Am I robbing my daughter?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by hhollines, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    I've been very conservative with my daughter in terms of her racquet and strings. She is 12 yrs. old (sectional/nat'l level) and she has never been injured and my thought has been to keep her with a light racquet and soft strings. She uses the Babolat Pure Drive lite (10.3 oz. strung weight) and Wilson NXT Control 16 strings (60 lbs.).

    She is a skinny, light, athletic player, who hits with a lot of topspin for a girl (not a traditional flat girl hitter and she handles pace pretty well). However, not that she is getting stronger, is it time to look at a heavier racquet for more plow through and a hybrid type string pattern to take advantage of her topspin? Or, is it still too early to focus on the technology side of tennis?

    Any thoughts, suggestions . . . weights on her existing racquet? move up to the Babolat Pure Drive? I hear about the new Wilson Stream 99 which could be perfect for a spin hitter like her . . . any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    See the 99S threads in the Rackets section
     
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  3. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    Thanks, I've read that thread but I was just using it as an example. That's a new racquet and string pattern (+ much heavier than her current racquet + we are in the marketing hype phase). However, I'm interested in feedback as to how to slowly and conservatively start to use technology to her advantage.

    Another approach I'd like feedback on is adding weight to her existing frames? Also, I'm interested in very arm friendly strings/string patterns that perhaps give her a bit more than the Wilson NXT Control 16. I'll still be conservative b/c technology does make make your game . . . it's about technique and form and then technology aids that but I've been incredibly conservative and would like to try a few new things but taking into smartly and safely.
     
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  4. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    IMHO I don't think racket or string matters unless in a close match between the 2 juniors. Development of sound technique is the most important.
    If you want to change equipment, string type and setup to soothe her game or playing style, just make sure to pay attention so you don't end up with an arm/elbow problem in the long run.
    I am sure everyone who spends time on this forum does read in the racket and string sections and ask around for opinions as well.
    Demo several candidates. Look at her ground strokes, serve, volley, comfort and maneuverability. Serious kid her age most likely will choose a stick he/she likes playing over cosmetic or brand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
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  5. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    Thanks and I'm talking about very close matches :). I agree with what you said and I just spoke with a few former pro players and they both recommended to stay the heck away from poly for right now. They recommended adding a few oz. to her existing racquet and looking at syn guts and multis (several will provide more bite than the NXT control 16).
     
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  6. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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  7. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    no i think youre doing well. that is a really good racket imo and ive used it playing community college males.
     
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  8. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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  9. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    Thanks. I appreciate that feedback.
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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  11. BirdieLane

    BirdieLane New User

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    Certainly not robbing her and I agree you have a good setup. As basically said above, choose your specs based on long term technique development and not short term wins. I kept my daughter at 26 inches for over a year playing at national level when I knew 27 would help her compete but also potentially hinder technique.

    As for polys - I think while using such a light racket like the PDL, you might stay away from them because with lighter rackets, more shock is sent into the wrist/arm/shoulder and the poly will just add to that. That said, there are some 'softer'/stretchier polys out there now if you were dying to try it you could do a blend.

    The flip side is - it is important to also keeping in mind that lighter doesn't always mean better for technique/arms/wrist/shoulder, etc. We've found that groundie and volley technique is more solid with heavier rackets...the lighter rackets can be harder to maintain control/discipline even though you might be able to swing them faster. And also, heavier rackets, with good technique can significantly reduce shock to wrist/arm/shoulder ...but ONLY with good technique. If technique is bad, it's the opposite so don't rush or consider until technique is very good. But if her technique is already great (i.e. she's rarely late, has a great contact point and extension...i.e. letting the racket to the work) then I'd experiment w some weight.

    I think our progression was (strung wt):
    Age 10: 26, maybe 10oz;
    Age 11: 26, approx 11oz;
    Age 12: 27, 10.3oz;
    Age 13: 27, 11.2oz;
    Age 14: 27, 12.2oz;
     
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  12. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    That's BirdieLane and everyone. Your feedback has been very helpful. I forgot we had one regular BPD so she hit yesterday going back and forth from the BPD to BPD-Lite and I noticed a slightly heavier ball and more plow through with the BPD and so I'm going ot modify one of her BPD-Lite's to that of the BPD which is pretty subtle. Weight would increase from 10.3 oz. to 11.1 oz.; 3pts. HL to 4pts. HL; and Swing weight increase from 298 to 308. I'll have our swinging expert make the adjustment and I'm told this is simply placing .8 oz. lead tape around the throat (12.1 from the bottom). The racquets are pretty similar but the BPD will give her a bit more power without making a drastic change.

    She is 12 and 1/2 so that falls in line with your progression BirdieLane. I like this conservative approach and I agree 100% to stay on the conservative side. She is strong enough to handle the weight increase and the swing weight increase is subtle.
     
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  13. katematt

    katematt New User

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    My daughter is now 16 and she has played with head only since the beginning. She is skinny but strong, and ranked top 50 G16 national.

    As I recall she jumped from the junior 27 length radical to the Radical MP around 13 years old. So from a weight standpoint is was from 10.3 to 11.3. now plays with the youtek IG Radical MP @11.3. I have been stringing her racquet with the same hybrid set up for years. 17G poly mains at 56 and 17G syn gut crosses @58.

    She is one of the few girls that I see that doesn't play with an all poly set up. We tried it, but she doesn't like the lower tension.

    no shoulder or elbow issues to date, (knock wood) and trains 7-9 hours per week.
     
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