Trend Toward Slower Balls - Advice

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by lstewart, May 8, 2013.

  1. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    I have an interesting problem, and wonder if anyone has a suggestion. I've got a 17 year old son who plays a couple of USTA tournaments per month, and is one of the better juniors in the state. I'm still a solid 4.5, but age and various injuries over the years are catching up. Unfortunately I am his only practice partner, so am on the court every day with him. I've got a really bad wrist, and have found that I just about can't play with the premium slow heavy balls. This includes the Wilson US Open ball, the Penn ATP ball, and anything made by Dunlop. I've always practiced with the readily available $2.00 per can Wilson Championship Heavy Duty, or the same model by Penn. All my son's tournaments use the premium slow heavy US Open or Penn ATP ball. He plays much better with it, and seems to struggle keeping balls in play with the much lighter, faster Championship Heavy Duty ball. I've tried to practice with him some with the US Open ball, or ATP ball, but my wrist can't handle it two days in a row. I feel like I am hitting rocks filled with water. I'm looking for a creative alternative. I'm considering opening new cans of the Championship Heavy Duty, and let them sit unused for a week to let them go a little dead to play closer to the slower premium balls. Any other ideas? Anyone using a ball that plays slower than these models, but not as heavy and tough on achy joints as the US Open, ATP, or the Dunlop balls?
     
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  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Pro Penn Marathon. They won't fuzz up like those other balls but will be more comfortable for you. It's better he keep his daily practice partner and adjust to the various balls each tournament uses IMHO.
     
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  3. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Give him a change of practice partner, one who can use the type of balls that are used in the tournaments. The adjustment to a new guy to hit with shouldn't be so bad, as he has to make the adjustment in every match he plays.
     
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  4. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    Muppet, would love to have some other guys hit with him. No one is available that is competitive, other than paying pros for an hour lesson. I've tried to get him to do that, but he does not want to. All the other good junior players only train at academy's and are never available to hit. I've tried numerous times to get other adults to hit with him, but it is really hard to do. So bad that last Sat he had a day off in the middle of his tourney, I had to go out of town all day for team tennis, so his mom, who is a 3.0 and had achillies surgery over Christmas had to go out and feed balls to him.
     
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  5. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    Slazenger UltraViz are much softer than anything else. They are also in the heavy, low-bouncing end of the spectrum.
     
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  6. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Next time you go to a tourament, can you ask other coaches if they have students at his level who would like to get more practice time in? Pardon me if you've already exhausted this avenue.
     
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  7. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    Thanks for the advice, both for practice partners, and balls. Unfortunately the balls available locally for purchase are the basics, Wilson Championship and US Open. Penn Championship and ATP. Dunlop. The Pro Penn, Slazenger, etc, would require me to order a case. Might do it, just hate to be out that much if I open one can and find they don't work. I'm thinking about opening the usual Penn Championship and let it sit for a week before hitting. Letting it go a little dead should make it play slower, which is what the tournament balls do, without having the arm pain from the heavy balls. Muppet, thanks for the suggestions. The Academy kids all train about 30 minutes away in a another city, so we never see any of them except at tournaments. Some of the kids have family memberships at the club we practice at, but they are never there. I had him set up to work out with one of the pros a couple of times per week, a really strong 5.5 player just out of college. My son did not like it, and did not want to continue. Kids! He plays high school basketball in addition to tennis, so his schedule is always tight. Tennis and basketball every day during the week.
     
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  8. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Well, did you tried to play with multi or gut and/or less stiff racquets? May ease your pain a bit... It's not the ideal solution, which would be healing and resting, but if you really have no other choices...
     
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  9. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    I would say they are either soft or hard, maybe a little on the heavy side, but they bonce really high, higher than just about any other balls I tried.
     
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  10. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    Yes, I think the issue with these premium tournament balls that cause the problems for me would be the weight. I've never paid attention to what balls weight, but "heavy" is probably the accurate term. These balls hurt to hit with, even when they have been open a while and are just practice balls. Really hard balls like Dunlops also cause problems, but I think it is the weight on the premium balls. I do think stringing at a lower tension is an option that can help. I've been hitting these balls more lately with my son, and have found that frame at the lowest tension in the bag plays best with the heavier balls. Next time I break a string, I will reduce tension some and see how it goes. Man.... in the old days you had about 4 different rackets to choose from, strung with basic synthetic gut, and hit whatever balls your college coach gave you. Too many options in todays tennis world!!!!
     
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  11. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    There are many video/article shows weight of those balls, all of them are within the spec. So the weight itself is likely not the issue.
     
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  12. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

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    how about a ball machine? when no fleshbags are available
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    YOU should use a heavier racket, and adopt TWO HANDS on each stroke.
    I use the heaviest DunlopHDHardCourtChamp balls, and I'm old, slow, decrepit, use a 10.5 oz racket, and play with hard hitters.
    You should just hitter harder, so you overpower the ball, instead of the ball overpowering you.
     
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  14. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Slazenger Wimbledon Ultra Vis, tin can, is my regular ball for the past few years. Now that they added HydraGuard they seem to be a little heavier compared to old violet can. Maybe the felt now has more synthetic fibers (or treatment), whereas old had more wool. They do jump high even after they lost some pressure, due to very elastic core.

    Make sure you don't play in damp or cold conditions, any ball will feel heavy and stringbed stiff and unresponsive.
     
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  15. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Why don't you search the internet and try to by the balls @mikeler suggested? If you buy in bulk - and sounds like you would be - you should be able to get a good deal.
     
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  16. tkoziol

    tkoziol Rookie

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    I would recommend the Babolat French Open tennis balls. They seem softer than most. The felt seems great and lasts a long time. I get a soft feel, plenty of topspin, and it works great on hard court and clay.
     
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