Posted on

Tennis Racquet Stringing Options for Competitive Juniors

Why do so many of Alberta’s top competitive junior tennis athletes and their parents choose to string at Racquet Network?

Probably because our expert staff and coaches work with parents to protect the health of their junior athletes.

Keep in mind that we have been working with junior tennis players and their families since 2004. Over the years, we have watched these junior athletes grow up, compete, earn scholarships, graduate from college and start families of their own. Some of our athletes even have their own children enrolled in tennis programs today.

In spite of the best efforts from these players, their parents and their many coaches over many years, not one of these Calgary hopefuls ever turned pro.

Why? Because this is Calgary. We keep our fingers crossed for all of these kids, of course, but the odds of anybody from Calgary ever turning pro are very slim indeed.

The most common outcome that we have seen over the years are junior tennis players who become young adults with all of the injuries and nagging aches and pains of the pros but none of the accolades.



It breaks our heart to hear about fifteen-year-olds who cannot sleep on their right sides due extreme to shoulder pain.

That’s why our emphasis is always on who-the-athlete-is-right-now, not what-we-want-the-athlete-to-become.

Our experts never recommend that juniors use the same strings or racquets that adult pros use. Both of these are way to stiff for undeveloped muscles and joints and can lead to persistent injury and chronic pain.

Our advice to juniors is to stay away from these things until they are adults. In the meantime, use gear that is designed for athletes their age.

Polyester strings are a great example of this. Pros use polyester because their swings are extremely fast. The top players in major tournaments can also have tens of thousands of dollars riding on a single swing of the racquet. So they cannot risk having a string break at an unexpected moment.



Juniors under 14, even the best of them, are not as strong as adults. They don’t need polyester strings. Moreover, the long term injury effects of using polyester strings at too young of an age are well documented.

Our advice to junior players and their parents is to stick with multifilament string until they turn 14 or until they are swinging so hard and breaking string so often that they have no other choice.

In the meantime, Racquet Network has developed a graduated stringing program with ten different levels. Level 1 starts juniors off with soft thin string suitable for 8-10 year olds. Each succeeding level above Level 1 has slightly more durable string. The final level, Level 10 has the most durable multifilament string we can find.

Most new players entering the program start at Level 1. If the string at that level lasts for two weeks, then we consider it the right level. If not, then they move up a level and they keep moving up levels until the reach a combination that lasts two weeks or more before breaking.



Once the find their level, they stay at that level until they outgrow it. Once their swing speed develops beyond that level and they start breaking string again regularly, it’s time to move a little higher on the chart.

The more they play, the stronger athletes get. So if your athlete is breaking strings more often than they were a few months ago, it may be a sign that they are improving and hitting harder. Our level systems helps parents and athletes find the right string combination for their current level. It also gives players who are improving an idea of where to go next.

At every level, our goal is to provide junior athletes with a string that is strong enough to handle their power but soft enough to protect their growing joints and developing soft tissues. This is the best way we know to minimize chronic shoulder pain which many advanced athletes first start to experience in their third year of competitive tennis.

Posted on

Where to find WIDE tennis shoes in Calgary

BABOLAT SFX 2 ALL COURT BLACK-BLUE
We carry wide tennis shoes for players with wide feet.
Racquet Network always has an awesome selection of tennis shoes at a variety of price points. Below is just a small sample of our selection.

We carry budget shoes, recreational shoes and high performance shoes for men, women and children.

We also offer wide tennis shoes for players who need them.

Customers can count on our experts to determine which shoe is best for the surface they will be playing on.

We also help customers with expert fittings that help to minimize foot pain caused by a variety of factors.

Come in for a tennis shoe fitting with our experts and leave with the perfect fit for your feet — even if those feet are wider than normal.

We are open 7 days a week. Monday to Friday 11:00am to 8:00pm. Saturday and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm. We are closed for all statutory holidays.


Men’s Tennis Shoes

A small sample of our men’s tennis shoes.

Shoe Selector For a full list of shoes in this category, please check out our ONLINE SHOE SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, gender, brand, size, width and price.

Ladies Tennis Shoes

A small sample of our ladies tennis shoes.

Shoe Selector For a full list of shoes in this category, please check out our ONLINE SHOE SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, gender, brand, size, width and price.

Junior Tennis Shoes

A small sample of our junior tennis shoes.

Shoe Selector For a full list of shoes in this category, please check out our ONLINE SHOE SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, gender, brand, size, width and price.
Posted on

TEST DRIVE SUNGLASSES

Solar Bat Pro AL XZ Sunglasses
Test drive amazing tennis-specific sunglasses that make the lines and the balls pop!!
Come into our southwest Calgary store and test drive these amazing tennis-specific sunglasses. Not only do they make the lines and balls pop, they help servers who are serving into the sun recover from sun blindness much faster than traditional sunglasses.

The Science of Vision
An aqua lens tint has long been the standard for enhancing yellow targets such as yellow tennis or pickleball balls. Dr Gary Nesty tweaked the conventional aqua tint to maintain the yellow ball enhancement but to also highlight the out of bound lines. This new Leverage Performance Tennis tint enhances the two most important targets for players.

This fact alone would make this new tint a giant improvement over existing tennis/pickleball tints, but Doc knew there was another problem to be solved. The sun can be blinding when looking into the sky with any selective filtration tint to enhance a yellow ball, after all the sun is yellow too, so Doc added a 12% light transmission gray gradient to the top 25% of the Leverage Performance lens.

In straight forward gaze the eye is viewing through the wavelength enhancing portion of the lens and the ball and lines are enhanced. When the wearer looks up, as when serving or returning a lob, the view is through the dark gray tint.

When the human eye is exposed to bright light photo receptors are bleached out and the recovery takes a short period of time. Testing of this revolutionary tint on tennis players, at all skill levels, proved that visual adaptation time is improve by 1 to 1.5 seconds resulting in vastly improved performance considering the speed at which a tennis ball travels.

Posted on

Shoulder Bags for Tennis

Wilson Match III 3R Bag
Shoulder bags are suitable for casual or occasional tennis players.
Shoulder bags are popular single compartment bags for ladies, teens and older children at the recreational level. They are designed to carry a single racquet, a tube of tennis balls and a small pair of shoes. Generally speaking, they are not very popular with men who tend to prefer bags with two straps and two or more compartments.

The problem with this bag style for men starts with capacity. While these bags are large enough to carry shoes sized for ladies or children, they are not usually big enough to handle men’s shoe sizes. A man with size 10 or larger feet will often have trouble getting their shoes in the bag along with their racquet and balls. And if they do manage to stuff everything in, the zipper soon starts to fail. The larger the man’s feet, the more of a problem a bag this size will be.

The other problem with bags this size for men is weight. Male racquet sports players tend to carry more equipment that women. Furthermore, the equipment they carry tends to be heavier. Men’s shoes, for example, are larger AND heavier that ladies shoes. Their racquets are heavier, too. Men also tend to carry more balls and more accessories that either women or children.

Shoulder bags are not designed to carry a lot of weight. In fact, too much weight causes them to sag in the middle which in turn causes them to want to fold and become very awkward to carry.

So if you are buying a bag for a recreational player you will want to consider how they will be using it before you opt for a shoulder bag.

If the player you are buying for is a woman who usually carries a purse, then you

If the player is a casual or occasional player who does not need anything more than one tennis racquet, a tube of balls and maybe a pair of small shoes, then a shoulder bag might be appropriate. If, however, they play tennis regularly, then you should probably look at getting a larger bag with two straps and two or more compartments.


Shoulder Bags for Tennis

Below is a small sample of the bags we offer in this category. To see our full range, use our ONLINE RACQUET SELECTOR below or visit is in-store.


Racquet Selector For a full list of racquet bags in this category, please check out our ONLINE BAG SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, size, brand, and more.
Posted on

Where to find Babolat Tennis Bags in Calgary

BABOLAT PURE LINE RACQUET BAG X6 BLUE-WHITE
How do you know which Babolat tennis bag is best for you?
You find yourself standing in front of a tennis bag display at a large sporting goods box store. How do you know which bag is right for you? The only information you have is price. How do you know if this bag is right for you?

Cheap bags are cheap for a reason. Cheap zippers. Thin fabrics. Weak stitching. But expensive bags can be expensive for no reason other than featuring a replica of a professional player’s autograph. So how is an average person supposed to know the difference?

So instead of standing in front of a bag display wondering what the difference is, come in and talk to one of our experts. We offer the same tennis bags at the same prices as the national sporting good stores. The difference is that we have a larger selection and we have staff who are trained to answer questions.

Racquet Bags
We offer Calgary’s largest selection of racquet bags.
Most importantly, though, our experts are trained to ask YOU questions. What will you be carrying in your bag? Are you playing indoor or outdoors? How long do you want your bag to last?

Babolat makes dozens of different racquet bags. They make budget bags, recreational bags and professional bags. They make bags for adults, teens and children. They make ladies bags and men’s bags. They make bags for coaches and bags for players.

So unless you are an expert (like us), it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. We understand. So come in a see us.


Babolat Racquet Bags

Below is a small sample of the bags we offer in this category. To see our full range, use our ONLINE RACQUET SELECTOR below or visit is in-store.


Racquet Selector For a full list of racquet bags in this category, please check out our ONLINE BAG SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, size, brand, and more.