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View Full Version : New here - looking for racquet advice


Puffdaddy
03-27-2006, 06:29 AM
Hi guys. This is a great forum. Hope I can contribute in months to come.

Here's the deal - I'm a 32 year old guy who played a ton of tennis growing up, along with football, basketball and baseball. I played local and even regional tournaments until I was about 16.

I am about 6'2'', 235 lbs and bench press 330 lbs+, but am slow as molasses.

I have not played tennis regularly in a decade - just every once in a while. I'm trying to make it a priority, drop some pounds, improve my cardio fitness and generally try to regain some agility.

Plus, I just love the sport. I always have.

Anyway, I hit with a pro twice this weekend and was really pleased with the relative lack of rust on my game.

In the late 1980s, I switched from the Wilson Pro Staff to the Prince Graphite 110, and I bought the update of this frame last year - the Price Graphite Classic 110. This is essentially the only racquet I've played with for more than 15 years. The frame is strung at 67 and I used to go as high as 70, which is well, well above what they recommend these days.

Here's my situation - I have a labrum problem in my right shoulder from baseball that has acted up recently. I can still play and it won't get worse, but I was wondering whether I should maybe consider accessing some of the newer technology.

I don't have to have an oversize racquet, maybe just a mid plus.

Should I just restring at a lower tension, or should I consider making a switch?

Any advice on some models I should try would be greatly appreciated. I don't want a big change, but maybe something that will give me a little bit of help.

bluegrasser
03-27-2006, 06:52 AM
Start off by lowering the tension, to say 60lbs, and see if that works.

byteme45
03-27-2006, 07:17 AM
What are you after from the newer technology? Does this labrum issue have you wanting slower, shorter strokes? I'm assuming that you have pretty big fast strokes now but maybe can't put as much into them as you used to or are looking for more pace on the ball?

Grimjack
03-27-2006, 07:26 AM
You aren't going to find a frame any easier on your body than the one you're already playing with. Indeed, it's quite well known for that.

Sorry to have to say so, but if the POG OS (the affectionate nickname for your racquet) is giving you trouble, you're probably not going to find the answer with a different racquet. People actually migrate TO that stick for relief.

mislav
03-27-2006, 07:27 AM
Or you may try switching hands. Many have been reportedly successful at this. Not me though. :)

Puffdaddy
03-27-2006, 08:36 AM
I'm assuming that you have pretty big fast strokes now but maybe can't put as much into them as you used to or are looking for more pace on the ball?

Bingo. The biggest issue I've found is on serve. I just can't seem to generate the same kind of pop. My racquet head speed through the zone is just not as good as it used to be.

What I had thought was that maybe some of the newer "players" racquets might give me a little more help. I had thought (perhaps mistakenly) that some were a little eaiser on the arm and shoulder while providing a touch more power.

Fact is, I am perfectly happy with the Prince Graphite and am not a guy that likes change for change sake.

If this is going to be one of the easier ones on my arm, then I'll stay put.

Either way, I definately appreciate the advice. Perhaps I am just a victim of the marketing associated with the newer equipment and should just stick with what I've got.

ask1ed
03-27-2006, 09:06 AM
Bingo. The biggest issue I've found is on serve. I just can't seem to generate the same kind of pop. My racquet head speed through the zone is just not as good as it used to be.

What I had thought was that maybe some of the newer "players" racquets might give me a little more help. I had thought (perhaps mistakenly) that some were a little eaiser on the arm and shoulder while providing a touch more power.

Fact is, I am perfectly happy with the Prince Graphite and am not a guy that likes change for change sake.

If this is going to be one of the easier ones on my arm, then I'll stay put.

Either way, I definately appreciate the advice. Perhaps I am just a victim of the marketing associated with the newer equipment and should just stick with what I've got.

Stick with your stick, but switch strings. Here are some top comfort strings:

Isospeed Control 16 (4413 hits) 23 ratings $9.00* 2006-03-26

Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Ten. stab. Satisfaction Overall PPR
93% (13/14) 2.89


Babolat X-Cel Premium 16 (4857 hits) 27 ratings $16.00-$21.00* 2006-02-13

Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Ten. stab. Satisfaction Overall PPR
67% (8/12) 1.19


Isospeed Professional 17 (5675 hits) 45 ratings $9.00* 2006-01-31

Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Ten. stab. Satisfaction Overall PPR
92% (23/25) 2.78


Topspin Sence Seven 1.32 (1209 hits) 12 ratings 14.90* 2005-08-29

Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Ten. stab. Satisfaction Overall PPR
63% (5/8) 0.00


Head Rip Control 17L (9091 hits) 34 ratings $8.00-$9.00* 2006-01-29

Durability Power Control Feel Comfort Spin Ten.

byteme45
03-27-2006, 09:41 AM
ask1ed has some good input here. If you do try a string and/or tension switch that may do it for you. Typically, less tension = more power / less control. Typically, that's not an absolute.

However, if that doesn't do it for you and you like the Prince sticks find one with a higher power rating that has otherwise similar charicteristics (e.g. balance, headsize, etc.) to the POG OS. If you do get to that point send me a PM or an email, the USRSA has some tools that allow racquet searches based on criteria important to you. But I'm sure that the newer players sticks aren't going to be any help to you.

Puffdaddy
03-27-2006, 10:09 AM
I appreciate the advice. I'll take a look for those strings and maybe drop the tension more towards the low end of the rec. range.

If I'm still having some issues, then I'll start from square one and demo some racquets.

I'm hoping that as I build up tennis strength that I can just return to "normal."

Great sport. Glad to be back.

Midlife crisis
03-27-2006, 11:41 AM
I appreciate the advice. I'll take a look for those strings and maybe drop the tension more towards the low end of the rec. range.

If I'm still having some issues, then I'll start from square one and demo some racquets.

I'm hoping that as I build up tennis strength that I can just return to "normal."

Great sport. Glad to be back.

Normally, when you have labrum problems from baseball, it comes from the deceleration phase of the throwing motion, so when you serve in tennis, does it hurt accelerating the racquet or slowing it down? If it hurts when slowing it down, there are a number of techniques you can use to help that.

byteme45
03-27-2006, 11:43 AM
Puff,

I had similar issues with pace and getting into the groove when I came back. I also played in high school, less tourny's than you though! Played a bit at college but nothing serious. Then left it for other sports for about 18 years. Got back into it and it took a while to feel comfortable again. My game was pretty much like I had left it high school! It's been definately worth it though, we've met a ton of great people and have had a lot of fun getting back in to it. I've grown to understand that I should have listened to my high school coach more not only about the strokes and how to play but also when he said tennis is the greatest lifetime sport there is!

Puffdaddy
03-27-2006, 12:06 PM
Normally, when you have labrum problems from baseball, it comes from the deceleration phase of the throwing motion, so when you serve in tennis, does it hurt accelerating the racquet or slowing it down? If it hurts when slowing it down, there are a number of techniques you can use to help that.

I had been thinking that I feel it on impact, but I'm guessing what I'm actually feeling is perhaps the deceleration.

Let me put it to you this way - when I'm practicing my motion through the air, I do not feel much pf a problem at all.

If you have any advice, I am all ears!! I am starting some physical therapy on Thursday, which should also help strengthen the area, I guess.

Puffdaddy
03-27-2006, 12:07 PM
It's been definately worth it though, we've met a ton of great people and have had a lot of fun getting back in to it. I've grown to understand that I should have listened to my high school coach more not only about the strokes and how to play but also when he said tennis is the greatest lifetime sport there is!


Couldn' have said it better myself!!!!!

Midlife crisis
03-27-2006, 01:29 PM
I had been thinking that I feel it on impact, but I'm guessing what I'm actually feeling is perhaps the deceleration.

Let me put it to you this way - when I'm practicing my motion through the air, I do not feel much pf a problem at all.

If you have any advice, I am all ears!! I am starting some physical therapy on Thursday, which should also help strengthen the area, I guess.

If you don't feel it at all on the way up, it's a simpler fix.

There are a couple of things different between throwing and serving. The main two points are that you're holding a heavy lever in your hand (the racquet) and that there are impact forces you don't get with a baseball.

During a throw, the forearm pronation is pretty identical to that used when serving. However, because the ball is in your hand and the hand is the last part of the kinetic chain, this means that when your body stops its rotation just prior to release, your upper arm still continues moving forward with a significant amount of velocity, and the release of the ball doesn't add an impact shock to your arm.

When serving, the racquet is the last part of the kinetic chain, and when the torso rotation stops just prior to contact, the upper arm basically comes to a stop with the torso while the forearm pronates and the racquet comes through. At impact, shock travels down the arm, which is in a much higher arm slot than is typical when throwing.

One little trick that seems to help significantly is to actually make sure that you are significantly bent over at the waist on the follow through. When I do this, it does two things that help my shoulder. When you do the waist bend smoothly and if it is initiated just prior to impact, it promotes tossing the ball a bit further into the court, which puts the shoulder in a better biomechanical position. Second, it promotes having your head a bit further forward, which limits a little bit how far back you can take your racquet and may mean you lose a couple of MPH off your serve speed, but again also puts the shoulder girdle into a better biomechanical position to resist the ball impact.

If your injury is the type that will be helped significantly by this, you'll also notice it when doing straight arm raises, lying on your back on a bench, and lifting the weight from level with your head and directly behind your head to directly over your chest. If you are medically okay to do this exercise, try it lying down with your head on the bench, and then try it again with a little less range of motion and try it with your head held off the bench. If the second feels better, then figuring out how to do this technique properly should let you serve pretty much pain-free, assuming all other aspects of your motion, such as a long deceleration, are good.

Best of luck.

Puffdaddy
03-27-2006, 07:05 PM
Midlife,

I appreciate the advice a great deal. Work permitting, I'll hit the gym tomorrow night and let you know how it goes.

Thanks again,

Puff

Marius_Hancu
03-28-2006, 05:48 AM
Puffdaddy

You should read some of the "Shoulder" related threads in the Health forum.

FWIW
check my posting here:

Best arm friendly racquets?
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=77937

check my signature here:

Great fitness sites
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=33800

esp the Shoulder section

byteme45
03-30-2006, 07:52 AM
Hey Puff, one other thing to think of that completely slipped my mind about my road back. In high school I never really learned how to serve, I just kinda could so I didn't work on that very much. When I came back to playing I did what I had always done. Over the last couple years I've need to improve the consistency and pace of both serves. One of the biggest things I've done to improve both had nothing to do with exercise or racquets, it was properly rotating and using my legs. That "chain of command" my HS coach was always barking about. Once I worked on that and got it to where it should have been in high school (had I not known EVERYTHING already) the mild shoulder and elbow irritations went away because I was serving with my whole body and not just muscling it with my arm.

Just something else to consider.