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    Do heavy rackets require larger grip sizes?

    I personally have never felt right using racquets with smaller grip sizes. I learned as a kid using heavier-than-average wood racquets with 4 5/8" grips and I was a pure serve and volleyer into my high school years - the early 80's - where I made the switch to my first graphite frames. So my...
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    First match on grass

    Continental grip is your friend. Get to the net. You're going to see lots of funky bounces, so bring your sense of humor. Footing is always a little interesting. If you have a fresh set of shoes, use those instead of older ones that have lost a lot of their tread.
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    Buying racquet without demo

    The trend in racquet design is a whole different discussion, but I think it's been a big trade-off. My sister is in her mid 50's and still hits with the same 13 oz. ProKennex frames she used in college (the mighty Black Ace mids!!). Those racquets have always been her "personal normal" and...
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    Arm Friendly Racquets

    Any frame will likely be more arm-friendly if it's paired with a relatively soft string layout. If you have poly in your current frame, even in a hybrid, dump it.
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    Torn Between Two Rackets, Feelin' Like A Fool...

    Unless you're playing for your lunch money plus enough extra to put a roof over your head, get at least one of each and enjoy them. I've benefitted from having two different models in my bag more times than I can count. Both of my models are from the same company, so at least the grip shape in...
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    Soft strings vs non soft strings ?

    It's not easy to specifically define what's a soft setup or not-so-soft. That probably depends on what you like, but I'd expect you to find a really light gauge of poly to play a good bit softer than a thicker version of the same string. Softer layouts can have feel and touch that you like...
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    Does Anyone Know Any string that is similar to Head Hawk? (Preferably a cheaper string such as solinco)

    The thinner gauges aren't super durable, but the Isospeed Baseline is apparently softer than average in the poly family. And since it's about as affordable as synthetic gut, it's not too expensive to replace it. I know that RPM and Hyper-G are shaped polys while Baseline is smooth, but I just...
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    Grip size: Considering switch to follow the "Rule of Thumb"?

    I'm not going to dismiss your issues with grip sizes - any issue with gear that becomes a distraction is a significant problem. If you think that a thinner grip on your 4 3/8" handle will fit you okay, maybe try to stick with that for a while and see how you settle in. Lots of variables at...
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    Mental game.. how to break out of the valley?

    I think you're onto a huge issue. If you're catching yourself thinking of your errors instead of what you're trying to do right out there, which are you more likely to repeat? When we revert to only trying to not miss during competition where the penalty of losing a point is on the line...
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    Mental game.. how to break out of the valley?

    Excellent. I absolutely agree on the how-you're-wired dimension. After coaching both boys and girls high school teams for several years, there can be profound differences of mentality among the different players on the same squads.
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    Difference(s) between Gamma X-ELS and Gamma Progression II ELS

    The base on the Prog II ELS will make you feel like a faster stringer with that almost-Ferrari-red hue... ...at least mine does :cool: Just trying to figure out how to get it to make that same sound as the car when I start it up. It's gotta be one of those buttons, right?
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    Does Anyone Know Any string that is similar to Head Hawk? (Preferably a cheaper string such as solinco)

    Have a look around here - I think that Isospeed Baseline is made in the same facility that produces Head Hawk. Some of our TT pals suspect that its essentially the same string. I've been using Baseline for string jobs for local players for several years and it's been very well received. I...
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    Aim higher!

    Although I'm not watching you hit a ball, I'd say try to approach it in terms of adjusting your swing. There's always a little voodoo going on with this issue because we're already using angular contact to hit a topspin shot. Angular contact means we're swinging somewhat across the path of the...
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    Kirschbaum Synthetic Gut 15 - thoughts?

    I'm not familiar with Babolat's SG, but the K-baum has to be the coziest of the SG family I've ever played. If a 1.18 shaped poly cross eats it up too quickly, a smooth poly cross could be worth a try. And since changing several things in a string layout at once can be much more unpredictable...
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    Are multifilaments meant to fray this quickly?

    Yonex 850 has been the most impressive multi that I've sampled in terms of durability, specifically its resistance to that early fraying. I string at home and like to keep a reel of Prince Premier Control 16 on hand for jobs that call for a multi. This string retains tension rather well and...
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    I have a theory

    I think you're onto something in terms of that fear of making an error. Many players get into a competitive setting and suddenly look like they're trying to shepherd the ball using a snow shovel instead of a racquet. Anything to not miss. Another big piece of this puzzle seems to boil down to...
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    How much do rackets matter?

    I can say that I keep two different models in my bag all the time. Both are Volkls with very similar grip profiles and they're tuned with lead tape so that they're very close to each other in terms of weight and balance. They also share 98" hoops, 16x19 string patterns, and their flex ratings...
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    How much do rackets matter?

    Agree. And unfortunately I think that the same sort of thinking has also led to many players going for poly strings when they don't have strong enough technique to get any benefit from them. But since lots of the pros and other stronger players use them, they're automatically thought of as...
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    Low-powered racquet + dead strings = WOW!

    If I was stringing for you and you had this issue going on, I'd probably ask you about how much spin do you think you need. Churning out banana balls that turn over really hard is a LOT of fun, but it's obviously a tradeoff. If you want to add more velocity to your shots and still hit with a...
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    Case for stiff racket good for arm, and flex racket bad for arm.

    There are big variables at work in terms of how one frame will fit a certain player and another won't. Some players with compact strokes seem to gravitate toward rather light racquets that are easier to accelerate with only moderate effort, but there are also a some who like a relatively heavy...
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    Serving

    Agree that your coach is pretty much right. But if you're having a day where your flat serve can't miss, it's reasonable to use what's reliable. Flip the script and consider which of your opponent's serves you'd rather face when you're the returner and you're up 0-30. If the other guy is...
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    Is it silly for a strong 4.5 who is improving to switch from a control frame to a Pure Aero Tour?

    Pure Trash - can't disagree there... Some folks love them, but they're not for me at all. And hitting laser-bombs on a dime with one of my old gummy-bear-on-a-stick cozy mids is truly special (y)
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    Is it silly for a strong 4.5 who is improving to switch from a control frame to a Pure Aero Tour?

    I'm a long-time Volkl player and I still have a pair of the regular Organix 10 325g's in my bag that preceded the Super G 10's. These are my alternatives to my Volkl C10's, which are my primary players. My O10's have lead on their hoops and handles to give them a layout that's probably close...
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    Non poly that is more durable than standard synthetic gut?

    I string for several of the high school kids on the teams that I coach. If your nephew is starting to blow through full beds of syn. gut and you're a little leery of poly (I'm right there with you), two thoughts. Multi: One of my guys was running into a progressive case of nasty golfer's...
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    Using different racquets while learning.

    As long as the ocean of equipment options doesn't become a big distraction, I'd say don't be afraid to sample this and that. You may also benefit from keeping some notes on the frames that you try as a handy reference down the road. Try to also keep track of the strings while you're at it...
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    Using different racquets while learning.

    Agree. I've also seem similar results after letting kids as young as 10-11 y.o. try my 12.5-12.7 oz. Volkls. More that one or two who have tried them have had a lot of fun. Last summer I also got a couple of adult students away from their fly swatters and into more middle-weight frames. The...
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    2021 Miami Open Final: Ashleigh Barty vs Bianca Andreescu

    Right on (y) I've been wondering when a generation of decent all-court players will come along and send the baseline zombies of the WTA back to the drawing board. I was always a fan of Aggie Radwanska - she was beyond clever and creative out there, but she could have used just an extra...
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    Can I pick your brains please :-)

    Agree with post #3. You may decide to demo other racquets, but you could also consider tuning what you have. Two packs of lead tape - one of 1/4", the other 1/2" - are all you need. Because the SW 102 is a bit cumbersome for you, it sounds like that racquet is begging for a little more...
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    What are the odds a lighter racquet hurts the arm/wrist more likely than a heavier one?

    Yes - insane levels of skill and timing on display among those kids who get stronger and start shredding the ball using supersonic swings with their fly swatters.
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    What are the odds a lighter racquet hurts the arm/wrist more likely than a heavier one?

    Agree. Through my past 20+ years as a tennis hobo - teaching, coaching, stringing - this issue seems to be much more common than many of us would assume. It seems reasonable that it should be "easier" to swing a lighter racquet, but that depends on that player's established technique and...
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