Based on numerous enquiries and questions from our membership about “tennis technical” stuff, we have decided to start a Tech’s Corner. On a regular basis, we will now publish short articles on our web-site and facebook about strings, tension, grips, balls, shoes etc. etc. and how these items can/will influence our tennis game.
Should you have any topic in mind, which you would like us to cover, please send us a message and we will do our best.
“Why do I have pain in my elbow”? “My shoulder pain is back again”! A general good advice to avoid injuries and pains is: WARM-UP before play and STRETCH after play. Hitting the ball back and forth over the net in a 3 min “mini-tennis” does NOT do it alone for a warm-up session.
Anyway, of all the tennis injuries possible, the elbow pains and the shoulder pains are the most common. Why do they occur, how do we get rid of them and how do we avoid them in the future? Let us take a look at it:
Without going too much into detail, there are basically two weights, which should interest the normal “club player”, namely the actual weight of an un-strung racquet lifting it up from the ground and the weight it produces, when we swing it, the swing-weight. If the racquet is head-heavy (meaning the head dips down when held on the balance-point) then the swing-weight will be more than the “lift-weight”. If the grip dips down, holding the racquet on the balance-point, the swing-weight will be less than the actual lift-weight. Generally, heavy racquets will have a lighter swing-weight than weight (grip dipping down) and lighter racquets will have a heavier swing-weight than weight (head dipping down).
OK, let’s start this grip topic with the question: “What size grip is the best one for me?” The answer is that the correct grip-size is quite individual. Some players prefer a “thicker” feel and some a “thinner” feel. As a rule of thumb, if you grip a racquet, you should be able to place a finger between the ring-/middle-finger and the thumb-pad. If the gap is too large, the grip is too big. If the fingers touch the thumb-pad, the grip is too small. Having said that, the trend over the last years, has gone from larger grips towards having smaller grips, as players largely have moved on from being predominantly flat-hitters to being top-spin hitters.
When choosing a racquet, you will have to deal with two decisions in relation to the “HEAD” of the racquet, i.e. the racquet-head size in sq.cm/sq.in and the width of the frame. The correct choice is down to an individual feeling but here are some general pointers, which might guide you in the right direction:
The racquet-head size:
In theory, the racquet-head does not need to be much larger than the tennis ball. If we were REALLY good players, we could hit the ball with a very small racquet-head.
According to most written material on strings, not including what the manufactures write about strings, there is NO scientific proof that a different kind of string makes a significant change to the play, i.e. the spin, power and control. YES, small nuances and differences can be scientifically measured BUT how much can it actually change the play?