Vibration dampeners (also sometimes known as "gummies") may be interlaced in the proximal part of the string array, to reduce the percussive sound of the ball hitting the strings and/or to reduce perceived vibration. They do not, however, reduce impact shock significantly, so they are of no safety value. Some professionals, such as Andrei Agassi, used rubber bands instead of specialized dampeners. Dampeners come in two main types. The first uses the two central main strings to hold it in place. The second is sometimes called a "worm" and it is woven between many of the main strings. Dampeners are nearly always placed very near the bottom of the racket string bed.
This discussion is very timely for me because not only is it helping me stabilize my game, my daughter is now six and showing interest in “Playing tennis.” When she was four and five that meant catching and sweeping the ball along the floor with a racket back and forth with me, and now it means gripping the child’ racket her aunt brought her with both hands and hitting FH on the soft coach’s ball I toss or hit softly to her. She is a natural leftie, and I showed her a LH grip with two hands, but often she uses the RH backhand grip instead, and I just let her go with it. What is amazing to me is how good her balance is and how well she steps in and rotates through the stroke, pulling the racket through. She is already an accomplished dancer and seems to understand how her body moves, and that clearly helps, but her synthesis of gripping, which she was taught, swinging, which she imitates, and rotating with balance is just natural.
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