Recommended Guidelines for Junior Players
Measuring for Proper Junior Racquet Length
Have your child hold the racquet in a forehand grip, standing upright, with their arm and racquet positioned on the outside of their leg. If the racquet tip touches the ground, the length is too long.
Upgrading to an Adult Racquet
I recommend that juniors upgrade to a midplus headsize ranging from 95-105 square inches. This headsize will help reinforce proper stroke mechanics and footwork.
If a junior upgrades to an oversize headsize (107 square inches or larger), they can often get away with “off-center” hits that they could not pull off with a smaller headsize. This can lead to lazy positioning and footwork.
The proper weight can vary based on the child’s size and strength. To facilitate stability against hard-hitting opponents, your child should use the heaviest racquet that he/she can handle, without affecting proper swing mechanics.
Measuring for Grip Size
- Measure hand from the middle of your palm (usually the second lateral line to the top of the ring finger).
- Overall circumference of the grip (including any overgrip) should not exceed the player’s measured grip size.
- For more racquet head speed: Grip size should be smaller than the player’s measured size.
- You’ll notice that my hand measures 4-1/2” but I found that a 4-5/16” (between 4-1/4” and 4-3/8”) works best for me.
- Synthetic Gut
- For younger players that can’t break their strings within 4 months.
- Restring every 6 months for yellow ball and 12 months for green ball unless the strings break before then.
- These strings provide a softer feel and more power with less effort.
- Hybrid (Polyester/Synthetic Gut)
- For pre-teenage players that can break synthetic gut strings within 6-8 weeks.
- These strings provide longer life but go dead faster than synthetic gut.
- Restring within 8-10 weeks if the strings do not break before then.
- Has a stiffer feel and less power than synthetic gut.
- Requires more racquet head speed from the player, thus enhancing the production of a “heavier ball” with more spin and control.
- The synthetic gut can start off as the main strings. If the string breaks within 6-8 weeks, then the polyester could be switched to the mains.
- For teenage players (or younger) that can break hybrid strings within 2-3 weeks.
- These strings provide the longest life but go dead faster than hybrids.
- Restring within 4 weeks if the strings do not break before then.
- Has a stiffer feel and less power than hybrids.
- Requires even more racquet head speed from the player, thus enhancing the production of a “heavier ball” with more spin and control.
- Since it is a stiff string, it can cause arm/shoulder injuries and should only be used by a player that has a larger, more aggressive swing style at a higher competitive level.