Oversized Tennis Racquets
   In 1976 a company called Prince hit the marketplace with a tennis racquet
that revolutionized the game of tennis. It was the Prince Classic, the first 110
square inch head size racquet. Pam Shriver immediately became a powerful
presence on the women’s tour brandishing this new weapon. Soon the
revolution was on and everyone started making oversized tennis racquets
and everyone had to pay a royalty to Prince for the right to do so. Thus,
Prince became a “player� in the racquet manufacturing industry.
    The oversized tennis racquet has many advantages and many
disadvantages. For the beginning player it allowed for a greater hitting area
which translates into immediate success. For the older, senior or the female,
player the oversize produced more power with less energy giving these two
groups of players dose of offense. Besides these three groups of people the
oversize tennis racquet does not help them but hinders their tennis game.
    Many intermediate to advanced players who use oversized racquets have
trouble controlling their shots. They tend to hit with more power than they can
handle and racquet string surface is harder to control. Their net game
improved as their groundstrokes suffered.
    So what do these players do? Well, they tend to shorten their swings to
control the power. They resort to stabbing, poking and jabbing at balls
instead to taking a full stroke. Their serve gets weaker as the contact point
becomes lower because the sweet spot is lower on oversized racquets.
    The bottom line is that players who want to improve their tennis and learn
all the proper shots in tennis should walk away from the oversized tennis
racquet. Midsized or mid plus sized racquets allow for a better and fuller
swing. The sweet spot is farther away from the body and helps with a more
mechanically sound technique. Sure you have to improve your hand-eye
coordination to make contact with a smaller head racquet but isn’t that
what we are trying to do? To improve, get better, watch the ball, that’s
what we want!
    Next we will tackle the Lightweight Tennis Racquet.

Doug Hofer, USPTA & USRSA  February 1, 2007   hofertennis.com