Why Do Tennis Players Adjust Their Racket Strings?

Why do Tennis Players String Their Rackets?

We have often seen tennis players gaze intently at their rackets and at times fiddle with the racket strings. In this piece we explore the reason why tennis players are habituated to adjusting their racket strings.

Tennis rackets are an essential feature of the tennis game. Good rackets with strong and well-arranged strings are necessary to enable the players serve and hit the ball better.

The more frequently a racket is used, the more its chances of wearing off. As a result, tennis strings need to be adjusted regularly to form a more tight 90 degrees angles on each overlapping string, allowing the the player shot more momentum and pop.

The strings that are used to make a racket are made from different materials; a good knowledge of these materials helps the manufacturer of the strings to know how much tension will be required to make a powerful stroke.

For an increased sensation of strength from a string, some parameters need to be put in place.

An obvious one is the tension applied on the string, also, the strength of the different balls that are used on the string all affects the life span and strength of the string.

A typical racket string make for an important piece of equipment as a result but over time, these strings get old and need to be replaced or adjusted.

Why Do Players Adjust Their Tennis Racket Strings?

In this piece we look at why professional players are often seen adjusting their racket strings. Here’s a list of reasons.

Make the Strings Even

During or after a game, the strings on a player’s racket may become scattered and unorganized, this shift in the strings can make the racket look very untidy and ugly, by adjusting the strings, the player is restoring the beauty of the racket.

Ill-placed strings can also create a hole in the racket; two or more strings may shift considerably and create a hole or a large space in the racket. To prevent the balls from sinking in and costing him the game, a player may manually re-adjust his strings from time to time.

A player using a string in this condition may not get the momentum that he desires when he serves the ball, and may decide to adjust the string to enable him serve better balls.

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Focus on the Game

For any professional player, being alert and in tune with the game while on the court is a prerequisite for attaining success.

While there may be a lot of action going on around and outside the court, the players aim at concentrating on his game.

During breaks and other intervals, the player, rather than wandering away with his thoughts may choose to do something productive like adjusting his strings and getting ready to take or receive the next shot.

Gives the Player Some Moment to Think

While on the court, a player may need to re-strategize and cook up ways to out-smart his opponent, if a player just stares blandly and does nothing, that would really be a strange sight to behold, but if a player, while deciding where next to shoot the ball to, he may do this while appearing to adjust the strings of his racket.

According to Dr Jim Leohr, a sport psychologist, there is a “16 seconds cure” formula where by tennis players need at least 16 seconds of rest after the first point is scored and before the start of the second point.

He claims that, this period of rest is good for the player’s mental health and toughness. Among the four steps he highlighted, that players needed to take to help them deal with the mental stress of handling the game, he mentioned straightening the strings by the player as a form of mental relaxation.

Maintain the Tension of the Racket

When rackets are strung, they make them very tight to enable them serve better balls with more speed and strength, even without being used frequently, the strings begin to lose tension and strength, this results in more stretching of the strings whenever it comes into contact with the ball.

Adjusting the strings can give more power and control to the player.

A really tight and even tension of the strings enables the player to have a more groovy game. Maintaining an optimum tension of the strings may reduce the otherwise unnecessary effort put into swinging the racket so hard to get a good bounce of the ball.

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Nervous Tic

A good explanation why players adjust their racket frequently during the course of the game could be that they are experiencing a nervous tic, a nervous tic could be identified in two forms viz: a motor tic or a vocal tic. In this case, it could be a complex motor tic.

While a simple motor tic may consist of basic movements like blinking of the eyes, jerking the head and touching the nose, a motor tic on the other hand consist of more complex movements that are carried out in a single order.

An example is touching a particular object repeatedly, touching the strings of the racket intermittently, and kicking out the legs in a repeated fashion.

From the foregoing, it can be deduced that the players adjust their strings as a way of easing the tension and anxiety that may build up as a result of them being on the court and facing an opponent.

Every player embarks on every game with the mindset of winning, this can be very daunting.

While on the court, the player have very little options available to take their mind off the pressures of the game and to help them focus on the task at hand, that is why, the player may begin to notice something as irrelevant as a string out of place and may begin to adjust it.

This action can help them relax, which is a great activity for their mental health both on and off the court.

Even though in quite recent times it have been observed that this practice is almost going obsolete, this is due to the advancements in the game and the materials that are used in playing are getting better attention from manufacturer and other stake holders.

Final Words on Tennis Players Adjusting Their Racket String

While some tennis players adjust their racket string because of a habit, there’s also a need to do so in order to maintain the tension in the racket or in order to focus.

Whatever is the reason, it is a common sight on a tennis court and not much of a surprise to see that happen.

Stan Boone

I am the editor of Racket Sports World. I love my tennis, pickleball and most of the other racket sports played around the world and started this blog as my way to help other racquet sports fans even as I learn, explore and improve by connecting with them. Tweet at https://twitter.com/StanBooneTennis.

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