There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming summer season – garden parties and BBQs, sunshine and beach fun, flip flops and bikinis and, of course, outdoor tennis. After spending the winter season playing indoors at our local tennis clubs, we are all bursting to get back out under the clear blue skies on the outdoor tennis court. There’s simply nothing better than a day of playing tennis while the sun tickles your face and tans your body. A lot of people find their game slacking during the winter period, indoor tennis courts just aren’t as motivating than the outdoor experience. Hence, you’ll find a lot of players looking for ways to improve the game as they head back into the summer season. Here are three tips to help you improve your tennis game!
To practise your game, you don’t necessarily have to play with your regular partners all the time. In fact, playing with different people on a regular basis will work out to your advantage as you will be introduced to various playing styles – from amateur to professional. Playing against someone who is more experienced than you is obviously the best challenge you can set yourself, but there’s a lot to learn from amateurs and even kids too – patience being a big factor here! Next time you find the kiddos bored at a BBQ party, grab your rackets and take them out to play a friendly game of two against one; this way the kids will run off their energy and you can practise your moves in a relaxed atmosphere.
Tennis might be your passion but there are other sports and exercises you can practise that could prove beneficial to your tennis game. Instead of driving to your next match, consider biking or jogging to the club ahead of time to warm up your muscles – just be sure to go easy on yourself, you wouldn’t want to exhaust yourself before stepping out onto the court. Aerobics, pilates and yoga exercises will help you stretch and tone your muscles, so carving out some time to get down into your dog before your next game will improve your stamina and reduce the risk of injuries. Adding these practises to your regular tennis schedule will do a lot to improve your game.
Practice makes perfect but reading advice is also key to improving your game. TR Central is a great blog for reading tips and advice for playing and practicing tennis. They have lot’s of helpful articles on different shots and how to train properly.
Many professional athletes and sportspeople improve their game by filming their practise sessions. There may be things you’re doing to affect your game negatively that you aren’t even aware of while you’re playing. By filming your practise sessions, you’re granting yourself the opportunity to look back at your game and study your shortcomings. It will make you more aware of your movements, back and forehands, and you will have the chance to review where there is room for improvement before you next hit the court.
Yes, it’s true, technically we should all be playing for the love of the game but sometimes, there’s no better motivator than a prize. Regardless of your current level, sign yourself up for a competition game. See the LTA website. The running up to the big match day will motivate you to keep up a regular routine and play your best game in preparation. Once you hit the courts and find yourself in a true pressure situation where only one can win, you will feel a shift in attitude – suddenly you’re only burning desire is to win the game and you’ll find yourself playing with a new level of awareness and ambition that will get you that trophy!