PDA

View Full Version : Racquet weight and Volley skills


kevhen
08-31-2006, 07:39 AM
While playing with my 4.0 friends, we exchanged racquets and the other guys complained that my racquet is too heavy at 12 ounces. I noticed I was quicker at getting to vollies with their 11 ounce racquets although I could feel more twisting. So I am thinking about lightening my racquet but still keep as much power in the frame for serving and groundstrokes so I will need to add the weight mostly to the head and remove the weight I have added lower on the frame.

I weighed and balanced my 2 frames and they are
12 ounces, 8 pts HL Volkl Tour 8
11.7 ounces, 4 pt HL Dunlop 200GX

If I add any more weight to the head they become too heavy and more difficult to volley with. What else can be done to improve volley quickness without reducing power?

Ten_is
08-31-2006, 07:49 AM
good question.
I am currently struggling with this too. I find my raquet is too light and it's even balanced. Is it better to have head light raquet rather than head heavy? I say I would prefer about a 9pt head light raquet over my even balanced Head Flexpoint Fire. (102 sq in.)

MasterTS
08-31-2006, 08:01 AM
Headlight = maneuvarability


You don't want to volley with something like a baseball bat, do you?

kevhen
08-31-2006, 08:33 AM
They say the pros mostly use head heavy racquets but they are mostly playing a baseline game and not so much doubles either. Since I do play my share of doubles, maybe I should switch to a lighter more headlight racquet since volleying is the weakest part of my game. The guys I play with are pretty aggressive at net and also aggressive with returns so a lighter racquet might help quite a bit for me at net and help reduce my error count.

Maybe Bungalow Bill can tell us how he vollies with that 15 ounce racquet against the heavy hitters. I think I would do better on vollies with a headlight 11.5 ounce racquet but do prefer the 12 ounces for groundstrokes.

Mike Cottrill
08-31-2006, 08:49 AM
They say the pros mostly use head heavy racquets but they are mostly playing a baseline game and not so much doubles either..

Most play with head light. But heavy. HL is anything with BP between the handle and the mid distance of the stick.

oldguysrule
08-31-2006, 08:54 AM
While playing with my 4.0 friends, we exchanged racquets and the other guys complained that my racquet is too heavy at 12 ounces. I noticed I was quicker at getting to vollies with their 11 ounce racquets although I could feel more twisting. So I am thinking about lightening my racquet but still keep as much power in the frame for serving and groundstrokes so I will need to add the weight mostly to the head and remove the weight I have added lower on the frame.

I weighed and balanced my 2 frames and they are
12 ounces, 8 pts HL Volkl Tour 8
11.7 ounces, 4 pt HL Dunlop 200GX

If I add any more weight to the head they become too heavy and more difficult to volley with. What else can be done to improve volley quickness without reducing power?

Kehven, I am 47, 155lbs., and play with a 12.3 oz. racquet, 10 pts HL. My 4.0 pponents are always commenting on my quick hands and reaction time at the net. It is my opinion that how you use your eyes and legs (where is the ball going? how am I going to get there?) has more to do with this than a less than 10% difference in the weight of your racquet. However, can't discount your experience. I would suggest that the short time you played with the lighter racquet maybe didn't give you a valid comparison.

To answer your question, I would, first of all, leave your racquets alone. Second, I would spend a lot of time working on close contact volleys. Focus on 1. keeping racquet up and in front of you. 2. small movements of the racquet. 3. using your feet to put yourself into position for the volley. 4. Seeing where the ball will be quicker.

If you still feel like the racquet is holding you back, I would keep the weight and go more HL to reduce the SW. This goes against the opinion of some posters here... My preference is a 12 oz racquet with a SW of 320 vs. a 11oz with SW of 320. btw, I have no problem playing multiple matches in one day.

kevhen
08-31-2006, 09:17 AM
I think I mostly just have problems with the younger aggressive 4.0s with bigger forehands and quick vollies. I handle pace from the baseline very well but not as well at net and some could be bad technique but from what little I played with their 11 ounce racquets, I felt like I had a lot more control and reacted much quicker and placed the ball where I wanted instead of just reacting and being late to the ball. So I think racquet weight reduction could help my vollies but I don't want to hurt my serve or groundstrokes either.

What you are saying is to put less weight in the head but just move it down some. So far I have gone the other way by putting more weight in the head but reducing the overall weight of the racquet. I will test that out some tonight.

A recent Tennis Magazine article about the pros showed most women using 11 ounce frames that were slightly head heavy and the men using 12-13 ounce frames that were also just slightly head heavy. I didn't expect that but does explain how the game has become more of a power baseline game.

Mike Cottrill
08-31-2006, 09:45 AM
A recent Tennis Magazine article about the pros showed most women using 11 ounce frames that were slightly head heavy and the men using 12-13 ounce frames that were also just slightly head heavy. I didn't expect that but does explain how the game has become more of a power baseline game.

Are you referring to this article? If so, I did not see pro in front of player.
Thanks

http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/gear/general/general.aspx?id=889

chess9
08-31-2006, 09:59 AM
Don't most of the doubles specialists have very heavy racquets? I've heard some of them are 14 oz., if I recall accurately.

I'm 6', 172 lbs, age 63, and I will play with a racquet between 12.5 oz. and 13.5 oz. depending on conditions.

Most of the volleys I hit are not limited by my ability to get the ball on the racquet, but to place it accurately. Most of the volleys I miss, I'd miss with an 8 oz. racquet. The notion that you are going to get more balls and win more points with a light racquet is not supportable by the evidence.

-Robert

LuckyR
08-31-2006, 10:05 AM
I agree with using a heavy racquet with the same swingweight as a lighter racquet, but I would take a lower swingweight racquet over either of them. For me, as a doubles player, a higher percentage of the volleys I hit are "reaction volleys" off of poaches as opposed to singles S&V types who are getting 99% of their passing shots from some guy behind the baseline. In that case I wouldn't even care about the racquet being "good for volleys".

kevhen
08-31-2006, 10:14 AM
No it was an article in the USTA's Tennis Magazine, I believe (unless it was Smash Magazine) about the pros using slightly head heavy racquets.

A lighter racquet should be much easier to maneuver when making reflex vollies when all players are at net. I am pretty quick overall but definitely seem to struggle with reflex vollies maybe due to the weight of my frame. Just trying to figure out what would help improve my net game. I am overall a decent doubles player playing against younger and quicker 4.0 and 4.5 doubles players who hit aggressively.

LuckyR
08-31-2006, 10:28 AM
Weight and swingweight are related but not the same. You need to lower the latter, but not necessarily the former.

oldguysrule
08-31-2006, 11:23 AM
No it was an article in the USTA's Tennis Magazine, I believe (unless it was Smash Magazine) about the pros using slightly head heavy racquets.

A lighter racquet should be much easier to maneuver when making reflex vollies when all players are at net. I am pretty quick overall but definitely seem to struggle with reflex vollies maybe due to the weight of my frame. Just trying to figure out what would help improve my net game. I am overall a decent doubles player playing against younger and quicker 4.0 and 4.5 doubles players who hit aggressively.

Let me preface this by saying, I am not a teaching pro or expert. I tend to look at things logically and visually. So picture with me if you will...

Your partner is returning serve. You are a foot inside the service line in the ready position watching your opponent at the net. The serve goes down the middle, partner makes a decent cross court return but the opponent at the net cuts it off and hits a solid volley towards your knees. You have to get your racquet in position quickly. If you are in a classic ready position, the racquet head is about level with your chest or neck and your hand/grip is about waist high. When you hit the volley, your knees bend, your racquet head drops to knee level, and your hand/grip goes down a bit to keep the racquet parallel to the ground.

If you can visualize this sequence, which part of the racquet did you have to move the greatest distance, the head or the grip? If you said the head then we are on the same page. (Don't know if it is the right page or not...others may have a different opinion) Now pick any type of reaction volley you can think of. Which part of the racquet has to move the greatest distance? Which part of the racquet is the hardest to move? The answer to both questions is the head of the racquet.

I think most pro doubles players use a relatively heavy, HL racquet. I don't know this for sure, but it makes sense to me if they do. This is what works for me. Would groundstrokes be better with more weight in the head? Possibly, but in doubles I try not to hit any groundstrokes. In singles, my groundstrokes keep me in the point until I can get to the net and end it there.

This seems to be logical to me and is backed up by my personal experience. I recognize others may have had different experiences.

kevhen
08-31-2006, 11:52 AM
Yeah that makes good sense. I did lighten up my racquets last night and made them a little bit more headlight as well so hopefully things work better for me tonight and from now on.

So maybe a player should have a singles racquet and a doubles racquet? I always though maybe players should have a serving racquet and a returning racquet but it may be too much to adjust and you need a good racquet for groundstrokes on both sides anyway. It might make more sense specializing your racquets for playing singles and doubles.

I would go with a more headlight racquet for doubles for quicker manueverability with both frames weighing about the same, although maybe the singles racquet would be slightly heavier overall too as well as being more head heavy for more groundstroke power.

Something like
Singles 12 ounce, 4PT HL
Doubles 11.7 ounce 8PT HL

I'll keep experimenting, thanks for all the thoughts on this.

Bungalo Bill
08-31-2006, 11:58 AM
Let me preface this by saying, I am not a teaching pro or expert. I tend to look at things logically and visually. So picture with me if you will...

Your partner is returning serve. You are a foot inside the service line in the ready position watching your opponent at the net. The serve goes down the middle, partner makes a decent cross court return but the opponent at the net cuts it off and hits a solid volley towards your knees. You have to get your racquet in position quickly. If you are in a classic ready position, the racquet head is about level with your chest or neck and your hand/grip is about waist high. When you hit the volley, your knees bend, your racquet head drops to knee level, and your hand/grip goes down a bit to keep the racquet parallel to the ground.

If you can visualize this sequence, which part of the racquet did you have to move the greatest distance, the head or the grip? If you said the head then we are on the same page. (Don't know if it is the right page or not...others may have a different opinion) Now pick any type of reaction volley you can think of. Which part of the racquet has to move the greatest distance? Which part of the racquet is the hardest to move? The answer to both questions is the head of the racquet.

I think most pro doubles players use a relatively heavy, HL racquet. I don't know this for sure, but it makes sense to me if they do. This is what works for me. Would groundstrokes be better with more weight in the head? Possibly, but in doubles I try not to hit any groundstrokes. In singles, my groundstrokes keep me in the point until I can get to the net and end it there.

This seems to be logical to me and is backed up by my personal experience. I recognize others may have had different experiences.

It makes perfect sense and good insight indeed. Most S&V players and doubles players prefer a head light racquet because of the weilding one has to do at the net to get the HEAD of the racquet into position.

Volleyers seems to prefer a heavier racquet and a headlight frame to absorb the blows and be able to get the head into position.

This of course is not to say one would not prefer a head heavy frame for volleys. It is simply more preferred to have a heavier frame and a light head to handle volleying.

You can test this by volleying against a backboard. You have to be quick and precise to control the volley against the wall and a head light frame helps a lot in being able to move the racquet around into position to control the ball.

kevhen
08-31-2006, 12:08 PM
OK so maybe I should go with the heavier but more headlight frame for doubles then.

Monday when I hit with my Volkl it was weighted about 12.25 ounce and 7PT HL and I reduced some weight to the head so it is 12 ounce and 8PT HL so maybe it is better now for doubles.

Bungalo Bill
08-31-2006, 12:24 PM
OK so maybe I should go with the heavier but more headlight frame for doubles then.

Monday when I hit with my Volkl it was weighted about 12.25 ounce and 7PT HL and I reduced some weight to the head so it is 12 ounce and 8PT HL so maybe it is better now for doubles.

Maybe, only you will be able to know and fine tune it to your game. In all the tennis I have played, for years I have only used a head light racquet with many of those years using the PS 85. I am sure it has to do with the all-court game and doubles game I believe in and was trained in.

If I only had to volley in tennis I would increase the grip size (thicken it up), lighten the head, and beef up the weight in the racquet as such to keep the lightness in the head.

kevhen
09-01-2006, 06:49 AM
I went out and hit vollies and groundstrokes with all 3 of my racquets and noticed the one with the smallest grip seemed to volley best but I lacked power with my groundstrokes with that frame. Is a smaller grip better for vollies?

Bungalo Bill
09-01-2006, 07:22 AM
I went out and hit vollies and groundstrokes with all 3 of my racquets and noticed the one with the smallest grip seemed to volley best but I lacked power with my groundstrokes with that frame. Is a smaller grip better for vollies?

It will always boil down to preference, but most people find the opposite to be true. The larger the grip the more solid the volley feels.

TennsDog
09-01-2006, 09:07 AM
The heavier the racket is, the less work you have to do on volleys. When I volley with the PS 85, just sticking the racket out and letting the ball bounce off works well enough because it's so solid. An 11oz racket would just get pushed around a bit more because it has less mass to defend with. Obviously, as Bill said, it's all preference. This is just the experience I have had. I don't really have great volleys, so the added weight really helps pick up my slack, especially on those passing shots you barely get a racket on.

travlerajm
09-01-2006, 09:48 AM
I can't resist chiming in here.

A lot of posters are suggesting that more HL is better for volleys. I would like to say that in my experience, the opposite is true. The more weight I put in the head, the better my volleys. Weight in the upper handle helps too, but it's much less efficient. Too much weight in the butt area is to be avoided as a means to reduce power level on volleys, as it can actually destabilize your volleys.

A lot of posters are suggesting that high SW is bad but high static weight is good. In my experience, the opposite is true. Adding weight to the hoop increases SW a lot without adding too much to the static weight. The extra mass in the head is what makes it so easy to volley. High static weight is what makes it harder to jab your racquet out toward a passing shot - SW is irrelevant in that case because you are not swinging.

The more mass you put in the hoop, the less you need to swing, and the more accurate your volleys will be. Personally, I volley best when I use a very high swingweight and relatively low static weight (13 oz or less). Yes, I consider 13 oz to be be relatively light when talking about good volley racquets. I am still comfortable volleying with 12 oz., as long as the SW is in the 350s. Lighter racquets than 12 oz just don't work against the spin and pace I usually play against at the 5.0+ level.

kevhen
09-01-2006, 10:01 AM
My experiment with reducing the weight on my racquets to help with vollies did seem to work some but I also lost some power on my groundstrokes and was often swinging a bit out in front and a little early on my backhands. I did make some great defensive gets maybe due to the slightly lighter and more headlight racquet. I didn't get a full test on vollies and my serves seemed to go a little bit long but were flying and going for aces when then did go in as well as overheads seemed easier. I added 0.1 ounce of tape to the head again afterwards so maybe getting close to the right balance for my serve, vollies, and groundstrokes. Volkl Tour 8, 4 5/8 with overgrip, weighing 12.1 ounce and 8 PT HL.

I beat a kid whose team won state this year 6-1, 6-1 last night so that was nice. He claimed to be 4.5 and had some aggressive shots but lacked overall experience especially dealing with all my spins and slice and big serve. Had I played aggressive topspin with him and tried to work the angles he would have beaten me since he could hit hard and was even faster than me. So I played safer and let him go for the winners and we had some nice long rallies usually lost by his impatience.

travlerajm
09-01-2006, 10:05 AM
My experiment with reducing the weight on my racquets to help with vollies did seem to work some but I also lost some power on my groundstrokes and was often swinging a bit out in front and a little early on my backhands. I did make some great defensive gets maybe due to the slightly lighter and more headlight racquet. I didn't get a full test on vollies and my serves seemed to go a little bit long but were flying and going for aces when then did go in. I added 0.1 ounce of tape to the head again afterwards so maybe getting close to the right balance for my serve, vollies, and groundstrokes. Volkl Tour 8, 4 5/8 with overgrip, weighing 12.1 ounce and 8 PT HL.

Kevhen,

There is a reason that lighter stock racquets are always more HH than players' racquets. If you make a racquet lighter by removing the weight from the handle, it's still playable. But if you make it lighter by removing weight from the hoop - it becomes underpowered and unstable.

Bungalo Bill
09-01-2006, 03:22 PM
I can't resist chiming in here.

A lot of posters are suggesting that more HL is better for volleys. I would like to say that in my experience, the opposite is true. The more weight I put in the head, the better my volleys. Weight in the upper handle helps too, but it's much less efficient. Too much weight in the butt area is to be avoided as a means to reduce power level on volleys, as it can actually destabilize your volleys.

It cetainly is true that it is your experiment and definetely your preference. I am one of the "lot of posters" that have played for years, tried many versions of racquets, and when it comes to real play, the head light racquet is most preferred.

Over the course of a match, weilding a head heavy racquet at the net can be quite challenging. There is no doubt (as I said above) that some people do prefer a head heavy or at least a balanced racquet for volleys. But the truth is HEAVY is a big key word whether the racquet is head light or head heavy.

A head light heavy racquet is always the best bet.

See the idiot's review. http://www.racquetresearch.com/complete_idiot.htm

Bagumbawalla
09-01-2006, 04:02 PM
Rackets are a compromise.

Think of swords. You have the epee-- feather-light shaft, weight in the handle-- fast, easily manipulated, but lacking in power.

Then, you have something like a machete-- good for hacking and chopping, but lacking manuverability.

In the case of rackets, the variation is not so extreme- maybe a range of 4 or 5 oz.

It's important for you to find a racket that feels right (to you) in as many aspects of the game as possible. Overall, an 11-12 oz. head-light racket is most versatile. You can always experiment with lead tape to find the right feel/weight for you.

Being prepared at the net and having the racket moving through the ball (timing and co-ordination) is what matters most in volleying.

Bungalo Bill
09-01-2006, 05:01 PM
Rackets are a compromise.

Think of swords. You have the epee-- feather-light shaft, weight in the handle-- fast, easily manipulated, but lacking in power.

Then, you have something like a machete-- good for hacking and chopping, but lacking manuverability.

In the case of rackets, the variation is not so extreme- maybe a range of 4 or 5 oz.

It's important for you to find a racket that feels right (to you) in as many aspects of the game as possible. Overall, an 11-12 oz. head-light racket is most versatile. You can always experiment with lead tape to find the right feel/weight for you.

Being prepared at the net and having the racket moving through the ball (timing and co-ordination) is what matters most in volleying.

For volleys, choose wisely, having a racquet that is manuverable is wise. Very few head heavy racquets rank high in manuverablity.

NoBadMojo
09-01-2006, 05:14 PM
Most commonly headlight frames volley better for most people.

Most commonly folks get a more solid feel when volleying with a larger grip than a smaller one.

Light racquets dont get pushed around on the volley provided the sweetspot is struck and the proper volley technique is used <use larger muscles like your legs to push through the volley>. The volley isnt about power anyway..it's compact and about ball feel and precision

drakulie
09-01-2006, 08:33 PM
Most commonly headlight frames volley better for most people.

Most commonly folks get a more solid feel when volleying with a larger grip than a smaller one.

Light racquets dont get pushed around on the volley provided the sweetspot is struck and the proper volley technique is used <use larger muscles like your legs to push through the volley>. The volley isnt about power anyway..it's compact and about ball feel and precision

Wow, this is the first post you and I completely agree on. I knew there was hope for you.

travlerajm
09-02-2006, 12:21 AM
Light racquets dont get pushed around on the volley provided the sweetspot is struck and the proper volley technique is used <use larger muscles like your legs to push through the volley>.

Actually, even if you hit the sweet spot on a volley with a light racquet, if the incoming ball has lots of topspin, it will twist the racquet face upward, and your volleys will tend to pop up. This is what I consider getting pushed around - techique can not fix it unless you have the Hulk's wrists.

My mixed doubles partner is a 5.0 volleyer with textbook technique, but she uses the 9.5-oz. O3 Silver. She volleys better than I do against big flat hitters, but she always has trouble against heavy spin. I added an ounce along the handle of her racquet to increase her stability, and now she no longer has trouble returning heavy topspin.

Marius_Hancu
09-02-2006, 05:16 AM
Headlight = maneuvarability

You don't want to volley with something like a baseball bat, do you?
My best volleys are with my heaviest racquet, a 415g 6.0 85. I just need to keep it in front of me:-)

As I said somewhere else on Sampras and Federer and their racquets and volleying technique:
--------------

Their volleys were quite different and that was caused to an important extent by the rackets they used: 393g for Sampras, 357g for Federer.

(See the data published by Greg Raven here, including:
http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/federer_playtest.html)

Thus Sampras needed to have his heavy bat more in front of him, and slashing and dashing a la Federer was precluded.

Sampras was more solid, Federer's more flexible.
----------

Thus take your pick, but be aware of the consequences.

Also, look at the racquet weight of this great doubles player, Daniel Nestor (Canadian; he won the Olympics!):

Player grip size weight(unstrung) balance(unstrung) Lengthcm String brand String type diameter Tension
NESTOR DAVID 5 375 29.5 69.3 BAB / LUX VS Team thermogut/alu powerBB 1.25 26/26
(data courtesy of Jura in the Comparative Reviews in the Racquets forum)

thust his racquet is probably about 392g strung. He's using however a very light-headed racquet (see the balance at 29.5cm!!)

NoBadMojo
09-02-2006, 09:14 AM
Actually, even if you hit the sweet spot on a volley with a light racquet, if the incoming ball has lots of topspin, it will twist the racquet face upward, and your volleys will tend to pop up. This is what I consider getting pushed around - techique can not fix it unless you have the Hulk's wrists.

My mixed doubles partner is a 5.0 volleyer with textbook technique, but she uses the 9.5-oz. O3 Silver. She volleys better than I do against big flat hitters, but she always has trouble against heavy spin. I added an ounce along the handle of her racquet to increase her stability, and now she no longer has trouble returning heavy topspin.

...so you are confrming what i said...that you can volley great with a lightweight 9.5 oz racquet. you also say how adding weight to the hoop makes for better volleys and how head heavy racquets volley better and now you are adding weight to the handle to volley better. also, suggest that everyone has trouble in volleying fast low spinny dipping heavy fast balls no matter what frame they are using..suggest the key is to construct the points so you dont have to volley many balls like that in a match

jonolau
09-02-2006, 09:31 AM
Most commonly headlight frames volley better for most people.

Most commonly folks get a more solid feel when volleying with a larger grip than a smaller one.

Light racquets dont get pushed around on the volley provided the sweetspot is struck and the proper volley technique is used <use larger muscles like your legs to push through the volley>. The volley isnt about power anyway..it's compact and about ball feel and precision
Totally agreed. My recent personal experience switching to my Cat 10 with a bigger grip has helped tremendously on volleys. I also feel that it is more maneuverable at the net. But end of the day, technique is what counts the most.

papa
09-02-2006, 12:49 PM
Most play with head light. But heavy. HL is anything with BP between the handle and the mid distance of the stick.

Where did you come up with this? HL or HH is determined from the mid-point of the racquet. Once you measure the length of the racquet and divide it by two you get the middle - ie, same distance to either end of the racquet. Then you figure out the balance point by placing the racquet on a relatively sharp edge like the back of a knife. The difference between the two is the figure your looking for. Each 1/8" of an inch represents a point.

So for example if the difference is 3/4 of an inch that would be 6 points and depending on which side of the balance point is from the mid way point determines whether the racquet is HL or HH - if (balance point) its on the head side it would be HH and if on the grip end it would be HL.

Bungalo Bill
09-02-2006, 01:23 PM
Actually, even if you hit the sweet spot on a volley with a light racquet, if the incoming ball has lots of topspin, it will twist the racquet face upward, and your volleys will tend to pop up. This is what I consider getting pushed around - techique can not fix it unless you have the Hulk's wrists.

My mixed doubles partner is a 5.0 volleyer with textbook technique, but she uses the 9.5-oz. O3 Silver. She volleys better than I do against big flat hitters, but she always has trouble against heavy spin. I added an ounce along the handle of her racquet to increase her stability, and now she no longer has trouble returning heavy topspin.

travlerajm,

I think we are all saying the same thing that if everything were perfect, the most preferred racquet for volleys is a racquet that has a larger grip, is relatively heavy (bulk or dead wieght) and is head light.

At the net, a manueverable racquet is king and this usually means a racquet that is head light. I dont know of many head heavy racquets that rank high in manueverablity. It could be that I simply do not pay attention to them. To me, weilding a head heavy racquet truly would require strong forearms, very quick reflexes, and superb technique.

I am sure there will always be those that will use the opppsite or a different weighting then most.

ATXtennisaddict
09-03-2006, 11:34 PM
do any of you have special "doubles" rackets? I am thinking of getting an extra racket and just leave it stock (preserving it's weight and headlightness) just for when I play doubles.

When I play singles, I can revert to my heavier frame which is less headlight (lead on 3 and 9)

anyone else do this?

travlerajm
09-03-2006, 11:47 PM
do any of you have special "doubles" rackets? I am thinking of getting an extra racket and just leave it stock (preserving it's weight and headlightness) just for when I play doubles.

When I play singles, I can revert to my heavier frame which is less headlight (lead on 3 and 9)

anyone else do this?

At first I thought my POG OS modified to Sampras' weight and balance would be a singles racquet only because it's designed for hitting relatively flat shots and harder to hit sharply angled dippers. But then after playing doubles with it a few times, I realize that it's actually better for doubles than for singles, because in doubles, the only groundstrokes I hit are returns, and I need the extra weight in the hoop to help control the ball against big servers. And for me, the extra accuracy and depth control on volleys more than makes up for the lower manueverability.

BreakPoint
09-04-2006, 12:23 AM
Instead of adding weight to the head, I would suggest adding weight to the handle to increase the overall static weight of the frame but make it more headlight. The swingweight won't increase very much, but the higher static weight will make the racquet feel more stable for volleys, and the more headlight balance will make it feel easier to maneuver and volley with.

Roforot
09-04-2006, 05:39 AM
Much depends on what your issue is with the volleys.

I believe Edberg was said to play w/ a near even balanced racquet.
(not to Hijack this thread, but if someone has Edberg's specs or Rafter's could they post it in a new thread!)
I've found adding weight (6-8gms) to the 12'oclock position helps w/ the stability, increases power, and decreases the shock/force my arm takes from contact. It allows me to take an even smaller swing so there's less opportunity for me to mess it up! In this setup, the end result is more control. The downside is as others have reported is that my arm becomes fatigued (so I've backed off to 2gms for now!)... Also have to consider how this affects your other strokes!

So this is the balance. If you feel you are late, objectiely try to determine if it because you are mistiming a larger stroke? In this case trying to just "touch" the ball in front of you w/ the strings may help, and if this feels underpowered or unstable adding weight to 12 may help. Adding weight to the handle will help more w/ stability issues, but you will have to add more weight there to see the effect.

If you are late b/c you literally are not moving your racquet into position, then I suspect it is your eyes-reflexes-anticipation-opponents pace! Only gets better w/ practice.

kevhen
09-04-2006, 09:09 AM
I am not saying my reflexes are cat-like but I am saying that when I vollied with my partner's 11 ounce racquet I felt like I had much more control and could quickly get the racquet into the correct position compared to my 12 ounce racquet. His grip was smaller too as well as being lighter and the balance points were probably similar. If I hit off center the racquet would twist more but since I could manuever the racquet better I rarely was hitting off-center.

Roforot
09-04-2006, 04:09 PM
In my opinion, + or - 1oz tends to come into personal preferences/feel/fatigue type issues rather than pure mechanical sluggishness. Let me put it this way, when I've taken volley lessons or seen other people take lessons, almost always I hear the pro advise the person to "decrease" the swing. This suggests that most people have *more time* than they need, and their problem isn't that they're too sluggish going from point A to B, but rather that they interject a point T(akeback).

This being said, I don't know how you're volleying; you may have perfect technique w/ either racquet. It may also be that w/ a lighter racquet you feel more confident to use perfect technique. It may be that you are fatiguing w/ the heavier racquet and are losing control b/c of this? It may also be that w/ the lighter racquet you can get away w/ larger takeback ( as there is less mass behind your swing, the volley won't go as far/out as w/ your usual racquet and this can translate to be more control).

However, first you have to decide if it is the weight or the small grip that's having a strong effect (or both)! Smaller grips may give you a feeling of greater maneuverability b/c you hold on tighter. They can also be easier for switching grips (from FH/BH) and you may have been hitting w/ a different grip than usual. I am not sure how small grip would affect stability... I would think more stable, but perhaps not.

Perhaps you could demo for a week some of these frames in 2 grips and test it out. I would really do this first before trying to add lead and weight.

travlerajm
09-04-2006, 04:16 PM
In my opinion, + or - 1oz tends to come into personal preferences/feel/fatigue type issues rather than pure mechanical sluggishness. Let me put it this way, when I've taken volley lessons or seen other people take lessons, almost always I hear the pro advise the person to "decrease" the swing. This suggests that most people have *more time* than they need, and their problem isn't that they're too sluggish going from point A to B, but rather that they interject a point T(akeback).

This being said, I don't know how you're volleying; you may have perfect technique w/ either racquet. It may also be that w/ a lighter racquet you feel more confident to use perfect technique. It may be that you are fatiguing w/ the heavier racquet and are losing control b/c of this? It may also be that w/ the lighter racquet you can get away w/ larger takeback ( as there is less mass behind your swing, the volley won't go as far/out as w/ your usual racquet and this can translate to be more control).

However, first you have to decide if it is the weight or the small grip that's having a strong effect (or both)! Smaller grips may give you a feeling of greater maneuverability b/c you hold on tighter. They can also be easier for switching grips (from FH/BH) and you may have been hitting w/ a different grip than usual. I am not sure how small grip would affect stability... I would think more stable, but perhaps not.

Perhaps you could demo for a week some of these frames in 2 grips and test it out. I would really do this first before trying to add lead and weight.

This post brings up some good points.

tennus
09-05-2006, 04:25 AM
Instead of adding weight to the head, I would suggest adding weight to the handle to increase the overall static weight of the frame but make it more headlight. The swingweight won't increase very much, but the higher static weight will make the racquet feel more stable for volleys, and the more headlight balance will make it feel easier to maneuver and volley with.

Everyone is different but I believe your advice is spot on. My son is a 13yr all courter who struggles volleying against firmly struck groundstrokes. He has changed from a 10 1/2 oz 102 head even balance to same length and brand 95 head 9pts HL 12 oz players racquet. Surprisingly he's adapted quite well but his volleys against hard struck returns are miles better. He says his grip no longer twists like it used to. I suppose this is largely due to the added weight in the handle. :)

BreakPoint
09-05-2006, 11:12 AM
Everyone is different but I believe your advice is spot on. My son is a 13yr all courter who struggles volleying against firmly struck groundstrokes. He has changed from a 10 1/2 oz 102 head even balance to same length and brand 95 head 9pts HL 12 oz players racquet. Surprisingly he's adapted quite well but his volleys against hard struck returns are miles better. He says his grip no longer twists like it used to. I suppose this is largely due to the added weight in the handle. :)

Yes, the heavier static weight makes it more stable against hard hit shots on volleys so there's less twisting and the feeling of getting "pushed back", and the more headlight balance makes it easier to maneuver for volleys and to keep the racquet head up.

hoosierbr
09-18-2007, 04:48 PM
In my experience as a serve-and-volleyer it comes down to preference. Personally I have found that around 12oz, 320 swingweight, 5-7 pts headlight, firm (62-65) in terms of stiffness works best.

HL is good for volleys but too headlight will decrease the feel and touch that one needs to place the volley so more weight in the head is good on that score but that makes the racquet less whippy on groundstrokes and serves which isn't so good. So, again, finding what works best for you is key.

Pros that play doubles or all-court or s&v have their preferences. Some play with very heavy racquets with heavy swingweights and others don't. They found what works best for them as we all should.

Recently I've been playing a racquet with specs out of my typical preference range and its working well but that's more the speciality of the racquet.

LuckyR
09-18-2007, 05:53 PM
Nice topic to bring back from the dead. BTW I pretty much disagree with my original post in this thread. I play a ton of doubles and volley constantly. I do have a heavy, headlight stick. But it is less HL than it was stock, since I added a fair amount of lead to the hoop, I added a bit less to the butt to counter balance but it did end up a few point less HL than stock. It is much more stable (read: powerful) and has a heavier SW than stock.

coloskier
09-19-2007, 02:57 PM
Headlight = maneuvarability


You don't want to volley with something like a baseball bat, do you?

Sampras volleyed with a racket that might have been as heavy as 13 oz. On volley it is more important to have stability for offcenter hits (as usually most reflex volleys are) than to have a lightweight racket with mobility.