The great tennis players make the movements of the game look easy and effortless; however, anyone who’s ever picked up a racket and stepped onto the court knows that tennis is anything BUT easy.
Between the necessary footwork, endurance, cardio, strength, tennis knowledge, and racket handling, it’s a daunting task to improve and perfect all the skills necessary to be a good tennis player.
To be the best tennis player you can be, there are certain tennis skills that can improve your game without getting overwhelming.
Here are some useful tennis tips that can help you improve many different tennis skills all at once. Some will seem “too easy”, like they couldn’t possibly improve your tennis game, but ALL necessary to take your game to the next level.
Improve your flexibility
Strength and endurance are qualities that every tennis player should have. However, you don’t want to discount flexibility.
Tennis players are consistently swinging their arms and shoulders while also running laterally, stopping short, and jumping. This requires a large range of movement, especially when reaching for those extreme corner shots or hustling to get in to the net.
Poor flexibility makes these movements harder and can have a large negative impact on your overall game. Improving your flexibility with both static and dynamic stretches will allow you to increase your range of movement and improve your game. Stretching and improving flexibility can also decrease muscle soreness and your chance of injury.
Fast feet and the ability to move where you want as quickly as possible is crucial for tennis players. Being out of proper position is one of the main reasons players miss or miss-hit shots.
Focusing on footwork and improving your agility will get you in the best position possible to make the shot, instead of rushing or lunging to get there.
Try using a jump rope to increase your agility and foot speed. You can also use an agility ladder to do the classic ladder drills forward, backward, and laterally using an. Former WTA tennis pro Jane Forman also has a great drill which will help your split step as well.
rp]Don’t underestimate the importance of diet
Nutrition and hydration have huge impacts on your athletic performance. Cut out fatty, greasy, and processed foods that can make you feel sluggish and bloated during a match. Focus on eating clean, lean meats, vegetables, fruit, and other natural foods.
You also need to be prepared with food and water for during matches. Be sure to sip water or a sports drink between changeovers, and try to snack on an energy bar or banana as well. This will keep your energy up and your body ready for a long, grueling match.
Most of the strength tennis players need comes from the shoulders, arms, and legs. While you shouldn’t neglect other muscle groups, building strength in these areas will definitely help you improve your tennis skills.
Reduced shoulder strength can lead to overcompensation with the upper arm and elbow, which can eventually lead to tennis elbow. Improving shoulder strength will reduce this risk while also make your shots more powerful.
While a gym membership is helpful, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home that will directly activate your shoulder muscles while also engaging muscles in your back, arms, and legs.
Improve your core strength
Core strength is essential for almost all sports. It helps you maintain balance, and channels your power into your shots. A weak core can lead to overcompensation in other areas, which could lead to injuries. Weak core strength can also lead to generally weak shots and power.
The best core exercises are the simple ones: planks, side planks, supermans, bicycles, leg lifts, etc.
Running and endurance
It’s no secret that a majority of tennis involves running from one side of the court to the other, usually at a sprint. In order to be a good tennis player, you need to be able to run, sprint, and lunge for long periods of time without getting sloppy or tired. Even the pros who train regularly get winded on the court after long rallies.
Improve your running endurance by doing cardio exercises like running, biking, swimming, and (shockingly) playing tennis. The more you practice and work out, the better your overall endurance will be.
Play with people who are better than you
It’s easy to get into a lull where you play the same people or play people you know aren’t as good as you so you can win. But this won’t challenge you or push you to get any better.
Challenge yourself by playing people who you know are much better than you or people who are pretty evenly matched against you. This will push you to want to get better and improve. You can also watch their movements and skills to see what they do that you could mimic or improve upon.
Play a lot… and then play some more
The best thing you can do if you want to get better at tennis is to play a lot of tennis. There’s only so much that drills and strength training can do for you.
Having a great understanding of the game is crucial for being a good player, and the only way you’re going to get the experience you need to be your best is to play as much and as often as you can.
This will not only help you learn the game, but it will be a chance to implement the skills you’ve been practicing. You could be super agile with your footwork drills, but if you panic during a game and don’t implement the practice, it won’t mean anything for you.
These tennis tips will improve your game
Tennis is a complex game that requires a number of skills and techniques. It might feel overwhelming, especially as a beginner, since it might feel like there’s a never-ending list of things to work on.
However, following these tips will improve the most important skills of the game. “Practice makes perfect” might be cliche, but it’s the most important tip on this list.