Tennis is no longer a one-size-fits-all sport. There are now many different programmes available to suit an individual’s needs, and time spent hitting with intent will improve performance.
1. Explore your options
The first consideration should be the level of competitiveness, whether through organised competition such as fixtures, leagues and clubs, or social play. For social players, the introduction of modified balls into many tennis programmes affords longer rallies, more time to move and better decisions to be made.
2. Get all generations involved
Tennis is one of the few ‘lifelong’ sports. It allows parents and grandparents to have an active role in teaching and modelling positive, healthy behaviour to the next generations.
3. Try Cardio Tennis
If you take the best parts of Tennis – the hitting, the workout, the social side – and to quote Marty DiBergi from Spinal Tap, “put it up to eleven”, you have Cardio Tennis. Put your ideas of what tennis is supposed to be to one side and enjoy the workout.
4. Take advantage of technology
The most significant influence in tennis over the last 15 years has been the development of the string. Co-polyester strings can produce significantly greater spin rates to those of gut and what we term ‘synthetic’ strings, enabling players to hit with incredible velocity and consistency. If you play with spin and would like to reap the benefits, consult a Racquet Stringers Association Australia member.
5. Take a lesson with a Tennis Australia qualified coach
Internet videos and instructions may be of some use, but a lesson from a professional coach who will be specifically targeting your improvement can be incredibly beneficial.
Jay Deacon has been coaching tennis for over 30 years and is Head Tennis Coach at Somerset College.