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Struggling to find the right racket setup

Published: 30 May 2016 - 05:07 by mattdp

Updated: 31 May 2016 - 20:31

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Hi all,

Bit of context first. Used to play nationally for my local region in my mid-teens, trained under Malcolm willstrop and dave pearson etc... so have reasonable skills/knowledge. Have only just got back into squash though in my 30's and i'm struggling to get the right racket setup.

The problem I have, is I'm miss-hitting so many balls, either clipping the ball wrongly and it pings off somewhere, or I just tin it constantly. I wear glasses and was struggling to keep my eyes on the ball, so upgraded to contacts which has helped a little. But still, quite often i'm losing games I should be winning, giving away at least 50% of the points to miss-hits. I'm starting to think I have the wrong racket and setup for my style now though. I have lots of power and like to rally down the walls, but also vary my shots and i'm fining it's often the drops and volleys when it goes wrong.

In terms of rackets, I bought a cheap £25 Wilson 145 hammer to just help me get back into it, and after a month blindly bought the new tecnifibre dynergy ap 125 as I thought i'd just get a good racket to play long term with. there's no racket shops near me, so not much choice sometimes than to buy blindly online. But with both I was making errors, and I've gone through 2 sets of strings on the AP in 2 weeks because the DNAMX it comes with can't handle me clipping the ball under power. So I thought i'd get a cheap used tecnifibre carboflex 125 to see if a more traditional teardrop would be better. Instantly I felt it was easier to play with and still had lots of power, but still the errors were there.

Now, there's lots of friendly/helpful players at my local club, and theres a guy I rarely see but when I do he gives me tips and stuff. He told me firstly my grip is too thick which is making my hand shift around, and that my strings are too slack at around 27lbs. He let me play with a tecnifibre suprem 130, a more traditional closed throat racket, which had quite a thin grip and 30lb string tension. Felt very nice in the hand. Well, I didn't make a single error in my next couple of games and I was quite a bit more accurate without any loss of power. I still lost, but that time it was at least cos the other guy was better vs. me making errors. Given I have lots of power anyway, using a less powerful racket doesn't seem to make much difference, so I had the power but also the control/accuracy.

So, he's advised me that I should just try to optimise my setup and that he thinks I may need more accuracy than power, so now i'm pondering if I need the closed-throat design like the tecnifibre suprem.

Any thoughts/suggestions what may be going on here? Seems odd and the 2 tecnifibres I have are obviously amazing rackets the pros use, so its me and not them. should I try re-stringing my existing rackets to 30lbs and using thinner grips or is it likely the racket designs aren't compatible with my play? just fed up of losing all the time to error.

Just adding links to the rackets I have, mentioned above.
Tecnifibre Dynaflex AP 125 http://www.tecnifibre.com/squash/en/Product/Pro-/Dynergy-/Dynergy-AP-125/216
Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 http://www.tecnifibre.com/squash/en/Product/Pro-/Carboflex/Carboflex-125-S/337
This is the suprem I tried https://www.just-squash.co.uk/shop/rackets/squash-rackets/tecnifibre-suprem-ng-130-squash-1155910.htmlsquash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here... PSA Squash TV - North American Open 2012

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From mattdp - 31 May 2016 - 20:28

Thanks Ray.

The carboflex and dynaflex rackets i have are pro level rackets so as mentioned it can't be them, and instead must be more about if they are setup right for me, or even fit my style.

Going to get them both re-strung at 30lbs and adjust the grips to be thinner. If I'm still having an issue then i'm going to get more hands-on time with some closed throat rackets.

I'm working heavily on footwork, positioning, racket swing (closed/open face etc...), just have had these errors happen even when I've done those right, so we'll just have to see the outcome of the rackets first I guess as that's a quicker/easier fix.

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From raystrach - 30 May 2016 - 17:03   -   Updated: 30 May 2016 - 17:04

hi mattdp

just a few points to note about your situation which might help in deciding which way to go.

  • playing with 30lbs tension will be significantly different to 27lbs
    • the higher tension will make a big positive difference to your control, but give you less power.
  • also the teardrop and closed throated rackets will also be very different, even with the same tension
    • the closed throated rackets are usually significantly stiffer. i personally do not like the extra stiffness (to much vibration for me), so always use teardrop shape, but everyone is different.
    • this can make it difficult when using two different rackets with different tensions. it will be harder to know what is actually making the difference - the racket or the stringing.
    • different string types will also offer different feel, to make it even more confusing.
  • if you are just making a comeback, the tin problem may also be that, being a little heavier and slower than you were in your teenage years, you may not quite be in position to go for your shot, which is affecting your error rate.
    • you may also be trying to finish the rally off too soon, seeing you probably are not as fit as you used to be.
    • see what happens when you try to hit length more often
  • chances are that if you were coached by willstrop/pearson, you probably use an open face racket technique - make sure you are not closing the face too soon at the contact point - this can happen
  • grips can have an effect, for sure. your thumb and fingers should just about meet, when you have your hand around the grip.
    • if the grip is slipping a bit when striking the ball, this can definitely result in hitting it into the tin.
  • ultimately, everyone is different, so you might take some time to find the right combination you are looking for.

cheers

rs

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