tennis newbie's questions [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

tennis newbie's questions

endymion
07-29-2005, 03:04 PM
Hi. I'm a beginner to tennis. I'm 16 years old and have pretty much just started playing late June (so I've had a good month now). I'm very interested in tennis and practice swinging against walls, volleying to myself, and playing recreational games with my friends or my brother at local municipal courts. I'm getting better, and hope this trend continues. I was wondering, at what point should I invest in tennis shoes, say by Prince, Head, or Nike? Any ideal models? Is it a good idea to learn tennis with tennis shoes or should I leave them for now? When should I consider paying for lessons? How can I find an instructor/coach/etc? I live in Canada if this helps. I generally buy Wilson tennis balls (Titanium and US Open), is this fine? Should I switch to Penn or Dunlop? Is it fine playing with balls I've had for weeks? Thanks for reading, any responses would be appreciated.

El Legenda
07-29-2005, 03:17 PM
Hi. I'm a beginner to tennis. I'm 16 years old and have pretty much just started playing late June (so I've had a good month now). I'm very interested in tennis and practice swinging against walls, volleying to myself, and playing recreational games with my friends or my brother at local municipal courts. I'm getting better, and hope this trend continues. I was wondering, at what point should I invest in tennis shoes, say by Prince, Head, or Nike? Any ideal models? Is it a good idea to learn tennis with tennis shoes or should I leave them for now? When should I consider paying for lessons? How can I find an instructor/coach/etc? I live in Canada if this helps. I generally buy Wilson tennis balls (Titanium and US Open), is this fine? Should I switch to Penn or Dunlop? Is it fine playing with balls I've had for weeks? Thanks for reading, any responses would be appreciated.

Canada? Go play Hockey

endymion
07-29-2005, 03:56 PM
Born in Australia though :). I don't much like any form of hockey to be honest.

Carito_90
07-29-2005, 04:01 PM
If you like tennis, I would invest in a good pair of tennis shoes because it is hard to play without them, at least to me.
You should start taking lessons and see how you do. You can always quit if you don't like it so that's not a problem. However, I don't know where you can get a tennis instructor. Usually they're at clubs, or you might ask someone that you know that plays tennis if they know someone who's teaching. I think that's the best option.

Um, regarding balls, I think it's okay. I wouldn't care about that that much right now since you're just a bigginer, I would spend the money on some tennis shoes... especially if you play on clay! But I suppose over there you don't ;)

Hope it helps!

njnetswill
07-29-2005, 04:06 PM
Make sure you have a decent raquet. Balls really don't matter much. Professional coaching is probably the only way to go unless you know people who play the game and would be willing to take you under their wing.

endymion
07-29-2005, 04:20 PM
OK I'll look into lessons, I want them, but finding a decent instructor might be a pain. Plus the cost...

My racquet is a Wilson US Open 4 3/8 grip. I think it's this one: http://www.tennismall.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1690
It cost me $60 CAD, so it's just a cheaper one, a little larger than most. Seems to be working fine for me for now. I will want a new one later, and maybe get this re-gripped for a lefty (doesn't seem like much of a big deal for me tho).

As for shoes I was looking into it and I'm thinking Prince T 10s or QT Response, or Adidas Barricade II, depending on price and feel when I check them out.

I don't think I've been using clay courts here. It would seem like some kind of a tarmac. One of the municipal courts is like falling apart road surface material, the other one is much better, coloured, smoother, and more solid.

Thanks for the help.

MurrayFan1
07-29-2005, 05:00 PM
Lol can't really help you there, i spose i'm a lot more into watching tennis than playing

1sun
07-29-2005, 05:16 PM
if your shite then if id advise to play with flatter balls, it helped me to progress my game and then move onto newer harder balls, the type of balls dont matter, as long as they're not those reallllly cheap shit u get in like pound stores. if u start to get pretty good(or already r) then i would def adivse you getting a good racket,coz you will find it really hard to progress your game with a shitty racket(unless your a genius). but only get a good racket if your gonna use it, and not put it aside wen your done after 6 months. if u think youll play the game for a long time then get a good racket. same with coach, if your gona play the game for a long time, then get one. you dont neseceraily need a one-on-one coach(they can pretty expensive) you can get your mates together, or people you know who play tennis and form a squad.but i would adivse that the people are all roughly on the same level of play. find a local club, and have a chat with a coach about anything you want to know, they should be able to help you out,if your not then they're a shite coach. before you know it, you'll be giving federer a run for his money :yeah: by the way,welcome to MTF :wavey:

endymion
07-29-2005, 06:02 PM
Lol thanks very much. What exactly do you mean by flatter balls? Hmm the really cheap balls I bought from Wal-mart are pretty bad. A ball from one of the three from the odd brand (one of this brand and a couple of the other) broke when I dropped it (I bounce on the ground, it makes a strange sound, bounce it again, well it didn't exactly bounce lol). I only ever use those for slugging balls against walls, it seems to help my swing. Hmm I didn't realize that a better racquet would be such a deal. How much should I spend? Do I trial them for a week or something?

ugotlobbed
07-29-2005, 06:13 PM
join the tennis club every superchamp around ur area goes to....and also get a $50/hour coach

endymion
07-29-2005, 06:21 PM
OK I was looking at racquets and there are just way too many to choose from o.O So many brands, then so many makes and models... wow. Do I want Graphite or Titanium? Expensive or moderately priced? Any particular suggestions?

1sun
07-29-2005, 06:56 PM
well i say flatter balls, i mean good balls that have been played alot with. these balls are easier to control with your racket and therefore develop the fundermentals of your game quicker. you get more feel for ball and it allows to to develop your strokes nicely. the wal-mart balls your talkin about, i know what you mean,seriously dont play with that crap,they r so shite.
i know what you mean about the different type of rackets,so many. you def need to try sum out first. i was quite lucky wen i bought my first expensive racket. the son of the head coach at my old club was using a prince thunderlite and he had quite a few. i use to play with him quite abit and he let me use his racket often and i fell in love with it, it was perfect for me. so i bought one, a 100quid so about 180/190 american dollars. this was quite a few years ago and the rackets are cheaper over in america. its best to go to a club, and see if you try out a few good rackets.(you hav to get friendly with the coachs first.thats wot i did) you shouldnt spend anything more than 200 dollars,not many racket are over that price anyway,but some are.but if your a rich bastard, then you might as well buy the best money can buy(but remember, its wot racket suits you. its kinda like in harry potter, the racket chooses you, not the other way round).good luck mate.

CooCooCachoo
07-29-2005, 07:11 PM
Hi :wavey:

If you are a recreational player, you should not worry too much about apparel and racquets/balls. However, I generally dislike Wilson balls. I prefer Dunlop. There is nothing wrong with using balls that are a few weeks old, but you of course notice the difference in the bounce.

I find that 'soft' balls are great to practice with, when hitting with someone else. They take away pace from the game and enable you to really work on your shots and stamina. Also, try playing mini tennis (not from the baseline, but tennis from the serve line). I love playing matches of that variety, cause you can't just hit hard, but you need to make angles.

When it comes to clothes and racquets.. It really doesn't matter much. I prefer Sergio Tacchini and dislike Nike and Fila, but that's just me. I have five different racquets, all different brands. I think Yonex and Prince are very trustworthy racquets, but any other renowned brand will suffice.

Most important is too have fun :) Good luck :wavey:

Carito_90
07-30-2005, 01:26 AM
Regarding rackets, a few basic tips.
*Babolat's strings are the best. A bit expensive but are worth it.
*Babolat's racquets are not THAT good, the good ones might be the Pure Drive + or team, and the control IMO, which are the ones that use Roddick, Moya, Massu, Clijsters and a lot more (the first one). But those are for more advanced players, because it's not that easy to hit the ball and controll it.
*Racquets like Yonex and Head are very good for the kind of player of your level. There are many racquets for many levels, and IMO Yonex and Head have the best for your level. I own a Yonex and it's worked quite well for me so far, and I'm not too great. (though i'd have to start thinking of buying a professional racquet but..)
*Prince is also a very good option, it seems to suit some kind of players very well. Yet, if what you need is power, because that's the good thing about your game, I dont know if it'd be a racquet I'd recommend for you. It's more to controll the ball I believe. But you should ask someone else about Prince rackets since I don't own one nor have played with many.
*Dunlop and those other brands are good, but... I am not too sure about them, I sort of don't trust them. But, you know, as 1sun said, the racket chooses you so maybe you try it and it suits your game perfectly well.

I hope that helps. Pretty much don't try buying a Babolat pure drive plus right away for example "just because X player plays with it" because, maybe its not good for your game or you simply can't controll the ball or racket, etc.

That's all I suppose :)

endymion
07-30-2005, 01:39 AM
Wow these have been some great and encouraging replies guys :). I guess I'll look into trying out racquets then. Personally I'd feel best with Head, Prince (man I just love the name), or Wilson. They seem to be the big names I see the most. Sharapova, Federer, Agassi, and the Williams sisters IIRC. I won't be biast when actually picking though. I think I will try out Dunlop and Penn balls later as I've mostly only been seeing Wilsons and decided I know that brand best to go for it. Tecno's (moderately price, vacuum sealed) seem to work fairly well too actually. How long do racquets tend to last? When should I need to get new strings or have them tightened? Is there any other maintenance I need to do? I've been practicing some more, not practice matches for a while now tho, and I think my swing is really improving. I do a fairly stable eastern backhand now (used to use eastern forehand for everything). Now my forehand seems to be leaning towards semi-western, slowly migrating from eastern LOL, it's getting more natural that way. I seem to be able to swing western too, it does seem to get the spin, but not so much the power. One question about western grip though, is it supposed to look awkward? I grip it like on the Tennis magazine thing, like an upsidedown eastern backhand or so. It looks really awkward and my swing (at least from my point of view) looks a little retarded, but it works. Sorry for so many words I'm just a little excited :D.

Carito_90
07-30-2005, 02:08 AM
I repeat, don't base your racket choice in what players use it, because the racket might not suit you. You shall try all the rackets you can and see which one suits you better, no matter what brand it is and then if it is too expensive so that you can't afford it you shall search for another similar option :)
How long racquets last depend on what care you give to them. If you take good care of them they can last forever... or a really really long time. The thing is that you will improve in a few years and maybe you'll have to change the racket since the one you have might not suit your new game. But if you take good care of it, it shall last as long as you want it to.
Regarding strings, you shall try the one that the racquet comes with and see if you need it tightened, or loosened, or whatever. When you will need it tightened is a matter of feeling it. When you feel you're losing control and you need it is too loosen you go and tighten the strings. But I don't think there's an specific timming for that. Also you can ask your soon-to-be-coach, if you get one, to help you with that stuff, they probably know a whole lotta more than what I could possibly know :p
I don't think there's another maintenance... not at least that I can think of.
Oh and I'm not good at grips and that stuff, you shall ask someone else about it :)

liptea
07-30-2005, 04:22 AM
I like how excited you are. That is cute. :hug:

1sun
07-30-2005, 03:21 PM
yeah def dont buy a racket coz of its brand,price or bcoz certain top players use it. it has to suit u and your game. personaly i believe babalot rackets are good for most people, their easy to use,nice big head, good power. but woteva suits your game. but dont use federers racket, its quite hard to play with, small head and you need to be quite advance to play with thaT racket. and i take it your no federer ;) and by the way dont rush into a buying a racket, make sure its right for u. and as carito_90 said your racket should last forever as long you take good care of it. dont take anynotes outa safins book. you'll obviouusly need to restring it from time to time but the frame will last very long. once again good luck mate.

sanpo
07-30-2005, 04:38 PM
Regarding rackets:
~ I generally agree with 1sun's opinion regarding Fed's racket (Wilson Ncode). It has a small head and thin frame. Not to mention that it is very light and that when you hit the ball,
~ While you're still beginning to play tennis, I recommend that you get a cheap/averge rcket. Unless you're rich, it would be quite a waste to buy an expensive racket when you start. Since you'd have to consider the size of the head, the weight, the length, the feel and the power it gives, your preferences would generally change as you get better. Like me, I started to play with a Prince longshot (large head and longer than average) but now I use a head intelligence racket which is shorter.
~ The Babolat racket (forgot the model name, the one roddick uses) I would have to say is one of the best choice.
~ You generally don't have to worry about your strings. But you must remember to regularly change your strings (which is also a good chance to experiment on tensions and string types). Hybrid strings are good (gut+synthetic) but they don't last as much as synthetic ones.
~ On coaches, unless you have money to spare, I generally discourage it. The ideal time to get one is when you're starting but that is only so that you can learn the basics with proper guidance. Once you know how to hold the racket, footwork, (etc.) then you could play without a coach. Since you could only get better with practice and regular play.
~ Invest on a good pair of shoes. This maybe one of the most important and practical equipment in tennis. Bad shoes provides poor support which could lead to injuries.
~ And since you're still starting you wouldn't notice much of a difference between balls that are slightly and heavily used. As long as they bounce normally, they are still good.

Patrick_Steele
07-19-2006, 03:07 AM
For balls brand is not a big deal, I use Penn for a few stupid reason:
1. I just like the way they look.
2. I live in Pennsylvania.

For tennis shoe's just find one's you like.