With Spring almost here and the days getting longer, I can't wait to hit the courts for some after-work tennis action. Tennis is definitely one of those sports (like golf) that you can play for years and still learn new things every time you take a lesson. In fact, veteran tennis players continue to take lessons to maximize their games and perfect their form.
I've already given you some tips for novices, but even experts can use reminders from time to time about some of the basic fundamentals of tennis form. To see my five tennis essentials,
Sometimes tennis pros can sound like broken records repeating these tips, but no matter how many times I play, I still need to be reminded!
- Get your racquet back. Repeat this to yourself like a mantra every time you take a shot. It makes you pause and get ready before hitting, and it will put more power behind your shot.
- Set yourself. Even if you're running to get a shot, put the brakes on and stop before hitting the ball. It's easier to be accurate and maintain your form when you're not swinging mid-run.
- Get down. When hitting a basic ground stroke (a forehand or backhand), lower your body by squatting just slightly in order to get under the ball and stay down through the shot. Since you swing low to high, this will ensure you're not hitting the ball wildly upward.
- Keep your eye on the ball. It sounds like common sense, but often we forget to keep our eyes on the ball when hitting volleys and serves. Remember, it's just as important to look up at the ball when tossing for a serve.
- Follow through. This may be the single most important way to ensure the ball goes where you want it to go — that is, in bounds, not out! Meet the ball in front of your body, then make a full swing around. On a forehand, this means catching the racquet in your other hand; with backhands, you should end up with the racquet over your shoulder.
Got some more tennis essentials to share? Tell me in the comments!