What is the best string to use for junior tennis players? Let’s take a look

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The best string to use for junior tennis?! It’s the nightmare every tennis parent faces after their little Novak or Iga has broken the strings for the first time!

Which tennis strings should we use for Junior?

What tennis strings should kids be using? We sought advice for some choices for children aged 10 and upwards.  When it comes to choosing a tennis string for your child’s racket, it might seem complicated, but apparently it’s relatively straightforward, at least when they are just starting to play. It’s just that we as parents are usually unaware when strings need changing other than when they break!

Don’t freak out! It’s worth finding out before it’s too late! Stick with us…

We found the problem is so much conflicting information online with not much of it is directed towards junior players.  Therefore a lot of parents end up incorrectly choosing strings that professionals and high-level players use.

What we were then advised was, as a parent, you need to think less about results and more about development.

So for a developing junior tennis player, the key is not how much topspin they can generate. The primary objective is to ensure your kids stay injury-free by avoiding unnecessary strain on their joints and muscles.

With that in mind we were shown what strings to avoid and what strings to use.

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Kids, Parents and Tennis Strings

The problem when choosing strings for a child is that many parents massively overestimate their child’s ability on a tennis court. Sadly, it is almost at delusional levels.

They do a little bit of reading if any, invent problems that do not exist and then come up with numerous ideas on how to improve their child’s game to get Rafa like topspin with the lasso arm spinning overhead like a bucking bronco cowboy!

Sadly, when parents don’t know what they are doing because they are only armed with a snippet of information, taken as the Gospel, they go against the clear advice of the Professional Stringers.

The parent then strings with a performance polyester and his child drops out of the game at sixteen……the end. R.I.P. (Rest in Peace) – the Dream is Over!!!

So much for asking “Which is the best string to use for junior tennis?”!!!

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Why Most Juniors Should Avoid Polyester

There is not a single child under the age of thirteen that needs to be using a polyester tennis string.  In fact, it would be better to raise that to fifteen/sixteen.

Occasionally, there are a few high-level juniors ahead in physical development that start breaking strings, in which case a hybrid polyester is an option.  But for 99.9% of juniors aged from ten to twelve years old,  they DO NOT need a polyester string in their racket.

Consider the following properties of polyester strings

  • Polyester was developed for string breakers – it enables you to hit out and not break strings.
  • Polyester enables more access to topspin, assuming you hit with it in the first place. The string does not create spin, and it only enhances it.
  • Polyester is stiff on the arm, shoulder, wrist and elbow. It transfers more shock to the body.
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    What are junior players doing on court?

    Let’s take a look:
    Question – Do they break strings? NO. Junior players do not hit with enough spin to break strings.
    Question – Do they hit with big topspin and want to add even more spin so they can reach Rafa RPM levels? NO. Juniors always hit flatter – they can’t sacrifice power for topspin like a full-grown adult.
    Question – Do they constantly overhit the ball beyond the baseline to require more control? RARELY. In most cases, it is the reverse; junior players struggle to achieve depth of shot.
    Question – Do they have top-level physical conditioning to avoid or reduce the risk of any arm/wrist/shoulder damage? NO. They are still growing.
    Question – So while your son or daughter may or may not be highly talented do you want to give them the best chance at a pro career? Then DON’T PUT POLYESTER in their racket between 10 and 14 years old unless you want to predispose them to arm injuries that they may develop at a later age.

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    So which is the best string to use for junior tennis?

    The best string for juniors is an easy one – a full string bed of Natural Gut.
    This is by far the best string out there for junior players. Power, arm friendliness, tension maintenance and feel all rolled into one.

    However, natural gut is expensive and can easily be damaged (especially on framed shots), so the durability can suffer. Conversely, the natural gut can also be more cost-effective over time as it lasts longer than most synthetic strings, so if your child doesn’t break it and the weather suits it, it’s cheaper option.

    Therefore if you have the budget, go with natural gut. Babolat’s VS Touch is the most widely available, and this is recommended.

    Alternatives to Natural Gut Strings

    The best choice for all young players to start with is a multifilament string. There are lots of good quality multifilament on the market, including:

    • Tecnifibre NRG2
    • Head Velocity MLT
    • Babolat Xcel
    • Yonex Rexis
    • Tecnifibre X-One Biphase

    All of the strings listed above will give good power, are soft on the arm, and last a reasonable amount of time.

    Move to a Synthetic Gut (Nylon) plus Multifilament Hybrid

    Once your child breaks a multifilament string frequently, the next step is to move up to a Nylon-Multifilament hybrid.
    A hybrid is where a different string is used in the mains to the cross strings. Here it was recommended putting the stronger string into the mains and the softer into the crosses to add comfort.

    The Final Shift to Soft Polyester

    The only time a young player should ever go to a full Polyester restring is when they are strong enough, and they cannot keep a softer string in their racket for long as it breaks too quickly.
    Should your child develop any wrist, arm or shoulder injury, they should revert to the softest string possible.
    Do remember, though, while it might seem expensive due to restringing synthetics often, polyester itself can be a false economy.
    Poly strings need cutting out after a few hours of play, and if your child gets injured, physiotherapy appointments will soon outweigh the cost of synthetic gut restrings.

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    What about String Tension?

    Alongside the string itself, the tension you string a juniors racket at also has a significant bearing on comfort and performance levels.
    Generally speaking, the lower the tension, the more power is generated by the strings and the higher the tension the more control.

    The advice we received for junior tennis players is a tension of around 19-22kg (42-49lbs). This avoids the risk of wrist, arm and shoulder injury yet gives the player a reasonable balance between spin and control to play at this level.

    Let’s wrap it up!

    So there you have it, we were advised which is the best string to use for junior tennis players.

    DON’T overthink it, don’t try to copy what the pros use, and no matter how good your child is (or how good they might become), start them out with a MULTIFILAMENT or NATURAL GUT(budget depending).

    And finally, use the services of a good quality racquet technician. A good stringer can advise you on strings after seeing your child play.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations based on personal experience so please don’t hesitate to contact us vis WhatsApp on +44 7849 502790 or email us at info@zoealexanderuk.com. Feel free to leave us Comments in the section below.


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