Should kids learn with old racquets

bjk

Hall of Fame
It's not just pace it's accuracy. If you use spin you don't need to be accurate. Most balls will land well inside the line. The older players learned to hit with both pace and accuracy. My whole argument is not only that the older players hit harder it's that they hit with more accuracy. Second, I'm not sure about the pace argument. If Gonzalez hits in a straight line and FAA hits with the same pace but ball travels further distance because the trajectory is loopier, which one is hitting harder? I'd say Gonzo because the shortest distance is a straight line.
 

blablavla

Legend
It's not just pace it's accuracy. If you use spin you don't need to be accurate. Most balls will land well inside the line. The older players learned to hit with both pace and accuracy. My whole argument is not only that the older players hit harder it's that they hit with more accuracy. Second, I'm not sure about the pace argument. If Gonzalez hits in a straight line and FAA hits with the same pace but ball travels further distance because the trajectory is loopier, which one is hitting harder? I'd say Gonzo because the shortest distance is a straight line.
dude, let's examine the equipment a bit.

Nadal, uses a stiff frame with open pattern. Low static weight, high SW. Famous for his FH.
Del Po uses a super stiff frame. Famous for his FH.

Zverev and Rublev are using Gravity Pro, that is softer then what Nadal, Del Po and Federer use.
It is as well having a tighter string pattern in comparison to let's say Nadal frame.
The static weight is higher, and from the Babolat published information, after all the adjustments done by Rafa, Gravity Pro is still heavier.
Then, from many photos, Zverev used to have massive lead on his previous frame, so he could have additional lead placed under the bumper on the GPro.

Do you care to explain how Zverev and Rublev, who routinely hit 150 km/h winners, hit softer than the old generations?
using relatively soft frames, with quite some balance between static weight and SW?
the 150 km/h is on par with Del Po, who according to rumors at least in the past used a very stiff frame.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
The internet says that Delpo uses a Wilson Hyper ProStaff 6.1 with 65 stiffness rating and Nadal uses a Babolat Aero Pro Drive Original with 72 stiffness rating. The Delpo racket is a 95 and Nadals is a 100. Small racket, smaller sweet spot. (BTW it's amazing I hit with a softer racket than Delpo).
 

blablavla

Legend
The internet says that Delpo uses a Wilson Hyper ProStaff 6.1 with 65 stiffness rating and Nadal uses a Babolat Aero Pro Drive Original with 72 stiffness rating. The Delpo racket is a 95 and Nadals is a 100. Small racket, smaller sweet spot.
good.
now check what Del Po was using through his career.

and then please check the stiffness or power rating of the Gravity Pro.

after which I am curios how it is possible that Zverev and Rublev are hitting softer than Del Po, yet produce similar velocity.
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
Radar gun speed measurements are picked in one dimension, based on how fast the ball closes up/picks distance from the gun. If it shows same figure for 2 shots, it means, in simple words, they are covering the ground at same rate. And actually the loopier ball has bigger velocity for same reading than the flattish ball.
For actual results and shot effectiveness many other components are crucial, like bounce depth and velocity drop at bounce, as well as bounce complexity/height.
But modern pros hit some laser-precision winners on regular basis. There are no issues with accuracy when they go for. However, when they are rallying and building the point, they use power, angles and heaviness to disturb their opponent and get him off position. And they use bigger margins at that point to control the risks. Then they pull the trigger when get an appropriate ball and geometry - and you see a rocket into a tight spot, like DTL corner or sharp I/O close to the line.
 

mnttlrg

Professional
Fed Nadal and Djokovic all learned with the old rackets and they're dominating the players who grew up with the new rackets. The old rackets taught you to hit the ball in the sweet spot and hit flat and hard. Should juniors play with the old rackets until they're ten, to learn to hit flat and hard and in the sweet spot? Before you say it would hurt their development to switch playing style at ten, consider that it didn't hurt any of the big 3.
Yes. I have worked with lots of wannabe spinners playing middle school / high school, and almost none of them have the ball striking ability to make modern techniques work.

I end up having to give them a Federer 90 to "practice with" until they are ready to pilot a modern frame.
 
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blablavla

Legend
Yes. I have worked with lots of wannabe spinners playing middle school / high school, and almost none of them have the ball striking ability to make modern techniques work.

I end up having to give them a Federer 90 to "practice with" until they are ready to pilot a modern frame.
yes, it might help those kids who like the game and want to improve.
but let's keep in mind that Nadal at this age was already the champion of Spain.
I guess by this age he already had the capacity to hit the ball clean.
 

mnttlrg

Professional
yes, it might help those kids who like the game and want to improve.
but let's keep in mind that Nadal at this age was already the champion of Spain.
I guess by this age he already had the capacity to hit the ball clean.
OP was referencing ten year olds. Almost every ten year old I've ever seen is far removed from any locked-in technique. Even if they were, they will grow into a different body / perhaps a different style.

In a perfect world, I'd have kids understand how to hit both traditional and modern, and know why we went from one to the next. I think experiencing both types of racket helps in that regard.
 

blablavla

Legend
It's not just pace it's accuracy. If you use spin you don't need to be accurate. Most balls will land well inside the line. The older players learned to hit with both pace and accuracy. My whole argument is not only that the older players hit harder it's that they hit with more accuracy. Second, I'm not sure about the pace argument. If Gonzalez hits in a straight line and FAA hits with the same pace but ball travels further distance because the trajectory is loopier, which one is hitting harder? I'd say Gonzo because the shortest distance is a straight line.
if you will look Cologne 2 final highlights, you will see Zverev hitting a 175 km/h forehand.
what a pusher in comparison to Del Po and Gonzales.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
Like I say upthread, it's not the pace it's the accuracy. If you hit with a bigger racket head and stiffer frame, yeah you are going to hit hard. But can you hit the corners? Or does the ball land at the service line?
 

blablavla

Legend
Like I say upthread, it's not the pace it's the accuracy. If you hit with a bigger racket head and stiffer frame, yeah you are going to hit hard. But can you hit the corners? Or does the ball land at the service line?
I'd suggest that you watch at least the highlights, and you might have your answers about precision.

Also, I don't know how you can call GPro a stiff frame.

big head size?
perhaps, but Nadal is playing with 100 sq. inches and was followed by many others, so it's not like bringing a 100 sq.inch frame to the tour that is played with 90 sq. inch by everyone else.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Yes. I have worked with lots of wannabe spinners playing middle school / high school, and almost none of them have the ball striking ability to make modern techniques work.

I end up having to give them a Federer 90 to "practice with" until they are ready to pilot a modern frame.
Very much agree with this. Too many of the kids - the wannabe spinners - swing with too much arm and not enough of everything else. Those fly-swatter racquets can produce decent shots, but they can also let lazy players get away with arming the ball too often. Working out with more of an old-school mid can exhaust a kid with lazy technique after maybe 10-20 minutes on the practice grinder. But it can also reward early stroke preparation and a more complete kinetic chain BIG time. When a kid learns that, they can hit better strokes for longer outings using any racquet.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Swing weight is way more important for power then frame stiffness IMHO and is a huge factor in racquet comfort.

For kids might as well pick something that doesn't mess with their arm - so something that is healthy. If your swing weight is high enough you can take a stiff racquet and poly strings because the racquet will have so much plow through. This way less shock is transmitted down the arm - or at least that is how it feels to me.

But for kids who are using a lighter racquet which will normally have a low swing weight - I'd just go with something flexible - closed enough string pattern (so you don't need poly strings). I don't think the age of the racquet really matters - you can find old and new racquets like this. Some modern racquets are not stiff in theory at all - like the Wilson Clash. If a junior is serious about tennis - going to be playing a ton so health is a huge concern.
 

BlueB

Legend
It's very questionable with SW...
Yes, more power if you could swing it fast enough, same with plow trough. However, there were tons of lighter, stiff, head heavy racquets of high SW, that used to cause TE left, right and centre.
I still think it's a combo of maximum weight, SW and softness, that still allows fast swing, that would be most comfortable and facilitate learning the best.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
It's very questionable with SW...
Yes, more power if you could swing it fast enough, same with plow trough. However, there were tons of lighter, stiff, head heavy racquets of high SW, that used to cause TE left, right and centre.
I still think it's a combo of maximum weight, SW and softness, that still allows fast swing, that would be most comfortable and facilitate learning the best.
I don't really disagree - just saying that a huge factor that can make painful racquets play pretty comfortable is swing weight. Once you get it up near 350 its like you can put any string in there and it doesn't screw up your arm. With low swing weight racquets I simply can't use poly.

But sure for lighter racquets get softer string and less stiff of a frame. Frame stiffness just doesn't have that instant effect on comfort that swing weight does. It can start to feel cumbersome but eventually its like the ball isn't even there. Some stiff poly in a light flexible frame - still ouch.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Fed Nadal and Djokovic all learned with the old rackets and they're dominating the players who grew up with the new rackets. The old rackets taught you to hit the ball in the sweet spot and hit flat and hard. Should juniors play with the old rackets until they're ten, to learn to hit flat and hard and in the sweet spot? Before you say it would hurt their development to switch playing style at ten, consider that it didn't hurt any of the big 3.

The young guns on tour more than likely trained with current equipment without issue, so not sure using older stuff would help in any significant way. The fact the big 3 are still dominating is more about experience and the mental game than strokes.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
If it was one of the big 3 who dominated, then I would concede that it was probably not the rackets. But all three? It's more likely a common factor.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
I'd suggest that you watch at least the highlights, and you might have your answers about precision.

Also, I don't know how you can call GPro a stiff frame.

big head size?
perhaps, but Nadal is playing with 100 sq. inches and was followed by many others, so it's not like bringing a 100 sq.inch frame to the tour that is played with 90 sq. inch by everyone else.
The net clearance is 5 feet and the ball lands well within the lines most of the time. It's the spin that keeps the opponent pinned behind the baseline.
 

blablavla

Legend
The net clearance is 5 feet and the ball lands well within the lines most of the time. It's the spin that keeps the opponent pinned behind the baseline.
do you actually watch tennis?
indoor, such net clearance is quite seldom.
there are enough videos out there, either from official tournament, or from spectators that are close to "court view".
please have a look, and try to find that 5 feet net clearance during indoor hard season.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
The net clearance is 5 feet and the ball lands well within the lines most of the time. It's the spin that keeps the opponent pinned behind the baseline.
No it's not the spin that keeps the opponent behind the baseline, it's the power and pace. The spin is used to keep the ball within the baseline and lesser extent outside the hitting zone.
Note: The ball always passes through the hitting zone twice {on a normal ground shot}. Once after bouncing and general this is within the baseline but requires hitting on the rise and obviously as it comes back down.
Its generally easier to hit a ball at shoulder height that's slowed than rising ball in the strike zone and generally easier again on its decent back in the strike zone. Its the pace that will make hitting on the rise.
The reality is players today hit much harder than players of previous eras. Power has become more important. Players are generally bigger, not only in height but bulk.
Average head size really only changed in the Graphite era when poly became the staple to take advantage of polys added spin potential. Long string means more spin {string deflection}.
Plays didn't change to larger heads to compensate for erratic centering, they're still hitting the sweet spot. It's for increase string length which increases power and spin potential.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
Players today hit harder, run faster, are bigger and taller . . . and the combined age of the two FO finalists was 68. Combined age in last Wimbledon final was almost 70. How do you reconcile those two things?
 
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