7 Tips for Improving Your Tennis Game
When looking at amateur tennis players, the first serve usually has a lot of power and intent behind it, but they are also pretty erratic. Then, when it comes to the second serve, this is just sort of lobbed over the net, and easily destroyed on the return. If you are someone who falls into this category, focus on the middle ground. You want to focus on the accuracy and consistency of your serve, making sure that it falls within the correct lines. Once you have that down, then start working on increasing speed and difficulty to return.
Keep it Continental
If you are trying to improve your game, make sure that you are seving with a continental grip or an Eastern backhand grip, if you can’t help, but make that ball spin. This can be a difficult change to make depending on how long you have been playing. However, once you get through the initial discomfort, you will realize that you have significantly enhanced your potential when serving.
Watch that Footwork
Before you take a shot, make sure that your back leg is supporting most of your body weight. Getting to the ball quickly is key so that you can set up this positioning, but keep in mind that keeping your weight on your back leg before you take your shot will assist in the accuracy of your aim as well as create a stabilized power source to draw from.
One important thing to consider during the game is your own momentum. If your opponent is up, instead of panicking and scrambling all over the court, take a few moments to collect yourself and calm down. You’ll have the advantage of re-focusing and feeling relaxed, and if you’re lucky this may break their winning streak. However, if you are gaining points serving, don’t let that momentum slow down, and just keep at it with a faster pace.
In addition to slowing down the pace when you feel out of sorts or a bit panicked, make sure that you are getting enough water and food. Particularly when playing outdoors in the summer months, it’s critical to stay hydrated, and bring a small snack. If you play in the morning, one helpful tip is to drink ½ a liter or more of water before you go to bed (in addition to sipping on a water bottle during the match).
Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
This is a somewhat broad category, but it is a highly desirable skill to develop. The ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of both yourself and your opponent will serve you in the long run. Test out your opponent’s ability to return different kinds of hits during the warm-up. Once you have assessed their skill levels, you have valuable information to use during the game, and can play accordingly. You also have a better sense of things to look out for and can prepare yourself from a defensive standpoint.
Warm-Up and Stretch
This may be a routine part of the game for some and non-existent for others, but either way it is an important component to tennis, and I urge you to assess your current warm-up and stretching strategies. A quick jog around the court or even running in place for a few minutes can do the trick of getting your heart-rate up and your muscles warmed up. After you feel warm, take some time to stretch your muscles. Be careful as you don’t want to stretch your muscles if they are not yet fully warmed up.The purpose of a warm-up and stretching series is to prevent injury and stiffness in both joints and muscles.