Demoing

When players are looking for a new racquet they will tend to use the tried and true method of demoing a racquet. However, when many players demo a racquet they tend to do it incorrectly. Hopefully this explanation will help you to understand the best practices to find the perfect racquet for you.

Now, typically when a player is trying to demo a racquet they go to their local tennis club or facility, grab a few racquets and head to the court. They will hit around for a while, grab the one they like the best and go get one of them. This is not what you want to do and here’s why.

When you grab a bunch of racquets to demo you are causing an issue on how that frame actually performs. Example. Racquet A is actually the best overall frame for you. Racquet B is acceptable while C and D are not. So, what happens?

The player takes Racquet A out first of the group and start playing with it and they play terrible with that frame. Frustrated they grab Racquet B and start hitting with it, and can’t hit a ball in at all. They then grab Racquet C and play with it a little bit and seem to hit just fine with it and finally go to Racquet D and again, hit just fine with it and after the day they go and purchase Racquet C. So, what happened and why did the player not end up with perfect racquet for them? Let’s do a quick breakdown of the time on court and then how to demo a racquet the correct way.

When playing with Racquet A, the best for that player, they just grabbed a handful of frames and went out. During the playing time while they are using Racquet A the player is fresh from coming into the game. They are not warmed up and it doesn’t really matter which frame they used first, they are simply not ready to hit, or better, to judge a frame for them. They then went on to grab Racquet B and because of the frustration of the first frame they end up overhitting the ball. This is of no fault to the frame but the player’s frame of mind when trying this second frame. Then, grabbing Racquet C they are hitting better. They have let the warm-up phase pass by, they have pushed the frustration out of them and they are now hitting well and consistently. Then playing with Racquet D they are doing okay but again, this isn’t the right frame for them so they end up settling on Racquet C.

Now, what to do differently?

First off, just get one frame at a time. Prepare to use that frame for a week. Put it through it’s paces.

When you get a new frame to demo you should prepare to use it as you would normally use it. Play matches, go to drills and enter a tournament. Remember, you aren’t looking at results of the play as the end all but you are trying out the racquet. You are looking for the best feel, the best fit and overall the best performance of the racquet.

Once you have hit for a while with the first frame, go on to the second and do the same things: Matches, drill and tournaments. Work the racquet to the best of your abilities and it’s as well. Do this a few times until you find the perfect frame for you. Best of all, don’t rush. With racquets costing well over $200.00 per frame it is a good idea to take your time and find the best one for you.