"Your kid is good, he needs a control frame"

Some story from long time ago.

As a kid in the early nineties I played tennis and reached a good level. Not top of the country but good enough to compete against good kids from other clubs in the area. One day I needed a new racket. Rucanor (a B-brand) had a line of 3:
  • a grey one with a purple bumperguard, thin frame, small head size and dense string pattern
  • a grey one with a red bumperguard, a thick frame, large headsize and open string pattern
  • a grey one with a green bumperguard, which was something in between
At the same time my father, who played tennis as well at a low adult level, also needed a new stick. So in consultation with my coach (and probably the salesman) my father picked 2 rackets from the described Rucanor line. The purple one for me, the red one for him. I didn't had a choice in this. I expect my dad had a chat with my coach which went something like this, "your kid needs to be a technically good player so buy him the control stick".

There I broke strings on a regular basis (backing up my claim I reached a good level ;) ) I lend the red frame from my dad while my own purple frame was at the stringer. Every time I played with it, whether it was for fun or for official points, I liked it much more than my own purple frame. I got better shots, it was easier, it was just more fun after all.

Why did I got the purple one!!!?!?
 
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jxs653

Semi-Pro
I'm with you. You could've played equally well with the purple one (any one for that matter). I don't believe in that control, power designation of the racquet. It's all matter of getting used to or how comfortable it feels in your hand. Agassi wouldn't have had better control with Sampras' racquet and Sampras wouldn't have had more power with Agassi's racquet. William sisters won Slams with what people call beginner's racquet N3 and N4 if I remember correctly. So it's misleading to say one type of frame is good for power and other type is good for control. You can have both if you have played with the racquet for long time and feel comfortable with it.

Often I hear people saying this racquet lacks power or this racquet is too powerful and balls fly all over. It's because the racquet is new to you, not because the racquet is inherently so. Thing is, even tiny headed wooden racquet is so powerful that we need to tame the power so that the ball doesn't hit the fence...
 

RogerShrederer

New User
I'm with you. You could've played equally well with the purple one (any one for that matter). I don't believe in that control, power designation of the racquet. It's all matter of getting used to or how comfortable it feels in your hand. Agassi wouldn't have had better control with Sampras' racquet and Sampras wouldn't have had more power with Agassi's racquet. William sisters won Slams with what people call beginner's racquet N3 and N4 if I remember correctly. So it's misleading to say one type of frame is good for power and other type is good for control. You can have both if you have played with the racquet for long time and feel comfortable with it.

Often I hear people saying this racquet lacks power or this racquet is too powerful and balls fly all over. It's because the racquet is new to you, not because the racquet is inherently so. Thing is, even tiny headed wooden racquet is so powerful that we need to tame the power so that the ball doesn't hit the fence...
Im convinced, going to grab new raquets at Walmart from now on.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
I think babaolot pure drives have too much power for me and I often see players use them that have great serves but overhit groundies. But, their forehands if they get it right are deadly. I think that particular racket and some other babolots are different.
 

Fairhit

Professional
I'm with you. You could've played equally well with the purple one (any one for that matter). I don't believe in that control, power designation of the racquet. It's all matter of getting used to or how comfortable it feels in your hand. Agassi wouldn't have had better control with Sampras' racquet and Sampras wouldn't have had more power with Agassi's racquet. William sisters won Slams with what people call beginner's racquet N3 and N4 if I remember correctly. So it's misleading to say one type of frame is good for power and other type is good for control. You can have both if you have played with the racquet for long time and feel comfortable with it.

Often I hear people saying this racquet lacks power or this racquet is too powerful and balls fly all over. It's because the racquet is new to you, not because the racquet is inherently so. Thing is, even tiny headed wooden racquet is so powerful that we need to tame the power so that the ball doesn't hit the fence...
I understand what you mean but I don't agree.

It is one thing to say any player can adapt to any frame and another totally different to say there's no difference between frames, they are different, they have different levels of power and control, you can play well with any frame given you put in the effort but you can't play the same with them all.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
So it's misleading to say one type of frame is good for power and other type is good for control. You can have both if you have played with the racquet for long time and feel comfortable with it.
I disagree. Frames do have things they are specifically good at. The player makes it work for them but there is no denying that a Pure Drive plays very different from a Phantom 93P, for instance. You just learn to emphasize strengths and minimize deficiencies.

Sounds like the OP had a game that didn't need precision but benefitted from spin so he naturally gravitated to a spin racquet. Lots of guys playing that way these days. He never really developed a game that maximized the inherent advantages of control frames. Which is totally fine.
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
I am not denying each racquet has different characteristics. I am saying once you find a racquet that has your preferred set of characteristics and become comfortable playing with it, then you won’t have better power and control by changing to different racquets, no matter whether you’ve ended up preferring mid or oversize, Babolat or Prince etc. Comfort factor far overwhelms racquet specification factor.

Let me add, when I change racquets I may feel an instant boost of my serve speed, increase in shot accuracy etc. but sooner or later all come back to my normal level. In the end I am the same player. Racquet doesn’t change that a bit.
 

Kozzy

Semi-Pro
I agree with that. Specs can help you find what you like, but the key is to feel comfortable with the racquet you play with, and like it. Sadly, racquets alone can't really improve our tennis...
 

Kozzy

Semi-Pro
i beg to differ. and after i purchase another 200+ frames, i will at some point prove you wrong!
I find that even knowing that to be true doesn't take the fun out of buying new frames and hoping that they will make me better... It's just that occasionally I see things with clear eyes, before going back to my rack-o-holic ways.
 

Fairhit

Professional
I am not denying each racquet has different characteristics. I am saying once you find a racquet that has your preferred set of characteristics and become comfortable playing with it, then you won’t have better power and control by changing to different racquets, no matter whether you’ve ended up preferring mid or oversize, Babolat or Prince etc. Comfort factor far overwhelms racquet specification factor.

Let me add, when I change racquets I may feel an instant boost of my serve speed, increase in shot accuracy etc. but sooner or later all come back to my normal level. In the end I am the same player. Racquet doesn’t change that a bit.
OK, I can agree with this.

It is a good explanation for the honeymoon period, you get a new frame and immediately start playing better, your serve is boosted, your forehand is fast and furious, your backhand is precise and heavy, everything seems to one level up, but a month later your game again reverts to a familiar level, you adapt to the new characteristics of the new frame and settle your game to be the same but with a different frame, that's why no one can reach a better level by just changing frames, eventually they all revert back to what they know and have been practicing for years, to be better with a new frame one has to develop also the technique, the frame by itself can do nothing beyond the honeymoon period.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
OK, I can agree with this.

It is a good explanation for the honeymoon period, you get a new frame and immediately start playing better, your serve is boosted, your forehand is fast and furious, your backhand is precise and heavy, everything seems to one level up, but a month later your game again reverts to a familiar level, you adapt to the new characteristics of the new frame and settle your game to be the same but with a different frame, that's why no one can reach a better level by just changing frames, eventually they all revert back to what they know and have been practicing for years, to be better with a new frame one has to develop also the technique, the frame by itself can do nothing beyond the honeymoon period.
never heard it put exactly that way but i think you nailed it
 

tpro2000

Rookie
We have a pro I work with at my club, and he has a 14yr old high school student (freshman).

The kid is taller, very smart (but not athletically). He wins by usually pushing, using different spins at lower pace (underspin, drop shots, etc).

He then starts taking lessons and immediately the pro makes him get 3 18x20 Prestiges with VS 16 / Alu Rough at 65#, and I kid you not, such that the kid can "learn to hit the **** out of the ball with flat strokes and as fast as possible swing speed".

He didn't even have developed swings yet (at least a continuous shape).

He's been struggling to adapt to say the least the last few months....thoughts?
 

js0930

New User
We have a pro I work with at my club, and he has a 14yr old high school student (freshman).

The kid is taller, very smart (but not athletically). He wins by usually pushing, using different spins at lower pace (underspin, drop shots, etc).

He then starts taking lessons and immediately the pro makes him get 3 18x20 Prestiges with VS 16 / Alu Rough at 65#, and I kid you not, such that the kid can "learn to hit the **** out of the ball with flat strokes and as fast as possible swing speed".

He didn't even have developed swings yet (at least a continuous shape).

He's been struggling to adapt to say the least the last few months....thoughts?
That sounds like arm issues waiting to happen...there’s a lot of pros out there who know how to hit a tennis ball but don’t know much about body mechanics and injury prevention.
 

tpro2000

Rookie
That sounds like arm issues waiting to happen...there’s a lot of pros out there who know how to hit a tennis ball but don’t know much about body mechanics and injury prevention.
Totally agree. This guy I work with did play on the challenger tour in the 90s and every year changes his stance on teaching. It's kind of annoying. After a couple years of nonsense they come to me eventually to "fix" them, and not deal with his negative attitude....lol
 
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