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Coach Chad 05-27-2013 02:05 PM

Thoughts on changing rackets for more pace
 
I am a 3.5 baseline grinding lefty who uses a Prince EXO Tour 100 16/18. I was hitting well, using "smart target" strategy, and hanging with 4.0 players. I wanted to hit w/more pace, especially on my forehand, so I went from 56 lbs. of string tension down to 53lbs. I cannot keep my shots in with this tension; they are always 1-3 feet out. I am thinking of perhaps going to a Head racket with the same head size and length, but much stiffer; for more power. What are your thoughts? Return to 56 lbs. or try a stiffer racket? Thanks.

mrmike 05-27-2013 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coach Chad (Post 7447945)
I am a 3.5 baseline grinding lefty who uses a Prince EXO Tour 100 16/18. I was hitting well, using "smart target" strategy, and hanging with 4.0 players. I wanted to hit w/more pace, especially on my forehand, so I went from 56 lbs. of string tension down to 53lbs. I cannot keep my shots in with this tension; they are always 1-3 feet out. I am thinking of perhaps going to a Head racket with the same head size and length, but much stiffer; for more power. What are your thoughts? Return to 56 lbs. or try a stiffer racket? Thanks.

What type of string are you using? Tweaking string type, gauge, and tension also may help to achieve your goal before going to a new frame. Never hit an EXO3 but I know that my C10 pros are very string sensitive also.

Coach Chad 05-27-2013 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrmike (Post 7447957)
What type of string are you using? Tweaking string type, gauge, and tension also may help to achieve your goal before going to a new frame. Never hit an EXO3 but I know that my C10 pros are very string sensitive also.

currently using prince beast

mikeler 05-27-2013 02:25 PM

I use the same frame, if you insist on using poly as a 3.5 then try Solinco Tour Bite Soft.

Coach Chad 05-27-2013 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 7447986)
I use the same frame, if you insist on using poly as a 3.5 then try Solinco Tour Bite Soft.

Great to hear from you Mikeler! Give it to me straight....what do you use? Do you use the same for crosses and mains? What tension? Here's the deal....I have developed a good kick serve to the ad court, and a very good cross-court backhand....have much better court awareness, but I want to beat the 4.0 guys; not just hang. A good friend says that I have enough pace, but that I should try to stop hitting winners from the baseline...I told him I was not a pusher....he said that's not what he meant; he said I should work on "set-up" shots where I would get "sitters" to hit for winners. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

JRstriker12 05-27-2013 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coach Chad (Post 7447945)
I am a 3.5 baseline grinding lefty who uses a Prince EXO Tour 100 16/18. I was hitting well, using "smart target" strategy, and hanging with 4.0 players. I wanted to hit w/more pace, especially on my forehand, so I went from 56 lbs. of string tension down to 53lbs. I cannot keep my shots in with this tension; they are always 1-3 feet out. I am thinking of perhaps going to a Head racket with the same head size and length, but much stiffer; for more power. What are your thoughts? Return to 56 lbs. or try a stiffer racket? Thanks.

Aim higher over the net and let the topspin bring it down.

Odds are with a lower tension, the ball is coming off the racket at a slightly higher trajectory. I notice this, especially with polys, when they lose tension and go dead.

Lukhas 05-27-2013 02:49 PM

Why not experimenting with some lead on the frame? Just did this, just 3 grams @ 2 and 10 o'clock. Feels nice, you have to take the habit of the slightly higher SW on serves though, but on groundies it was pretty good.

Shroud 05-27-2013 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coach Chad (Post 7447945)
I am a 3.5 baseline grinding lefty who uses a Prince EXO Tour 100 16/18. I was hitting well, using "smart target" strategy, and hanging with 4.0 players. I wanted to hit w/more pace, especially on my forehand, so I went from 56 lbs. of string tension down to 53lbs. I cannot keep my shots in with this tension; they are always 1-3 feet out. I am thinking of perhaps going to a Head racket with the same head size and length, but much stiffer; for more power. What are your thoughts? Return to 56 lbs. or try a stiffer racket? Thanks.

Cc, why not try 55? Or 54? That might be the ticket.

I get what your friend meant. Construct some points. You dont need blistering pace to win and pace and overhitting can be a barrier to the next level especially from 3.5 to 4. Not every punch is a knock out. Besides you have enough pace anyhow he says.

Watch the 88 us open final between lendl and wilander for instance. They dont crush every shot, just the ones that are setup right.

Power is over rated. For instance i have a tennis buddy who hits some great winners and has alot of power. But his game is pretty one dimensional. One highlight reel shot and 5 errors. I always mention how great the winners are and encourage him to go for more :twisted:

loosegroove 05-27-2013 09:33 PM

Really I can't believe that a 3lb decrease in tension would make all that much difference. You've probably experienced more difference in playability in the past between when your racket was freshly strung verses when you've hit with it for a few sessions. You just never had the difference quantified and weren't so actively aware of it.

In my opinion, if you want more easy power, then maybe you should consider demoing a few more powerful frames. But if you are only considering a new frame because you're hitting the ball long with the slight tension drop, then I say keep the racket and the tension at 53 and you'll dial it in.

GoudX 05-28-2013 03:10 AM

Some misconceptions to clear up:

Unless you are using Kevlar, 53lbs after a few hours of tennis is at a much higher tension than a 2 month old, or older, string job at 56lbs. Particularly with poly, where it drops under 40lbs within a few weeks if I remember correctly. Unless you are breaking strings every few hours, then it is unlikely you have actually dropped tension all that much.

Stiffness is not the main determining factor when considering racquet power. My more flexible IG Prestige MP hits a much more penetrating shot than my stiffer Youtek Speed MP. Personally I find beam width a much better indicator of racquet power, mechanically, unless you are using a wood racquet with a stiffness of 20 or so, the stiffness of the frame is much less important than the type of string used and the weight distribution of the frame.

Before changing the racquet, ask yourself 'Why are you missing?'. The usual problem at any level is over swinging, due to the pressure of trying to pull of a fantastic shot. Then you need to work out what is causing you to over swing. It *could* be because you lack natural power in your shots, in which case you need to look into your technique and strength. However it is much more likely to be that you are prioritising power over control. This doesn't mean that you have to be a pusher, however there is no point trying to hit a winner if you haven't got the basics of the shot set up.

Order of importance:
-Consistency (you lose if you miss, there is nothing more dangerous in Tennis than a player who can consistently attack without missing - this is Federer's biggest strength, he can hit those fantastic shots all day)
-Placement (a well placed shot of any speed can neutralise the best players attack, and even at slow speeds a well placed shot can be a clean winner)
-Depth (if you can push your opponent out of the court you open up the angles to attack)

THEN:
-Spin/Power (if you have the other parts in check then you can focus on getting a good amount of spin and power on your shots)

Ironically most lower level players have the opposite priorities.

Govnor 05-28-2013 06:58 AM

I can't comment on the technical string discussion here, but I will say changing racquets is not without its own risks. I'd only do it if you have outgrown your racquet (i.e. it doesn't suit the way you play anymore or is a beginner stick etc). Otherwise it's likely fools gold awaiting you.

mikeler 05-28-2013 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coach Chad (Post 7448022)
Great to hear from you Mikeler! Give it to me straight....what do you use? Do you use the same for crosses and mains? What tension? Here's the deal....I have developed a good kick serve to the ad court, and a very good cross-court backhand....have much better court awareness, but I want to beat the 4.0 guys; not just hang. A good friend says that I have enough pace, but that I should try to stop hitting winners from the baseline...I told him I was not a pusher....he said that's not what he meant; he said I should work on "set-up" shots where I would get "sitters" to hit for winners. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

Try Ashaway MonoGut ZX. Great powerful and soft string for our particular frame.

anubis 05-28-2013 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coach Chad (Post 7447945)
I am a 3.5 baseline grinding lefty who uses a Prince EXO Tour 100 16/18. I was hitting well, using "smart target" strategy, and hanging with 4.0 players. I wanted to hit w/more pace, especially on my forehand, so I went from 56 lbs. of string tension down to 53lbs. I cannot keep my shots in with this tension; they are always 1-3 feet out. I am thinking of perhaps going to a Head racket with the same head size and length, but much stiffer; for more power. What are your thoughts? Return to 56 lbs. or try a stiffer racket? Thanks.

You see, the problem is that the 4.0s that you're hitting with have no trouble generating pace by themselves. Your problem is you're assuming that you have to give it back to them with interest -- but that's not necessarily true. When you're given a bunch of pace, it's much easier to give it back with equal pace.

If you find that you simply cannot return their shots with the same pace, then you are somehow slowing the rally down, which is most likely producing short balls which are easy sitters for a 4.0 to just kill and be done with it.

Lowering your tension will have the opposite effect of what you're looking for. When someone gives you a high pace rally, you want a slightly tighter string bed in order to maintain control. You use your footwork, bent knees and proper balance to point the ball in the direction you'd like it to go.

If you loosen the tension, that will increase the trajectory of the ball off the string bed, causing you to not be able to keep the ball in play.

This has the unfortunate side effect of "falsifying the data": you notice the shot goes out and you assume you hit with too much pace -- but that's not true. You couldn't maintain control of the ball because the string bed was too loose. The pace wasn't the problem.

Tighten the string bed to 58 lbs and take a full cut at the ball. Focus on returning the shot with the same pace that was given to you. I almost guarantee that you'll be able to hang with the pace the 4.0's gave to you.

Coach Chad 05-28-2013 01:54 PM

Thank you all very much. Gonna stick with my Prince and I am going to try the Ashaway MonoGut....thx mikeler.
The ball is def. coming off the racket at a higher tradjectory; GoudX....you nailed it; my priorities are off; I am prioritizing power over control. Def. will work on this!
anubis, so true! I expected so much by lowering the tension...I expected the ball to fly off, and with just a few hours of practice life would be great! Heck, I might even hit the pro tour! Lol, lesson learned! Thanks again everyone....Gonna get some new string, tighten it up to my comfortable 56lbs. and take full swings at the ball like I used to. Thx again for your help.

cluckcluck 05-28-2013 02:03 PM

Why not add a little bit of lead tape at the 12 o'clock position? And like many other posters mentioned, play with the tension.

LeeD 05-28-2013 02:08 PM

If you hit too long all the time, AIM LOWER over the net.
NOBODY can hit 2' over the net all the time and hit long all the time.
Stop hitting moonballs with a flat fast swing!

RetroSpin 05-28-2013 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GoudX (Post 7448936)
Some misconceptions to clear up:

Unless you are using Kevlar, 53lbs after a few hours of tennis is at a much higher tension than a 2 month old, or older, string job at 56lbs. Particularly with poly, where it drops under 40lbs within a few weeks if I remember correctly. Unless you are breaking strings every few hours, then it is unlikely you have actually dropped tension all that much.

Stiffness is not the main determining factor when considering racquet power. My more flexible IG Prestige MP hits a much more penetrating shot than my stiffer Youtek Speed MP. Personally I find beam width a much better indicator of racquet power, mechanically, unless you are using a wood racquet with a stiffness of 20 or so, the stiffness of the frame is much less important than the type of string used and the weight distribution of the frame.

Before changing the racquet, ask yourself 'Why are you missing?'. The usual problem at any level is over swinging, due to the pressure of trying to pull of a fantastic shot. Then you need to work out what is causing you to over swing. It *could* be because you lack natural power in your shots, in which case you need to look into your technique and strength. However it is much more likely to be that you are prioritising power over control. This doesn't mean that you have to be a pusher, however there is no point trying to hit a winner if you haven't got the basics of the shot set up.

Order of importance:
-Consistency (you lose if you miss, there is nothing more dangerous in Tennis than a player who can consistently attack without missing - this is Federer's biggest strength, he can hit those fantastic shots all day)
-Placement (a well placed shot of any speed can neutralise the best players attack, and even at slow speeds a well placed shot can be a clean winner)
-Depth (if you can push your opponent out of the court you open up the angles to attack)

THEN:
-Spin/Power (if you have the other parts in check then you can focus on getting a good amount of spin and power on your shots)

Ironically most lower level players have the opposite priorities.

Great advice.

LeeD 05-28-2013 02:27 PM

At a level of 3.5, you don't have grooved or correct strokes right now.
Doesn't DavidFerrer use a version of that racket? Does he hit hard enough?
You cannot judge a racket's performance at a 3.5 playing level. You are not good enough, you are not trained, you are not developed, and you WILL change your strokes soon, or stay at 3.5.

Coach Chad 05-28-2013 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7451053)
At a level of 3.5, you don't have grooved or correct strokes right now.
Doesn't DavidFerrer use a version of that racket? Does he hit hard enough?
You cannot judge a racket's performance at a 3.5 playing level. You are not good enough, you are not trained, you are not developed, and you WILL change your strokes soon, or stay at 3.5.

Yes, Ferrer uses this racket; and even though I am a lefty I imitate Ferrer's playing style. I agree that at my level I cannot judge a racket's performance; but I also know that unless you try different equipment you will not know what is best for you. I enjoy this forum because of the ideas you can get; example:why not add lead and try that? Hey, it may be what I need. I love tennis, and am not afraid to try things; even at my 3.5 level.

lightthestorm 05-28-2013 05:24 PM

I'm a little above 3.5 I guess (still in high school but I can win 3-4 games off of division 1 college players), and my coach still tells me it's not the racket or the strings, it's me.

I agree with LeeD to work on strokes first then think about adding lead or getting a new racket.


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