“ Manufacturer: Square Hit / Type: Wrist support „
After a long break in my tennis playing I am determined to finally improve my game so that I can join in with family and friends without total humiliation. I've actually been playing for years, on and off. But I have a real problem keeping my wrist from 'breaking' during ground strokes: it tends to flip, like a squash player's. It's annoying that the problem hasn't been diagnosed before, really, as it is very hard indeed to correct an ingrained fault. My frustration led me to carry out some online research and I found some good reviews on this product, and this company website, which has some useful video footage: http://squarehittennis.com/WristAssist.html. Clearly plenty of other people out there have been having trouble with their wrists. What the Wrist Assist does is hold the wrist in a position so that it can't flip while you're hitting a forehand or backhand (or indeed a volley). The cuff goes round your wrist and attaches via an elastic cord to the neck of the racket. It sounds as if it would feel terrible but it's fairly comfortable. Yet you're almost forced into keeping your wrist in the right position. At first it feels weird and unnatural, but after a while you don't notice that the WristAssist is still on your wrist. It's really not uncomfortable as the device is padded. The cuff fits reasonably well on my very thin wrists, though I did have to pull the connecting cord to the racket neck a little tighter than advised by the instructions. The idea is that your muscle memory will be altered so that the correct position becomes natural. The instructions recommend playing with the WristAssist on for perhaps ten minutes, and then taking it off and playing unaided. In this way you shouldn't become dependent on it. My tennis coach is fierce with me. If he tells me something has improved I tend to believe him. Since I've been using the device he hasn't once shouted at me for breaking my wrist. Of course he still complains about all the other faults I'm committing but now I know that I'm not going to flip my wrist I don't feel that I'm trying to concentrate on eradicating a whole raft of faults. I know what it feels like to hit the ball with a 'good' wrist now. I think it's definitely the case that the Assist has helped my forehand. I'm giving the device four out of five only because I did have some partial success with a home-made device (constructed from a shampoo bottle, some stretchy bandage wrap and a piece of elastic). It wasn't as comfortable as the WristAssist but cost about £1 to construct at home. I suggest borrowing one before you buy. My WristAssist, from Stringers World, came to £44.72 including postage.