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Whit's Tennis Tips: Tennis Swing

Whitney Kraft, Director of Tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, is here to answer your questions on the game of tennis in his column on USTA.com called “Whit’s Tennis Tips". Whether you're looking for that perfect racquet, having a dispute over scoring a match, or just looking to improve your game, all you have to do is ask Whit.

Ask Whit

Subject: golf swing vs. tennis swing?

I love golf and tennis, I often hear comments that you can confuse the swings of these two sports. Any suggestion?



From: AskWhit@usta.com
Subject: RE: golf swing vs. tennis swing?

Hi Ken,

“Muscle confusion vs. cross-transfer”

Cross training, or skill transfer benefits generally outweigh motor (muscle) confusion. In fact, the golf drive uses much of the very same angular (rotational) force production through nearly identical kinetic links (organizational sequence and contribution of multiple body segments).

To avoid motor confusion, simply play tennis before golf (if same day) and play more tennis than golf. If golf is more important, either in general, or due to upcoming competitions, reverse that statement. Of course I hope tennis is your main passion, and should be from at least the health benefits standpoint.



To: AskWhit@usta.com
Subject: difference in arm size

Hi, Whit.
I am Hui a student from China. Recently some questions came to my mind, and I am writing to you for your professional answers and advice.

Here are my questions:

  1. Will intense tennis practice lead to different sizes of my arms? Since intensive practice will help your right arm get stronger ( I guess), will it help the arm get bigger than the other one too?
  2. If intensive practice does lead to the above problem then how do professional athletes avoid this? Will ordinary tennis players have that problem too?

I don't know much about sports, so I hope you won't find these questions too stupid.


From: AskWhit
Subject: RE: difference in arm size

Hi Hui,

You want your tennis arm to get stronger, and bigger. You can help symmetry by weight training your non-dominant arm, but it is unlikely to be as large or strong as the other….just closer. This is not a problem, and is a natural and desirable occurrence.



To: AskWhit@usta.com
Subject: perfect tennis racquet


I am 56 years old, an intermediate player and play tennis 2-3 times a week. I am looking for the perfect racquet. I have been playing with the same racquet for the past 10 years (HeadTis6). I have tested several racquets but cannot get the same feel on the ball as with mine. I need power, control and anything else I can get to help my game!

Do you have any suggestions?

Jan M.

From: AskWhit@usta.com
Subject: RE: perfect tennis racquet

Hi Jan,

Power and control? Unfortunately the auto-pilot feature for tennis racquets has not been invented. The bottom line is that the longer you have played with a particular frame, the longer it takes to get used to a new frame, particularly in this day and age where technological advances seem to make significant changes each year.

If you want to minimize the transition; weigh and check the balance of your old frame, then try to find, or have the racquet technician replicate the swing feel. From there you can try different strings/tensions to find the control/power relationship. After that, it is up to you to simply go through the acclimation process…regardless of whatever frame and stringing you end up with; you will eventually adjust and become comfortable.



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