Beginners who did NOT use os rackets

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by megaman, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. megaman

    megaman Guest

    Calling all beginners who did not start out with the conventional os racket.

    Please relay your experiences. Was starting out with a smaller head size great or do you regret that you did?
     
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  2. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    102 from wal-mart...
     
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  3. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    Well, in a galaxy far far away, and before the invention of the whimpy modern day tennis player. We all learned to play on this amazing thing called a "tennis racquet".. Surprised you must be I know. But this magical piece of sporting equipment was made of wood. Too heavy to lift when you were about 4 years old, and had a head size around about 60 inches.... ect ect......
     
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  4. PackardDell

    PackardDell Semi-Pro

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    I always played with 95/98 sq inch. Exceptions are when I broke my strings. I then borought the racket from my father. It was about 100 sq inch i think. Could hit great balls with it I must admit.
     
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  5. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    Considering I grew up in the wooden racquet days, I very definitely did not use an over size racquet.
     
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  6. sharp*shooter

    sharp*shooter Banned

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    I started with a 98" slazenger which weighed about 10-11 ounces. Very easy to use.
     
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  7. Mad iX

    Mad iX Semi-Pro

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    95" for me. Before that I played badminton and squash so the head size was not a problem for me. The hardest thing was learning to hit "topspin".
     
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  8. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    I learned tennis in....that's right...the 80s. All that was available was straight box beam graphite frames with mid size (90 sq.in or less) heads. Or aluminim frames. I think that when I bought my first stick as a kid wood frames were still being sold, although they were not common.

    My stick for most part of my childhood was a Wilson Matrix.

    I think the results were good. I can do stuff many players today can't do (well). I can play S&V, chip n' charge, slice-attack, hit flat shots etc. This seems to bewilder many modern topspin players.
     
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  9. Char

    Char Rookie

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    I started out with a pretty heavy wooden racquet. Does mean pretty much the only racquets I am comfortable with these days are ~95 sq inch players' racquets. Not necessarily a good or a bad thing.
     
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  10. nickb

    nickb Banned

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    I started with a pro staff classic....no OS for me.
     
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  11. jjjosh

    jjjosh New User

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    wilson staff, i believe is it 85-90 head size. Tiny sweetspot so it was frustrating to learn with but I think it helped my game in the long run.
     
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  12. Char

    Char Rookie

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    That's my game too. I'm simply happy in that mode. I can hit topspin, but its not the modern whippy style.

    Not to imply starting to learn on a mid/mid-plus nowadays would necessarily send you down that path though. Its simply more a function of the way I have always played.

    To the OP, I'd probably recommend starting to play on a racquet around 95-100 sq in. Never been a fan of racquets any larger. If you start on a lower powered racquet, its going to teach you by default the technique you need to generate the pace you want while simultaneously learning the game and finding your style. I never saw a problem with that personally, but your mileage may vary and I dont doubt that the initial months would be significantly more challenging.
     
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  13. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    I started around age 12 with a Dunlop Max 200g. Yes, I got it b/c Mac & Steffi used it, but that's beside the point. It probably wasn't the easiest thing to learn with... shanks, mishits, heavy, not much spin, and not much power. That's what I remember about it (besides it hitting really sweet). It took me a year or two to learn how to hit with it, but it felt really good when I did. You either hit it well or just shanked it. My game became very "low" early on -- I hit very flat with a very small margin of error over the net. Not all attributable to the racket though, but probably some.

    I'd like to think learning w/ an 82 sq in frame helped my hand-eye coordination, but I can't go back and re-learn with a 100 sq in, so I can't say for sure. Maybe playing baseball really is what honed my coordination? Would I be a wild hitter if I grew up w/ 100 sq in? Who's to say.

    I think if the learning curve doesn't bother you (i.e. can put up w/ all the mishits) and you keep improving, then I think using a smaller frame can help you in some way. If you're not improving much and just getting frusrated, move up to a larger head size.
     
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  14. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    There were no OS racquets when I started playing.
     
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  15. Bengt

    Bengt Semi-Pro

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    I started using both. However, it was the OS that allowed me to learn the Western forehand and one handed topspin backhand. I didn't have the eye/hand coordination and timing to hit those strokes with the narrower racket face of the midsize.
     
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  16. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    same here, started with tiny wooden frames, then aluminum....
    so: started with 90, then 95 for years, now 97.

    Also played squash in my teens, and never had a size issue, if you know what I mean....
     
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  17. nasastevo

    nasastevo New User

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    Bancroft, Wilson, Kennex

    The first racket I ever hit with was my Dad's trusty Bancroft woodie. He was so pissed when came home from work and I had scraped it up on the driveway hittin' balls against the garage... My first racket that I bought on my own was a Wilson aluminum midsize of some type. I think it was called an ACE. I wore that sucker out before I started buying the graphite/composite frames that I collect now. I didn't play with an OS until after college, and still prefer mids over OS's...
     
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  18. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

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    me too I started out with the kramer auto. 1965 & used that model until 1982. funny near the end of my kramer days a lot of guys had switched to either the prince graphit or alu. pro and I never felt I was disadvantaged. there were even a few guys who were rock solid 6.0 players where I lived in Reno,NV who used wood reg. rackets also, but times change and by 1983 nobody used reg. wood size rackets.
     
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  19. gsquicksilver

    gsquicksilver Semi-Pro

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    started out with the wilson sting 85, then switched to the ps85 about a year or two later. damn, can't believe that was 14 years ago.
     
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  20. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I started on a Prince Precision Mono - 80-something SQ in head, and almost no power. Maybe that's why I hit the ball so hard nowadays.
     
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  21. akatim

    akatim New User

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    I also played with wood and then aluminum in the late '70s and '80s. When I returned to tennis this spring OS racquets didn't look or feel right. Even my APD with a head size of 100 feels a bit bulky. 98 feels better to me.
     
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  22. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    i started with a wooden racquet, for the first 10 years of my life, then i got a handme down from my ant, gave me a 93" head graphite, then started using 98" wilson metal frame when the strings broke, all up until the time when i was able to buy the 110" prokennex
     
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  23. czech09

    czech09 Rookie

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    I started with some walmart racquet. It was about MP size. My first 'real' racquet was a Hyper Hammer 4.0. I'm not sure whether I regret it as I don't know if OS would have helped me. I didn't take any lessons and just really learned the game on my own...so progress was slow at that point.
     
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  24. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    The Mono's specs:

    97", 27", 11.5 oz, 12.6" HL, 20 mm, 16x21
     
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  25. jdelcue

    jdelcue Rookie

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    I started playing recently, actually, so it's really too soon to tell in regards to all these other posters who have seen the advantages/disadvantages of learning the game with a given head size...

    But when I first started playing, I was using a LM Rad OS. That didn't last long, though, as I felt myself wanting to come to the net more often (sorta naturally) and hitting a lot of balls long (probably because I didn't really hit topspin too well -- still not the best at it, but considerably better now)...

    Also, the weight bothered me (too light), I wanted to try something more head-light, and the instability really got to me when I was rallying with my friends who know how to play and generate some pace...

    Soon thereafter, I picked up a FXP Radical MP Tour. That pretty much solved all my troubles. But about a week after I picked one up used, TW stopped carrying them, and just about everyone who was still carrying them was doing so at 179.99+ -- so I decided to start trying other racquets, too...

    Recently picked up a used 9/10 Wilson PS 6.0 95 and added a Babolat leather grip and Wilson overgrip......
    All I can say is: :D

    Pretty much sticking with the Wilson these days (looking to make it my main stick and become proficient with that beast of a racquet!), but on occasion, when I'm looking for a little more forgiveness and pop to compare to my progress with the Wilson, I'll pull out the 100" Head...

    I'm pretty comfortable with both. I think it pretty much boils down to the kind of game you feel inclined to try and play on the courts...

    For me, I like a head size in the 90s. But, to be honest, that's not really the primary thing on my list of 'wants' in a racquet...
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
    #25
  26. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    Wow - the head looks a slot smaller than that.

    Not bad for a 13 year old to swing, though, eh? ;)
     
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  27. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    I started with my dad's customized Head Vilas, when I was 9, with a headsize of 68 and 18.6 oz. Played with it exclusively, until I was 17, when I demoed some modern frames, and fell in love with the ProStaff 6.1. And I've been using it for the past 5 and a half years.

    I got lot of mockings when I was a kid and a youngster, being the only one hitting with a woody, while almost everyone used POGs or Prestiges or ProStaffs

    And I don't regret a single bit! :D
     
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  28. hjminard

    hjminard Rookie

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    I learned with wood and metal many moons ago, but had a long layoff (20+ years) until recently. Upon my "comeback" two months ago, my skill level had definitely reverted to beginner. Started out with an OS (Head Liquidmetal 8), but became quickly frustrated with that launching pad and demo'd a few "players" racquets and mid-plus tweeners. Ended up with an APD Cortex and couldn't be happier. Still provides some pop but I experienced an immediate increase in control ... leading to an immediate increase in confidence with shot-making.

    Perhaps I just had the wrong OS racquet?
     
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  29. johnv_pr

    johnv_pr Rookie

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    I started with a Head Prestige Classic. I think starting out with a racquet that demands full swings helps the beginner in developing proper technique.
     
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  30. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    me too. first racquet was dunlop maxply.
     
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  31. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I learned on woodies as well, in the early 70's. One of my first few racquets was the beloved Maxply woodie. <sigh>

    Still enjoy hitting w/one once in a while...but am perfectly happy w/my modern racquet.

    My sons both learned on 100"+ racquets...Head LM Rad OS and Head Fire.
     
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  32. es-0

    es-0 Rookie

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    I started playing just a year ago and I started with my parent's old Head Tournament Pro with a 89.5 sq in head. I think it helped quite a bit, I still hit with them on occasion, them and an old wooden Slazenger.
     
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  33. QuietDaze

    QuietDaze Rookie

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    My dad let us play around with his wooden racquet but when I got my own racquet (which I still play with today) it's a Prince CTS Synergy Mid-Plus. I'm shopping for a new racquet now and can't bring myself to try the big ole OS. They look.....too big. lol
     
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  34. Ronny

    Ronny Hall of Fame

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    98sq inch from babolat
     
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  35. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Started with a 65 sq. in. wood racquet which I used for about 13 years before I switched to the 82 sq. in. Dunlop Max200G, which I used for another 13 years. Then briefly went to a 98, then to a 95, and now back down to a 90. :D
     
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  36. ps60

    ps60 Professional

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    it's so much easier to learn tennis nowadays.

    when i learnt it with my Maxply McEnroe, it took me yrs to sustain a short rally.
     
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  37. VS_Power

    VS_Power Rookie

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    i started off with an i.prestige mid.

    i demo'd it and bought it because it was the first racket i ever hit a real forehand with... and it felt @#$% good.

    to this day it is still my favorite racket, after extensive demoing

    so no i have no regrets.
     
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  38. badmice2

    badmice2 Rookie

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    i started with a Prince Graphite Lite XB Oversize for about 2-3 months; than my coach took it away from me and made me learn from a wooden racket. After that, i never went back and stayed with a racket that's no bigger than a 98 in...my evolution went something like this...

    Graphite Lite XB 110
    Jack Kramer Wood
    Jack Kramer Graphite
    Head Trisys 270 (93)
    Wilson Original Prostaff (85)
    Head Ti Classic (98)
    Dunlop 200g (MW + HM - 95)
     
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  39. Ambivalent

    Ambivalent Hall of Fame

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    I started with an unknown Sports Authority Head racquet, then ditched it after 2 days when my parent's friend gave me a n6.1 tour 90. Yeah, in my early days, i'd head to the club, all the adults would look at me expectingly seeing the tour 90, and then it'd be total meltdown.
     
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  40. kanjii

    kanjii Semi-Pro

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    I started in the 80s myself with popular baseliners and those racquets...Borg Pro, GTX Pro-T, F200...until the Agassi craze was when I went OS with Donnays and Heads, but went back down with the APDC and PDR which I like a lot better. Took out the GTX a month ago to hit and wow...that was fun!!
     
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  41. Serve em Up

    Serve em Up Rookie

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    First played a cheap wooden Wilson raquet. The thing had trampoline strings and was a like swinging a log. Moved up to a Wilson Advantage real wood when I got to high school. Don't know what size the head was, surely less than 90sq in.
     
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  42. Gmedlo

    Gmedlo Professional

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    An OS racquet was bigger than me when I first started playing:-D

    First racquet I played a tournament with was a Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.2 w/ ROLLERS! 95 sq. inch head. But my first racquet that was actually mine (i.e. not father's/brother's) was/were 2 prince O3 Tour OS, but by then I was not a beginner.
     
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  43. MaximRecoil

    MaximRecoil Rookie

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    Biggest racket I've ever owned is a Puma Becker (92 sq. in.). Had a Bancroft Borg wooden racket briefly when I was 7 but didn't do much with it. I got a Wilson Rally midsize aluminum racket when I was 10 and liked that quite well at the time. Got a Puma Becker when I was 12 and I keep going back to it to this day. In fact, I just bought another one in a more appropriate grip size than what I used when I was 12.
     
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  44. Seansaysrawr21

    Seansaysrawr21 New User

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    my first stick was that 98 inch Npro which got me pretty far till i decided to go yellow
     
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  45. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    The first racquets I used were:

    1. A generic woodie from a department store's irregular section. I think it had some warp. I hit tennis balls against a wall a few times with it.
    2. A Donnay composite 110 junior racquet. This had no power or stability. I didn't play tennis for many years after I tried it and thought I had no ability at all.
    3. A Billie Jean King woodie. This was a friend's racquet. I liked it a lot, even though it had some warp. When the warp became bad, I quit using it.
    4. Prince Graphite 110. This hurt my wrist, so I only used it once.

    When I started playing regularly, I did have a Wilson Prostaff 6.0 110, but it wasn't the "real" 6.0, it was the light fiberglass widebody. It was the only one I could afford at the time. It was strung with nylon. I could slice well with it, but had trouble keeping other shots in the court. I couldn't hit topspin at all at the time. The handle snapped in two so I got a Prince Precision 730 (longbody Graphite II). It was better but the string pattern is too open so I had trouble directing shots. I got a Prince Mono and a Prince Ripstick, both on closeout. I gave away the Ripstick and played with the Mono. Then I switched to the Prostaff 6.0 85 which I used until this year (although I played with several other racquets sometimes, including a Wilson Advantage woodie, a Seamco Ken Rosewall aluminum, a Head Classic Tour midplus, a Wilson Ultra II standard, a Prince Comp 110, the mono, etc.) I've demoed quite a few other racquets, too.
     
    #45
  46. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    It's a standard wood size, not even close to 90. The only Wilson woodies with larger than standard heads are the Legacy and the Jack Kramer Autograph mid. Mid in those days meant 75 sq in, I believe.

    The Advantage is a nice racquet.
     
    #46
  47. Sixpointone

    Sixpointone Professional

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    I started with a Wood Racquet which was Midsize.
     
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  48. Rafa freak

    Rafa freak Semi-Pro

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    First racket head graphite edge.
     
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  49. aznspongehead

    aznspongehead Rookie

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    I started about 13 months ago with a Head Liquidmetal Prestige mid.
    Learning tennis with that racket was quite frustrating, my consistency was horrible. As a result I think it affected my overall self-confidence in tennis. A year later, consistency is still the weakest part of my game, even after I've switched to a 98 sq in. racket. I have to really get myself prepared mentally before matches or it'll be a total mess.

    To make up for my poor groundstroke results though, I was really motivated to practice serves. I have a good serve (by the standard of others who have played around 1 to 2 years) thanks to that. I am able to pretty consistently hit flat and slice serves.. occasionally I can hit a kick serve but it's not very consistent.. Usually when my serve is on I can hit 10+ aces in a set, and I can force a lot of errors from my the other varsity players on my team. (to give you an idea of how effective it is) I think I wouldn't be half the player I am without my serve...

    Another advantage of starting out with a demanding racket is that I think I really have a solid form on all my strokes. I look at some of the other players on my HS team, and their strokes are just strange looking. I'd attribute that to less demanding rackets letting them get away with too much, and since what they were doing was working for them they never bothered to learn the right way to hit the shots. This can hinder future improvements.

    I do not regret starting out with a demanding frame. I probably did it back then because of my ego. I wasn't really willing to admit that I needed a "game improvement" racket... I thought it was insulting, haha. I actually went online and specifically looked for rackets labeled as "demanding," with a kind of "stick it to the man" attitude. I think while it gave motivation to improve faster (since a player's racket really lets you know how bad you are by punishing you for your imperfect strokes), it did take a toll on my consistency. I might have gotten used to the idea of hitting balls out so that it doesn't seem as big of a deal...
     
    #49
  50. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    I started playing tennis about less than a year ago and my first racquet was a prostaff original 6.0 mid with 85 sq in head. Yes I started with one of the highest demand racquets but I love the way it feels best. I have been playing paddle tennis for the pass 3 years between 3-5 times per week before I ever picked up a tennis racquet so I think that might be the reason why I like the smaller head tennis racquet better since the paddle tennis racquet only has a 45-50 sq in head. I am now using a Prince Spectrum with 90 sq in head and I love it. I've tried many larger heads and I find that anything larger than 95 sq in is very difficult to play (for me). I can only hit one handed backhand well with a smaller head and the thin beam.

    Seems like everything I described here is backwards compared to most people. Does it sounds strange or make sense to anyone??? Any input would be great!
     
    #50

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