How heavy is "too heavy"?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by antontd, May 20, 2005.

  1. antontd

    antontd Semi-Pro

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    A coach said that my racquet is too heavy and after 2-3 years I will have problems with my arm. I wouldn’t care, but my father heard him and you know... My racquet is a 384g PS85. I've used with it for 2 years and I’ve never had injuries. I told them that Sampras played with a 400g, but... with no effect. Considering my textbook technique and that my racquet feels maneuverable at the net, should I change the weight? And more importantly: what should I tell my "health consultants"?
     
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  2. andirez

    andirez Rookie

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    If you have been playing with it for 2 years without any injuries or side effects, it is clearly not too heavy. It actually is a healthy thing, using such a heavy racquet given that you can swing it comfortably (which you seem to can). So ignore your coach, he's just jealous ;)

    When a racquet is too heavy for me, I can tell when my shoulder is a bit sore after a hitting session (mostly from serving) or when I just run out of stamina in a match and can't swing it fast enough anymore. I try to improve my physique and strength whenever I can. My racquets are all in the 360g - 380g range and so are those of my regular hitting partners. 384g is "heavy", but definitly not abnormal. Headlightness also plays an important role though in how heavy the racquets feels to you.

    But really, if you can swing it and continue to do so after long periods of time, a heavy racquet can be considered more healthy than a lighter one. Just tell your "health consultants" it is all a matter of simple physics: the heavier the object you hit the ball with, the less strain and shock on your body.
     
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  3. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Its up to you to decide what to believe. Either the coach is speaking out of backside- and they've been known to do that before- or he's actually trying to say that with the way you play tennis the racquet could cause injury due to its weight. Perhaps he can see something in your game that you can't and, perhaps, he has a valid point.

    You don't mention how old you are but Im imagining that you're still a junior if your dad gets the final word. If your racquet is 13.5 ounces then you'd want to be a big, strong bloke to be swinging something like that. Also, remember that Sampras (who none of us can realistically compare ourselves to athletically) wouldn't have been using his ProStaff at 400g or whatever it really was until he was an adult. Im pretty sure as a kid he'd have had the common sense to keep the weight under control. If you need all of that weight in order to generate power then you're either stringing too tightly or you need to switch frames. Also, a child, (even someone in their late teens isn't an adult) runs the risk of long term muscular or structural damage if they are dealing with heavy weights before their body has fully matured.

    Perhaps the coach was taking all of those things into account before he passed judgement.

    Andirez,
    Suggesting that the heavier the object you hit the ball with, the less strain and shock on your body is patently ludicrous and is in no way supported by physics or common sense. Firstly, this is tennis so he's got to swing a racquet and he's got to serve. Serving with an exceptionally heavy object is not going to impose less strain on the body its going to impose more strain. The weight has to be balanced out by the strength of the player. Impact might be more cushioned but there will be major strain on the body in getting the exceptionally heavy object into place to strike the ball.
     
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  4. ssjkyle31

    ssjkyle31 Semi-Pro

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    Sometimes coaches have this weird personal preference to tweener rackets. Most are looking at these so called new tweener rackets that are light and have alot power. If they see a kid swiniging a 12 to 13 oz racket around comfortably. "Mmmm... I can coach the next Rodick like power player if he change rackets." Who cares if this kids in the next ten years develope some career ending elbow or shoulder problem.

    Listen to your body and get another opinion from another certified coach if you believe your coach is wrong. Is your coach a USTA or some high school coach?
     
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  5. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    When Sampras was a kid, every racquet weighed that much.
     
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  6. tennissavy

    tennissavy Hall of Fame

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    Having been attacked by you several times in the past for no good reason, I know the kind of person you are. Your coach probably doesn't like you, therefore, he has given you appropriate advice. ;)
     
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  7. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Its hard for us to give advice without seeing your "textbook technique" !
    Perhaps its not soo textbook and you are dropping your racket head during your strokes ?
    Maybe you are behind and playing defensively against better players ?
    Maybe they think you will get to the next level in tennis with a more "modern setup" ?
    None of these maybes were issues for Pete Sampras as he won many slams with your setup but you are ofcourse not Sampras otherwise you would not be asking us for advice :)
     
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  8. erik-the-red

    erik-the-red Semi-Pro

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    To answer the topic question, it's too heavy if you can't swing it properly or if you get tired deep in a third set.

    But, way back in the day, the norm was thirteen or more ounces.

    Personally, I think that a Prostaff 6.0 weighted between 12.8 to 13.7 ounces can deliver a hot of power.
     
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  9. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    the game of tennis has changed much since 'back in the day'. what applied then, often does not apply now..it's a different game now requiring different tools and different shots. we know nothing of the posters ability or game or if the 'coach' is a high school coach or a teaching pro. 384 gms is a very precise measurement , and also alot to play with in the modern game even with 'textbook technique'. i sure wouldnt want to deal with that weight (or headsize) as a 5.5 player with balls zipping at me at a million miles an hour. and even the great Sampras became racquet weary deep into his matches i believe (as a guess).
     
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  10. Speedy_tennis

    Speedy_tennis Semi-Pro

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    if you have a trained body, will don't have any problems. i played with my i prestige @ 390 grs and no problems, is fantastic at net, but in claycourt from baseline was very dificult to hit with top spin. Now my i prestige's weight is 355 grs
     
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  11. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Sampras isn't that old. 14 ounces and up is a strong adult's frame. Im older than Sampras and my first wood frames were only 12.5-13 ounces. Having a look at an old tennis book and the recommendation, by Ken McGregor, is for a standard weight racquet of 13 ounces. That's in 1960 and they did manage to lighten racquets a fair bit by the time Sampras started the game.
     
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  12. Exile

    Exile Professional

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    You know it's too heavy when you shank a serve and don't feel like moving your arm.
     
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  13. antontd

    antontd Semi-Pro

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    My style is very attacking, even too much. Aggressive baseliners play defensive against me. It's very close to Sampras. But my 1H backhand is as good as my FH.
    I don’t know that coach and he hadn’t seen my game before my father spoke with him (after trying to play with my racquet). I’m 23; my father is just worried about me. I used to play basketball and tennis is like a walk in the park. My shoulder doesn’t say a thing after 4-5 sets / 100-200 hard serves. That coach (he is a teaching pro) said I have a textbook technique. He hasn’t been the only one. Other coaches thought that I'm a pro. Sorry, if that is not humble enough, but I can beat 5.0-5.5 players.
    Tennissavy, you called me "dumb" FIRST without a good reason. I have no intentions to expand our argument here. I though you gave up ;)
     
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  14. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    This coach is saying that your racquet is "too heavy" because he says you'll have arm problems later, not because he thinks that the weight of your racquet is compromising any aspect of your game. By the sound of it, you're having no problems keeping up with the pace of 'today's faster game' - so that's not an issue. The only possible issue is that the weight of your racquet might damage your arm in the future - and to that, I say that the coach is full of bunk.

    I use a racquet weighed similarly to yours - 385 grams, and noticeably head light (Head Graphite Edge) and I play somewhere in the 4.5 to 5.5 level (depending on how much I'm willing to focus). When I pick up any other person's racquet, they all feel like fragile toys in comparison.
     
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  15. Tennis Ball Hitter

    Tennis Ball Hitter Semi-Pro

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    I am no 5.0 player but my experince with heavy racquets is this,

    When I can stay with my opponent ... not being overpowered or being run around too much ... then "heavy" racquets present no problem for me.

    However, when I have opponents overpowering me and running me around I tend to use my wrist to flick it more and my forearm gets sore at the end of the day.

    And also, I rarely ever get sore in the shoulders ... they have only been sore after 2 or 3 days of solid tennis ... which I rarely ever do.
     
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  16. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Then Im puzzled as to what the problem is. If you're that good, you're 23, you're happy with your racquet and the coach in question has never seen you play (how did he know what your technique was like?) why would you be concerned with what he thinks - or us- and why would you think you even need to offer a reason for using your particular racquet?
     
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  17. antontd

    antontd Semi-Pro

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    He saw me playing later. I believe he thinks that my racquet is too heavy generally. I don't have a problem with it. Just asking - do you think that a lighter racquet would be healthier (generally)? I wasn’t going to mention my game.
     
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  18. montx

    montx Professional

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    #18
  19. montx

    montx Professional

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