Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tennis Myth - Tighter Strings = More Power


We hear it all the time at our tennis store.
“I want more power, so make the strings tighter:”
The problem with that is that tighter strings do not make for more power. I know what some of you are thinking, “(insert pro’s name here) strings with really tight strings, and he hits hard”.
It is not the strings. The person in question already hit the ball with plenty of power, no matter the string tension. Often times, those players string tight for more control, not power.
Here’s a good way of explaining it.
Think of someone standing at the top of a ladder. They drop a bowling ball onto the floor. They repeat the drop, only this time onto a bed.
Which ball bounced higher? Most likely, the one dropped on the bed. Imagine the same test using a trampoline. Bringing it all back to your tennis racket, the more the strings can give (think trampoline), the more energy they will return to the ball. More energy to the ball, more depth, and power on the shots.
There are two ways to increase power and depth. String tension and string type.


String type - the more elastic a string is, the more it will give and return that energy to the ball. This will make hitting the ball deep with less effort easier to do, not to mention that all that give in the string absorbs shock. Players with arm issues will reap the benefits of the reduced shock and added comfort on their arm. The additional give in the string can also increase spin potential.


String tension - A current trend on the tour is the use of a stiff string, strung at a low tension (sometimes as low as 40lbs). This allows for more give in the string, more spin potential, and more power and depth. Reducing the tension on stiff, poly strings can also reduce shock at impact. Some players like the more elastic strings at a slightly higher tension. Tension is the way to fine tune the right string to your needs.


Now, what is the right combination for you?
If power is the main concern, a softer, multifilament string will be a very good way to go. Many players moving from a poly string notice the difference right away in added depth and comfort.
For those who need durability due to strings breakage, a poly string at a lower tension would be a good start. Going all the way down to 40lbs is probably not the way to start, but dropping tension 5lbs or so should be noticeable. There are also poly strings that are softer than others, offering added power and comfort.


Something to keep in mind. As with so many things, there is a balance that must be found. Power and depth are only a good thing up to the point you're hitting too many shots long. There is going to be some trial and error, but usually, a balance can be found between string type and the right tension for you and the string you're using.
One last thing...
If you are in need of power, fresh strings are required. Over time, strings will lose their ability to return energy to the ball. The more you play, the quicker it will lose that ability. A good rule of thumb is to restring as many times in a year as you play in a week. The harder you hit, you may want to increase the frequency of restringing.
Even strings that haven't been used much will lose their pop. After about a year, the difference will be noticeable.

Stop into our store and we can help you select the string and tension that best fits YOUR game and needs. We can see what you have in your racket now and with a few questions, give you some options that will have you hitting the ball with more pop and depth.

Monday, August 28, 2017

MP Tennis Ladder Starts 9.5.17



So, what is the MP Tennis Ladder?
It is a Hillsborough County wide, adult co-ed tennis league open to players of all levels. There are three levels to choose from, and unlike other leagues, you can play as much as you want. There is really no limit to the amount of tennis you can play other than your ability to reach out to other players and set up matches.
The MP Tennis Ladder, as it's name suggests, is a ladder format. You challenge players above you for their spots while accepting challenges from players below. The goal is to finish the season as high up as you can to qualify for the play offs, which are seeded based on the season ending standings.

Players who join by 5pm on Saturday, 9/2 will be included in the blind draw for season starting positions on the ladder. You can still join after 9/2, but will start out on the bottom of your ladder.

You can join the ladder at the link below or stop by our MP Tennis & Sports store at 14845 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.

For more information on the ladder, go to https://mptennis-sports.com/ladder/how-to-join/ or give us a call at 813-961-8844




Thursday, August 24, 2017

New Babolat Pure Drive Now Available

The new Babolat Pure Drive is now available!
Beyond the great new look, the Pure Drive will make those using older versions very happy.
The new Pure Drive will feature an updated string pattern for a huge sweet spot and maximum power.
It will have the same solid feel players have come to expect from Babolat's Cortex technology for optimum feel and performance.
Players will find the new Pure Drive has the same weight and balance as in the past for a familiar, yet improved feel.
The standard, 10.6 ounce version is now available with more new weights coming in early 2018.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Control...and Where to Get It

One of the most requested things we are asked for at our MP Tennis & Sports store on Dale Mabry Hwy is strings for more control.
We can help, but here's the thing, it depends on what your definition of control is.
First of all, no string is going to do anything for your right/left control. That is a function of your swing and your timing at impact. Depth is another matter.
For many, control is not hitting the ball long all of the time. If you are hitting the ball long frequently, there are several things that could be going on.

  1. Not hitting enough topspin.
  2. A racket that is too powerful.
  3. Strings that are too lively.

We'll skip #1 for a moment and go to #2. If you are using a large, oversize headed racket, it just may be too much racket for you. Large head rackets are designed for players with weaker, shorter swings. Sure, you can put a really stiff string in it or max out the tension, but you'll never really change that the racket may not be ideal for you.
As for #1, topspin can give you much more margin for error. Topspin is a result of taking the right kind of swing. You can use a spin friendly string, but that is only going to help so much. The best thing you can do is take a few lessons with a good pro who can show you how to hit more spin the right way.
The funny thing with strings is so many of the characteristics that help with spin potential also make the string bed more lively. Playing with a string bed that is too lively will help send balls long. The better your technique is for creating topspin, the less likely you are to hit the ball long.
Now, if you hit the ball flatter, a lively string will give you little margin for error where depth is concerned. Going to a firmer string will reduce the trampoline-effect at impact and give you less depth, causing fewer shots to go long.
It is a balancing act. You don't want to go so firm that you can't hit shots deep enough. Find a string and tension that gives you enough depth on well-hit shots, with the fewest number going long. Also, a string that offers too much "control" will reduce the power of your shots, making them easier to return.
There is going to be some trial and error involved. We can show you some options that will offer the best depth control with the least sacrifice of power. Stop in and we'd be glad to help.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bats. Try Before You Buy!

Now available at our store, our demo program includes bats!
Just stop by our Dale Mabry store and the same demo program that has helped tennis, racquetball and pickleball players find the right equipment for their games, comes to baseball and softball.
Under the program, you pay a fee that allows you to take a bat for up to a week. You can hit it and find out if it is a good fit for your swing. Not the right one, bring it back and try another. If needed, another and another, all for the one time fee.
Once you find the one you like, the demo fee is subtracted from the purchase price of the bat.
Our demo program takes the guess work out of selecting a bat. When you buy, you'll know it is the right one for you.
We're adding new models all the time, so if we don't have the DeMarini or Louisville Slugger bat your looking for, let us know and we'll give you an idea when they'll be in.
For more information on the program, give us a call at 813-961-8844

Monday, August 7, 2017

New Wilson Ultras


Coming 8.15.17 to MP Tennis & Sports, the new Wilson Ultra line of rackets. 
There is going to be four models coming in August, with two more coming in November.
Coming in August are:

  • Ultra 100 CV - a new and improved version of the popular Ultra 100, now with Countervail which reduces arm fatigue and returns more energy back to the ball.
  • Ultra 100L - A lighter version of the Ultra 100 CV, gives the same feel and power for players who need the benefits of less weight.
  • Ultra 100UL - An even lighter version at just over 9 ounces, it's designed for players who want the control/power combination of a 100sq" head with the ease of swing from a light frame.
  • Ultra Tour - It's a heavier version with a slightly smaller, 97sq" head size, giving players with bigger swings added control and feel.

All four will be available to demo at our Dale Mabry store so you'll be able to find the version that best fits your game.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Arm Pain? It Could Be Your String.


Here at our MP Tennis & Sports store, we have seen an increase in people coming in and needing to change from poly strings.  The most often heard reason is arm issues. For many players, a full bed of poly string is just too stiff, even when strung at a low tension.
When using a full bed of poly, you have to hit hard enough to make the string give at impact. The more a string gives, the more it does two things. One, it absorbs the impact, making it easier on the arm. The other thing is that the more a string gives, the more energy it will return to the ball (think trampoline).
The main reasons people choose a poly in the first place is control and durability. Poly strings will, for most people, last longer (won't break), but will, over time, lose tension. Once the string has lost enough tension, the performance will decrease, making them even harder to generate power and spin.
For some, the control aspect is about not hitting the ball long. Many players don't hit the ball long as often with poly strings but sacrifice power and depth to do so. When the power goes down, you have to swing harder, which adds to the potential of arm trouble.
So, you've been using poly but it is hurting your arm. Now what?
There are several options.
1. Try a hybrid of poly and a softer string. This will add performance without sacrificing much durability. For most, polys on the mains and the softer string in the crosses will ease the arm issues while still giving a stiffer feel (for those who like that feel).
2. A "synthetic gut" string is a middle ground string that doesn't last like the polys but offers less spring than the softer multifilament strings.
3. For those with real arm issues, a multifilament string will offer more power and shock absorption.  Both things will stress off the arm and give a more comfortable feel. You will also find less of a need to have to "kill the ball", by letting the strings do some of the work and stress from your arm.
4. For those who feel they need a poly, there are some newer, slightly softer poly strings. While not as easy on the arm as the other options, it will be an improvement over most poly strings.

If you are feeling the impact of every shot in your arm, stop by our Dale Mabry store and we can give you some options to have you playing more comfortable, and hopefully, better tennis.