The latest episode of the Tennis Quick Tips podcast is now available. In this week’s episode, “Tennis Resolutions That Will Improve Your Game in the New Year,” I'll give you some really great resolutions that you can adopt for this coming year that will dramatically amp up your tennis game. You can listen to this episode by clicking on the gray 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.
Below is an edited version of the transcript for this episode that you can read through for notes or to get more information.
Here it is, the end of the year, and, if you’re really looking to improve your game in the new year, then you’ve got to make, and hopefully keep, at least one tennis resolution. Even if you’re listening to this at some other time, not at the end of the year, the time is always right to undertake a tennis resolution. Because whenever you decide to adopt one, if you follow through with it, a good tennis resolution can dramatically improve your tennis game.
So what’s a tennis resolution? It’s one thing you undertake in the new year, one significant thing, to take your tennis game up a level, to help you have more fun or confidence on court, or to just increase your enjoyment of the game.
And why adopt a tennis resolution in the new year? Well, if you truly want to improve your game, you’ve got to set goals. Specific, measurable and achievable goals. When I’m thinking about the new year and what tennis resolution I’d like to adopt, I go over my game and come up with things to work on all of the time. I have a never ending list of things I need to improve in my tennis game. But at the beginning of the year, I always try to come up with that one really special goal, my tennis resolution, that I’m going to work to achieve in the new year.
While there are any number of tennis resolutions you might consider for 2014, here’s my list of really good ones to think about adopting.
Resolution No. 1 – Get tennis fit.
I put this as my No. 1 resolution because this is the resolution I’m adopting this year. In 2014, I’m focusing on my tennis fitness. One way to win more points in tennis is to be in great physical shape, hopefully the best shape of anyone on court. I know that doesn’t count for everything and I’ve definitely lost matches to people in worse physical shape than me. But, I think for a lot of people, me included, upping your tennis fitness is one of the easiest ways to improve your game without changing your technique or spending tons of time and money on lessons. Getting tennis fit doesn’t mean hitting more balls and improving your strokes. Instead, it means increasing your stamina on court by working out aerobically – running, biking – whatever it takes to get your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. Also, it means adding weights to your work-outs to increase your strength, an area in which a lot of us are often deficient. So for this coming year, I resolve to get tennis fit.
Resolution No. 2 – Play more singles.
If you’re playing mostly doubles and you want a super quick route to improvement, start playing singles. Singles matches require a lot more mental strength and a lot more physical strength than doubles matches. So how can you increase your singles play? If you’re not in a club or with a group of tennis pals who want to play tennis, I strongly suggest you enter into a singles tournament. This will give you a nice concentrated dose of singles play and you’ll see yourself get better fast. Honestly, this is a tennis resolution that I make every year and it’s completely consistent with my first resolution to get tennis fit. So I’ll be adding this in to my tennis resolution also.
Resolution No. 3 – Learn the rules.
This used to be one of my top tennis resolutions each year. Because each year, something would happen during a match where I would think, “I really wish I knew the rule on that.” Well, over time, I’ve learned the rules pretty well to the point where I actually work at a couple of tennis tournaments each year as a low level USTA official. And I can’t tell you how often rules issues come up where I no longer feel confused or wonder if I just gave up a point because I didn’t know the rules. If you haven’t got a tennis rules book, get one. And make this the year that you read through it at least once and start learning your tennis rules.
Resolution No. 4 – Improve your second serve.
Many of the women I play have a pretty good first serve. Not many of the women I play have a great or even decent second serve. They pop it over the net, just getting it in to start the point. But having a “real” second serve can vastly improve not just your first serve, but your whole game. I discussed this in Episode 9 of Tennis Quick Tips, which was called “Improve Your First Serve with a ‘Real’ Second Serve,” and I’ll link to that in the show notes for this episode. Anyway, if you don’t have a real second serve, you know it. So make this the year that you resolve to up your game by working on and finally attaining a real second serve.
Resolution No. 5 – Attend a high level weekend tennis camp.
As you probably remember, in the fall I attended the first ever U.S. Tennis Congress in Atlanta. I wrote all about it on a post called “Why You Need to Go to the Next U.S. Tennis Congress,” and I’ll link to that in the show notes for this episode. In that post, I explained how just spending that one weekend with incredible pros, coaches and other tennis fanatics really changed my game. Not just my strokes, which changed a little, but my whole outlook on tennis. And I still think about the lessons I learned there and apply them in every match I play. So I highly recommend that you resolve to expend the time and the money on an incredible tennis learning experience, like the U.S. Tennis Congress. Something that can fast track your tennis game to the next level.
Resolution No. 6 – Try a lesson with a new pro.
If you haven’t taken a lesson in a long time or if you’ve been with the same coach for years and find yourself going through the same routine at each lesson, the new year is a good time to try someone new for a change of pace. You may find that having someone take a “fresh” look at your strokes results in some quick and easy improvements. I myself have plans to try out a new pro this year and I’m going to talk about my experience in a future podcast so stay tuned for that. And if you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your lessons, whether they’re with a new pro or your regular coach, be sure and check out Episode 16 of the Tennis Quick Tips podcast, “How to Make Every Tennis Lesson a Great Tennis Lesson.” You can find that episode at TennisFixation.com/quicktips16 and I’ll link to it in the show notes for this episode.
Resolution No. 7 – Play more “fun” tennis.
Are all of your tennis matches league matches? Do you hesitate to try anything new or daring because those matches count for points, or standings, or rankings? If so, you definitely need to resolve to play more fun tennis in the new year. Fun matches are the ones you play that don’t count for anything at all. They are truly “games” where you can put all of those tips, tricks and tactics you’ve learned about into action. And the bonus to these fun matches is that not only do they contribute to your enjoyment of the game, they can actually help you improve by allowing you to swing freely and without a care and to try out your newly learned skills. So amp up your game and your enjoyment by resolving to play more fun tennis this year.
So those are my top tennis resolutions for the coming new year. I’ll be adopting Number 1 on that list and getting tennis fit in 2014 and I’ll be sure to update you on that. And I hope you’ll let me know what your tennis resolution is for this coming year. Maybe it’s something I could adopt too. You can do that by adding your comment to the show notes for this episode.
Tennis Quick Tips Episode 9 – Improve Your First Serve with a “Real” Second Serve
Tennis Quick Tips Episode 16 – How to Make Every Tennis Lesson a Great Tennis Lesson
Tennis Fixation Post – Why You Need To Go To The Next U.S. Tennis Congress
Tennis Fixation Post – Happy New Year – Top Tennis Resolutions for 2013!
Tennis Fixation Post – Top Tennis Resolutions for 2012!
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As always, thanks so much for listening to the podcast, reading the blog, and keeping in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Happy Holidays, Best Wishes for the New Year, and, of course, Happy Tennis!