I’m not much of a tennis player, to be honest I don’t even particularly like tennis. But one of my good friends is absolutely crazy for it. I’ve been playing tennis with him to get in shape a bit.
Playing tennis with him taught me two things, one I have bad cardio, two I suck at tennis.
He’s been teaching me and I’ve improved a lot the last few months. He likes to write, so he wrote some tips to help you improve your tennis game. I know this isn’t the blog for this, but I thought it would be interesting to share, so here it is:
The Best Tennis Tips For Better Groundstrokes
If you can cut down on the number of unforced errors in your play, you can make your opponent beat you, rather than letting all of your own mistakes beat you. And the single best way to cut down on all those unforced errors is to fine-tune your two groundstrokes – your forehand and backhand.
I can still remember as a kid watching the Wimbledon tennis championships in the summer time and marveling at how the top players could repeat the same strokes, effortlessly, time and time again. It seems like the advanced tennis players have figured something out that the rest of us haven’t.
So what are the keys to getting those remarkably consistent forehand and backhand strokes? Based on tennis tips from advanced players that I’ve picked up over the years, here are three tips that are almost guaranteed to make you a better player:
TIP #1: Adjust your racket trajectory
One common reason for unforced errors is having the racket head traveling in the wrong trajectory — either the racket face is too open or too closed, and when the ball hits the strings, there’s not the satisfying sound of when it makes connection with the sweet spot. So a quick fix for this is thinking in terms of your hand positions. On the forehand, imagine the palm of your hand pushing the ball forward. And on the backhand, imagine the knuckles of your hand moving through the ball. This may sound simple, but it will go a long way to making sure your racket face is always in the right position. Just ask my partner from last week!
TIP #2: Keep your head still throughout the hitting motion
This one sounds obvious, but it’s not. One common mistake is for people to focus so intently on the ball that their head unerringly “tracks” the ball, resulting in head movement. The head should be steady, and that helps your body maintain its stability and flexibility. There’s actually a scientific reason for this – your brain is constantly sending signals to your body, usually through stimuli from the eyes. By keeping your head fixed, you can limit all the confusing stimuli from your eyes!
TIP #3: Focus on your footwork
Ever wonder why so many of the top players at your club spend the first 10-15 minutes before a match running sprints or practicing their footwork? It’s because your foot placement goes a long way in determining how you strike the ball. If you are off-balance, you can’t line up for a precise stroke. I should know – my opponents delight in the fact when they can tell me, “Look at how I wrong-footed you during that rally.” What they’re really saying is that I wasn’t in position and couldn’t line up the stroke properly. This happens a lot when you’re tired, because it’s just harder to move when you have “heavy legs.” So make sure you’re getting in enough cardio workouts before you hit the courts!
If you take these tips and advice, you can develop some great-looking groundstrokes. Imagine having a nice, fluid backhand and an aggressive but fluid topspin forehand!