Tennis! It’s a quintessential summer pastime for most of us outdoorsy folk, but whether you’re playing singles or doubles, in rain or shine, tennis can be a fantastic way to keep fit whilst having a ball of a time. If you’re looking to get into this fast-paced sport, follow these tips that’ll see you serving like Rafa in no time.
Grab a racquet
There are different versions of a tennis racket out there that are suited for players of all ages and abilities, and it’s essential that you find yourself one that’s suitable for you. Quality tennis racquets generally come in defined sizes, dictated by the player’s age and height. If you follow this sizing system, it should be quite easy to find a racquet that will be a good fit for your hand. You should also take into consideration the weight distribution of your racquet. A racquet with a heavier head, for instance, requires more power in your swing, ensuring younger players grow well-acquainted with the motion of hitting and swinging. Lightweight racquets are more about control, and are used by practiced players to fine-tune their skills and develop their precision. Beginner’s racquets or kids’ racquets, tend to have a shorter handle, a wider head, and a relatively heavy build (in relation to a child’s age and height), whilst professional-level racquets are longer with smaller heads.
Have the Proper Gear
Other than your racquet, you want to make sure you have the proper gear for tennis. Your shoes are very important. Tennis shoes are designed to support your feet and ankles for the stopping and starting on the court. Have a good tennis bag where you can protect your racquets as well as hold all your gear.
Always bring enough water to the court, especially if you are playing outside. A towel is also recommended to help wipe away any sweat. And always bring enough tennis balls. It’s never fun to play tennis with only a couple of tennis balls. If you don’t bring enough, you will spend more time collecting tennis balls then playing tennis.
Find a court or join a club
For some of us, tennis can be a perfect stress reliever after a hard day’s work, and for others, it can quite honestly be a lifelong passion that shapes our futures. Whether you’re the former or the latter, it’s definitely worthwhile to find yourself a local community tennis court or a club that allows for casual players, so you can feel free to grab your racquet and mess around on a court whenever you like. One of the added benefits of joining a club is naturally finding yourself within a dedicated community of tennis players and fans. Having this community around you means that not only will you never be at a loss for a partner, but you’ll also have a greater chance of playing regularly or eventually competing in tournaments, if that’s what you want to do!
Even though tennis can be a world of fun with mates, running some solo drills can be a surefire way of developing some serious skills in next to no time. As tennis is all about utilising your hand-eye coordination, simply hitting a ball against a wall can greatly improve your game through building your understanding of how best to respond to the ball as it comes at you from different angles. Alongside this, becoming a great tennis player is also heavily reliant on building your agility, and so running line drills can be beneficial when it comes to getting acquainted with the layout of the court, as well as making sure you’re well-prepared to stay on your toes in some of your livelier games.
If playing singles is like physical problem-solving, then playing doubles is Dance Dance Revolution, but with balls! I mean that in the sense that you’re developing a ton of valuable skills without even knowing it. Believe it or not, playing doubles can actually help you improve your strategy when it comes to playing singles games too! When there’s another person on your side of the net, chances are you’ll be more likely to play boldly, effectively developing some game-changing skills like returning and volleying. A lot of younger players have also noted that they tend to feel well-energised after doubles games, whereas singles games can leave them feeling mentally and physically drained, like they’ve just received a much tougher workout than they would’ve if they’d been playing doubles. But funnily enough, you still tend to exert quite a bit of energy when you play doubles. This makes playing doubles a popular warm up amongst pros like Nadal and McEnroe, who regularly participated in jovial doubles games before they would play competitively.
Regardless of whether you want to go pro or play matches on Sunday afternoons with some friends, if you follow these little tips, you’ll be sure to cause a racquet on the court! Happy hitting, all!