Here it is, January 1, 2009, 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. While there are any number of tennis resolutions you might consider, here are six possibilities. I personally have chosen Number 4 as my 2009 Tennis Resolution and I'll keep you updated as to how it goes. Pick one of these for yourself and let me know about your own progress!
Resolution No. 1 – Meet new people to play. Break out of your rut and play someone different. This will not only give you more tennis opportunities, it may also give you some variety and challenge in your matches.
Resolution No. 2 – 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, 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.
Resolution No. 3 – Get in better shape for tennis.
I don't mean hitting more balls and improving your strokes. Instead, increase your stamina on the court by working out aerobically – running, biking – whatever it takes to get your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. Also, consider adding weights to your work-out to increase your strength, an area in which most women are usually deficient.
Resolution No. 4 – Play more “fun” tennis. All of my tennis matches are currently league matches. Because they count for points, I don't feel like I can try anything too new or daring. So I'm going to play more for fun this year and try some of the shots and strategies I work on in lessons and drills.
Resolution No. 5 – Perform a better warm-up before matches. I'm not talking about doing a better job during your warm-up with your partner and your opponents. Rather, spend some time before you even get out on the court stretching and, if possible, doing some aerobics to get your blood pumping. This way, you're more likely to hit the ground running rather than losing those first few games because you're still warming up.
Resolution No. 6 – 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. So work on getting some kind of second serve in 2009. Don't worry so much about pace. Work on spin and placement, two things that can be even harder for many returners to deal with.