Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tennis Myth - Poly "Lasts" Longer

The number one reason we hear for why people use poly is that it lasts longer.
This assumption is true, but only up to a point.
A poly string is likely to take a longer amount of time to break, but that is only telling half the story. While a string may not break, all strings suffer from tension loss. Given enough time, all strings lose their ability to perform and return energy to the ball. When the strings don't perform to their potential, neither will you.
So what strings should you use?
For those who are likely to break strings in a short amount of time, poly strings are a good option. Chances are, those players are hitting the ball with a good amount of power and can benefit from the added durability and control poly strings offer.
If you are playing more than once a week, and can not break a poly string in under six months, they are probably not a good option. For those players, when you get to six months, a poly string will have lost a good deal of tension. This will result in loss of power, spin potential, and overall performance. True, while they have not broken, they are not "lasting" as long as other options might.
Multifilament strings and even basic synthetic gut strings will lose less tension over the same period of time and will perform better, longer. For players who don't break strings often, these strings will also add power and have a better feel than the stiffer, poly strings.
A good rule of thumb for restringing is to replace your strings as many times in a year as you play in a week. If you play twice a week, this means every six months. For those who do not tend to break strings, the softer, non-poly strings will maintain more of their performance at the six-month mark. For a non-string breaker, this may actually buy you a little more time before the string performance drops to the point of becoming a hindrance to your game.
Again, for those that break strings often, you will likely break the string before the tension loss becomes an issue. For the rest of us, a multifilament will be a more arm-friendly, better performing and very likely, longer lasting option when you re-string.

Stop in and we'll help you pick a string that best fits your needs and your game.

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.