Enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, tennis is a sport that combines athleticism, grace, and hard work. It’s easy to enjoy but difficult to master. A player needs to be familiar with many kinds of shots and tactics just to play tennis at a proficient level. One thing’s for sure, however: It never gets boring.
Tennis seems complicated, and if you’re a beginner, it can get frustrating fast. You see coaches with their radar guns and all kinds of players at the court. Now, it seems like everyone around you is already great, but they all started with the basics and became better through hard work and a good attitude.
1. Focus on the ball
One of the most common rookie mistakes is not focusing on the ball. Often, beginner players spend their time focusing on their opponent, which affects their shots. While you can still get good shots if you don’t focus on the ball, you won’t be as consistent.
Think of your favorite tennis player and look for videos of them hitting or serving. You’ll find that professional players are always focused on the ball, not the opponent. Follow their eyes while serving, and you’ll see that they are always glued to the ball, even after it leaves the racquet.
By focusing on the ball, the player gets to ignore the opponent’s attempts to distract or deceive them. It also allows them to focus on making a good shot. It seems confusing at first, but like any other technique, all you need is a little bit of practice.
2. Mind over matter
The key to consistency is to think about it. If you practice for weeks without the right mindset, you will never become consistent. Your form might get better, and you’ll make fewer errors, but the ball will still land outside the court once in a while. Your body and mind need to communicate.
There’s one common technique for improving your consistency: when practicing a particular shot, think about where you want it to land and practice landing that shot. Do this often enough, and your shots will always land inside the court.
3. Improve your endurance
Tennis is a sport of endurance, which is why you should dedicate one or two days a week to a cardio workout. Whether you’re going for a treadmill or outdoor run or a high-intensity dance class, some cardio will make you faster and more efficient on the court.
Many people think that tennis entails a lot of running, but you should be focused on making faster side to side movements. Not to mention that tennis matches often last for many hours, which is why your heart has to be up to the task.
The beauty of cardio is you don’t need equipment to do it. You can just put in your earbuds, play your favorite music, and go for a 5-mile run. Focus on improving your endurance and stamina.
These pointers will help you become better at tennis, even if you’re just a recreational player. Always remember to have fun and not to take things too seriously. Practice smart and often, with an emphasis on improving consistency, and you’ll become a court pro in no time.