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Django
03-01-2006, 09:27 AM
Tagged this onto an earlier (dying) thread w/o response, but still hoping for some feedback...

Recent threads have really prompted a lot of thinking regarding the trade-offs for me of switching from a 12-ounce stick (currently the Volkl Tour 10 Gen2) to perhaps a lighter but stiffer racquet (the DNX8 or DNX9). And there ARE trade-offs, no doubt about it. Whatever racquet we currently use will allow us to do some things very well (crush forehands, rip serves, volley w/ controlled accuracy -- whatever) while perhaps not addressing other areas with the same impact.

So, to me, it comes down to that familiar dilemma that faces so many tennis players. Nick Bollettieri would recommend that rather than spend a ton of practice time correcting your weaknesses (your topspin backhand, for example) you spend more time perfecting your weapon (your hard/flat forehand winner, for example). Then, you build your on-court strategy around that weapon. (Sorry, Nick, I'm oversimplifying here, but the TW board will have to forgive me.)

The same may apply to racquet selection: Do you pick a racquet that emphasizes the strengths in your game -- or one that helps shore up your weaknesses?

There are times when a lighter racquet certainly would help me generate better racquet-head speed; and maybe better maneuverability would help w/ my weak returns of serve. But I'm not sure I want to give up the comfy, "weighty" Volkl 10-series feel for all those points when I move my feet, get there in time, set up properly, keep my eye on the freakin' ball, and confidentally strike a winner w/ 12 ounces of Volkl mojo.

But that's just me.

rocket
03-01-2006, 09:48 AM
There are times when a lighter racquet certainly would help me generate better racquet-head speed; and maybe better maneuverability would help w/ my weak returns of serve. But I'm not sure I want to give up the comfy, "weighty" Volkl 10-series feel for all those points when I move my feet, get there in time, set up properly, keep my eye on the freakin' ball, and confidentally strike a winner w/ 12 ounces of Volkl mojo.

You can either work on better speed of your preparation/reaction or go for a lighter racquet & weigh it up to your specs, keeping it head-light. :)

rocket
03-01-2006, 09:57 AM
Nick Bollettieri would recommend that rather than spend a ton of practice time correcting your weaknesses (your topspin backhand, for example) you spend more time perfecting your weapon (your hard/flat forehand winner, for example). Then, you build your on-court strategy around that weapon. (Sorry, Nick, I'm oversimplifying here, but the TW board will have to forgive me.)

That's why the Bollettieri camp will never produce a Federer type of player, who's good at everything. His students are good at spanking the ball, but not much in terms of stategy, or having a 'plan B' to their games when their weapons desert them (Mary Pierce was the latest example of that).

That said, I think he brought fitness & power to tennis as we know.

AngeloDS
03-01-2006, 10:16 AM
Any racquet will improve weaknesses you have. I don't think there's a racquet out there that doesn't have some advantage in one or more areas.

I picked out my racquet not for my weaknesses but for my strengths. I have a diverse game, and throw in a lot of angles, variety and various paced shots.

And I need a racquet where I can kick up pace, slow down pace, create medium pace. As well as produce angles and a variety of shots.

I use the whole string bed of my racquet, but on purpose. Different areas of the Babolat Pure Drive Plus will give you different effects on the ball. Which helps for me when it comes to enhancing my shots.

vin
03-01-2006, 10:26 AM
Picking a racket based on strengths or weaknesses is one thing, but you pose an entirely different question by bringing preference for feel into the equation.

Your strengths mostly win you points and your weaknesses mostly keep you in points. Personally, I'd go with a racket that caters to my strengths and would try to make adjustments to make it work with my weaknesses.

As for feel, that is even more subjective. You have to decide for yourself if the priority is playing well or enjoying the sensation of contact. You should be able to find a compromise though.

With respect to the rackets that you're talking about, I really don't think you'd be sacraficing much comfort going from the Gen 2 to the DNX 8. Yes, it's a different feel, but they are both enjoyable and comfortable.

tennis_nerd22
03-01-2006, 12:47 PM
That's why the Bollettieri camp will never produce a Federer type of player, who's good at everything.

haha, Django got owned, lol jk mate :p


The same may apply to racquet selection: Do you pick a racquet that emphasizes the strengths in your game -- or one that helps shore up your weaknesses?

hmm, id pick a racket that helps shore up your weaknesses and then pick the perfect string hybrid to help increase your strengths (i.e control racket since your control is bad, with a string combo thats good for spin + power, because you love using power and different spins which your racket doesnt offer you)

thats how i look at it, and it works for me ;)

fishuuuuu
03-01-2006, 01:55 PM
I think a racquet that improves your strengths will also considerably improve weaknesses ... a vote for confidence maybe.

vkartikv
03-01-2006, 01:58 PM
Django, if you ask me, its not what you play best with, its what makes you feel like the lord of this world that counts..

Django
03-01-2006, 02:36 PM
My point -- poorly made, perhaps -- is that when I prepare properly, with good footwork, etc. I play best w/ a 12-ounce flexible Volkl. Unfortunately, my mechanics/fitness amid the Thundering Herd of 4.5-level tennis are not always sound and, like so many others on this board apparently, I'm wondering whether a lighter/stiffer racquet would help overcome some mechanical shortcomings -- but at the cost of taking something off my best weapons.

Alexandros
03-01-2006, 05:02 PM
That's why the Bollettieri camp will never produce a Federer type of player, who's good at everything. His students are good at spanking the ball, but not much in terms of stategy, or having a 'plan B' to their games when their weapons desert them (Mary Pierce was the latest example of that).


I think Sharapova is a more recent example. :p Just being pedantic.

Django
03-01-2006, 07:25 PM
Not looking for an argument here, but keep in mind that guys like Agassi are ex-Bollettieri. And the current games of Tommy Haas and Xavier Malisse certainly are worth emulating.

nViATi
03-01-2006, 08:45 PM
I use the whole string bed of my racquet, but on purpose. Different areas of the Babolat Pure Drive Plus will give you different effects on the ball. Which helps for me when it comes to enhancing my shots.
So you are saying that you mishit on purpose? :lol:

Pomeranian
03-01-2006, 09:42 PM
I would choose a racquet that maximizes your strengths and provides the most comfort to your shoulder, eblow, ect. I would never choose a racquet based on spec though, a demo to me says a lot more than specs. (unless you're worried about the sitffness/weight of the racquet) Your weaknesses should be areas of improvement, not something that is so weak that it loses points on its own. Your game should be built around your strengths, or weapons, unless your goal as a player is to have use variety as a weapon (all court game) Even at professional level, there are clear areas where players aren't as solid but I would use the term weakness, loosely. I could safely say, even if a pro's backhand is a "weakness" it is still a highly developed stroke that can beat mine.

If you have areas of improvement, why cover it up with a racquet? That's why I call it areas of improvement. :) Even a player with lots of variety has certain strengths, not every shot is a weapon.

AndrewD
03-01-2006, 10:07 PM
I've never been someone who generated a lot of topspin on my forehand and it has been, at times, a distinct weakness. I tried out a Babolat APD standard and found it almost effortless to hit with spin and create angles which is great for rallies or return of serve. However, my game is based around getting to the net at every possible opportunity and, for me, the APD detracted from my volleys. As that's how Im going to win a large percentage of my points I gave it a miss. Certainly, it would help my groundstrokes but as I'm never going to be a baseliner (by inclination or temperament) the trade-off wasn't sensible.

So, go with something that improves your weaknesses so long as it doesn't detract from your strengths. If you can find that balance or, better still, something that improves both then you've, most likely, found the perfect racquet for you.

That being said, I think it's got a lot to do with how strong are your strengths and how weak are your weaknesses. No point in using a racquet that is great when you're in charge of things but you struggle with when your opponent controls the issue.

NoBadMojo
03-01-2006, 10:29 PM
I think you gotta go with what best supports your strength(s) and go to work on your weaknesses along with always trying to improve your strengths. you should work on everything. to that end, it is always good to buy a well balanced frame that can do everything well.
think roddick is a classic example. where would he be without a great serving frame? if he used something that excelled at the volley as he really needs to improve that, his serve may drop off, and without the serve working optimally, he would lose most of his matches. besides, how many volley ops do they have these days anyway
if nalbandian used a frame which volleyed and served better, chances are his baseline game would suffer and then he would be hosed.
i think most of the pros use gear which best supports their strengths..another example is that baseliners typically use frames with more weight in the head...those dont usually excel at serving and volleying but best support their strength, the reciprocal is true for all courters usually preferng headlight frames which often arent the best for ralleying

louis netman
03-01-2006, 10:34 PM
Hone your game-plan based on your strengths so well that weaknesses (if any) have no impact upon the final outcome... Always remember, it's all about YOU and no one else!!!

Z-Man
03-02-2006, 01:30 PM
I've had the same question re: my POG LB. It's killer for groundstrokes. The 2HBH, reach, controlled power, spin, are all amazing. However, it is tough to volley with because it is so long and 12pts headlight. The ball pushes the racquet around and it's easy to get jammed. I could serve and volley much better with a large, stiff granny stick like the O3 Blue. If I played the kind of doubles where you made one hit and went to the net, the granny stick would be better. But I'm a born baseliner and could not compete at as high a level with the granny stick. Also, feeling the ball is part of the enjoyment of playing. The problem is, I'll never advance in doubles if I don't have a better serve and volley. Right now I'm working on technique and using new tactics in practice. Maybe I'll find the O3 tour OS is the Goldie Locks stick for me. But in the meantime, I can't win matches or enjoy playing without my weapon.