Friday, April 20, 2018
"Should I do anything different with my strings in hot weather?"
The answer to this question has two answers. On-court and off-court.
On the court, here in the Tampa Bay area, the answer for most players is no. It just isn't cold enough, long enough to have changed anything in your stringing due to the cold weather. Up north, players will often lower their tension to balance out the cold's effect on the ball and the strings. Around here, it is warm enough most of the year that once summer arrives, you really won't have to change anything. For some big hitters, they may notice a slight loss of depth control, so going up in tension will help. For the rest of us, unless you notice a drop in control (from strings less than 2-3 months old), you can keep them the same.
Off the court, there is something you need to do differently in really hot (mid-80's and higher) weather. Keep your rackets out of your car when possible. Living in Florida, we all know how hot our cars get in even a short time parked. This extreme heat can cause strings to lose tension far quicker than you'd think. The authors of "Technical Tennis" found in their research, “Ten minutes in a really hot car will drop the string tension by at least a few pounds, permanently."
Don't forget the racket itself. Heat can break down the frame and the grips. Over the years we have seen many rackets that broke prematurely due to being left in the car during the day.
Overall, here in the Tampa Bay area, if you are keeping your rackets out of the extreme heat of a car, there may not be any other changes you'll need to make to keep them playing great.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Should I get a racket with a larger head size?
We get asked this question all the time. Our answer is usually to ask a few questions to be able to better answer correctly.
Basically, if you need more margin of error or more depth on your shots, a larger head can be a good idea. The larger head creates a more trampoline-like effect when the ball hits, helping you gain more depth with less effort. Also, being larger, the sweet spot is going to be larger.
Another benefit is that very often the larger headed rackets are also among the lightest. This can be a big help for those who want more racket speed and added power.
An oversized head can be an issue for those who generate plenty of power on their own. The extra trampoline effect can hurt control and spin potential for those players. These players will most often gain more from a mid-size racket.
If power is a major concern, a larger head size can be a great way to go.
As always, the best way to know for sure which head size is best for you is to try before you buy. With our Demo Program you can try as many rackets as you need while we help guide you to the best fit for you.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
In this video, Mike shows how to start the forward swing and the fundamentals of getting the racket to impact.
Thursday, March 1, 2018
A question we are asked from time to time is, "what are the numbers on tennis balls for?"
Over the years we have heard many wrong answers such as, "the higher the number, the higher the bounce", and "certain numbers are for hard courts."
The real answer is simple. The number is there for identification. If you have a can of 1's and your friend has a can of 2's, when you're done you'll know whose balls are whose.
There is nothing more to it than that.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Fairly often, we will get someone come into our store with two rackets with broken strings. The question they usually ask is,
"why did the strings break on both in the same match?"
The reason is pretty simple.
They were equally used, therefore, equally worn.
Think of it like this. You have two identical trees in your front yard and you are going to chop them down. You decide to hit one tree with an ax, then the other. You keep taking turns, hitting one, then the other. When the first tree goes over, the other should be very close to falling as well.
It is the same thing with your strings on multiple rackets. If you are alternating them perfectly, when a string goes on one, they are going to be very close to breaking on the other.
So, what should you do?
There are a few ways to avoid this problem. The first and most obvious is to use one until it breaks and save the other. This will greatly increase the chance of getting through a tournament without the other breaking or just until you can get the other restrung.
There are some players who don't like saving a racket. For those, a good way to do it would be to use one racket more than the other (think 70% of the time for one, 30% for the other). This will keep enough difference in wear that you should be able to get through a match or two with some confidence.
One thing to keep in mind is that I am talking about string breakage through wear and use. Mis-hit breaks and breaks caused by things other than wear are unpredictable and the above won't help.
The biggest thing to consider is that you want to be able to get through the rest of your match or tournament with your backup racket without unnecessary fear of breakage. By making sure your backup has significantly less wear will help get you through with much less worry.
Friday, January 26, 2018
We get asked all the time about hybrid stringing.
A hybrid is nothing more than a stringing with two different types of strings. But why would anyone want that?
Most often, hybrids are a good option for players who want some of the benefits of a particular string, but not the negatives. For example, they want the durability of a poly string, but need it to be easier on the arm. By stringing a poly in the mains and a softer string in the crosses, you give the poly more ability to give and absorb impact while maintaining much of the durability.
Here at MP Tennis & Sports, we can make a hybrid out of any two strings we carry. We can also help you find the combination that will best suit your needs and your game.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Ever wonder why your strings are moving so much? Simple. They're supposed to. The more spin you hit, the more the strings should move, and the more they move, the more spin potential you will have. In this era of tennis where standing at the baseline and trading big groundstrokes, topspin has become more important. The more spin you can hit, the larger the margin of error over the net and shot depth. String movement helps increase spin potential. When strings move more they can grab the ball, hold on longer and impart more spin. There are many factors that can add to the string movement. 1. "Spin patterns" - Companies like Wilson are making rackets with intentionally more open string patterns. This increases the space between strings, giving them more room to move to increase spin potential. (see video below) 2. Stiffer rackets - As rackets have gotten stiffer, players have found that they can hit the ball with more power. When a frame is stiffer, it doesn't give as much at impact. The only other thing that can give is the strings, and they will give more, and move more. This increases power and spin potential 3. The strings themselves - Many strings are made with a coating on them to increase the ability of the string to move across itself without wearing into itself. This adds some durability as well as spin potential. Something we see here is customers asking to have their rackets strung as tight as possible to reduce string movement. This only works to a point. Hit enough spin, they will still move, not to mention the increases shock at impact and loss of depth and power. Others will use a poly string because "they don't move". They still move, but the stiffness of them gives them more of a tendency to return to where they started. For many though, poly strings are tougher on the arm and require more effort to get the ball deep. We do have to be honest about one fact of string movement. More string movement does, for some players, reduce the life of the string. The friction at the intersections of the strings causes them to wear through and eventually break. Generally, the harder you hit and the more spin you hit, the quicker you're likely to have your strings break. The trick is to find a string and tension combination that maximizes spin, power and feel, without sacrificing durability. Yes, moving strings back is a pain, but the additional spin is more than worth it in the form of more balls hit in and points won. Check out the video below to see the effects of string movement on spin in the Wilson Spin Effect rackets.