Happy 50th episode of Tennis Quick Tips! I'm so excited to have made it to my official 50th episode of this podcast. And I have a special gift for all of my wonderful listeners that I'm giving away right here in the show notes. So listen in as I celebrate 50 great episodes of Tennis Quick Tips! You can listen to this episode by clicking on the media player above or by listening in with your favorite podcast app. You can also subscribe in iTunes by clicking on this link: tennisfixation.com/itunes.
EDITED TRANSCRIPT AND SHOW NOTES:
With this show, I've officially made it to 50 official Tennis Quick Tips episodes. I think I actually have 52 episodes but I don't count Episode Zero, where I told you all about me but I didn't give you any tennis tips, and I don't count the episode where I announced that my Real Tennis Tips for Real Tennis Players book had made it onto Amazon. So this show is the one I'm calling Episode 50. Yay!
To celebrate this milestone, I wanted to give all of my listeners a very special gift and I of course wanted it to tie in to the theme for this episode. So just what is this episode all about?
Honestly, this episode really encapsulates a major part of my Tennis Fixation philosophy and that is that there are tons of ways to learn how to play better tennis without playing tennis. When I joined my first tennis team, I actually did not know how to play tennis. But it was the end of the spring season and my team wasn't starting up again until the fall so I figured I had all summer long to take lessons and become a really great tennis player.
Well, I'm sure you know how that story goes. Two or three months of weekly tennis lessons, and nothing else, not only didn't turn me into a really great tennis player, it only showed me how much I didn't know about the game and how much more I had to learn. And a lot of what I had to learn didn't come from hitting balls on the tennis court. A lot of it came from watching other people play, listening to people talk about the game, learning tactics and strategies, getting into much better physical shape, and building myself up mentally. A lot of those things only come from the experience of playing many, many matches. But a lot of them can be learned in other ways. And they often can be learned off-court, without hitting a single tennis ball.
So I've got two things to give you in this podcast. The second one will come right at the end of this episode. But the first is, of course, your tennis quick tips. It's actually a big chunk of this “playing better tennis without playing tennis” philosophy. And it's this – ten of my favorite ways to play better tennis without playing tennis.
1. Practice your toss indoors with a rolled-up ball of socks.
I know I've said it before and I don't think I can say it enough. The toss is the most important part of the tennis serve and you really need to work on perfecting that toss. And you can do this without even picking up a tennis ball or racquet and without stepping foot on a tennis court. Just roll up a pair of socks into a ball and start practicing your toss at home. If you want more tips on improving your toss, check out Episode 14 of Tennis Quick Tips, called Get a Better Tennis Serve with a Better Toss.
2. Set three big tennis goals to complete this year.
Goal-setting will give you some direction and help produce positive changes in your tennis game.
3. Watch an instructional tennis video on YouTube.
Watching someone hit a tennis ball properly can go a long way to helping you understand how to play better tennis. One of the best sources I've found for free instructional tennis videos is YouTube. I've got my own Tennis Fixation YouTube channel and I'll put a link to that in the show notes since I've got a few helpful things there. I also like to look at videos from the Essential Tennis channel and Fuzzy Yellow Balls and I'll link to them also in the show notes.
4. Get outside and cross-train by taking a bike ride.
Actually, get outside and do any kind of fitness activity. This is a great idea because, first, tennis all by itself is not really going to get you into incredible physical shape. I talked about that in Episode 48 of Tennis Quick Tips when I told you how few calories you actually burn playing tennis. And, second, getting outside is a great way to acclimatize your body to the weather, helping you better prepare for the weather conditions you may face in your next match.
5. Combat tennis elbow by performing forearm stretches.
I've experienced very mild tennis elbow just a few times so I try to prevent this injury with some very easy stretches. I've got a YouTube video you can view to see these stretches here: Quick and Easy Stretches to Prevent Tennis Elbow. I also discussed this in Episode 15 of this podcast called How to Prevent and Treat Tennis Elbow.
6. Come up with a simple mantra to use on court for calm and focus.
This is an easy way to way to get calm and focused on court. Great mantras include, “Calm and clear,” “Strong and deep,” “I got this,” and “Just like practice.”
7. Practice split-stepping at home with or without your racquet.
Like the toss, the split-step is an important part of your game that you need to work on and perfect. You can easily do this at home and you can practice it with or without your racquet.
8. Fill your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritious snacks.
Just like getting all kinds of exercise can benefit your tennis game, eating better can also help. So keep plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables on hand and try to increase your daily intake of these.
9. Do 50 squats.
There are all kinds of great bodyweight exercises you can do to improve your tennis fitness. Squats are one of my favorites because they are full body exercises that can be done almost anywhere at anytime. In fact, if you're listening to this in August, you should join in to my Quick Summer Tennis Fitness challenge where I have a calendar of five great bodyweight exercises you can add on to your workout or match time each day to help improve your fitness. I talked about that in Episode 49 of this podcast and gave a link to the calendar in the show notes for that episode which you can find at TennisFixation.com/quicktips49. I'll put a link to that in the show notes for this episode so you can head over there and get that calendar.
10. Reduce mid-foot and heel tightness by rolling each foot over a tennis ball while standing, one foot at a time.
Using a tennis ball for foot massage is not only brilliant, it feels fantastic. I also like getting a real massage and using a foam roller. I'll have more on tennis ball massage and foam rolling in a future Tennis Quick Tips episode.
Now, here's the second part of my gift to you today. Because I happen to know there are way more than ten ways to play better tennis without playing tennis, I put together a mini-poster called “50 Ways to Play Better Tennis Without Playing Tennis” and here's what it looks like:
These are fifty great ways you can work on improving your game without, in most cases, even leaving home. This mini-poster is my gift to you, to celebrate fifty great Tennis Quick Tips episodes. I have enjoyed doing this podcast so much and have really enjoyed hearing from so many of you about what you think, how it's helped your game, and what more you'd like to know about our favorite game, tennis.
I hope you'll download this poster, try some of these tips out, and let me know what you think by commenting below. To get the pdf version of the mini-poster, just click on this link:
RESOURCES AND LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Tennis Quick Tips Podcast Episode 14 – Get a Better Tennis Serve with a Better Toss
- Tennis Fixation YouTube channel
- Essential Tennis YouTube channel
- Fuzzy Yellow Balls YouTube channel
- Tennis Quick Tips Episode 48 – How Many Calories Can You Burn Playing Tennis?
- Tennis Fixation YouTube video – Quick and Easy Stretches to Prevent Tennis Elbow
- Tennis Quick Tips Episode 15 – How to Prevent and Treat Tennis Elbow
- Tennis Quick Tips Podcast Episode 49 – where you can get the Quick Summer #TennisFitness calendar
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Thanks so much for listening and, as always, Happy Tennis!
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