As the summer months approach I know that many of you will already be looking forward to getting out in the sunshine and enjoying some sporting action, and tennis is a sport which is greatly growing in popularity. This used to be something of an elite sport to play but thankfully social attitudes have very much changed and these days it is one of the most accessible sports which you can get involved with.
The issue which many have with tennis is that unless you live somewhere with a great climate all year round, or you are a member of an indoor club, you end up playing during the summer, getting to a decent level and then you end up stopping playing for the winter, getting rusty then shaking off the rust again every summer. The spring is a great time to pick up your racket again and try to get rid of that court rust before the summer months come, something which I did last year. Along with the help of the brilliant Bharat Bhise HNA tennis academy founder and excellent player, I was able to get some great tips on how to improve my game, and here are the ones which worked best for me.
If you have the time and the money then I would most definitely recommend that you go with a coach in order to take your game to the next level. A coach will not only give you broad lessons about how to play the game, they will also help you to work out how to play best based on your own abilities. One of the best things that I learned from the coach was how to get rid of many of the bad habits which I had picked up over the years. Coaches will work with you one on one in order to help take your game too the next level and having them in your corner will significantly help you to get better.
I laughed a little when Bharat first told me to find a wall and play alone, as I thought he was joking with me. As it turned out he certainly wasn’t joking with me and this simple tip has helped me out so much. This is an especially helpful activity when you are trying to get better at volleying, as it will significantly help you to increase your reaction time. The closer you are to the wall, the faster that ball is coming back at you and the quicker your reactions will have to be. Start further back and then as you rally with yourself, take a step further to the wall each time until you can’t keep it going any longer, and then start again.
Although you may not be a professional with highly specific needs when it comes to your racket, this is not to say that you should simply use any old racket that you find. Depending on how you hit the ball you will need a different type of racket and size of head. A big head for example can help greatly when serving and returning, as well as volleying. On the other hand a small headed racket can be very good for precision and power, but you will have to be much more precise. Try out a few rackets and see which suits you best, focus on the feel of the racket, the size of the head and most importantly that the weight suits you.
If you are able to play competitively then this is something which you should really try to do as you will find that your tennis playing ability increases very quickly indeed. Playing against people who are better than you helps to raise your game and playing against different types of players will also help you to learn different approaches to the game. There can of course be a temptation to avoid competitions if you are not confident in your abilities, but you will find that after just a few games that you have improved a great deal. It will be uncomfortable and you may very well lose, but in doing so you will also be able to really improve your tennis playing abilities.
In all honesty, regardless of which approach you take to playing tennis, it is vital that you get out there and practice as much as you can, this is the only way in which you will improve. Practice new strokes, different ways of playing shots and keep doing so until you feel confident in your abilities. There really is no hack sometimes, the key is just to get out there and play as much as you possibly can. Give these tips a go and let us know how you get on.