More than every other sport, tennis is a game of three distinct aspects – the mental, physical and emotional sides. Neglecting at least one of these aspects will hinder your climb to the top of your game and your progress in terms of achieving your goals.
An array of tips concerning tennis found online focuses only on enhancing your fitness. This approach can’t be more wrong. Amassing mental fortitude and emotional balance are crucial elements of every stellar tennis player.
Regardless if you play for fun or strive to reach higher ground, these six tips will arm you with formidable tools. Use these tools well and you will be able to achieve everything you set your mind to.
A unique part about tennis is the need for self-reliance. There aren’t any teammates to lift your spirit up when you’re down mentally and physically. The first and most important thing to focus on, regardless of age, is defining your psychological approach.
When you’ve focused on your mental fortitude, it’s time for step two. Most think it’s just plain physical fitness, but this is wrong. Developing one’s strokes is the next in line to focus on. Physical strength is only a tool to help you withstand the long matches. Fitness without a proper command of strokes is worthless.
There are many techniques in existence when it comes to practicing strokes. Some differ slightly, some greatly. A common thing within all of them is – hard work. Aside from that, a single “formula” can be derived. When practicing shots and strokes, follow this modus operandi:
Footwork drills are the essence of every tennis training routine. Without a good set of reflexes and good posture, all your strokes will be in vain. These not only affect your speed but also give your muscle memory a basis for years to come. They should be divided into three different groups:
Now, all of these footwork exercises will give you a lot of stamina and endurance. But, in order to perform them correctly, you need additional stamina training. This brings us to the very first tip.
Improving strength is an undeniably important facet of your advancement. Tennis has a uniqueness to it. This is because it doesn’t include just muscle force. The whole range of motion has to be picture perfect, down to every last detail.
The key is to focus on core training and leg muscles. Combine that with cardio movements, both long-distance and HIIT training, and you’re good to go. Also, a common mistake is avoiding upper body training. Don’t do it.
Stamina in tennis is a strange phenomenon. You combine long-distance strain and short, but fast bursts of energy. Having both facets will allow you to: 1) Get to the ball quicker and 2) Simply outlast your opponent when he/she gets tired.
Good choices could be swimming or 3-5km circuits. Separate them from high-intensity sprints to get the maximum out of your body.
This is where the sprints come in handy. Agility directly depends on your ability to shift paces and direction at a moment’s notice. This tip can mean the difference between an opponent’s winner and your spectacular return.
Combine sprints with the necessary footwork drills and shuttle runs. The important thing about sprints is to employ a lot of sets. This equals more and more individual runs per session.
One well-kept secret about tennis dieting is – there is no proper tennis diet! Each and every player has a different physiological and metabolic profile. Any coach or dietician that uses phrases “this is for everyone” or “everyone benefits from it” is bogus. Stay away from people like that.
The basics are lots of effective and fast-absorbing protein and complex carbohydrates. This gives both strength and endurance, the essential to every proper athletic performance. Mix this up with fruit, energy bars and a lot of water during the match itself.
Mental toughness can be practiced too. It included two facets. Firstly, you should work on taking every tennis practice seriously. Block out distractions, attack every ball ferociously and play to win. Aim to crush even your best friend.
The second facet is – have fun! You’re playing for the love of the game and the competitive fire. If things don’t go as planned, don’t worry. Give your best and disregard the rest.
The key to having a good tennis strategy is to know your strengths and weaknesses. This gives you an edge over the opponent. If you backhand slice is strong, put yourself in position to use it as much as you can.
The final detail of devising a strategy is watching a film. Analyze top players. This will give you the ability to scan your opponent’s game during a match. This can mean the world to your tennis training plans.