Improving Your Tennis Game with These 4 Pro Tips
1/4/2021 - Staff Writer - Racquets & Paddles
If you are serious about becoming a better tennis player, these pro tips will help you to quickly improve your game.
1. Keep Your Eye on the Ball
It is obvious that you should be tracking the ball from the bounce all the way up to your strings, but don't let your tracking end there. It may be tempting to watch how the other player will respond or look at other things out on the court, but your focus should be on the ball at all times. If you allow yourself to relax before resuming tracking when it is time to respond, you will waste valuable time re-focusing before your body can react.
Although it may be a difference of only a fraction of a second, that small span of time can mean the difference between a return and a miss. You are better off to remain focused on tracking the ball at all times and take in all other information with your peripheral vision.
2. Don't Hold Your Breath
With your adrenaline pumping during the fast pace of the game, your body's natural response will be to hold the breath at times when the intensity is the highest, like when you are scrambling to complete a difficult return. Unfortunately, this natural response is not beneficial for your swing. Holding your breath means that you are holding tension in your body, making your muscles tense and tight.
Learning to control your breath early on will benefit you immensely, preventing you from picking up bad habits that are hard to break, especially under pressure. By inhaling as you are getting into position and beginning your exhale before that point of contact, your body will be relaxed and effective as you swing through. Finding a natural rhythm for your breath that you can rely on at all times will help you to remain focused, present, and relaxed throughout the game and improve your overall performance.
3. Increase Your Margins
The obstacle that you need to be concerned with first and foremost is the net. It does not matter if you hit a fireball of a return if it cannot clear the net first. By focusing first on lift and making sure that the ball will make it over to the other side, you will reduce the number of points you hand over to the opponent by coming up too low.
The easiest way to increase your margin is to swing low to high on both your backhand and your forehand swings. The added benefit of this approach is that your topspin will automatically increase as well, causing the ball to dip sharply and remain within the lines.
4. Aim for Cross-Court
As you return, you should aim to hit the ball cross-court. This gives you two advantages: first, it means that the ball will be traveling over the lowest part of the net (giving you the best chance of clearing it) and second, it gives you the most space on the other side (giving you the biggest target to hit while remaining within the lines).
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