Does It Affect Your Game?
Speaking of tennis equipment, has anyone ever told you that "a good workman never blames his tools". What a crock that is! I guess these tossers have never had to play a match with an unfamiliar racquet...otherwise they'd know that the equipment you use plays a huge part in how you play.
The better you are, the more sensitive you become to playing with the right tennis equipment. For instance, the pros go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy their equipment needs.
Racquets are customized for individual players. Molds are taken of a player's perfect grip size and shape. Every racquet the player uses is fitted with that grip. Lead tape is used to make sure that the weight and balance point of every racquet is identical as top players are super sensitive to even the slightest degree of difference from one racquet to the other.
How about you? Are you able to tell the difference of 1/100th of an inch in the grip size of two different racquets? And even if you could, would it make any difference to your game? Perhaps not, but if you're playing with a grip size that's way too small or way too big, it sure will make a difference to your game -- and most likely your shoulder and elbow too.
The racquet customization specialists use machines like the Prince Precision Tuning Center to find out a racquet's weight, balance and swing weight.
Same goes for strings, too loose and just watch those balls sail long over the baseline; too tight...and experience the frustration of those off-center balls land inside the service line or in the net.
Plus, there's no surer way to develop elbow problems than by using a racket strung too tightly, particularly if it's a light, head-heavy racquet with a small grip.
If you need help selecting a racquet, please bookmark my guide to choosing a tennis racquet for future reference.
Aside from racquets, your tennis footwear is your second most important part of your tennis equipment? For instance, did you know that the pros use special shoes for each surface? For instance, they use specially made grass court shoes for Wimbledon. On the soles, these shoes have small rubber studs, which give great traction. They've been around since the late seventies, when Borg used them to win his first Wimbledon.
Could your game benefit by using soles that are suited to your favorite surface? Sure it could. Even if a new pair of tennis shoes is worth three or four points a set, it could easily mean the difference between winning and losing.
For great advice on what to look for when buying your tennis shoes, please click here.
Your clothing can make a big difference. How about those shirts that get so heavy with sweat, you feel as though you're carrying around a 5lb weight on your back? You know what...you may as well be. Or how about those badly cut shorts that make you feel as though you're in some sort of straitjacket when you move to the ball? Doesn't that just drive you nuts?!
Every player knows that playing with new balls is the preferred choice. I grew up playing with Slazenger Balls, but soon became familiar with all the other major brands, including Penn, Wilson, Prince, Dunlop and Gamma. If you're interested in what I think of each brand, please read my tennis balls review.
TENNIS EQUIPMENT ACESSORIES
Even minor accessories like sweatbands and sunglasses specially made for tennis can make a difference to your game. Have you ever lost a big point because your hand was so sweaty you couldn't hold the racquet properly?
Or how about double faulting when you had to toss the ball so far to your left or right that you framed your second serve into the stands? Think a decent hat or some tennis sunglasses wouldn't help in those situations?
When it comes to tennis players and their tennis equipment, a good tradesman selects his tools very carefully. There are a huge number of options out there for you -- it's just a matter of doing your homework.
Meanwhile if you're interested in good deals on some of the major tennis equipment brands like Prince, Head, Yonex and Dunlop, check out these Tennis Equipment Specials.