1. Know your own game
One of the hardest aspects of tennis is the ability to analyse your own strengths and weaknesses as a player. In order to improve, you have to know what areas you need to work on. To understand the type of tennis player you are, you need to be able to analyse your style of play. If you do not understand what poses the greatest challenges for your game, it is difficult to get to the next level.
2. Keep learning
Good technique is essential in the game of tennis, and the right mechanics, footwork, and court positioning often determines the match winner. Why not have a few refresher lessons with a reputable, qualified coach? The game is evolving and you can always learn no matter what your age and standard. Listen and absorb.
3. Play smart
Your technique is only as effective as your tactics. Many tennis players are content to just hit the ball without any purpose. But to improve your game, you have to begin to see that every shot has a purpose. There is a game within a game that is going on in every point. The strategic tennis player sees things others don't, like a good chess player. By using effective strategy and playing ‘smarter’, you can make the game harder for your opponent and easier for yourself – and you may just end up winning a lot more matches than you thought you could.
4. Take care of your equipment
How often do you get a restring or change your grip? You need your strings operating at peak efficiency and your grip in good shape to get the best performance and enjoyment from your racquet. As a guide, if you average playing three times a week, then you should get your racquet restrung three times a year.
5. Enjoy the health benefits
To enhance your game, you need to be fitter, stronger and faster. Enjoy the challenge of improving in these areas and you’ll see the overall benefits of the physical, mental and emotional gains filter through not only to an improved performance on court, but also a healthier lifestyle off court.
6. Practise with purpose
If you’re serious about improving your game, it’s really a matter of spending more time on the practise court. Every day is another chance to improve and learn more. It’s your effort, energy and attitude which decide whether you make things happen.
Helen Magill has over 30 years of tennis coaching experience and is the director of Helen Magill’s Tennis in Parkes NSW. parkestennisclub.com
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