What I've learned since I've stopped switching racquets and strings

DonDiego

Hall of Fame
#1
Hi, my name is Don. I'm a racquetholic.
(for reference: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...racquetholics-7-kingdoms-crown-thread.574017/)

But today I have good news. I recently received my 6 month chip.

For all sorts of reason (job, nagging injuries, money, sex, ****ing winter) I started playing less often since past summer (2-3 times per month).
So I didn't think it worth going to the tennis shop every week, checking every new arrivals in the used racquet stack. I've been stuck with my Blade 2013 16x19 with a Head Lynx 17 gauge (yellow) poly in it since August.

And funny enough, in my recent matches I've never served better (always thought the serve suffered the most with racquet change and I was right), and never played better overall, even though I'm way out of shape. My consistency has improved the most and I now beat on a regular basis my two partners who usually beat me twice out of three matches.

This is not breaking news for sure. It's what we should all expect. But I thought it was worth mentionning. I don't believe I found my holy grail. I believe getting used to the same tool by far outweighs the benefits you could get from a "better suited racquet".
 
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TagUrIt

Professional
#2
That's a great self discovery when you feel comfortable with your racquet. I think a LOT of people want to believe that their game will improve if they just find the right racquet and string set up. The truth of the matter is, it takes practice, practice and more practice to become proficient with anything. There is no magical tennis racquet that will transform ANYONE into an amazing tennis player. You have to put the work in. I'm not saying it is wrong to demo racquets and try different string types/tensions. I just don't think people shouldn't spend an entire tennis seasons constantly switching and changing. At the end of the day, it's you and your racquet against your opponent(s) and their racquet.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#5
You story reminds me of when I first got my mower last year. Getting up in years I wanted something bigger and faster to cut the grass with so I got a zero turn mover. Everyone laughed who seen me trying to drive it when I first got on it, I could go anywhere but straight. I found it funny myself. Yesterday after the mower was sitting in the garage it was time to crank it up and get back out there. I thought it would be a learning experience all over again but I could turn it on a dime and go as straight as an arrow. You mind and body work together to learn and it is something you will never forget. I have not rode a bike in over 30 years but I’m sure I would have no trouble.

Getting used to one racket you play with over and over is the same thing. Buy another racket that looks exactly the same, strung with the same string, with the same tension, by the same stringer, and it will confuse your mind because even though you believe they are the same you mind is getting different signals from what you’re telling it should be the same. It is very much like a PID Controller gets different inputs and trying to control one output.
This is not breaking news for sure. It's what we should all expect. But I thought it was worth mentionning. I don't believe I found my holy grail. I believe getting used to the same tool by far outweighs the benefits you could get from a "better suited racquet".
Once you find that ‘Holy Grail’ find out what it is in terms of specs or it will be lost forever. And if you ever do come across it by accident again you may not even recognize it. You may think you recognize it when you see it but your mind has got to get accustomized to it all over again.
 
#6
Hi, my name is Don. I'm a racquetholic.
(for reference: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...racquetholics-7-kingdoms-crown-thread.574017/)

But today I have good news. I recently received my 6 month chip.

For all sorts of reason (job, nagging injuries, money, sex, ****ing winter) I started playing less often since past summer (2-3 times per month).
So I didn't think it worth going to the tennis shop every week, checking every new arrivals in the used racquet stack. I've been stuck with my Blade 2013 16x19 with a Head Lynx 17 gauge (yellow) poly in it since August.

And funny enough, in my recent matches I've never served better (always thought the serve suffered the most with racquet change and I was right), and never played better overall, even though I'm way out of shape. My consistency has improved the most and I now beat on a regular basis my two partners who usually beat me twice out of three matches.

This is not breaking news for sure. It's what we should all expect. But I thought it was worth mentionning. I don't believe I found my holy grail. I believe getting used to the same tool by far outweighs the benefits you could get from a "better suited racquet".
I agree, I change strings a lot and it really screws up your game. Consistency is what suffers the most
 
#8
Hi, my name is Don. I'm a racquetholic.
(for reference: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...racquetholics-7-kingdoms-crown-thread.574017/)

But today I have good news. I recently received my 6 month chip.

For all sorts of reason (job, nagging injuries, money, sex, ****ing winter) I started playing less often since past summer (2-3 times per month).
So I didn't think it worth going to the tennis shop every week, checking every new arrivals in the used racquet stack. I've been stuck with my Blade 2013 16x19 with a Head Lynx 17 gauge (yellow) poly in it since August.

And funny enough, in my recent matches I've never served better (always thought the serve suffered the most with racquet change and I was right), and never played better overall, even though I'm way out of shape. My consistency has improved the most and I now beat on a regular basis my two partners who usually beat me twice out of three matches.

This is not breaking news for sure. It's what we should all expect. But I thought it was worth mentionning. I don't believe I found my holy grail. I believe getting used to the same tool by far outweighs the benefits you could get from a "better suited racquet".
I think your improvement comes from the sex side.
 
#9
For most we forget how much operator error dictates our play and look to find a magic potion. But finding a racquet that checks the most boxes is the best way to go. For me I have demod just about ever Prince, Head, and Wilson racquet the last few years and still here I am with a 2014 Wilson Pro Staff 95s.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
#14
I play in a casual 3.5/4.0 doubles league....anytime someone is bringing demo racquets out the result is a 100% increase in double faults for those players and about a 50% increase in unforced errors on ground-strokes.

By the end of the night the other guys on the court with the chronic demo-ers are like "enough with the f-ing demos".

Find a raquet that suits your game, and stick with it for at least 2 years. Same with strings. They cause almost as many issues.
 
#15
getting more sex always helps. well, let me qualify that. never mind.

blade 16x19 is a great frame to stick with. it might not do you any particular favors but it wont do you any harm either.
I'd rather risk some harm to get the particular favors; wait a minute, are we talking sex or racquets?
 

sredna42

Professional
#16
I've spent more than i care to think about on racquets, and after all of it i still come back to the same beaten up tec315ltd 18x20 that i bought from dr325i on here when i first started.
 
#17
Just about every frame I've been with for a long time ends having an almost identical string spacing in the center. My 2cents.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 
#18
after myriad racquet switches(through a bunch of tweener improvement frames tho) I've finally arrived at a stick that has allowed me to play without pain and gives me feedback as to my skills in relation to the racquets true performance....it's heavier (12oz) with a thin beam and has a foam core (Donnay) and I feel like I'm satisfied....I've been listening to the chat on this site and have gotten a very valuable lesson from honest advice from tennis geeks(I'm one too) that has gotten me over my TE problems and arrived at a point that I can put down the racquet reviews and PLAY....Love me some PK 5g pro and Donnay x dual 102's and the faith that a cure for arm problems was achievable through smart info and it's implementation...thanks one and all...But I gotta say...I had to search for the right racquet...so there's quite a lineup in the corner....
 
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#22
I love to try new racquets, and have literally fallen for the Prince Phantom line. Played most of last year with the 93P 18x20, which is awesome but can be a challenging frame. Transitioned to a PP100P earlier this year, which is as solid but easier to play. I am very tempted by the 93P 14x18, but I am really settling with the PP100P nicely. Instead of putting more $ in yet another frame, I found a very good coach, and have set to take 1 hour of coaching every couple of weeks, on top my 2-3 times / week playing cadence. I am getting more value, and improvement to my game, from these coaching sessions than from any racquet I've ever owned, past or present. Not a surprise, I suppose, but worth mentioning.
 
#24
Congrats, I just got my one-year chip for having a main stick. I've been a horrible cheat though. I was sneaking out late at night, going downtown and buying twaron in dark alleys. I still buy sticks from all sorts of degerantes, use them for a couple days and sell them for more sticks to try.

After a clinic, I pulled out a vintage stick to hit with the pro and this psychologist said to me, "that is your crack." I said," well it's better than doing real crack. It's just a hobby."

And there really should be no shame in buying and trying other sticks. I do it more as an affirmation that I've made the right choice in my main stick and strings. And now that I'm going to start really competing, I asked myself if I had one racquet and string to play a match to save me life, I picked that one.

Part of my journey is that I got back into the game 18 months ago, so I tried a lot of set ups, but also I kept trying things that were arm-friendly so I can continue playing. The stick I play with now reminds me most of what I played with in high school.

Gotta run, I hear my dealer (he drives a brown van) coming up the driveway.
 
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DonDiego

Hall of Fame
#26
getting more sex always helps. well, let me qualify that. never mind.

blade 16x19 is a great frame to stick with. it might not do you any particular favors but it wont do you any harm either.
You realize that's another of those TT forum meaningless catchphrase right? :D We start speaking like this when we spend too much time here, lol.
 

DonDiego

Hall of Fame
#28
So I went to the dreaded store last week, cause I wanted to see my friend who owns it (hadn't seen him in a while cause he's always there). I briefly checked the used racquet stack out of old habit... and started to feel nauseous. I think I'm on the right path. Looking forward to my 1-year chip at the end of the summer.
 
#31
@Dartagnan64, I think I've found mine as well. the old Volkl probably soon-to-be-discontinued V Sense Tour 10 strung at 54/50 with Gosen OGSM 18 in the mains and Luxilon Timo 18 in the crosses. I demoed the Babolat Pure Strike line the other day and figured why? The Volkl VST10 feels like an extension of my arm. There are things I'd like to do better, but I finally figured out the racket doesn't have anything to do with.

And if Volkl discontinues it, they'll probably make something else really close to it. And if they don't oh well......if James Blake/Juan Martin del Potro could use a decade old frame with crappy grommets, so can I.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#32
Hi, my name is Don. I'm a racquetholic.
(for reference: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...racquetholics-7-kingdoms-crown-thread.574017/)

But today I have good news. I recently received my 6 month chip.

For all sorts of reason (job, nagging injuries, money, sex, ****ing winter) I started playing less often since past summer (2-3 times per month).
So I didn't think it worth going to the tennis shop every week, checking every new arrivals in the used racquet stack. I've been stuck with my Blade 2013 16x19 with a Head Lynx 17 gauge (yellow) poly in it since August.

And funny enough, in my recent matches I've never served better (always thought the serve suffered the most with racquet change and I was right), and never played better overall, even though I'm way out of shape. My consistency has improved the most and I now beat on a regular basis my two partners who usually beat me twice out of three matches.

This is not breaking news for sure. It's what we should all expect. But I thought it was worth mentionning. I don't believe I found my holy grail. I believe getting used to the same tool by far outweighs the benefits you could get from a "better suited racquet".
I've also decided to just stick with my arm-friendly stick, that doesn't do anything fancy but is very solid all-around. Stocked up on a few extra frames and grommets as well :)
 
#33
Hi, my name is Don. I'm a racquetholic.
(for reference: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...racquetholics-7-kingdoms-crown-thread.574017/)

But today I have good news. I recently received my 6 month chip.

For all sorts of reason (job, nagging injuries, money, sex, ****ing winter) I started playing less often since past summer (2-3 times per month).
So I didn't think it worth going to the tennis shop every week, checking every new arrivals in the used racquet stack. I've been stuck with my Blade 2013 16x19 with a Head Lynx 17 gauge (yellow) poly in it since August.

And funny enough, in my recent matches I've never served better (always thought the serve suffered the most with racquet change and I was right), and never played better overall, even though I'm way out of shape. My consistency has improved the most and I now beat on a regular basis my two partners who usually beat me twice out of three matches.

This is not breaking news for sure. It's what we should all expect. But I thought it was worth mentionning. I don't believe I found my holy grail. I believe getting used to the same tool by far outweighs the benefits you could get from a "better suited racquet".

Just curious how does that head lynx string compare to Wilson revolve string (if you have ever used it)?
 

DonDiego

Hall of Fame
#34
Just curious how does that head lynx string compare to Wilson revolve string (if you have ever used it)?
I feel like Lynx is more similar to Head Hawk, although softer. But it has the same control for me. As for Revolve, I only used it in "spin racquets" (16x6, 18x16) but to me it felt "plasticky" and a bit too slippery. Lynx is probably the best string I've tried, as I like control in a poly (I string it at 56 lbs) and can appreciate comfort. Head realy did a good job with this one, plus the price is ok.

EDIT: I use the yellow.
 
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