher ratio of spin to velocity for a given swing. That makes it easier to keep the ball down on the court. Of course if the racquet is too soft or the strings have zero resilience, there can be no life in the thing at all.

VaBeachTennis
10-31-2009, 02:58 PM
I think it's all pretty individual. I found that it actually has improved my game and my strokes. I use a Walmart Wilson Impact when I practice against the wall (so I don't scuff or mess up my regular racquets), I also use it to rally and play sets as well. It has actually helped me develop more control because it's a powerful racquet. I can take a full swing or swings and keep it well in the court with a lot of spin.
My main racquets I use to rally are a Head LM (95sq inch) and a Volkl DNX10, the adjustments I have to make are minor, the results are much better; more spin, more power, and more consistency. If you can do a full swing and control the ball with a "granny racquet", you will have much more control with a "control oriented" racquet in my opinion. But like Lance Armstrong says: "It's not about the bike".................................................. ...

krz
10-31-2009, 09:21 PM
Most the time it's the player not the racket. I currently play with a 6.1 but I've played with rackets on all ends of the spectrum and I more or less play well with all of them. (yonex "muscle power", hammer tour, hyper hammer 5.3, LM radical)

Even some pro's don't use "advance" rackets. E.g. Henin uses a hyper hammer 5.3 which is pretty light and head heavy.

If anything it's way more about the strings than the racket. Polys all the way :)