Is it better to play with a racquet that you can play your absolute best with or.....

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by wildmoose31, May 28, 2005.

  1. wildmoose31

    wildmoose31 Rookie

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    I recently bought a Ps 6.0 85, mainly just for fun but I finally got around to hitting it the last two days, I was suprised how well I can hit a lot of my shots with it. Which leads me to this question.....

    What would I be better off doing....

    A. Playing with a stick(6.0 85, nCode 90, PC 600) that when Im playing well I can maximize my potential with when I am playing my best, but if im not playing my best or am tired, my game really suffers

    B. Playing with a stick (nCode 95, Pure Control, diablo, fp radical tour, etc) where if im playing my best, the racquet slightly limits me in power, control or touch, but when I am not at my best, my game doesnt suffer nearly as much

    Since im not playing competitivley at the moment, I am leaning towards option A, so I can work to get better because the racquet forces me to, but im interested in others opinions
     
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  2. Rafa Nadal

    Rafa Nadal Semi-Pro

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    I would say A too because a stick which is hard to play like NCode 90 is more interesting like a stick like Pure Drive because you learn more and can improve your Game more and more
     
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  3. Michelangelo

    Michelangelo Professional

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    The real world is always cruel. Going for something really not even a bit forgiving (such as Pro Staff 85) reveals all bad aspects of your playing, then you know what you should improve. On the other hand, easier rackets can let you play easier and appearently you play better. However, such rackets also hide/forgive your mistakes and you'll never know their existance.

    Anyway, when I first picked up the Pro Staff 85, I also hit surprisingly well despite the small head size.
     
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  4. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    play with the racquet that gives you the best chance of winning all the time.
     
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  5. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    If you intend to maximize your tennis potential, you should play with the stick that lets you play the best when you're playing your best -- and then bust your ass to get your game and your fitness to the point that that's how you play every time you step on the court.

    If you intend to get the most fun out of tennis you possibly can...well, pick the answer that you find you have more fun with.
     
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  6. Honestlybad

    Honestlybad Rookie

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    Maybe practicing witha demanding racquet and playing matches with an easier version is the answer.
     
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  7. thebeast

    thebeast Rookie

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    how good are you?
     
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  8. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    'absolute' best for me is when i beat a player that is better than me (rarely happens but does sometimes). play some test matches with the 'A' group b4 deciding. naturally it is ultimately your decision and you should play with what you like but it seems that a MP headsize helps [especially] when you're in a defensive position against a strong player. there are SO many out there, i'd imagine you could find the balance your looking for. good luck with it all the same.
     
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  9. rooski

    rooski Professional

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    Ummm.... I don't think you will loose any power or touch with any of the rackets in your choice B. In fact you should have significantly more power with them. While it's fun to play with rackets in your choice A.....you have to figure there is a reason that a LOT (not make that a ton) more guys on tour are playing with the (B) rackets. Unless you are a 5.5 to 6.0 player you should forget about the sticks in section A for anything resembling competition.

    Lastly, I don't think there is one racket in section B that would limit you in any way. Put the Sampras and Federer cool aid down and play with the racket that you play best with MOST of the time.:)
     
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  10. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I had a similar dilemma between the nCode 95 and Tour 10 VE mp. I liked the feel of the Tour 10 better and it had better power and was less demanding, but I went with the nCode because it forces me to improve and will stick with me, allowing for more development. I would say try using the more demanding racket and practice as much as possible with it to get used to it and its weight, etc . I think you will find yourself getting used to it pretty quickly and the weight won't be much of a problem.
     
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  11. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The harder the better, baby! I think using a more demanding racquet makes the game more challenging, and thus, more interesting. I love the challenge of improving all the time. I think that's what makes tennis so interesting and addictive in that it makes you want to keep getting better and become perfect, which no one, of course, ever achieves (with the possible exception of Federer). When I use some tweeners, it makes the game so easy to play that I feel as if I'm cheating. It's like I don't even have to concentrate and I can hit volleys away for winners? What fun is there in that? It's like driving an automatic transmission vs. a manual. Or like hunting for wild deer out in the woods while they're running around vs. having one tied up and walking up to it and shooting it in the head at point blank range. Where's the challenge in that? Where's the sport in that? Tennis is SUPPOSED to a be a challenging sport, not a game of backgammon or poker where you can sit around munching on chips, drinking beer, smoking a cigar, and clicking the remote while you're doing it.

    The bottom line is, for me, it's less about winning and more about how well I play and how I feel about my game when I play, and how challenged I am in trying to hit that perfect stroke everytime. That's what makes tennis fun for me and why it's so addictive for me. If it gets too easy, I'll probably get bored and move on to golf or bowling or something else. ;)
     
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  12. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    i understand what you mean about challenging oneself to play better and its not always about winning. if i lose a match but feel that i played well, just got outplayed, i am still satisfied. but finding a racquet that helps you to win is NOT cheating. rather, it is the best choice. i'm with iscottius and rooski on this one.
     
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  13. SageOfDeath

    SageOfDeath Guest

    That's why they say besides footwork, old school wooden racquet players would be able to cream the tennis players today. I use a prostaff Wilson Hyp ProStaff Surge X and its recomended for a 4.0+ all courst players. My brother got it stringed for me somewhere and the string tension is really high. I'm definately not a 4.0 as I just started playing tennis about in February or March of this year. But I do play a lot of tennis. Once I tried my friend's racquet which was a hammer racquet stringed at probably 50-55 pounds. When I hit with my forehand the ball just flew with power. Definately more forgiving but I often hit with too much head racquet speed so it wasn't a good racquet for me.

    I think that the racquet shouldn't make the player. Don't get a racquet to hide your errors in your strokes. I think the only few good reasons to get a new racquet is if your old one is broken, it hurts because the racquet is too heavy, or if you feel that you want to try a new racquet.
     
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  14. SageOfDeath

    SageOfDeath Guest

    I might get a new racquet for my birthday ^_^
     
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  15. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    sorry to play devils advocate here but i really want the guy/gal who started this thread to think this thu.

    if you have bad stroke mechanics, a racquet will not fix that for you. regardless of the racquet, in that case you are going to lose against a better player. so skill is important absolutely no argument there. the problem comes when you are in game situations against a player who serves bullets and hits just as hard or harder than you. out the window goes the idea of hitting perfect strokes or being amazed with your directional control. you've got less time to think and prepare and the margin for error is raised.

    the 'right' racquet isnt hiding anything in this case and it also is not going to in and of itself mean the difference between winning and losing but minimizing your margin for error (with a demanding frame) certainly doesnt help. does this concept sound that crazy?
     
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  16. gregraven

    gregraven Semi-Pro

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    I would recommend playing with whatever racquet makes you so comfortable and/or confident that you don't question the racquet when you make a bad shot, or are losing.
     
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  17. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    the only time you should play with a frame that is beyond your level is perhaps when you are a kid and are getting too good or too big for a junior racquet..kids can shoot up pretty quickly and in a short while they can grow into their gear..otherwise people should pick frame well matched to ther PRESENT skillset. whoever said tennis is too easy with a tweener either just isnt playing anyone very good or is on the tour ..there's certaInly enough tweeners and even game improvement frames on tHe tour these days and even the pros dont feel that way..they will use anything to get an edge. to say that using a too demanding frames makes you learn to hit the ball correctly is absurd, and can actually result in bad technique or injury...and people who say you can't hit all of the shots with tweeners and such really dont know of what they speak.
    Disclaimer: Free world (to some degree) and everyone can sure use whatever they wish
     
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  18. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Actually, I said that using a tweener makes things too easy, but only compared to and relative to using a demanding player's racquet. Tennis will always be a relatively difficult sport no matter what racquet you use because there's just so much more involved than your choice of racquet.

    I actually do feel that using a low powered, flexible players racquet forces me to have to take a long, full stroke to hit the ball or else it won't even go over the net. With a tweener, I can get away with short, choppy strokes and sometimes even just a flick of the wrist and hit a winner. I'm not so sure that's good for the development of one's game in the long run IMHO.
     
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  19. goober

    goober Legend

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    Actually I had this same question. Funny thing is I had the it aswered for me by getting tennis elbow. I couldn't play with my Surges or brand new nCode Surge because of the pain. So I am sticking with my 20 mm, 12 oz, 10 pt headlight, 59 flex racquet.

    If anybody is looking for a essentially brand new nCode Surge let me know :D
     
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  20. ffrpg

    ffrpg Professional

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    Go with option A. I was in this situation once upon a time and I chose option A. I bought a PS 85 for fun and kept playing with it. I never lost to my friend until I started using the PS 85. I started losing matches at first, but they were all for fun. It really did pay off though. After a couple months, I started getting better than my friends. My strokes were more consistent. It really is demanding and sometimes you might want to give up on it. Don't give up though, it really is worth it.
     
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  21. wildmoose31

    wildmoose31 Rookie

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    Well, recently after trying lots of racquets, im in an interesting situation. If I take out my FP Rad Tour, I can pound my forehand deep into the court, and thats seriously the only big improvement. My serves dont gain much power and lose accuracy, my one hand backhand and slice definitley loose sharpness. When I move down to my Babolat Pure Control Team + my serves go up in power and control, and my forehand goes deeper, not noticing much more power though, my backhand is similar to the FP rad tour, but better but I do play pretty well. (Ive used the PCT as my main racquet for a good amount of the year). If I step down to the iPrestige mid (customized to add an extra half inch) My serves very slightly go down in power, accuracy gets better. Ive used the iPrestige for about 2 years before getting a Pure Control. Then theres the Volkl Vengine 10 mid, which I really loved at first, but eventually something took me away from it, very nice for serves, backhands and forehands, touch wasnt great though. Then back when I used a nCode 90 I could play good if i was hitting the sweet spot, but something about it drew me away, probably it being too demanding, so I sold it. I also have tried two PC 600s, which is mainly what led me to this question because I play really really well with them, backhand, forehand, volley and serve are all freakin amazing, but when Im off, its not really great at all. I also recently got a Ps 6.0 85, mainly for fun, not really to use in competition, and the two times ive played with it, im very impressed, no bad games yet, but im sure they will come soon enough.
     
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  22. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Tennis is like car racing ... you MUST be alert ALL the time.

    If you want to get serious with the game then the so-so racket won't get you there.

    That's my 0.02.
     
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  23. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    well if you change your stroke into a short choppy stroke to adapt to a tweener then you really do suck as a tennis player...nadal has gone beyong tweener into a game improvement frame...breakpoint is evidently superior to nadal
     
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  24. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Why not use both!!!???
    Practice with the PS 6.0 85 and play competitive match with a bigger head racket.

    Actually, bigger head size generally give you more power, as for control and touch, it is not the racket. Agassi play with an OS and lots of Pros play with 95.
     
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  25. Rory G

    Rory G Rookie

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    I agree that it is all relative. If you are used to playing a lower powered "players" frame and start using a lighter stiff racquet I think you will start to play more of a compact chip/chop style to tame the power. A heavier low powered racquet will allow you to take a bigger swing. It is all what you are used to and what makes you happy :D I think the whole "head size, player v tweener stuff on this board has been beat to death. Play what is comfortable and creates the most FUN on the court
     
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  26. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    I thought Volkl made game improvement frames, too. They must not, because no mere club instructor with common sense would use Tour 10 V-engines when game improvement racquets from the same sponsor were available. Unless he felt he actually played better with them. But then, why would he be such a troll as to offer smarmy criticism to other sub-7.0's for the same flaw he himself possesses?

    No, that wouldn't make sense. Because then the mere club instructor would come across like a condescending ass with delusions of ******ur. Volkl must not make game improvement frames.
     
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  27. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    huh? of course volkl makes game improvement frames, and some think what i use is too much of a game improvement frame for them...too powerful. breakpoint said tennis was too easy with a tweener. i found that to be a very untrue arrogant statement and i responded. i didnt direct any comment at you grimjack and find your insult not appropriate.
     
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  28. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    nobad needs no defense cuz each post speaks for itself. i will state tho, that i'd much rather have him as my coach and mentor. he wins the argument on the merits.

    to suggest to someone to play with a racquet (when that person states that his game suffers) because it makes the game more challenging and forces you to play better is not logical. and rory g, if people do that they should be called on it cuz they're giving poor advice imho.

    darren, with all due respect i think that you answered your own question with your initial post. i suppose the key is in how you define 'playing your best' tennis. seriously though, best of luck.
     
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  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    What are you talking about NBMJ? I never said I change my strokes when I use a tweener, I said it lets me get away with hitting some short, choppy strokes or wrist flicks to get the ball back, which I can't do with my usual racquet. To tell you the truth, if I took my usual long, full strokes with a tweener as with my usual low powered player's racquets, I'd be hitting the back fence half the time. So, yes, with some tweeners you do have to adjust your strokes somewhat if you're coming from a player's stick. I think even you'd agree with that!

    And, yes, I am superior to Nadal - in the on court attire department! ;)
     
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  30. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Huh? How is that arrogant? Can you comprehend English? I said it's easier to play with a tweener RELATIVE to playing with a low-powered, small-headed player's stick, because playing with a player's stick is indeed HARDER. That's what makes playing with the tweener "too easy" - when compared to playing with a player's stick.

    It's like if you've driven a manual transmission car your whole life (and enjoy doing so), and then you switch to an automatic, you may indeed find driving "too easy".

    BTW, I always enjoy a challenge. I don't want things to be too easy or else it's not fun for me (e.g., manual vs. automatic car). I don't want to play tennis nor chess nor anything else against someone I can beat easily. Maybe you do to boost your ego, but I don't. I'd rather be challenged and lose than have a easy, non-interesting win. That's what makes tennis fun for me. For the life of me, I'll never understand all the people that play down (low self ratings) just to get the easy wins. These must be the same people that enjoy taking candy away from babies.
     
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  31. Gaines Hillix

    Gaines Hillix Hall of Fame

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    Not sure I've ever followed the logic that using a frame that is extra demanding is going to somehow force you to play better or that using a tweener makes the game too easy. Try telling that to Andy Rodick. I'd recommend using the frame you play best with and if you want to push yourself, experiment with adding weight to your favorite stick. I also don't see anything wrong with using more than one frame and using the one that fits your level of confidence on that particular day.
     
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  32. montx

    montx Professional

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    I have followed this thread briefly but I have grown weary. I do second what Gaines Hillix is saying though. There is a racquet that you can find that is your 'Golden Egg' so to speak and it will work for your best or worst game, because you find it is working with you and not against you.

    Though I am only a 3.0-3.5 player, I have tested these racquets:
    Head LM Radical MP
    Head Ti.Laser Supreme CZ
    Head Flexpoint Tour
    Head FP MP
    a few Prince Racquets including the old thunderbolt.

    Through trial and error process I am lucky to have found my Volkl which is my Golden Egg, regardless of my mental state or emotional one, I will say, it is a fantastic racquet, at least as far as what attributes I looked for and meeting those attributes that I need.

    I would hope you honestly judge yourself as a player and person and identify what it is that you require and then by trial and error begin a search until you say, hey this is the racquet for me.

    I do not believe there is a more perfect racquet for me personally, and I think through a lot of reading you might find your way to your Golden Egg.

    Good Luck
     
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  33. Safina

    Safina Semi-Pro

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    If you find a racquet you like, in this case the PC600, try using a soft multi or natty gut at the lowest rec. tension before giving up on it.... The right string & tension can really make a difference especially in a demanding frame like the PC600.
    When I bought my first Prestige, I strung it up at 70lbs like I did all my other racquets. OMG it felt horrible and my serves barely made it over the net! It took me way to long to realize that with a heavy, 18x20, flexible racquet that my control will be fine with a 53-55lb stringing, and my power will be greatly enhanced...

    Don't give up on it if you really like it the best.

    If you were the only person alive, and you were going to hit against a wall, which racquet would you take with you?
     
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  34. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    breakpoint it is all fine as to what you enjoying playing with..but that's only you, and frankly, it's pretty boorish and arrogant when people feel the need over and over again to describe their game in intricate detail, and then to add that the game is too easy when they use a tweener is pretty absurd...do you think people are really that interested in your game? so fine..you like to be challenged..fair enough....but to pontificate this in the form of really bad advice isnt so good i dont think and if people are listening to you, i feel as though they just arent getting good advice from you. it's fine you have an opinion and you are certainly welcome to express that in a public forum. so your strokes get short and choppy with a tweener (who cares?) others get longer because they are swinging faster and their followthru is longer and that can be a good thing. when someone makes totally illogical posts, they should expect to get a response. just my opinion.
    i agree with tom4ny..the creator of the thread answered his own question with his post..he just needs to reread. darren let us know if we can help you find the right gear for your game, or if you are really unclear, maybe seek a good teaching pro and take a lesson..in a single session he/she should be able to come up w. some good racquet suggestions for your game based upon seeing you hit and asking the right questions.
    should people buy more frame than they can handle? no way....they shouldnt buy less either...they should by something suitable for their game and skillset. that seems obvious? then as you improve, you can always change your strings, play around w. lead, or change to something more appropriate for your new skillset. and you know what? sometimes when people get better, they actually benefit from a more powerful frame than a less powerful frame because they have better spin control and thusly better control of their power...but for some, i guess that would make the game too easy..so be it.
    if people want to be really challenged, they should just go to a woodie and string it up really tightly with poly, wear the heaviest shoes they can find (i suggest metatarsal high top workboots), and also play with a lead scuba belt...now that would be challenging.....and a really good workout
     
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  35. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    NBMJ, you must be talking about yourself, then? I think the members of this board know more about your game than anyone else's on this board. We know you play mostly on clay, we know you liked the T10 Gen II but now switched to the T10 VE MP because you get more power on clay, we know you would use the Gen II on faster surfaces, we know that you used to use the Gen I modified to be more headlight, we know that you play less S&V and more from the baseline these days, etc.....should I continue? There's nothing wrong with describing your game in detail IMO because people reading your (or my) posts need a frame of reference. It's not as useful info to someone to say that the PS 6.0 85 is a great stick unless you tell them that you mostly serve and volley. A pure baseliner probably won't find the PS 6.0 85 as suitable.

    BTW, I'm not the only one in this thread that thinks you may have to shorten your strokes to accomodate a more powerful tweener if your coming from a low-powered player's stick. Rory G stated the same thing. I also witness this everyday on the public courts.

    BTW2, I'm plenty challenged right now using my player's stick. If I start beating all of my opponents 6-0, 6-0 in every match, maybe I will string up that woodie and get myself a pair of army boots to play in. ;)
     
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  36. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    i'm done with you Breakpoint..you may have last word as usual.
     
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  37. wildmoose31

    wildmoose31 Rookie

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    Right now, I wont be playing matches that matter for at least 4-5 months, my thoughts right now is if I am at the top of my game with the tougher to play racquet, I can compete a lot better with players superior to me and it can be the difference between winning or losing. My worries come in where I would be on an off day, playing a lesser player and the unforgiving racquet could cost me the match, but I feel if I continue working hard with the tougher racquet I can become a better player then if I just decided to stick with a pure control or fp rad tour

    EDIT: and by more demanding I mean a PC600 or something like that, not a Ps 6.0 85
     
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  38. textbook strokes

    textbook strokes Semi-Pro

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    Based on my own personal experience, I have to agree with Nbmj; I used to play with the ncode 90 thinking I was a Roger clone, but a couple of months later I was losing with almost anybody in my club. Not only that, the heavyweigth of the frame forced me inconciously to develop a strange motion in forehands and serves. My tennis actually went backwards.
    I recently swichted to the npro 98, that is not really powerful as many tweeners, but is a lot less heavy than the ncode 90, an guess what?; My tennis is really improving!!. I'm able to try angles shots, better serves, and even working with strategies that I never could before (I realize now).
    I hope this opinion helped
     
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  39. Simbah2004

    Simbah2004 Rookie

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    I play with the 85 most of the time, and some people say the better you get, the more you get from such racquet. I'll disagree.
    People also forget you also play against better people. In my case, when I play with guys my level (3.5 4.0)I can wail out and win matches.
    But when I'm faced agains hard hitting opponents, I find myself swinging late and missing shots. I've tried many other racquets, and it is so difficult to replace the 85.
     
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  40. The Ripper

    The Ripper Semi-Pro

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    I agree with BreakPoint, a player's stick makes you work harder - it's more demanding so it forces you to learn proper technique. And if your technique is bad, you will know pretty quickly. Playing with the PS Tour 90 2 years ago when I was about a 3.0 taught me how to swing the racket properly, because if I didn't, the ball didn't go over the net. And I built up some pretty good muscles serving 2-3 sets a session with that sucker.

    A few months ago I picked up my old Dunlop "Quake" 8.2 - an oversized "power" racket from 6 years ago. All of a sudden I could hit the ball all over the place while hardly lifting a finger. That was no fun! Like good ol' Pistol Pete Sampras, I want the racket to respond to what I put into it. A tweener racket doesn't allow that. And if a particular player's racket is indeed too challenging, switch to one a little easier or, like me, own them all! PS 85 when feeling good; PS Tour 90 when a little off; NC Tour 90 for all the other times.

    Sorry, NoBadMojo, in spite of your screen name, you certainly seem to have some bad mojo goin' on for BP. I didn't hear anything objectionable in any of his posts. On the contrary, he seemed excited about the thrill of mastering a difficult racket to create a better game and better experience for himself - that is, more fun!! Maybe that's not for everyone, but to each his own.

    Peace, baby
     
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  41. akj27

    akj27 Banned

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    alright, you guys got me worried now.

    I'm a level 3.5, and im looking for a new racquet to help me develop my game. I was thinking about getting a babolat puredrive, since its a more forgiving racquet and stuff, but i hear that if i get a more forgiving racquet, ill never make it past 3.5 since its hiding my mistakes. Now, what would you guys recommend then? I dont want a wooden racquet though, i refuse to play with that, theres gotta be something thats not as forgiving.
     
    #41
  42. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    If someone really understand tennis groundstrokes, they should have no problem playing with a "player's" racket or tweener and granny stick, whatever.

    However, for heavy "player's" racket, not everyone has the same physique, not everyone can wave a heavy racket at the 3rd set. How sounds are your strokes has nothing to do with how heavy a racket you can handle. A 6'4" 250 lbs 3.0 player can probably handle a 14oz racket, but a 5'5" 100lbs 5.0 player probably cannot handle a 14oz racket.

    I do not like the term "player's" racket, it is very misleading. It is like if you play with a "player's racket", you are a player, a pro, very misleading for beginner.
     
    #42
  43. The Ripper

    The Ripper Semi-Pro

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    Hey akj27,

    Nothing to worry about. Mucat is absolutely right. "Player's" racket is a misleading term. I think it generally has come to mean a racket with a smaller head, heavier, stiffer, perhaps less forgiving in comparison to a "beginner" or "tweener," i.e., rackets for beginners and intermediates; with a "player's" racket for advanced players (4.0 - 6.0), although I'm sure the pro's simply use the racket they are most familiar with and/or play the best with whether it's a player's racket or not.

    Personally, I have always picked the racket that "inspired" me and was the most fun to play with. I went to my local tennis shop and picked two or three rackets that appealed to me - looks-wise, they way they felt, etc. I didn't know whether they were "player's" rackets or what, I just liked them and then took them out on the court. I then picked the one I enjoyed playing with the most. As it turned out, that was a Wilson Rok, a so-called player's racket. I then moved to a PS Tour 90, then PS 85, POG, etc., etc. as my skills and abilities changed. When I first played on a Tour 90 two years ago I could barely lift it after about 5 minutes of play. Now it feels pretty light! Of course I grew up playing on wood rackets (about 13 oz and very headlight), so these modern heavier rackets feel natural to me which is probably why I've gravitated toward them.

    So, my advice, just demo a bunch of rackets until you find one you like - pretty simple. And I'll certainly plug Tennis Warehouse's demo program, it's great and very inexpensive.

    Go for it!
     
    #43
  44. akj27

    akj27 Banned

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    maybe i should try the prostaff 85, everyone keeps saying its not very forgiving, so maybe i should try that, plus, its only 130
     
    #44
  45. The Ripper

    The Ripper Semi-Pro

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    FWIW, I find the PS 85 very easy to play with. If you're a decent 3.5 player, you won't have any problem using it. It is very quick and lively, hits beautiful backhands, easy to serve with, and has a wonderful feel when you hit the sweetspot that has yet to be rivaled in any modern frame - that's why it's a classic. See if you can find one to demo or borrow one from someone before buying it. And if you are going to buy one, get it on **** or something - probably somewhere between $65 and $100. No use springing for a brand new one unless you've got the money to spend. You might also want to try the PS 6.0 95. It is definitely more forgiving and an (almost IMO) equally wonderful racket. You can't go wrong with either.

    The only "problem" I had with the PS 85 was because of the small sweetspot: if I was in a big rush to the net, a little slow getting to the ball or a bit tired that morning, I would often mishit or frame the shot with the 85. But you know what? I'm playing better now and that doesn't happen any more frequently now with the 85 than with the 90 or 95 inch frames. So it's not the racket, it's me!

    As another suggestion, you might like the Prince Original Graphite (POG) mid. Definitely more forgiving than the PS 85 with much the same feel. Also, the new nCode nTour 95 (the orange/white) feels and plays very much like the PS 85 although more forgiving (and accordingly less control). There are so many great rackets out there right now, I'm sure you'll find one you'll just love - at least until the next one comes along.

    Good luck!
     
    #45
  46. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    i dont follow the logic of promoting a racquet that is difficult to play with and/or will work against you when you're tired or up against a hard hitter.

    would you suggest to a beginner/intermediate skier that they should buy a pair of racing skiis, cuz it'll force them to ski better? a baseball player to use a bat that's too heavy for them cuz it'll force them to get stronger and when they do connect with the ball it'll be a home run? put that skiier on a more difficult trail and put that batter up against a strong pitcher and the results are not likely to be good.

    of course you should play with what YOU like but i dunno that promoting a racquet that is difficult to play with and in many cases will cause a person's game to suffer is good or balanced advice.

    and i believe it is good advice to suggest to someone that they play with something that compliments their current skill level. as that person's game becomes more consistent and improves, then gradually step up. the end result will be much better. thats what i do at the gym and seems to make sense (to me) for the skiier, baseball player, and tennis player.

    -tom
     
    #46
  47. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    The idea is kind of like switching techniques or trying anything else new: it will get worse before it gets better, but once you do finally get it right, the resultant playing will be much better than what you had before. The goal is still to pick the racket that will let you win the most matches, which a more demanding racket will do in the long run. You may lose more matches immediately, but you will win more by improved technique and strength later on.
     
    #47
  48. Mies

    Mies Rookie

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    This may work for some, but definately not for me.

    My consistency really suffers if I switch frames too often. I train once per week with a trainer and play 2-3 sessions/week of match play besides that. Switching frames every couple of days would kill both my practicing and my match play. For me sticking to one frame is best.

    Regards,
    Maurice
     
    #48
  49. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    I find the same thing. Even shifting to a new version of the same racquet (I've gone from a Prestige Pro mid to an LM Prestige mid) and it takes me a while to work out the nuances of the new frame. Also, 'feel' changes between racquets so you'd be having to adjust constantly which would stop you finding your groove on shots. Bigger problem though, would be if the more 'demanding' racquet has a smaller headsize.

    Best solution, I think, is to stick to one racquet and, when you want things to be more demanding, play someone better than yourself. That will do far more for your game and more quickly raise your skill set than swapping between racquets.
     
    #49
  50. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Mies, it is best not to change equipment like that. The best method is to use the same equipment (racket and strings) each time so you can develop your game using what you will play with.
     
    #50

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