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Release, Replan, Refocus

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Release, Replan, Refocus

Have you ever seen a professional play with their strings between points? Next time you are watching a professional tennis match, in between points, watch how they face away from their opponents and "adjust" the strings of their racquet. Maria Sharapova does this after almost every point. In the later matches of a tournament, Nadal will "go to the towel" after EVERY point. Watch it. He does. It's amazing how he doesn't vary from his routine.

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Racquet Consistency for Junior Tournament Players PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Daniel Ebert   

Consistency, consistency, consistency!


layers and parents have likely heard that phrase many times over from coaches either during hitting drills or during tournament warm ups. Oddly, the same principle is, at times, not applied to a player’s equipment, i.e. racquet and strings.

Consistency in feel and performance is what every tournament player should possess in each of their racquets. If the player happens to break strings in the early points of an infamous 10 point tiebreaker, he or she has the confidence that the next racquet they reach for in their bag feels and responds just as consistent as the racquet they just set aside with broken strings.

Just like professional players, junior tournament players should have two or three of the same racquet. Each racquet should be strung with the same string or hybrid at the same tension. It is this consistency that will eliminate any additional stress during a tight match or tiebreaker.

Each junior tournament player should maintain their racquets with the same level of importance that they would give to the pre-tournament prep hitting session or lesson.

Prior to Draws being posted, junior tournament players should inspect their racquets in the following way:

  • Check the quality of the strings. Are the strings badly notched or frayed? Have the strings lost their tension? Fortunately (or unfortunately) the active junior tournament player breaks strings fairly regularly. If not, a racquet should generally be restrung every four to six months to combat loss of tension and elasticity or string performance.

  • Check the grip and over grips. Consistency applies here as well. Maintain the same grip and over grip on all three racquets. Change over grips before you check in at the tournament desk to save the stress of having to rush the task during a match.

For long-term preservation of the frame, inspect the bumper guard/grommets. It is an inexpensive fix to preserve the integrity of the frame.

Below is a racquet bag checklist for every tournament, particularly out of town or Southern level tournaments:

  • Two or three racquets recently strung and gripped.

  • Replacement grip and at least a 3 pack of over grips.

  • Two packets of strings. For hybrids, one of each string. Keep in mind that the pro shop at the tournament host site might not stock your particular string.

  • A bumper guard/grommet replacement.

  • Spare vibration dampeners.

Again, consistency is the name of the game and it applies just as importantly to equipment as it does to stroke production!

Last Updated on Monday, 30 November 2009 19:27
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