If you’re asking this question you probably haven’t found the tennis racket equivalent of your favorite pair of jeans yet…
This lack of a solid relationship with your current sticks has you out searching for a new answer, so how do you know which one to pick?
How do you decide between the different brands, Wilson, Yonex, Prince, Dunlop, et cetera?
There are a ton of good rackets on the market, but you are looking for the one that fits your game, so here are a few tips to help you in your search for your perfect match.
ANALYZE THE BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF YOUR CURRENT RACKET
The first place to start is by making a list of what you like and don’t like about your current tennis racket. Does the racket provide enough spin? If it does and you’re happy then you obviously won’t go looking for a more dense string pattern that will limit your abilities to create additional spin.
Is the racket head easy to maneuver? Again, if you are using an oversized racket head and enjoying it you probably won’t need to look for a mid or undersized head.
If you are not enjoying the oversized head and find it cumbersome then you may start off in the direction of the 95-105 sq inch racket heads to see how they feel when you play.
Remember, these are all personal questions that you need to ask yourself before you start demoing rackets, and it will help you save time and money by getting you focused on the elements that appeal to you most-spin, head size,power, weight, length, head or handle heavy, etc.
FACTOR IN YOUR PLAYING STYLE WHEN YOU DECIDE
The racket can only do so much, after that it comes down to our individual abilities and our preferences. This is important to keep in mind when you are choosing to switch rackets.
Do you play a serve and volley style that is aggressive?
If that’s the case then maybe you don’t need one of the massive spin effect rackets that are becoming more prominent, because those are better suited for the aggressive baseliner.
You may want to focus more on a bit heavier racquet weight that will drive your serve and put more pop on your volleys.
Conversely,if you are looking to create spin and spend more time on the baseline you will have to decide if you are more of a big hitter type or if you play a counter punching style of tennis.
Do you want to create more arc and spin with deep groundstrokes? If that is the case you may be looking for the new spin effect type rackets, but if you want to hit big and add more pop to your shot you may be a candidate for more head heavy clubs that will allow you to create power with added swing weight.
Take some time to hash out your goals on the court and decide where you excel when you play, then pick a racket accordingly…
HAVE AN OPEN MIND
Another important thing to keep in mind when you are attempting to leave your familiar sticks behind is to actually keep an open mind.
You are out there looking for a reason most likely, there must be something that you no longer have faith in with your racket and it has caused you to begin to look elsewhere for answers.
Understand that playing with a new racket once or twice isn’t going to give you a clear sense of how that racket is going to fit into your game.
You need to give each racket a legitimate test run, you need to use it in a variety of different situations, including under some pressure. It’s going to be difficult for you to get a true sense of your potential with a new racket if you don’t deploy it in multiple on-court scenarios.
Make little notes about what you liked or didn’t like during a hitting session or a match and then compare with the other rackets you have tested to help you make your decision.
IF YOU’RE REALLY SERIOUS
Strings are becoming more and more important and are creating drastically improved performance for players, so it’s not just about the racket anymore.
Before you change your racket you may want to experiment with different string types which could save you the time, money, and headache that comes with trying to pick a new stick.
Also, if you do decide to switch and you really want to put your new choice under the microscope, then you should play with a couple different strings to see what combination works best with your new racquet.
Again, keep in mind your objectives and whether you are looking for more spin, pace, power, etc. This will help you feel much more confident in your new racket choice before you go and spend the several hundred dollars a couple new rackets are going to cost you!
Have Fun, Train Hard!