Practice racket

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Shroud, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Does it make sense to have a heavier smaller racket to practice with?? Kind of like putting on the hitting doughnut when warming up to hit in baseball.?

    If so is there a corresponding swingweight it should be. As I understand it a heavier racket ALWAYS has a heavier swing weight if the balances are the same. Is that true, and if so is there a magic number that is a good sw to have.

    Say if yours is normally 350 is it better to have say 360 or 370, etc?

    Also how important would the flex be? Should one try for the identical flex...assuming that one should.

    Or will a different racket screw things up??
     
    #1
  2. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    2,142
    I use my Becker London tour mid for serve practice and against the wall... it reminds me of what I can do with a serve and makes me concentrate on my preparation for the wall. Besides the Becker is just so kind to the arm and fun to serve with. It saves my arm wear and tear.
     
    #2
  3. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    Home
    Never ever heard of anyone having a practice racquet. It would probably hurt to try.
     
    #3
  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,253
    No it makes no sense, why would you want deviations from "practice" to match plays?
     
    #4
  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,166
    I don't think you would want a different swingweight because you are trying to get your timing correct and you don't want the racket coming through differently.
    I use gut/poly for a practice racket because it is easier on my arm even though I can control the full poly in my match racket better (also, the gut isn't as sensitive to tension loss).
    A lot has been said on both sides of the argument about using a wood racket or other racket with a very small sweet spot for training precision in you strokes. I think it is useful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
    #5
  6. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    896
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Not true. Say you had an 11 oz stick that was evenly balanced with a SW of 315. Add 1 oz at 13.5" and you would get an evenly balanced 12 oz stick with a SW of 332

    Take that same 11 oz stick and add .25oz to the tip and .25oz to the butt cap. You get an evenly balanced 11.5 oz stick with a SW of 340.

    Both evenly balanced, but the heavier one has a lower SW.
     
    #6
  7. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    968
    Not a good idea.

    That being said, I hit with a 100 sq inch racquet and always had difficulties flattening out my shot (I always had the topspin rally ball).

    Then I played around with the 90 tour Wilson for a few weeks and ended up adding a flat drive to my repertoire. The flat drive doesn't feel as nice on the 100 sq inch but I can definitely drive it to the corner now.
     
    #7
  8. ASH1485

    ASH1485 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    487
    practice more with your current racket, it will help more.
     
    #8
  9. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Singapore
    Shroud,

    Are you serious?

    Your regular stick is already 426g, 16 pt HL with SW 369!

    Add any more weight and you'll be swinging with dumb bells :shock:

    :)
     
    #9
  10. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,453
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think it can help, both for grooving the feel of how to use your racket's momentum, and also to strengthen/stretch the relevant muscle groups. I would probably only use it for shadow swings though, not actual hitting practice.

    The swingrocket has this idea. I have a home-made one, filled a sock with some rice and taped it to he tip of a spare racket. Good for shadow swinging serves and groundstrokes.
     
    #10
  11. Gee

    Gee Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    You might go to the fitness center more often as well.
    I also think you better practice with the same racquet because the timing is very important with your strokes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
    #11
  12. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    HA. You are probably right but at one time no one ever heard of a 2 handed forehand or topspin for that matter.

    Yeah I get that. Though I have it in my head that you want practice to be HARDER so when you are in match situations those are actually easier.

    I got this idea or at least made it jump to my list of things to do by watching tennis warehouses revue of a wood racket. In the vid one of the guys says the 65" head made him refine his strokes and he even talks about that being a benefit of such a small racket.

    Definitely get the timing thing and would think you would want consistency in equipment. Heck I freak out when hitting partners try to play with those flat no fuzz balls that they ALWAYS seem to have....
     
    #12
  13. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Its ALWAYS the guy with the word "unorthodox" in his moniker hassling people with unorthodox ideas :) Its funny because I have been shadow swinging a hammer doing 2x20 for serves, forehands and backands. And when I had them I would swing 5lb dumbells though not as fast as the hammer. The hammer is not as headlight as the racket and well its is a different swing. Maybe that is all I do just shadow swings with some weight.

    Yeah that sounds like a plan.

    I tend to agree about the timing. FItness center is a great idea. Probably will get a wood racket and get it the same swingweight and practice with the small head and see how my game does.
     
    #13
  14. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    You are right of course. But isnt this an edge case by the fact you are using an even balance?

    Can you cite an example using a HH or HL balance??
     
    #14
  15. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,622
    Try out a Etchswing if you know someone who has one. Unlike a weighted racquet, inertia does not take over once you reach the apex of the swing path. (potentially hazardous for your arm and shoulder, depending on how much weight you add). And, it increases resistance based on how fast it is swung -- swing faster and get more resistance. The heft and constant resistance make this an excellent tennis-specific strength training tool.
     
    #15
  16. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    That looks cool. Can I put some lead tape on it? :)

    Thanks.
     
    #16
  17. AYone

    AYone Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I swing with a racket with racket plates on it to develop strength, speed in my swing. I also designed a device where I basically attach an elastic band to a racket to serve a resistance for practice swings. I think using a heavier racket in practice hitting sessions may affect your timing so I would only really use for strength, stamina development training off the court.
     
    #17
  18. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    896
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    I could. I just used even balance because the math was easy. Same thing would be if you had a 8hl stick and added the 1g at 12.5, and the other added to butt and 25.

    Before:
    11 oz, 8 HL, 315 SW

    1 oz Lead at 12.5:
    12 oz, 8 HL, 328 SW

    .25 at butt and 25:
    11.5 oz, 8 HL, 336 SW
     
    #18
  19. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,453
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    You could also shadow swing with a half cover on your racket head, to add resistance.
     
    #19
  20. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Well you got me. I had in my head that one could only add tape at 12 and the handle. For simplicity that is mostly what I do so I never imagined adding it in the middle.

    Thanks.
     
    #20
  21. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    When I go to play I like to get there early and I swing my whole bag! I grab it with one hand and swing forehands and backhands. Its hard to get any speed but I should also bring a cover and swing that. Though I find just shadow swinging kind of boring and cant imagine doing it more than a few minutes. WIth a practice racket well I could swing for hours.
     
    #21
  22. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    588
    Location:
    In front of the TV
    I think it's a bad idea... LOL you should've made a poll, my post is a it short and useless
     
    #22
  23. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Singapore
    Ok. I'm guilty as charged ;)

    You did not state if you wanted to improve sweetspot accuracy, or power or prep speed.

    To improve my sweetspot contacts, I would practise with my 65 sq in woody. For power and speed, I noticed using a very heavy SW racket (eg normal racket +30 SW) beefs up my forearm and wrist muscles pretty fast. Just don't try to volley that extra weight or injury could result.

    When I return to my normal rackets, even after just one session of training, most of my partners would notice my faster speed of play and heavier balls.
     
    #23
  24. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    No we are talking...a wood racket with a 30+ swingweight!! I have one I got at goodwill for 5$ that would be perfect. Already weighs in at 386g so its a good start.

    Thanks for drawing the distinction.
     
    #24
  25. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    hey unorthodox
    Any tips on stringing a wood racket?

    This thing looks daunting and what is the thread that is tied around the bottom of the strings for??

    Were would I possibly get a guide to the string pattern? DO I just need to write it all down and take picts?

    And what tension should I do?
     
    #25
  26. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    I would love to see you play a few rallies with this setup.

    Do you have a video?
     
    #26
  27. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Code for "I dont believe it"??

    I can at some point get a vid. I have been taking a bit of a time off, but am dying to get back out there. And plan too soon. Recently I gained 12 lbs and well am dreading seeing that on video, and will be a bit rusty after taking off the last 3 weeks or so. But hey what good is the internet if you cant humiliate yourself on it!

    I am in nocal (Berkely) too so maybe you can see in person and you could try the stick. Lee D hit with that stick when we played so he can vouch until I get the video. But drop a line if you want to hit.
     
    #27
  28. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    No, but you must admit your setup is rather odd.

    Good to know, perhaps we can setup some TT bay area tennis meeting. :)
     
    #28
  29. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Odd? By todays standards. But being old school its not so odd. Older pros played with 15-16 oz rackets and I recall my youth rackets being on the heavy side. Heck the wooden racket I have is 386g which is heavier than anything you can buy today. Heck girls rackets in the 80s were heavier than most of the rackets you can buy today!

    That setup is a reaction to tennis elbow. I got my first case ever recently and it was because of high tensioned kevlar, playing too much back to back and being alot older than I used to be. THe spray paint project probably didnt help either.

    The added weight and lower tension is much easier on the arm and actually I play better because I am getting some ball pocketing. (You dont get that with kevlar at 63lbs) The racket is much more stable and alot less shock.

    I had lost a ton of muscle mass that hung around in the 30s and finally moved on after not being needed. The idea of a practice racket is to build it up and get in better shape so I dont get TE again. If I had been playing with this racket and not the stock, we wouldnt be having this conversation.
     
    #29
  30. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Why not go for gut, best thing there is.

    Kevlar is extremely stiff and a lower tension does not make that go away.
     
    #30
  31. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Its a good point.

    I DID have gut crosses :)

    I need a firm string bed. For the most part I HIT the ball and well if its firm I can hit it. If its flexy like gut would be well it just doesnt work for me. You are right about kevs stiffness, and thats why I can use it at low tensions. I tried full syngut and it was playable but much harder to control. The low tension on the syngut combined with the kevlar does give a firm but slightly flexy feel. Before even with the gut it was hitting like a board. I like that but with a light racket super stiff string bed and playing 5.0 pace the only thing that could give was my arm. Overuse had a ton to do with it too.

    Also if I strung gut as tight as I would need to, I would break strings in hours I bet. Kevlar doesnt break for me unless I dont restring for months.

    With the low tension I can use 18g too and not worry about breaking strings. 18g mains and crosses in the 14/18 pattern of the POG is kind of a spin magnet.

    Oh my take on this whole thing is that it really comes down to not being in shape and or doing more than I should have for my fitness level. With a practice racket I can start to address that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
    #31
  32. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,684
    There is always a crowd here that insists that playing a small, heavy racquet will make you improve your game. These people forget that, in the days of wood racquets, there were just as many horrible players with bad technique as there are now. They weren't forced to improve because of their racquet.

    There is a reason that you have never heard a pro tennis player say that they practice with a different racquet (let alone a smaller, heavier one). It is because they have hit thousands upon thousands of balls with a particular setup in the effort to be able to hit a dime sized spot on the court when needed.
     
    #32
  33. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    Hm,

    One of the silliest threads I've ever read.
     
    #33
  34. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Singapore
    I have strung only 3 woodys in my life :oops:

    I did mine between 40 to 50 lbs. On hindsight, I would have tried 30 lbs to add more pocketing and comfort.

    It's best to string two-piece if you can since there is a dedicated short side with the zigzags if you do one-piece.

    Most have shared holes so a thinner gauge like 17 would help make it a little easier to push through. Thread slowly to avoid burning the wood holes.

    Some reference I found:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=379146

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=418706

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=391671

    Have fun! :)
     
    #34
  35. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,087
    Location:
    Iowa
    I would tend to agree. I'd want to practice with the same setup I use in match play. Familiarity is what you want. It isn't a direct analogy comparing someone warming up in the on deck circle with a weighted bat. That is to get loose for what is to come. The familiarity is in the actual bat/racquet.
     
    #35
  36. tennixpl

    tennixpl Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    SA Texas
    i bought some old wood racquets for this very reason, once a week go hit wit ha woody to focus on actual racquet prep and foot work and watching the ball.
    one can not sling with all wrist a wood racquet and get the ball in, its a great change just like any drill as far as i am concerned. though I would definitely not warm up with it before a match....well maybe next weekend :) scare my opponent.
     
    #36
  37. Ilove10nis

    Ilove10nis New User

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    USA
    Imo, Doesn't work in tennis game! Tennis is about muscle control. Every racquet is different, swing weight, racquet weight, flex... Etc. you want to get used to the racquet that you always play with!
     
    #37
  38. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Thanks a bunch for the tips. I have to remember you are talking about wood rackets :)

    I was looking at this racket and IIRC its 18/20. Could I make it 9/10 by skipping every other hole or should I go with 18/20? I paid $5 for it so perhaps it is not a big deal if it explodes.
     
    #38
  39. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Thanks tennixpl. Makes some sense.

    And Ilove10nis, I get what you are saying and partially agree. Though I need to get in better shape and I can tell you know I wont be shadow swinging for an hour but I will be hitting the ball for hours. I'll see if it screws up my game. I also think that as a tennis player I should be able to grab a racket and adapt at some point. Sometimes I amaze myself at being able to make a change in a stroke and in a few minutes it feels like I have been hitting like that for years. Ok maybe 15-20 min. So I think I can adapt but I'll find out.
     
    #39
  40. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Makes sense. Now think about that in light of the "Fed needs to get a larger racket" posts on these boards.
     
    #40
  41. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Singapore
    I've avoided skipping mains for all rackets so far. Reason being due to the outer mains grommets design does not look too friendly to the string.

    For woodys, even the crosses grommets are recessed, so skipping them may cause early string breakage too. Stick may warp too...

    But i think it'll be interesting to skip alternate crosses! Maybe a 16x10 by skipping outer mains at well?

    That would increase spin and power. If I have a woody i didn't care for, I'd probably try 17g syn gut done 16x10 @ 30/50 lbs to equalise the main/cross pressure. (Yes, 30/50lbs, no typo here :))
     
    #41

Share This Page