There are several skills in tennis that are beneficial to having a good and reliable game. A mix of mental and physical skills is required for success. Below are the most important skills to acquire when playing tennis.
A skill that is overlooked in tennis but is important. The stronger a player is, the more speed and power they will have during a match. Shot power is crucial to winning in tennis, so working on all muscle groups, especially the legs, is important.
Learning what type of shot to hit in a particular situation is a critical tennis skill. Having this skill separates the good tennis players from the bad ones. For example, you should not hit a flat ball or drop shot from behind the baseline. Understanding the difference between a low percentage and a high percentage shot helps players become more consistent during match play.
Mental toughness is the key to outlasting any opponent on the tennis court. In singles tennis, players are alone on the court. It is easy to get inside your own head. By practicing mental toughness and mindfulness when you are both winning and losing will help your close out matches and improve your win percentage.
A skill that is utilized when the player is at the net. Hitting a volley will help to change the play of the game. If players are playing doubles, it is important to be able to have strong volleying skills. During doubles, both players will have to volley.
Drops shots are a type of skill shot that are used by tennis players to surprise the opponent and to end the point immediately. The purpose of a drop shot is to hit the ball just over the net for an instant winner. Drop shots need to be practiced from everywhere on the court.
Serve and volleying is a tennis skill that combines serving with a volley immediately after an opponent returns the ball. Serve and volleying is designed to end the rally in a few shots to get quick points for the server.
The six basic strokes in tennis are the serve, forehand volley, backhand volley, forehand groundstroke, backhand groundstroke, and overhead smash. Each of these strokes represents a different motion and location on the court when hitting a ball. Tennis players must master each of these strokes to be competitive. Over the course of a point, a player will use a variety of strokes.
There are a number of ways to improve your tennis skills, but the most important method is through practice. Whether it is simply hitting the ball by yourself, playing with friends, or taking lessons, consistent practice is the easiest way to improve your tennis game. In terms of specific drills that can help your game, some of the most common are dribbling, groundstroke drills, volley drills, and serving drills.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of internal and external visual imagery perspectives on performance accuracy of open and closed tennis skills (i.e., serve, forehand, and backhand) among novices. Thirty-six young male novices, aged 15-18 years, from a summer tennis program participated. Following initial skill acquisition (12 sessions), baseline assessments of imagery ability and imagery perspective preference were used to assign participants to one of three groups: internal imagery ( n = 12), external imagery ( n = 12), or a no-imagery (mental math exercise) control group ( n = 12). The experimental interventions of 15 minutes of mental imagery (internal or external) or mental math exercises followed by 15 minutes of physical practice were held three times a week for six weeks. The performance accuracy of the groups on the serve, forehand, and backhand strokes was measured at pre- and post-test using videotaping. Results showed significant increases in the performance accuracy of all three tennis strokes in all three groups, but serve accuracy in the internal imagery group and forehand accuracy in the external imagery group showed greater improvements, while backhand accuracy was similarly improved in all three groups. These findings highlight differential efficacy of internal and external visual imagery for performance improvement on complex sport skills in early stage motor learning.
What do tennis players and world-class runners have in common? A professional tennis match can last as many as five hours, sometimes equal to or more than the time it takes a runner to finish a marathon. And while a tennis player typically runs only three to five miles total during a match, most of those miles are spent moving in a variety of directions. The overall time of a match clearly shows that tennis has an aerobic component, while the characteristics of sprinting and changing direction also point to a significant anaerobic component.
In the updated second edition of the United States Tennis Association's Complete Conditioning for Tennis, coauthor Dr. Mark Kovacs details how players wanting to improve their games and reach the next level need to do more than simply play tennis to get fit; they also must get fit to play tennis. Kovacs, a former NCAA champion, says the use of powerful strokes, the repetitive nature of the game, the various court surfaces, individual game styles, and the variety of movement and stroke patterns and stances in tennis call for a proper tennis-specific conditioning program.
6. Aerobic and anaerobic fitness. People often ask whether tennis is an aerobic (endurance) or anaerobic sport. Kovacs argues that the point could be made for either choice. The body's aerobic energy system provides fuel to muscles for endurance events, which are activities lasting longer than several minutes. The anaerobic energy system provides energy to fuel short, high-intensity bursts of energy. Therefore, the proper response is that tennis is a sport requiring high levels of anaerobic fitness for energy during points and high levels of aerobic fitness to help with recovery between points and to last multiple hours during matches.
The dribble, while a simple drill, can help your player develop their hand-eye coordination, while at the same time helping them become familiar with the feel of their tennis racquet and developing a sense of touch when contacting the tennis ball.
To start, have your player hold their racquet in their dominant hand face-up, like a frying pan, and have them place a tennis ball on the face, or strings of their racquet. Then, have them slowly start moving the head of the racquet up and down until the ball begins bouncing on their strings. Once it starts bouncing, have them keep it bouncing for as long as possible.
While there is no perfect grip, having an understanding of the different types of tennis grips will help you understand the limitations of various grips so that you can encourage your player to use a particular style.
A less complicated drill is important for two reasons: It will help further strengthen their hand-eye coordination, and it will also help build their confidence in making contact with the tennis ball.
Where in the last drill the ball was barely moving and simply bouncing in front of the player, this drill forces the player to judge the speed of the ball and slowly adjust their footing to help ensure they can make contact with the tennis ball.
Knowing where you likely fall on the various tennis rating models such as the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) will also help you choose the right tennis partners and help you pick the right tennis coach.
As a a tennis player you naturally want to improve your skills to win more matches. As you progress, you may realize that in order to improve you should play with other tennis players who are at least at the skill level you are, and ideally better. By challenging yourself with better players you can learn new techniques and push yourself to improve your game.
Are you an intermediate level tennis player? You are most likely a 4.0 player. You are comfortable following an approach shot to the net, even though you have difficulty returning spin and fast serves. Your strokes are predictable and dependable, and have directional intent during both singles and doubles play. You understand and implement techniques such as lobs, overheads, and footwork. You know how to force errors in your opponent and work well with your partner in a doubles match. Your serve is consistent on the first serve, and you can be erratic when attempting quality shots and receiving wide balls. Finding a great tennis coach that can take your solid skills to the next level would be a great next step for you. Consider joining a tennis league and finding players near you that play at your level, or even at a 4.5 to challenge you.
Are you an advanced intermediate tennis player? You are most likely a 4.5 player. You are using power well to control your shots, your spins are on point and your footwork is helping you get the ball where you need it to be. Drop shots and half volleys are part of your repertoire, and you can successfully rush the net. Your weak points may be defending consistently when attempting an aggressive return and returning a serve at the feet of the opponent. Finding a great tennis coach that can take your solid skills to the next level would be a great next step for you. Consider joining a tennis league and finding players near you that play at your level, or even at a 5.0 to challenge you.
This was a very interesting and informative article.I am currently a 3.5C and am taking lessons relatively often in order to develop my tennis skills to the 4.0 level. I noticed in this article and in other ones that I read in the tennis literature that the receiver of the tennis ball right after it is hit back by the opponent has to make an almost instantaneous and correct decision concerning when, where to, and how fast to hit the return shot. This is almost, if not completely, learned to the instinctive level. Thanks again for a great article. I appreciate that. 2b1af7f3a8