Playing tennis is fun and great exercise. To many it looks very easy. For those who have picked up a racquet and begun the task of becoming prodigious, the curve of improvement seems to move very slowly. Tennis is a game that involves strength in every part of your body and the mind cannot be left out of the equation. Preparation is the key to performance on the court.
Just showing up on the court with a racquet will never be enough if you want to win or beat someone who has owned you between the stripes. How do you turn the tide? First, EXERCISE! Build up endurance by jogging, either treadmill or road. Endurance comes into play down the stretch of a match and determines who reaches further for that winning shot.
Build POWER with lunges to create a power that explodes. This can be done in a freestyle manner or with power bands to create resistance that culminates in an almost effortless motion when playing. Tennis requires a wide range of motion so the centre of the body’s construction MUST be strong. The term widely used today is CORE. The core is like the trunk of a tree and provides strength for every position you will encounter. Crunches, sit-ups, planking, and knee-bends are just a few of the many exercises that will fortify your foundation.
Directional MOVEMENT is paramount to covering the square meters of the court to attempt a cross-court shot. Forward and backward and lateral and all the while twisting turning and lunging – the mechanics are strenuous and taxing. To prepare the body for the onslaught of motion, there are many drills to utilize – slalom to cross cones and vertical horizontal repeaters.
For the mind and body, YOGA is helpful for balance, breathing, stretching, and twisting.
As for playing, stick with the style that is inherent in your DNA. Like golf, there is a certain swing for everyone that is natural; the same can be said for tennis. Play your game and stick to it. Do not try to overpower the ball on the serve, and be patient. Meet the ball further back in your stance and remember it’s hard to play like a pro if you are not one.
A better game takes a better frame of the body and a better frame of mind.