Hitting wth old(er) balls?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by rk_sports, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    Just curious...

    Does hitting with old balls hurt your game?

    I felt that the uneven bounce sometimes makes you adjust too much and though this might help you to adjust uneven bounces but my hitting felt horrible with the older balls!!
     
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  2. dr_punk

    dr_punk Professional

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    I feel it does. It's blasphemy for me. I usually play with new balls everytime i hit.
     
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  3. masterxfob

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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    if they're old and flat, you probably shouldn't play with them. it's hard to hit flat balls out, so you're swing has to adjust when hitting new balls.
     
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  4. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    How old? How flat?

    I have no problem hitting with low compression (training) balls. I use these with a lot of my novice students. Sometimes, when it ain't too windy, will warm up with the foam (training) balls. This works really well when playing on cold days/nights -- it is easier to get in long rallies using a lot of aggressive hitting to warm up the muscles and joints.

    I will often hit on the wall using flatter balls -- either low compression balls or older standard balls. Easier to get the hand-eye coordination going with these and easier to get a good warmup. It will also be easier on your strings and your body. After warming up a few minutes with these, I'll switch to livelier (newer) balls.
     
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  5. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    Not evenly old.. just collection of different type and age I guess!

    But you give me a super idea to use low compression (training) balls to hit the wall
     
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  6. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Hurts my game..:neutral:. In practice i usually play with almost dead balls. Dead balls feel different and you can hit them harder and it'll still go in. When i play tournaments, it takes a while for me to get used to the new balls (all my shots go long) and its harder for me to get spin with the brand new balls because of the different feel.
     
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  7. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

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    New balls are the way to go. An older ball will bounce less, spin less, go slower, feel heavier, hurt your arm more. A new ball is different in every way. The most important thing, is that the old balls WILL and DOES affect your technique. So after about 4 or 5 hours of play (considering you are using about 6 other balls), a ball is pretty much useless as the felt is gone, and the pressure has dropped. However, these are good to use when working on volleys, or serves, or just technique wise where you are more concerned with how you hit the ball not the resulting shot. Even on a dead ball you still have to hit in the center of the racquet.
     
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  8. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    good question........will try to play with new balls all the time now. seems a bit wastefull but i guess worth it.
     
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  9. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    If you're good at playing with old balls and your opponent is good with new ones, who's going to win in a tournament? Here's a hint, in tournaments you play with new balls. You're practicing the wrong way by using old balls. Since tennis balls in the U.S. nearly always stay at $2 a can, not adjusting for inflation, they are cheaper than they have ever been. So if you are able, don't use a can more than twice.
     
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  10. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    If you don't want to feel too wasteful, you can buy a yellow Tennis Ball Saver cannister for $8-$12 to keep your balls stay pressurized so you can reuse them a couple more times until the felt wears out enough to toss them away.

    Most people play 1.5 hours sessions maybe 2 or 3 times a week. Usually the balls go flat by the time they're ready to start their 2nd session but maybe the felt is still good for another session or two. So while the Tennis Ball Saver can't help save wear on the felt, but it can help save the balls from going flat too soon.
     
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  11. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    Big advantage of playing on clay courts, is that balls last a lot longer...
     
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  12. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    Yeah it's terrible and the better you get, the more frequently you have to change balls.

    At some point after a competitive match, the ball is already spanked to death.
     
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  13. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    Interesting... got a link?
     
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  14. masterxfob

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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    i think it's an urban legend. my pops had one of those and i don't think it made the slightest difference.
     
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  15. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    It's sold just about everywhere, even your local sports stores like Dick's or Sports Authority or Golf Smith or other local tennis stores. If you want to mail order, just google "Tennis Ball Saver" and pick your vendor.

    There are a couple of brands of the same design. One is the yellow Tennis Ball Saver. The other is the clear transparent Gamma Revive Tennis Ball Pressurizer. Don't buy the Gamma Revive. Its construction is not as good and is very hard to twist it closed. The yellow Tennis Ball Saver is a superior product. This is from experience because I have several of both brands.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
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  16. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    It works great for me. It's not going to turn flat balls into bouncy balls. The balls have to still be fresh and bouncy in the first place. Then it'll preserve the bounce to be almost as good as the condition when you start storing them.

    Also, if you don't keep the O ring clean and lubricated, it may not be airtight anymore and hold pressure. Then it won't work, of course. I just keep a small Vaseline bottle next to it and lube it each time before storage.
     
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  17. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    its funny but as i have gotten betteri noticed that i cant play with dead balls anymore. i used to hit with balls forever and ever but now if i dont like the way it bounces i hit it over the fence. i still suck though, but i think thats an indication of improvement?
     
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  18. plasma

    plasma Banned

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    dead and even pressureless balls will injure your joints and strokes, they tend to comfort mid level players at times.
     
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  19. mrcalon

    mrcalon Rookie

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    I have the Gamma one. It works awesome. I re-use balls now until the fuzz comes off or they end up popping.
     
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  20. Noisy Ninja

    Noisy Ninja Rookie

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    Petroleum based vaseline can be detrimental to the longevity of rubber o-rings. I recommend using a silicone lubricant for the tennis ball saver o-rings instead.
    I agree with others that using flat/old balls may be detrimental to one's game. You want to approximate match conditions when you practice.
    I usually know it's time to retire tennis balls when I notice I'm arming the ball versus stroking the ball.
     
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  21. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

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    all this talk about stroking the balls and lubricating the o-rings is starting to creep me out.
     
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  22. topher.juan

    topher.juan Rookie

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    I thought my serve was going downhill the last two weeks. I usually open new balls for matches then use those for practice, as I play another match, throw out 3 balls and use the 3 new ones. I haven't played a match for two weeks and noticed my serve wasn't right lately, I thought it was me; I opened some new balls (I usually don't for practice) and was blown away by the difference, my serve problems were instantly gone.
     
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  23. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    Hm, interesting. Thanks for the tip, Ninja. I never thought about this, but I think you have a valid point. I will switch to silicone from now on. Hope it's not too late.

    The reason I used Vaseline is because the instruction on the Gamma Revive specifically says to use Vaseline to lubricate the O-ring, so I assumed it was the proper lubricant. It didn't just say any lubricant, but specifically says Vaseline, you know. It also says do not use solvents as this will damage the O-ring.

    The yellow Tennis Ball Saver doesn't contain any instruction about cleaning or lubricating the O-ring per se.
     
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