Sweet Spot and Tennis Rackets

Published by TennisRacket on 04/15/2017

The size of the head is one of the factors to consider when selecting a tennis racket, as it will define the sweet spot of the gear. A racket’s sweet spot is defined as the best spot for the ball to hit. You need to consider the size and location of the sweet spots to help you predict the behavior of the ball and the racket. When the ball hits a sweet spot, the force generated to the hand is smaller, and if it does not hit any of the sweet spots, you will feel some vibration or jarring on the handle.

Understanding the sweet spots of the racket

You will have to find the three sweet spots when selecting a tennis racket. The sweet spot serves as the vibration node in the heart of the strings. Another sweet spot is in the COP (center of percussion). Sweet spots do not coincide with a point where the ball rebounds at maximum speed. Likewise, it doesn’t pertain to the area where the force to your hand is zero.

Forces on your hand are caused by three independent motions on the handle: the vibration, translation, and rotation. There should be no vibration when the ball hits the vibration node. The rotational aspect is from the recoil of your racket head, and it exerts torque on your hand, resulting in an axis through your wrist. Hence, force is not always generated on your hand’s upper area, and he force in an opposite direction is always on the lower part of your hand.

The three sweet spots

The first sweet spot is toward the tip of your racket and it is known as the ‘node of first harmonics’. If you hit the ball with that sweet spot on a groundstroke, it will cause minimal vibration, but the generated power will be less, resulting in a ‘dead’ feeling. The tip of the racket moves quicker than other parts of the frame, but when you hit the ball in a node, you can generate more pace on your serves. Big servers typically make contact towards the tip of their rackets.

The center of percussion is one that is commonly perceived as the only sweet spot, since it generates the best feel on a groundstroke, while offering the highest stability. The power zone is below that area, and it generates the most power when you make groundstrokes. Hitting the ball in the power zone results in less control and more vibration. Major groundstroke hitters control their strokes hit the ball a bit below the center.

Mike Volkin

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