I don’t talk a lot about this on the blog, but I’m a big fan of tennis. So today’s blog post is going to be about tennis!
While I have played competitive tennis for years, until I tried these 10 tips from a professional player’s coach, did I improve my tennis game immediately. Mike Sell, who has coached young USTA tennis stars, such as Mardy Fish, Donald Young, and John Isner, who was ranked #1 in the past.
Sell was also Monica Seles’ personal coach, while she was winning five championships and reaching three other tournament title matches. He developed these tips which help amateurs become better tennis players right away.
Try out these simple tips for yourself. You will see they can help you as they helped me.
- Focus on only one playing strategy in each match.Don’t be creative during a match. Do what the pros do: Hit only the shots you are confident will work. Stick with a pattern of play you decide upon before you take the court. I hate to deliver clichés, but “plan your work and work your plan.” It will lead you to better play as it did for me.
- Dial back your serve speed; don’t try to hit your serve through a brick wall.Sure you want to hit a speed demon first serve (the most important shot in tennis). But, take a tip from the best professional coaches. Once again, follow the pro’s lead. The top pros focus on only 80 percent speed and placement. It’s more successful than always hitting second serves or having a bunch of double faults, giving away points for no reason.
- It’s all in your back leg; get it behind the ball for more shot pace.
Load your bodyweight on your back leg before every shot to get more pace and quicker weight transfer to your racquet. This will also improve your footwork. You’ll find yourself hitting more powerful and consistent shots, while not “reaching” for the ball while you’re not balanced.
- Learn to adjust your momentum to the match; learn to be more patient.
Do you “panic” when you lose two or three points in a row? Many players do. You cannot get multiple points back on a single rally—only one at a time. Learn to be patient as most pros know.
- Keep your hydration and energy level high.Drink water on every break and have a bite of a snack on every other break.
- Don’t try to hit a line on every shot; too much room for error.
Be aggressive, not reckless.
- Identify the opponent’s weaknesses this match—and hit to his/her weakness.
Sometimes better players have no obvious weaknesses, but they often display a new weakness during a match. Hit the ball at their weakness.
- Are you typically a “slow starter?” Stretch longer and harder before a match.Stretching effectively is vital to performing well without suffering injuries. If it takes you time to “warm” to the match, try stretching longer before a match.
- Have your racquet strung by professionals, who know how to do it properly.
Stringing a tennis racquet is as much “art” as “science.” One size does not fit all.
- Watch videos of yourself.Have a friend or tennis buddy shoot some video (on his smartphone) of you practicing or playing a match. You’ll see what you’re doing right—and, equally vital, wrong.
These tennis tips will improve your game immediately. They worked for my game; these tips will work for you, too! Enjoy your additional victories.