You have trained hard to be the best tennis player you can be. Physically, you can keep up with an opponent.
However your game is off. Is the issue you?
The issue might just lie with your tennis racquet. The proper one can enhance your game. Conversely, the wrong racquet can ruin your game.
It's probably time to ditch your old one. Here are the six steps that we take when buying a new tennis racquet.
If you want Reviews, then check out our Ultimate Guide to Tennis Racquet Reviews: Wilson, Babolat, Head and Yonex
There is a good chance your current racquet is not a match for your playing style. You must identify why this is the case.
Begin by identifying what you like about your current racquet.
For example, when I decided to make his switch to the Head Extreme Tour, there were a few things he really liked about his Babolat Pure Aero Tour. I loved the spin and power it created on my groundstrokes and serve.
Once you narrow down what you like about your current racquet, you also need to think about your dislikes.
Is your tennis racquet hurting your arm? How does it feel when you volley? What does it feel like when you play bigger hitters?
To use me again, a few things I did not like about his Babolat was there was so much power, I found it hard to control at times. Also, I found it difficult to maneuver the racquet at the net or when trying to hit angles.
After looking at the likes and dislikes of my current racquet, I now had an idea of what I was looking for in my new racquet. Something with a bit more control, but still has some power and spin, but also was easy to move around when hitting angles or volleys.
The next step is to think about personal style and how your tennis racquet may be affecting it.
The key to a great tennis racquet is how it fits with your playing style. If your racquet is geared more towards someone who wants to only play from the baseline, but yet you love to come to the net and play lots of doubles, then your game could/will suffer greatly.
Going back to my switch, the Babolat Pure Aero Tour is a racquet that would benefit most baseliners, however, as my game evolved, I realized I needed a racquet that was for more of an all court player, but still had some of the properties of the Babolat Pure Aero Tour.
Now that I had a better idea of the style he wanted to play, was his racquet amplifying his strengths and not amplifying his weaknesses.
When I switched to this Babolat Pure Aero Tour, I was younger and realized I needed a bit more help from my racquet when hitting rally balls. The Pure Aero automatically gave me more spin and power. This was mostly because I was younger and had not developed physiclally, but now that was 17 and getting stronger, I didn't need as much help, but still wanted a little. I also realized that I was more of an "All-Court" player and the control and maneuverability of my racquet are very important, especially since I like to play an attacking style of tennis.
Understanding your playing style is one of the most crucial considerations of a purchasing new racquet. Now it is time to look at your game as a whole.
This part involves a healthy dose of introspection. Your game should always be evolving. You may be happy with your power but your spin could use some work.
Think about what holes in your game you want to fill in. Are you willing to sacrifice some other things to fill in those holes?
Maybe you are getting older and becoming more of a counter puncher. If this is the case, you might need a racquet with more built in stability to help with that. However, moving into a racquet that has that property may take away some of your feel. Are you willing to compromise? This is the inner conversation you need to have with yourself or talk with your coach if you work with one.
Back to me as an example, I wanted more control and maneuverability, so I was willing to give up a bit of power and spin to get the control and maneuverability I was looking for so I could develop my all court game.
A good way to improve your game is to get a new tennis racquet. Choose your new racquet with the utmost care.
Your racquet is a key component to filling in these holes. This means that it will take time to find the right one.
After deciding how you want to improve or modify your game it's time to do some research.
We recommend you visit Tennis Warehouse and begin your search. You can find racquets based on playing style, brand, head size, length, and more. These categories allow you to find short list of racquets that could be a good fit for you and in the end lead you to find your perfect tennis racquet.
For me I decided to view a few brands I was interested in. The three I decided to look into were Babolat, Wilson and Head. I then looked at the best racquets from those three brands that were categorized as All Court Racquets.
From there, we then compared the specs of a few racquets to my Babalot Pure Aero Tour, using the compare feature Tennis Warehouse has. I then narrowed it down to the following racquets...
Compare and contrast as many racquets as necessary. Then pick 4-6 racquets that you feel will work the best for you. Before buying any of them, see if there are any reviews of them online.
You need to find a review(s) by someone that lives and breathes the sport.
The right review will be in-depth and discuss all the crucial elements of the racquet. There are a few places we recommend for checking out reviews on the racquets you are interested in.
Here are the reviews they gave on the racquet I switched too. Here are all of our latest reviews and complete guide.
They all have great YouTube channels that give the best racquet reviews out there. They all know their stuff and take the tennis racquet review game seriously.
Whether it is the best tennis racquets for beginners or what makes a good tennis racquet bag, they always do their due diligence. They are an invaluable source of knowledge for tennis players of all levels.
After considering their reviews, it's time to consider if you want to demo a few racquets.
A demo allows you to test a racquet out before spending large amounts of money on it. If your local tennis store allows demos, then go with them. If not, there are many great options out there.
Tennis Warehouse has a great demo program that ships across the US. Merchant of Tennis has a demo service that includes tons of high-quality racquets. They ship all across Canada and allow you seven days to test two racquets of your choice for $20 per racquet.
If you are really serious about your racquet and you are an intermediate to advanced player, you definitely should demo all the racquets on your short list before you invest in a racquet. For beginners, it is not as important, but we do recommend you demo if you can.
The other thing you should be aware of is the strings in a racquet. If possible, try and get the demo racquet to have the same strings and tension that you normally use. This can be tough to get sometime, but it is definitely important to try the racquet with a similar set up that you are used to.
The type of strings in your tennis racquet will depend on your specific needs. If you're an intermediate tennis player, it's best to choose multifilament strings. This also applies to older adults or anyone suffering from tennis elbow.
If you've been playing tennis for a long time and are an advanced player, then a polyester string is best for your tennis racquet.
Buying a new tennis racquet is an endeavor that involves a lot of introspection. You have to take a good long look at your game. There is a huge chance your old racquet is just not up to snuff anymore. Demo as many racquets as it takes until you find the right one for you. This may take a bit of time, but your game will thank you.
Now that you know what to look for in a tennis racquet, it's time to put your new piece of gear to use! Contact us today if you're looking to get out on the court and try that new racquet. We are here to help you improve your game, every step of the way.
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