The tenth episode of the Tennis Quick Tips podcast is out! I can’t believe it! I made it to Episode 10! To celebrate, in this episode, I’m not just giving you one tennis quick tip. I’m giving you ten! These are ten super quick, super easy tips you can apply to your game right now. So be sure and take a listen.
Below is an edited version of the transcript for this episode that you can read through for more information. Links to all of the resources mentioned are given at the end of this post.
So you want to play better tennis and you want to do it NOW! But, you don’t feel like changing your strokes, learning new strategies or even fixing your footwork. In other words, like me, you’re too lazy to do any real work.
Well – have I got good news for you! Here are my 10 best super quick and super easy tennis tips that you can easily make a part of your tennis game TODAY, no matter how lazy you are.
1. Eat. This first tip is so simple but it can truly have a huge impact on your game. Because, if you’re hungry, you’re not going to play your best tennis. You won’t have as much energy. You are prone to muscle fatigue and cramps. And you definitely won’t be able to concentrate. To prevent all of these problems, be sure to eat a healthy meal well in advance of your match and carry along a portable snack that you can munch on between sets. Examples of these include bananas, granola bars, cheese crackers, or sports chews that you can find in running stores or sporting goods stores.
2. Drink. Failing to properly hydrate before and during your tennis match can leave you both physically and mentally weak. Extreme dehydration can cause muscle cramping and, ultimately heat exhaustion or heat stroke. So it’s important to drink up before you hit the court and to sip often while you’re playing, on every changeover at least. The best on-court drink is also the cheapest – water. Be sure and bring your own so you know you’ll have something. If water sounds a little boring, try flavored waters or sports drinks to keep yourself fresh and hydrated while playing. For more tips on hydration, check out Tennis Quick Tips Episode 8 on Hot Weather Tennis Essentials, which you can find at tennisfixation.com/quicktips8.
3. Keep a can of balls in your bag. And a bottle of ibuprofen. And some Band-Aids. And a new wrap for your racquet grip. And a second racquet. In other words – keep your bag well-stocked with everything you might need out on the court to ensure you’re playing your best. You don’t want to forfeit your match because you didn’t have a Band-Aid to put on a blister. If you need more info on what to keep in your bag, I’ll put a link in the show notes to my blog post “What’s In My Tennis Bag?” The show notes for this episode will be at tennisfixation.com/quicktips10.
4. Do your physical warm-up before you get on court. Warming up is easy, right? You bat a few balls around with your opponent for five minutes or so and then you’re raring to go. Well, maybe this works for some small, obscure part of the population that isn’t seriously considering buying a Tempur-Pedic mattress to alleviate morning back pain (FYI – I’ve already bought one), but for the vast majority of us, a few minutes of half-hearted hitting does nothing to get us truly warmed-up. So before you step on the court, take some time to do some pre-match stretches that will get your body loose and limber. You can find some great ones that you can do on court without feeling embarrassed my blog post: “Winning The Warm-Up.” And I’ll include a link to that in the show notes.
5. Do your mental warm-up. Preparing yourself for a match mentally may be even more important than preparing physically. Because we all know, if nothing else, tennis is a head game. So spend a few minutes before you step on court, calming yourself and focusing on your upcoming game. Need some tips on how to get into the match mentally? Check out Tennis Quick Tips Episode 5, “Adjust Your Attitude to Win in Tennis.” You can find that at tennisfixation.com/quicktips5.
6. Scope out your opponent. Even before a match starts, there are plenty of things you can learn about your opponent. I’ve got a great post on my blog that tells you how to evaluate the player on the other side of the net. It’s called “Sizing Up Your Tennis Opponents” and I’ll include a link in the show notes.
7. Focus during your match. When you’re in a match, don’t spend so much time chatting up your opponent on changeovers. Don’t mentally beat yourself up for smashing that floater into the net. Don’t try to figure out what you can make for dinner tonight. Remain calm and focus on what’s happening on your court (not on the court next to you!).
8. Talk to your partner. I know some people are “bothered” by on-court chattiness. But my position is – in doubles, you can never talk too much on the court. If it helps you to discuss what’s happening to your tennis game, then that helps me too because I know you feel better just by talking.
9. Target your serve. This is absolutely the most important thing you can do to improve your serve. As the saying goes, aim for nothing and you will hit it every time. But by aiming for something, there is a very good likelihood you will hit that instead. So, rather than just hoping that your serve lands somewhere in the box, pick out a target and go for it. For more information on exactly how to target your serve, check out Episode 1 of Tennis Quick Tips which you can find at tennisfixation.com/quicktips1.
10. Know the rules. Did you know that if you hit your opponent with your serve before the serve bounces, its YOUR point? Did you know that if you’re serving in doubles and one of your opponents calls your serve out but the other calls it in, the serve is good and its YOUR point? Learn the rules of tennis so that, should any situation ever come up where someone wonders “what the rule is on that,” you can whip out your rule book (which I assume you have in your well-equipped bag) and authoritatively state the proper outcome. And, hopefully, you won’t get cheated out of a point ever again.
Here are links to all of the resources mentioned in this episode:
- TQT Episode oo8 – Hot Weather Tennis Essentials
- “What’s In My Tennis Bag?”
- “Winning The Warm-Up”
- TQT Episode 005 – Adjust Your Attitude to Win in Tennis
- “Sizing Up Your Tennis Opponents”
- TQT Episode 001 – Target Your Serve
Be sure to let me know what you think of this episode in the comments below.
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Thanks for listening and, as always, Happy Tennis!