You may think this question might be best overheard in a high school office. Oddly enough, the same terms are interchangeable in the tennis racquet world, with a slightly different meaning. The quirkiest of the three is the term “tweener”. It recently took on the additional definition meaning a young person, not exactly elementary age and not exactly a full-blown teenager. It is that limbo state where they are in between worlds.
Historically, the term “tweener” in the sport of tennis meant making a shot between the legs and although it rarely happens, it is quite comical to watch. Actually, all three words, “tweener,” “junior” and “adult,” collectively have their own category when it comes to tennis racquet selection. Tennis vendors realized the need to support, not just adult players, but the up and coming youngsters interested in the sport.
The tweener racquet is sometimes defined as the one between the beginning and the advanced. These take into consideration the integrity of the so-called game-improvement racquets. These type take account of the need for more force for those novice players who are still building up to a quicker swing. In addition, they incorporate the maximum amount of control that is geared for pros. In essence, the tweener combines the best of both of those worlds and as a bonus, it gives special attention to head size and weight to accommodate these players needing that extra oomph.
The Junior racquet is perfect for the school aged child. This category also gives attention to the player`s size and skill level. Having a racquet that is too heavy would not be good for a youngster just starting out. Likewise, choosing a court tool that does not support their ability to properly hit the ball would also defeat the purpose. Children these days have short attention spans so you need to keep the game fun and engaging for them. A poor choice in a racquet may quickly translate to them giving up on this sport.
The Junior classification takes it a step further upon selection. The child’s height and weight can and should be taken into consideration when deciding which is best for their play. Generally there is only one grip size at the junior level, so that measurement doesn’t have to be addressed until they graduate to the next adult size. Bear in mind, as they grow both physically and as a tennis player they will need to continually upgrade to different sizes and types of tennis gear not only in terms of tennis racquets but tennis shoes and other equipment as well.
Adult racquets are pretty much limitless as to what they have to offer. The adult level is where you get into the high end, pro styled court tools. Adult racquets now offer a huge variety of new technological advancements to improve swing, force and of course style.. Despite the innovative technology found in adult racquets, these advancements are actually rare in the tweener and junior category. This is most likely due to the fact that those groups are still learning the fundamentals and moving up to the advanced adult stage. A tennis racquet with all the bells and whistles won`t do much good for a player just starting out because they won`t know how to use it.
Each stage is unique in their need of sports gear. In order to enjoy the game and succeed, you’d do well to address such needs. Tennis is one of the rare sports that is enjoyed by the young, the old and everyone in between. The great thing is that there are options out there for all three types of players that can be found in name brands such as Babolat and Wilson tennis racquets, to name a few. So get out there, grab the appropriate equipment and have some fun!
Guest contributor Dee Adams is a freelance writer from San Diego, Cailf. In college she majored in public administration and now enjoys writing about topics including sports (especially tennis) and good living.