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Why I’ll NEVER play without a ShockSorb

In the summer between third and fourth grade, I tried tennis for the first time. I loved sports, but knew nothing about the rules, culture and equipment of tennis. I don’t even think I had seen tennis on TV - at least that I paid attention to.

Ahead of my first tennis class we bought a cheap, red, titanium Wilson, that was too heavy and too big for me. Thinking back to what I can remember, more often would I swing that heavy red racquet like a baseball bat, hitting plenty of balls over the fence.

A lot has changed in the 14 years since. Little by little, I understood more about how to control the ball and desired to get better until around age 12, when I took tennis very seriously.

When I first switched to the newest Head Extreme MP.

Today, I coach tennis as my full-time job. A passion and devotion to the sport that I never would have dreamed of when I first started playing. I love my job: the mix of meeting new people, to the hours of playing and hitting, and seeing people find the passion for tennis they also never knew they had. Working the hours that I do on court would not be physically possible without high quality gear and proactive care for my body. I want to tell you the story of how I came to find the ShockSorb, the only dampener I will ever use, because without it, my elbow would not make it through a given week.

When I was training and playing in high school, I was using a 2013 Babolat AeroPro Lite, chosen because it was popular and aesthetic. 9.2 ounces of whippable, stiff racquet. I preferred my racquets strung at a high tension (58lbs at the time), typically with a synthetic. To get a more “solid” and “composite” feel, I would use the weavable, gelatin dampeners below the central eight mains. I loved those long dampeners, but they had a fatal flaw: durability. Those dampeners were approximately $5 each, and on at least one occasion: broke during the very first practice. The plastic clip that held onto the string would break away from the gel, leaving the dampener less effective and dangling. Refusing to consistently buy new $5 dampeners, but also accepting the fact that no other dampener would do the trick better, I kept the broken ones in, only clipped to one side, and would just re-weave them between each point.