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Archive for July, 2013

PostHeaderIcon “Ask Marla” #6 – Comparing the Head Speed Pro To Other Racquets

Ask Marla
Welcome back to “Ask Marla” after an extended break thanks to the All England Club. πŸ™‚

Head Speed Pro

Head Speed Pro

Head Speed MP

Head Speed MP

This week’s question comes via my YouTube channel in response to the video reviews of the Head Speed Pro and Head Speed MP. I’m glad that my thoughts on these two racquets was useful for others, but found myself “out of my element” with these follow-up questions in the Comments section.

Question: I used to play with a Yonex Rdis 100 mid plus, and don’t know exactly if the spin potential is the same. Please Help!

Question: I like to swing out at balls. I currently use a Head Radical Tour (98 square inch) which is a good racket due to control. Is the Speed Pro going to be hard to control by comparison? I don’t want to feel restricted because I might hit the back fence.

I headed over to City Racquet Shop to get Marla’s thoughts on how best to compare the Speed Pro to other racquets.

Answer: Β It’s hard to compare newer racquets to older models. The racquet specs will give you a general guide on the most obvious performance aspects, but can’t replace taking the racquet out for a demo hit. With respect to spin, string pattern makes a difference. An open string pattern (16×19) generally allows for more spin than a closed one (18×20). So if you want more spin, go with the open pattern. With respect to power (versus control), “power” and “flex” ratings are only a guide. You have to get a racquet that works with your natural stroke production, and allows you to keep the ball in play for more than one shot.

(SFTF Note: Marla’s last suggestion of getting racquet that works with your natural stroke production is key. For example, I’ve demo’d both the Speed Pro and Speed MP. Though the Speed MP is the racquet that’s more suitable for spin based on its’ open string pattern, I found it hard to control because my natural stroke generates all the spin I need. I don’t need more. The Speed Pro “tames” my spin and gives me a ton of control.

The same is true for power. The Speed line is generally referred to as low-power, but that’s misleading. I find it to be a very powerful with minimal effort i.e. the more relaxed I swing, the more power I generate. And trust me, we’re not talking moon balls! πŸ˜‰

In conclusion, racquet specs will tell you something, but the best policy is to always demo a racquet more than once, and in different play situations, before you buy it.)

Got a tennis question, but no one to ask?
Send it via email or tweet for “Ask Marla”, a (hopefully) weekly (or biweekly) question-and-answer with Marla Reid of San Francisco’s City Racquet Shop.


About Marla Reid

Marla Reid is a respected tennis pro/coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s coached nationally-ranked teams and players at Occidental College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, University of Kansas, and Florida Tech, and has over 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. Marla has an M.A. in Exercise Physiology, and is a seasoned racquet stringer.

About City Racquet Shop

City Racquet Shop offers, superior products/services, outstanding customer service, and a community-oriented destination for tennis players to shop, hang out and talk about tennis.

City Racquet Shop online: www.cityracquetshop.com
City Racquet Shop on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/city-racquet-shop-san-francisco
City Racquet Shop on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cityracquetshop

PostHeaderIcon The Reason Why Trayvon Martin’s Death (and Zimmerman’s Acquittal) Are So Personal

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin

(This is dedicated to my one and only nephew, D, and all other young upstanding black men like him. I have thought about you every day since this nightmare began for Trayvon’s family.)

I’m mad, disgusted, disheartened, and brokenhearted. So I will do the thing that comes most naturally at this time of hurt and outrage. I will write!

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed Trayvon Martin. In fact, he wasn’t even convicted of manslaughter. He was convicted of nothing. He is a free man: free to live his life, free to enjoy drawing breath into his lungs for however many more days God allows him to walk the Earth.

The last I checked, Trayvon Martin was still dead because he went for a walk to buy some Skittles and tea.

Though Zimmerman was the one in court facing charges, Trayvon was really the only one on trial. Throughout this farcical trial (after a forced arrest), he had to defend his honor from the grave and prove that he didn’t cause his own death.

It’s a mockery of our justice system that someone can admit to killing another human being, after setting in motion the chain of events leading to this death, and still be found “not guilty”.

Trayvon Martin's family

Trayvon Martin’s family

I’ll end this on a personal note so you can better understand my reaction, particularly as an African-American male, to this despicable non-verdict.

Many are outraged in this country, so I’m not special or unique in that regard. What hurts me the most, more than anything, is the knowledge that this could have happened to my nephew. He was the same age as Trayvon at the time of the killing, probably dressed similarly to Trayvon, and is like me insomuch as he’s been taught from a very young age to stand up for himself.

He’s a strong, good-looking, smart, and articulate young man. (Some might say mouthy, but as he’s picked up much of that from me I’ll stick with articulate.) I could easily see him confronting a suspicious individual who was tailing him as he walked home. And I can see him getting the better of that individual when the confrontation comes to a head.

Now that this verdict has been rendered, you can add that I can see him getting killed as a result of protecting himself, and that the killer will get off scot free because this is America: a place where you can kill young black men and get away with it!

This could have happened to my one and only nephew, and his killer could have gotten off a free man. And his mom, his dad (my brother), his grandparents and uncles on both sides would be grieving the life he would never get to live while Zimmerman goes about his business.

I just don’t know how I would be able to do that!

This isn’t what I would expect from America in 2013. It could certainly have happened to me back when I was growing up in the late 70’s that age. And let’s not forget, it did happen to Emmett Till in 1955. I guess we haven’t come that far after all.

God bless Trayvon.

God bless his brother, Jahvaris.

And God bless his parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton

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