Nationally ranked juniors clueless about strings...

BigT

Professional
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
Hopefully the blissful ignorance just mean that an expert worries about things like that and they just go out and play.

Sometimes the analysis on here is overkill, but it's easy to get sucked in. They are better off worrying about their strokes.
 

lawlitssoo1n

Professional
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
this one was in calabasas right?
 

SoCal10s

Hall of Fame
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
Ignorant and spoiled is more like it... a lot of those kids don't have a clue what's going on unless their parents tell them so... this is one of the reasons why USA tennis is so DOWN compared to other nations.. if you ask a high ranking Jr. golfer what equiptment they use,I can bet you they know everything about their tools of the their trade... they most likely can tell you swing weight,shaft flex,weight of shaft,grip,clubhead,ect... maybe even their swingspeed... ask a tennis kid about his strings and how tight they string it and I'm sure 7 out of 10 can't tell you...
in everything a person does using a tool or equipment ,one must know about the instrament they use...
 
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Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Well it also goes to show you that the ability to play tennis has no link to knowledge of gear.

Someone else on here who posted that they strung for a seniors event said Jimmy Arias was also as clueless. He reportedly didn't care what string or tension was in his frames as long as they were strung.
 

lawlitssoo1n

Professional
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
what does it matter if u play well?
 

martini1

Hall of Fame
what does it matter if u play well?
Yup. Especially if you got a stringer and coach to do the job for you. Why switch around if the player's performance is good. The other thing is, if you ask 10 guys about what string and tension to use you's probably got 20 answers.

I recently got a pack of those Babo hybrid poly + gut. Works great with just one package. String it at medium tension (although I did a +2 lb on the gut) and I am good to go. I am sure high level coaches would already have a good set up for the players. They don't need to know what string or even racket they are using as long as the results are great.

It's the gearhead like us who want to know everything there is to know about strings.:):)
 

MomentumGT

Semi-Pro
Hopefully the blissful ignorance just mean that an expert worries about things like that and they just go out and play.

Sometimes the analysis on here is overkill, but it's easy to get sucked in. They are better off worrying about their strokes.
I agree with you here about the analysis on strings can be overkill. I seen quite a few players at the club contribute their bad play on equipment and constantly switch out strings, rackets, etc... rather than actually analyzing their own strokes, timing, and foot work as the major forces in their bad playing. And hitting with them shows errors in stroke mechanics.

I used to coach a top ranked Jr. and she couldn't even notice the lbs. difference between string jobs when I strung her racket. She told me it all feels the same when she puts on her damper. She also told me she liked a particular string because it made a booming noise when she hit the ball. LOL :shock:

-Jon
 

Gottabekin

New User
I agree with you here about the analysis on strings can be overkill. I seen quite a few players at the club contribute their bad play on equipment and constantly switch out strings, rackets, etc... rather than actually analyzing their own strokes, timing, and foot work as the major forces in their bad playing. And hitting with them shows errors in stroke mechanics.

I used to coach a top ranked Jr. and she couldn't even notice the lbs. difference between string jobs when I strung her racket. She told me it all feels the same when she puts on her damper. She also told me she liked a particular string because it made a booming noise when she hit the ball. LOL :shock:

-Jon
Ya I love the booming noise too!
 

pow

Hall of Fame
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
Wait... so you're saying the most important aspect of the game is knowing your equipment?
 

BigT

Professional
what does it matter if u play well?
Yes, it's the one in calabasas.

Obviously, playing well is what matters; but strings, tensions and gauges can make such a difference in fine tuning a game.
I've had customers who complained about a certain something, I would change something in the string-job, maybe tension or a gauge or a cross, and they would improve and thank me for it for a long time.

Pros don't carry 8 rackets in their bag for nothing...not all the sticks are strung the same.

Anyone who takes their job or sport seriously, has to know the equipment they use inside/out.
 

Schills

Rookie
I think its great that they don't know. Just go out and play. When I was playing competitive juniors, not only did I not know what string I used, but I used it until it broke, and that might have taken a year. Granted I was a few years younger than these guys.

It is easy to overthink this stuff.

Out of curiosity, how many on this board know the proper pressure and the size width/height/rating for the tires on their cars? That's probably more important than string type and tension, but I'll bet most don't know. Somehow you get to work or school every day without knowing.
 

Techniques

Rookie
Exactly. Those juniors can play with whatever- shows equipment means nothing. Well it does, but I guarantee practice>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>equipment.
 

rasajadad

Hall of Fame
#1- I know the proper inflation for the tires on my cars.
#2- In addition to top flight juniors, I can tell you for a fact that high level college players are equally in the dark about stringing and tension.
#3- While I agree to some extent with the earlier poster said about equipment meaning nothing, I also believe that the proper equipment CAN help and conversely, the wrong equipment can hurt your game. (At any level.)
 

jb193

Rookie
I have an uncle who has played competitive tennis for over 35 years. He is a former Div. I player and is now one of the top senior open players in the country. He is in his 50's and still plays guys (in singles) that just got through playing Div. I tennis. BTW, he basically knows nothing about his equipment. I once asked him what kind of racquet he played with. He told me, "The one Agassi plays with". I looked at it and held it, and it was obvious, that it couldn't be anymore than a 11 ounce tweener. He then annihilated me, making only 2 errors in over an hour of play...
 

Valjean

Hall of Fame
And so, from all that's said above, I conclude ignorance doubtless is bliss in all one does, should and can, too. Let's see, where can I take that now, too???
 

jmverdugo

Hall of Fame
Well it also goes to show you that the ability to play tennis has no link to knowledge of gear.

Someone else on here who posted that they strung for a seniors event said Jimmy Arias was also as clueless. He reportedly didn't care what string or tension was in his frames as long as they were strung.
Totally agree, one of the first things I noticed when I started to visit this forum was how fast people change racquets and strings looking to improve their game. Usually, here where I live, people use the same racquet for years and use the strings that last longer and doesnt move that much but that is. Nobody is measuring balance, sw, weight, etc. They do know what that is, they just dont pay to much atention to that and they still beat me, eventhough I am loaded with knowledge about racquets and strings.
 

martini1

Hall of Fame
#1- I know the proper inflation for the tires on my cars.
#2- In addition to top flight juniors, I can tell you for a fact that high level college players are equally in the dark about stringing and tension.
#3- While I agree to some extent with the earlier poster said about equipment meaning nothing, I also believe that the proper equipment CAN help and conversely, the wrong equipment can hurt your game. (At any level.)
I agree with you. If you don't have a knowledgeable coach and stringer you gotta at least know a thing of two about racket and strings.

I am not saying excessive knowledge outweighs your game, but your game and physical health can be much better if you at least know to pick a correct grip size, grip/overgrip, and # of times to replace strings in a year.

You don't need a "fency" racket but playing with a walmart pre strung strings for years is shooting yourself in the foot, at least for a serious player. Some people on here change strings on a weekly/monthly basis, but I only play once or twice a week, and I restring probably just every 6 months. Fresh strings are good but the cost also adds up. I rather use better strings but go as far as I could before replacing. May be because I don't compete.:)
 

lawlitssoo1n

Professional
I agree with you. If you don't have a knowledgeable coach and stringer you gotta at least know a thing of two about racket and strings.

I am not saying excessive knowledge outweighs your game, but your game and physical health can be much better if you at least know to pick a correct grip size, grip/overgrip, and # of times to replace strings in a year.

You don't need a "fency" racket but playing with a walmart pre strung strings for years is shooting yourself in the foot, at least for a serious player. Some people on here change strings on a weekly/monthly basis, but I only play once or twice a week, and I restring probably just every 6 months. Fresh strings are good but the cost also adds up. I rather use better strings but go as far as I could before replacing. May be because I don't compete.:)
but remeber that they are junior players. and i bet they are all dependant on their parents who do everything for them(pay for lessons, getting rackets strung)
 

Mdubb23

Hall of Fame
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
You have got to be kidding me. If the most important part of tennis is strings then why do you play the sport? Play tennis because you love the game, not because you love the equipment. That's just sad. Really sad. Are you a 3.0? 3.5? I'm 14, top 100 in the country, and I know a good amount about equipment, however I would much rather have all of my knowledge of equipment vanish than my tennis ability.
 
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You have got to be kidding me. If the most important part of tennis is strings then why do you play the sport? Play tennis because you love the game, not because you love the equipment. That's just sad. Really sad. Are you a 3.0? 3.5? I'm 14, top 100 in the country, and I know a good amount about equipment, however I would much rather have all of my knowledge of equipment vanish than my tennis ability.

And, not to you, but to all of the posters in this thread that say us kids don't care about or are ignorant to how much our parents are spending on us, consider this: I gave up private trumpet ($70/hour), my Bar-Mitzvah celebration (~$15,000), didn't go to Cooperstown w/my team for a national baseball tournament ($1,500) all for tennis. I may not be the spender, but I sure do try to make it as easy on my parents as I can.
Thank you for that.
I don't know what High Level College players you have been talking to. All the High-level college players I know and talk to, know the exact swingweight of their racket, the strings they use, that exact tension they use, which strings they don't like, nearly exact time in which they break the string, the stringer they use, the string pattern and what modifications and also the balance of the racket off the top of their head.
 
Even though they may not know much about the names or makeup of their strings etc, I'd bet the top echelon of players takes his/her rackets to the same stringer for each stringing. They know the key is consistency, and when they need a change, a good stringer can recommend or make changes for the player to try. This is why it's not the guy that can churn out a racket in 10 minutes that is always the best stringer. The best stringer is the one that can match the playing properties of available equipment to the player so that he/she performs his/her best.
 

BigT

Professional
You have got to be kidding me. If the most important part of tennis is strings then why do you play the sport? Play tennis because you love the game, not because you love the equipment. That's just sad. Really sad. Are you a 3.0? 3.5? I'm 14, top 100 in the country, and I know a good amount about equipment, however I would much rather have all of my knowledge of equipment vanish than my tennis ability.
If you play competitively and care about winning, you should be on top of whatever equipment can help you...
Why did almost all pros start to switch to poly 10 years ago? Why didn't they just stick to what they played with for years? the game evolves, technology advances. Easier to switch a string/gauge/tension than to change a stroke, especially at the junior level where bodies are still growing and getting stronger.
 

TonyB

Hall of Fame
Even though they may not know much about the names or makeup of their strings etc, I'd bet the top echelon of players takes his/her rackets to the same stringer for each stringing. They know the key is consistency, and when they need a change, a good stringer can recommend or make changes for the player to try. This is why it's not the guy that can churn out a racket in 10 minutes that is always the best stringer. The best stringer is the one that can match the playing properties of available equipment to the player so that he/she performs his/her best.


Thank you for pointing out what everyone has apparently completely missed throughout this entire thread.


Sure, these players may not KNOW what they're playing with, but the simple fact is that what they're playing with is THE SAME from day to day. I guarantee you that their stringers/coaches/parents aren't just grabbing whatever racquet off the shelf and stringing it with whatever cheapo string happens to be sitting on the first peg hook that they grab off the pro shop wall.

Same as that old-timer who beat the Div. I players. Yeah, he may play with a tweener, so what? I'll bet he didn't just pick it up off the rack at Wal-Mart and start whipping people. He's probably been using that racquet SINCE Agassi started using it and has probably been stringing it at the same local pro shop since 1989.

Kids don't know much about anything at all anyways. The fact that they don't know much about their racquets doesn't surprise me in the least. I'll bet SOMEONE knows a HECK of a lot about their equipment -- their coaches/parents/instructors/pro shop/etc. They're being taken care of, believe me. It's not random luck, and they're not having to play with random racquet and string changes every time they hit the courts.
 

fastdunn

Legend
Even though they may not know much about the names or makeup of their strings etc, I'd bet the top echelon of players takes his/her rackets to the same stringer for each stringing. They know the key is consistency, and when they need a change, a good stringer can recommend or make changes for the player to try. This is why it's not the guy that can churn out a racket in 10 minutes that is always the best stringer. The best stringer is the one that can match the playing properties of available equipment to the player so that he/she performs his/her best.
I agree with this. String/Stringing is not ignorable part of this game. Even though some good players can be ignorant on string/stringing, they must have some good stringer who is taking care of their string/stringing.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
Goes to show that in the "real world" (contrary to some internet coaches on these boards), people don't really care about this sort of stuff (frame weight, head size, strings, etc). They go out and play, and obviously are doing a good job if they are nationally ranked.

Most players just go the local pro shop, let the sales person pick there string, and they tenion it half way. End of story.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Hopefully the blissful ignorance just mean that an expert worries about things like that and they just go out and play.

Sometimes the analysis on here is overkill, but it's easy to get sucked in. They are better off worrying about their strokes.
Bingo. Too bad we have "supposed coaches" on these boards that give lessons that are more of a tutorial on string tension, rather than teaching tennis.
 

TonyB

Hall of Fame
Most players just go the local pro shop, let the sales person pick there string, and they tenion it half way. End of story.

I'm fairly certain that the "nationally ranked juniors" who are the subject of this thread most certainly do NOT just go to the pro shop and let the sales person pick out whatever string type and tension they want.

Players who are PLAYERS, even if they don't KNOW it, are getting their equipment maintained with their "regular" string brand, type, and tension. Either their coach, their parents, their instructors, or someone else is making sure that these players have every advantage they can. Nationally ranked players do not just wander around and pick up whatever racquet/string combination that happens to be available at the time.

I would even go so far as to say that a nationally ranked player, even a junior, would know immediately if their string and/or tension wasn't the same as they were accustomed to playing with. Just because they don't know the NAME of the string doesn't mean they can't tell the difference.
 

ogruskie

Professional
First of all, who determined what players SHOULD or should NOT know about tennis equipment? People SHOULDN'T have to do anything, just because one person on a forum said so.

If somebody plays with synthetic strings and restrings once a year, who cares? If somebody plays with natural gut and restrings every other day, who cares? Does it personally affect your life?
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm fairly certain that the "nationally ranked juniors" who are the subject of this thread most certainly do NOT just go to the pro shop and let the sales person pick out whatever string type and tension they want.

uhmm, go back and read my post. You are taking my post out of context.
 

dtrain

Rookie
to the OP, I bet these juniors know much more about tennis and can beat you on the tennis courts easily. These kids should probably know what kinds of strings they are using I agree, but that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is using your mind on the tennis court, not off. Top pros like Federer and Djokovic send their racquets to Priority 1, Tim Henman customed his own racquet but has he ever won a major? Something to think about.
 

SoCal10s

Hall of Fame
to the OP, I bet these juniors know much more about tennis and can beat you on the tennis courts easily. These kids should probably know what kinds of strings they are using I agree, but that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is using your mind on the tennis court, not off. Top pros like Federer and Djokovic send their racquets to Priority 1, Tim Henman customed his own racquet but has he ever won a major? Something to think about.

come on you cannot tell me that R-Fed doesn't know about his strings... he uses the most weird hybrid with string savers to boot.. most of the pros use poly mains and gut or something else cross... R-FED does the opposite... he is very picky about stringing his strings loose (something like 40lbs+) I'm sure he knows what he likes and it's done for him,no one says that he has to string his own rackets,but I'm sure all pros know exactly what they want out of their rackets... knowing what feel you can get from your equipment by tweeking a stringing tension is not going take that much room in a kids head if he is really into tennis... knowing one's tennis equipment is no rocket science,just a little education that could only help them to use their equipment better...
 

dtrain

Rookie
come on you cannot tell me that R-Fed doesn't know about his strings... he uses the most weird hybrid with string savers to boot.. most of the pros use poly mains and gut or something else cross... R-FED does the opposite... he is very picky about stringing his strings loose (something like 40lbs+) I'm sure he knows what he likes and it's done for him,no one says that he has to string his own rackets,but I'm sure all pros know exactly what they want out of their rackets... knowing what feel you can get from your equipment by tweeking a stringing tension is not going take that much room in a kids head if he is really into tennis... knowing one's tennis equipment is no rocket science,just a little education that could only help them to use their equipment better...
obviously you did not read my post correctly. You would see that I agreed that these kids should know what strings they use. About knowing your tension, string weight, that comes with experience and communication with the stringer. Do you think these young kids have the money to pay for their strings? Their parents are paying for them, or stringing their racquets for them. Also you guys are so old you forget that these kids have to go to school and worry about academics and not just tennis, they probably don't have the time to go on the forum and read up about tennis strings all day long. Do you think their coaches are teaching them about what strings to use? Where do you think these kids should be learning this?

Someone here also posted about collegiate players knowing exactly what to do with their racquets. I believe we are talking about Jr. players here. If you were to ask me if a 14 year old kid should know as much as an 18 year old kid I would tell you no.

Do you honestly think R-Fed knows all that stuff by himself? I'm sure the guys at P-1 give him input on what he should do to acheive what he wants, it's not all him.

The OP said that knowing about your racquet string and tension was the most important thing. I completely disagree, knowing tennis dynamics and using your mind out on the court is the most important thing, this should be more important to a Jr. player than knowing what strings they are using.

I think some of you guys forget what it was like to be a kid. BTW, I'm not a kid, I'm 24. I also think this thread should be moved to rants and raves, because that's exactly what it is.
 
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drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
This month's tennis magazine has an interview with Nadal's coach.

In it, he says that Nadal, even when he had already reached a high level had no clue what string he was using. Additionally, added that when his frames were weighed, they were all different, with some differences as much as 20 grams off.
 

bad_call

Legend
This month's tennis magazine has an interview with Nadal's coach.

In it, he says that Nadal, even when he had already reached a high level had no clue what string he was using. Additionally, added that when his frames were weighed, they were all different, with some differences as much as 20 grams off.
wow...goes to show that every player is different. depends on where the focus lies...

thanks for sharing.
 

BigT

Professional
Like mentioned in the OP, we're not talking about 8 or 10 year olds here. We're talking about 16-18 year olds, who are old enough to make their own decisions. Most pros today turned pro at that age.
Fed changes rackets every 25 minutes, even during practice. Nadal has had his rackets strung in the middle of matches to keep the same feel. 80% of ATP pros request that their rackets be strung on Babolat machines to maintain the same feel and tension.
It's a question of how serious a player takes his tennis.
When saying it's the most important aspect, we're talking about equipment.
Why don't pros use a wood racket today? or wear Stan Smith adidas'?
At high levels of play, everything must be considered to gain an edge.
 

TonyB

Hall of Fame
If strings didn't matter, nobody would play with poly. Why would you want to play with a stiff string with no feel?

I think this is a pretty abstract topic, to be quite honest. OF COURSE strings matter. Just because kids don't KNOW what they're using doesn't mean that it doesn't matter.
 

jrod

Hall of Fame
^^It's actually a very interesting interview. You should try and read it when you get a chance.
I read the article. What's impressive is Tony Nadal's approach to coaching. Nadal has truly benefited from Tony's mentorship, on and off the court.

Gulbis' father ought to take notes...
 

AJK1

Hall of Fame
At all the junior tournaments i go and watch all the players use is any poly string and Wilson, Head and Babolat racquets. NOTHING ELSE!!
 
as a few smart posters have already written, strings don't really matter. so, instead of being condescending about top juniors not knowing what strings they use, learn to read between the lines. that is, strings don't matter.
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
I was by the CA bowl the passed few days, chatting with some top-ranked 16's and 18's. Incredible how many of them don't know what strings they use...one didn't even know if he used poly or natural gut...! Parents can pay $1000's on coaches, academies, and travel... and the most important aspect of the game is forgotten. Ignorance is bliss?:-?
Strings are more important then learning how to actually play tennis?

Usually their coach or their personal pro has some sort of contract with a particular company. If you talk to them, they sound a lot like some of the people on this board.

In any event they will end up with whatever string is recommended and in some cases the pro probably strings the racquets for them. Teens just dont care about that sort of thing for the most part, especially if they are playing well.

In some respect that ought to be true for anyone, once you find out what you like and what works for you, not a whole lot of thought needs to go into it (which is probably more true the better you are).
 

TonyB

Hall of Fame
as a few smart posters have already written, strings don't really matter. so, instead of being condescending about top juniors not knowing what strings they use, learn to read between the lines. that is, strings don't matter.

Wow, I can't think of anything MORE wrong than this.

By your logic, everyone should just be playing with $1.49 nylon. Why pay $35 for natural gut if strings don't matter?

Insane.
 
Strings matter, but not that much unless you're very good. We all have our preferences but really a difference in string type won't really matter so much for a 4.0 player yet these are the players on this board obsessing about it.
 
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