By following the tips and advice in this article, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect tennis racquet that will up your game even as a beginner.
To make it easier to shop for that perfect racquet, there are four key factors to keep in mind as you make your final selection.
Tennis Racquet Weight
It’s important to choose a racquet that’s not too heavy or too light. The right weight balance is key in the beginning.
To give you some guidelines:
Heavy Racquet – weighs more than 11 ounces (312 grams)
Mid Weight Racquet – weighs between 9.8 and 10.9 ounces (278 to 309 grams)
Superlight Racquet – weighs between 9 and 9.4 ounces (255 to 266 grams)
For beginners, our usual weight recommendation is a 9.5 to 10.2 ounce range for women; 10 to 10.9 ounce range for men.
Generally speaking, heavier racquets produce more power, less torque and better control. Lighter racquets are easier to maneuver, but present challenges to match the power of a competitor who is playing with a heavy racquet.
Tennis Racquet Head Size
If you have good hand-eye coordination, you can get away with a smaller racquet head size of 100. We like the racquet Wilson Burn for beginning women with racquet sport experience — Wilson Burn.
For beginners without racquet sport experience, it’s probably better to go with a racquet with a larger head size, which is more forgiving when trying to make consistent connection with the ball.
Tennis Racquet Grip Size and Grip
The grip size of a tennis racquet is measured by the overall thickness of the handle.
A racquet with the correct grip size will not only better your performance on the court but give you a far more comfortable experience.
Much like you wouldn’t learn to ride on a bike that’s way too big for you, the same principle applies to the grip of your racquet. If your grip is too big, it requires you to exert more strength to hold on to and try to maneuver the racquet. This results in less than stellar matches, in addition to potential injuries to your hands, wrists and arms.
Racquet sizes range from 4” (or 101.6 mm), typically used fo juniors, to 4 1/8 to 4-3/4” (123 mm) for adults.
We have found that 4 1/4 is a common grip size for women and 4 3/8 is a common grip size for men. When purchasing, a 2 represents 4 1/4 and 3 represents 4 3/8.
Easy to maneuver and comfort are the keys to choosing the right grip size of the racquet. If in between two sizes, opt for the smaller grip size to avoid dealing with the extra energy and strength the bigger grip sizes require.
Grip size directly effects the grip, or the way you hold the racquet. There are various grips (or angles at which you hold the racquet) which result in different strokes that affect how well you hit and control the ball.
Especially for a beginner with much to learn about different grips and the results you get from each one, you can now begin to see how important it is to choose the right tennis racquet.
Balance and Quality
Another thing to avoid is purchasing an inexpensive tennis racquet at a discount retailer like WalMart. This equipment is not recommended because it becomes obsolete very quickly, may cause preventable injuries and just doesn’t have anywhere near the quality you need.
With these generic, inexpensive models, it’s difficult to choose a racquet with the appropriate weight, which will negatively impact your stroke and control you have over the ball.
You really don’t want to start off with a racquet that’s either too heavy or too light, especially when you are just getting a “feel” for the game.
While it’s true that certain racquets are better suited for certain playing styles, comfort is usually king.
As a beginner, keep in mind that you don’t have a lot of experience at this stage and want the best possible racquet for the best possible performance right from the get-go. Factor in your physical attributes (hand/grip size) and your level of hand/eye coordination.
If you really feel lost, shop for your racquet at a specialty store or pro shop where you can ask questions. Many of these shops encourage an in-store demo of the racquet or even allow you to take it home for a few days to determine if the racquet is a good match for you.
When you reach the level where you are getting serious about the sport, it’s the time to get the input of a professional to move up to the right racquet.
Once you start shopping around for a good racquet, you’ll quickly discover how overwhelming it is when you see how many options and brands there are to pick from.
Take heart. Once you whittle the list down based on your personal level of expertise, physical size and the above four key factors, it will take most of that stress away.
Whether you shop on-line (check out Amazon) or a pro shop or specialty store, you’ll be better equipped to make a sound decision and know the questions to ask the sales consultant.
We have found that for newbies, a Wilson racquet works best. One of the best features of Wilson racquets is the selection of larger head sizes, which is very helpful for beginners.
Wilson racquets do a nice job of balancing all the overall factors and specifications you need to learn the sport.
If you are smitten by the racquet of a tennis pro you’ve admired on TV, hold off on the investment. Until you become more experienced, you’ll need to work up to these types of racquets.
Once you develop a real feel for the game, the skill and experience, you can always move up to a more customized racquet.
The most important thing is to choose a racquet that feels comfortable to you and enables you to learn and master the proper grip, form and strokes.
Choosing the right racquet also helps to prevent potential injuries (blisters), muscle strain and cramps in the hands, wrists, forearms and elbows.
If you keep the above four factors in mind while choosing a tennis racquet, you’ll already have a big advantage over your competition!
This player is Just starting to play tennis.
Has limited experience and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play.
Needs on-court experience. Has obvious stroke weaknesses but is familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles play.
2.5 – Advanced Beginner
Learning to judge where the ball is going although court coverage is weak. Can sustain a short rally of slow pace with other players of the same ability.
Fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks execution when trying for directional control, depth or power. Most common doubles formation is one-up and one-back.
3.5 – Intermediate
Has achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, but still lacks depth and variety. Starting to exhibit more aggressive net play, has improved court coverage and is developing teamwork in doubles.
4.0 – Advanced
Has dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate shots, plus the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success. Occasionally forces errors when serving and teamwork in doubles is evident. Rallies may be lost due to impatience.
Starting to master the use of power and spins and beginning to handle pace, has sound footwork, can control depth of shots and is beginning to vary game plan according to opponents. Can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. Tends to overhit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles.
Has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or exceptional consistency around which a game may be structured. Can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away volleys, can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys and overhead smashes and has good depth and spin on most second serves.
Has developed power and/or consistency as a major weapon. Can vary strategies and styles of play in a competitive situation and hit dependable shots in a stress situation.
Generally do not need NTRP ratings. Rankings or past rankings will speak for themselves. The 6.0 player has obtained a sectional and /or national ranking.
The 6.5 player has extensive satellite tournament experience.
The 7.0 player makes his living from tournament prize money.
Please wear athletic clothes and flat soled tennis shoes. Bring a tennis racquet & water/sports beverage. If you do not own a tennis racquet & would like to borrow one, please contact us at least 24 hours before the camp. Borrowing a racquet is not a problem – we just need a heads up!
Our Beginner Camps are a great option. Experienced instructors will introduce you to strokes, footwork and basic strategy. In addition to group lessons, we recommend finding friends to hit with, private lessons, hitting on backboards, renting ball machines, watching YouTube videos and league play. Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated with your level of play. It takes time to develop all the necessary skills, strokes and strategy. Be dedicated to the process and play, play, play!
Classes meet unless of steady rain or temperatures below 48 degrees. In the event a class is cancelled, there will be a make-up class. We will always contact you by cell or email if the weather doesn’t permit class. If you a miss a class because of a person reason, make-ups are NOT guaranteed. Most classes offer different session options — the ability to register for 3 of 6 or 4 of 8 classes.
Yes! We are always looking for awesome coaches to partner with. If you are interested in learning about coaching opportunities please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flex Leagues are a great option for players wanting a flexible schedule and fun competition. We do not offer leagues, but our friends at LEAGUETENNIS offer year-round competition throughout Houston.
Life is moving pretty fast for most of us! It’s hard enough balancing commitments to family, career, and community—you sure don’t need tennis to add to the stress. LeagueTennis.com offers maximum flexibility when it comes to scheduling matches. Each match has a deadline and general guidelines. But other than that, you can schedule the match when it is convenient to you and your opponent!
With up to five playing levels in each league, they make sure that you get balanced, quality competition against other players in your area. So whether you are a beginner just getting into the sport, or an advanced level player, we can provide the level of competition just right for you! Each player gets 6 matches during the regular season, and top finishers in each division can play up to 4 more playoff matches.
Sure, we all play for the enjoyment of the game, but let’s face it, rewards and recognition are nice, too! City champs can choose between multiple prizes. So whether you prefer an award, or apparel with your results on display, or just want to stock up on supplies with a MidwestSports.com gift card, they have the perfect option for you. Plus all division winners and city finalists get bag tags and magnets!
With 10 years of organized leagues under our belt, we know what it takes to run a successful flex league, and player support is a big part of the equation. LeagueTennis.com”> has a dedicated staff of tennis players, just like you, available to assist 7 days a week. As one of our players put it: “If there were a bag tag for support, LT would get it!”