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Children's training: head heavy or balanced racquet

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Cheung, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    If you were training any person up in basic technique from beginner level, does it make any difference giving them a head heavy racquet or a balanced racquet? How about the flex?

    Overall, in the long term, what would be better for them?

    Head heavy racquet may be harder to control but if you train a beginner up to very good level, they wouldn't notice it being any different right?
     
  2. wlachan

    wlachan Regular Member

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    I am no expert but speaking from experience, I have found executing different strokes are far easier with even balance toward head light rackets. Head heavy rackets not only slow down the learning process but also harsh on the wrist. I would definitely choose flexible even balance or head light rackets for children to learn and practice different skills until they are ready for something stiffer & heavier down the road.
     
  3. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Hmm. Let's see. How about the diametric opposite of LCW, ie. headlight and flexy. ;)
     
  4. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    How young a child are we talkingabout?
    If it is a young child (8 or less) I would humbly suggest a short junior-sized racket. An appropriate length is more constructive than for them to learn the proper strokes. A long adult sized racket for a small child is like an adult trying to learn strokes using a fishing rod.

    I would go for balanced to slightly head-heavy. Again, learning the strokes is more important than needing to clear baseline to baseline in the first year. As for stiffness, I don't think it matters that much. In the old days kids learned on cheap steel and wood rackets which were pretty stiff.
     
  5. coachgary

    coachgary Regular Member

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    Head light and flexible shaft.

    Keep on top of any incorrect grips. Show them how to squeeze the grip at contact to give more zip into the hit.

    Show them the ready position, over exaggerate it when demonstrating. Static feeds, and make sure they adopt the ready position, ie, racket paused before the hitting cycle.. These few basic tips are key to progressing nicely.

    Show them how to throw.

    Good luck
     
  6. mindfields

    mindfields Regular Member

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    Agreed,

    Most kids beginners don't have the strength/technique to do full court clears. Head light racquets take less strength to swing and a flexible shaft gives the whip effect at slow swing speeds.

    As players get stronger & have better technique their swing speed increases & reaches a natural limit.
    Players can then switch to head heavy racquets This carries more momentum due to the extra weight which results in more power.

    A "strong" player with a flexible racquet may end up hitting the shuttle with the shaft loaded/flexed and not springing back. That's wasted energy so they switch to a stiffer racquet which springs back quicker.

    It's like hammer vs a sledge hammer.
    A child would barely be able to lift/use a sledge hammer, a big man can't swing a hammer much faster than a sledgehammer as he's limited by the biomechanics of his arms.
     
  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Thanks for the advice :)
     
  8. thewraithswrath

    thewraithswrath New Member

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    For small children (so not tall), the length of the racket should approximate the length of the arm. It makes hand-eye coordination easier.

    The shaft of a racket should be as flexible as it can be (given a certain price). It stimulates proper technique (and de-emphasises muscle strength).

    As for the discussion between head light versus head heavy rackets:
    (1) A head light racket leads to having more fun with racket and shuttle, because the children will be able to swing the racket and hit the shuttle much sooner. The negative consequences are unstable stroke techniques, because head light rackets lack inertia. (Keep in mind that the unstable stroke techniques are more pronounced the more a child's muscles are developed.)
    (2) A head heavy rackets leads to a more stable stroke technique due to the inertia such a racket has. A similar effect can be observed with children having played tennis: their *basic* stroke movement is stable and well-developed. The downside to head heavy rackets is the difficulty accelerating the racket head. So a head heavy racket reduces the acceleration of the racket head towards to shuttle, but it increases the stability of the racket head (because it reduces the acceleration in a sideways direction).

    In summary, it's a trade-off. It will depend on whether you're able to properly deal with the negative aspects.
     
  9. AirStyles

    AirStyles Regular Member

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    How about letting the kid decide

    How about letting the kid try a few swing with different rackets?

    After all, I think it's not about you choosing the rackets, but which racket choose you.


    There are some rackets, despite impossible pricing, just don't feel good to me
    (Referring to Z-Slash)

    While some racket just feel great as soon as I hold it.
    (Referring to my first purchase, Muscle Power 55... Sadly, because of poor sales, they stop producing anymore after the first batch I heard)
     
  10. maxout

    maxout Regular Member

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    Don't forget LOWER STRING TENSION ... for kids, best to let them use 18-20 lbs with 20 lbs being the maximum until they are, say 16-17 years old ....

    I tried with my kid to go beyond 20 lbs, (up to 22) and the hardness got to him, loss of power etc ... even got his wrist sprained !! Now, I restring (BG66) back to 20 x 21, all is well again. I decided to let him use the "whippier" (repulsive) BG66 based on the fact that at his age (9 y o), he needs all the "power" assistance that the racquet and string can give him.

    I started my kid with Carbonex 8000Ti (slight head light, medium flex, 3U G5) and got him a Voltric 7 (IMHO, the most head-light of the head-heavy Voltric series, medium flex, 4U G5) He can alternate between either one but has shown a preference towards Voltric unlike his old man, who is a die-hard Carbonex user :rolleyes: ... Personally, I avoided introducing him to the head-light racquets of Nanospeed or Nanoray, as I know in the long term, his game will be more offensive based, so gently eased him into even-balanced or slight head-heavy.
     
  11. greblu

    greblu Regular Member

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    If you kid has the right hitting technique and plays like 3 times a week (to keep the right hitting timing for high tension), it can take tensions beyond 20 lbs...

    My brother started when he was 5 years old his first racket was an arc 7 strung with BG 65 at 24lbs, and since he was 7 years old he played with the Li Ning N77(4u, medium stiff, even balanced) at tensions from 26 to 30 lbs (BG 65). Now at 10 years and his favorite tension is 27.5 lbs (BG 65/NBG 95) still N77. And he can do all full court strokes even back hand clear.

    And in this 5 year he was not even once injured or got any pain in his wrist, muscles or joints!
     
  12. maxout

    maxout Regular Member

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    WOW !! I am speechless .... much more than majority of fully grown adult players !! :eek:

    Personally, I would not recommend any children to take such RISKS ... can be dangerous ...
     
  13. zombiez

    zombiez Regular Member

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  14. XtC-604

    XtC-604 Regular Member

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    I'd give that child a heavy beast racquet thats stiffer than a pure carbon shaft. That way they'd be building some beast level strength
     
  15. CanucksDynasty

    CanucksDynasty Regular Member

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    What about the RSL Evo with the WPS? It changes as the child grows.
     

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