Tennis is one of the best sports in the world. Fast-paced, fun-filled, and a great workout regardless of how old you are, it’s no wonder that around 60 million people play it around the globe! That astronomical statistic makes tennis one of the most popular individual sports out there.
But that doesn’t make it easy…
As a technical sport that requires high levels of speed, agility, and coordination, tennis takes time, effort, and commitment to master. In fact, the difficulty involved is one key reason that many aspiring players quit! Unsure how to get better at tennis, they get frustrated at their slow progress, throw in the towel, and turn their attention to other sports instead.
The good news is that improving your tennis game is far from impossible. You just have to approach the process with the right attitude and in the right way. Want to learn how to do it?
Keep reading to discover our top tennis tips on how to improve your tennis game.
Practice On-Court as Much as Possible
As the old adage goes, ‘practice makes perfect’. Whether you’re learning how to ride a bike, trying to get better grades at school or want to be more effective in your job, you have to put in the work to make it happen. That same rule applies to tennis.
In your bid to get better, strive to get on the court as much as you can. Start hitting balls at every opportunity. Before work, after school, or in your lunch-break, squeezing in some tennis whenever you can is the best way to develop your game.
Not all practice is made equal though! Having a casual hit is better than nothing, but it isn’t going to deliver the rapid results you want. You have to push yourself, exert yourself, do whatever you find difficult, and seek to refine your technique at every turn.
Practice Off-Court Too
Spending exorbitant amounts of time on a tennis court is essential if you’re going to get better at the game. But it isn’t always practical. After all, life gets busy and the vast majority of us don’t have 24/7 access to a court.
Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you can’t practice.
Working on your game off the court will be of immense value as well. But, we hear you say, ‘how can you play tennis without a court?’ Allow us to explain.
That wall in your backyard could be the perfect way to practice volleys, reflexes, coordination, and strokes. Spend an hour hitting balls against it and you’ll soon realize what we mean! You could even draw/hang targets on it to hone your accuracy.
No wall? No worries. You could still practice your ball toss, run sprints to improve your fitness, or bounce a ball on your racket frame as many times as you can to hone hand-eye coordination.
Get a Tennis Partner
Getting better at anything is easier with somebody there for support. Think about gym-rats who find a partner to help them lift heavy weights and stay motivated.
You could do the same in your bid to improve at tennis!
Try to find someone of an equal (or higher) ability who’s just as eager to play. You’ll be able to go to the court together, play matches, run drills, and challenge each other to get better at every turn. Of course, you’ll have someone to motivate, critique, and encourage you over time as well.
Better still, you’ll know each other’s game so well that you have an ideal person with which to enter doubles competitions. There’s nothing like winning (and losing) matches to compel you to keep learning and improving.
Play Against a Better Tennis Player
Remember how certain types of practice are more beneficial than others? Well, a similar rule applies to who you’re playing tennis with too. Just as the best practice sessions push you outside your comfort zone, the best opponents are usually that bit better than you.
Trust us, easy wins have little value when you want to develop your game. Those matches might butter your ego and make you feel good, but they rarely lead to tangible improvement. By comparison, competing against advanced players forces you to raise your standards.
They’ll run you around the court, put you on the back foot, and reveal your weaknesses. Only by upping your game will you have a chance of winning, which propels you to greatness in the long run.
Keep that in mind when picking a partner. Opt for someone who will give you a run for your money and you’re sure to improve far quicker.
Identify (and Work On) Your Weaknesses
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned professional, few sports are as frustrating as tennis. When your serve’s not firing, your timing’s off, and you keep making unforced errors, you can want to throw your racket around in exasperation!
Lean into that frustration though. Don’t, and you can end up avoiding those shots you find most difficult in favor of current strengths.
The classic example is a player who runs around their backhand to hit a forehand, or who stays at the baseline because they hate volleying. In a bad case of short-term gain causing long-term pain, they ignore their weak shots, which means they never improve. Their overall game (not to mention their potential as a player) suffers as a result.
Avoid that fate by focusing attention on your worst shots. It might be frustrating at the start, but those efforts will pay dividends down the line.
Master the Basics
Beginners to the game are always eager to get on-court and start hitting balls. That’s what they’re there for, after all. They want to start smashing winners down the line, hammering aces, and outsmarting their opponents with delightful drop-shots.
Alas, it never works out that way. Step onto a court and you realize within seconds how tennis is far harder than top players, like Prabir Purohit, make it seem!
Trying to run before you walk in tennis is a recipe for frustration. Even worse, you risk learning the wrong technique that a) can be hard to unlearn, and b) threatens your capacity for progress.
That’s why a solid foundation is so important. Learn how to hold the racket for each shot, how to position your body, where to strike the ball, and how to angle the racket head. Master these basics and your progress in the game is sure to snowball from there.
Get a Coach
Paying for tennis coaching is one of the most effective ways to improve at the sport. These guys and gals have the skills and expertise to show you the ropes! In groups or one-v-one, they’ll have you running drills, hitting balls, practicing key shots, and working on strategy.
In so doing, they’ll help you learn the basics, hone your technique, and become a more proficient all-around player. Get the right coach and it shouldn’t take long for you to attain a competitive edge.
Improve Your Overall Fitness
Your fitness levels will come into play sooner or later too.
Think about it: who’s going to win between two players of equal talent but different levels of fitness? The fitter individual, of course! They can run their opponent into the ground, giving them a major advantage every time (especially in longer matches).
That’s why the tennis players you see on TV are athletes of the highest standard. They’re lean, muscular, fast, and have the stamina to play 5 sets of intense tennis, day in and day out.
However, it’s worth pointing out that the type of fitness required for tennis is different compared to other sports. Tennis is rapid-fire, stop-start, and sprint-oriented. You have to be quick on your feet, have explosive speed, and enough upper body strength to power balls past your adversaries.
Watch the Professionals Play
Last but not least, try to invest time watching professional tennis players compete. Fans of the game won’t need much persuasion to do this anyway! Even better, though, these pro matches are treasure-troves of information for budding players.
You can watch how the pros move their feet, where they position themselves on the court, and where they hit the ball in relation to their opponent’s positioning. You can watch how they handle themselves in tricky situations, how they deal with pressure, and witness the sportsmanship in victory/defeat. All told, you come away with bucket-loads of new knowledge to incorporate into your own game.
Now You Know How to Get Better at Tennis
Have you been wondering how to get better at tennis? We’re not surprised. Despite its popularity around the world, this is one tricky game to learn.
As we’ve seen, though, it’s far from impossible!
All it takes is time, commitment, and a good dose of hard work. Keep the tips in this post in mind and it shouldn’t be long before you start winning games and taking home trophies.
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