The wintry weather can really put a damper on your tennis game, because fewer opportunities to hit the courts can make it more difficult to keep your skills on point. If you don't want to lose the momentum you've gained throughout the year, try putting the following tips in practice in order to keep your tennis game red hot, even when it's freezing cold outside.
1. Practice your tennis strokes in front of a mirror.
The great thing about this exercise is that it can be done from practically anywhere where there's a mirror. With racquet in hand, stand in front of a mirror and practice your forehand, backhand and serve strokes, paying close attention to using correct form and proper swing technique. This is an important exercise in terms of further developing your muscle memory, which will contribute to making these strokes even more natural and intuitive when you're out on the court.
2. Become a student of the game.
Many great tennis players and coaches contend that tennis is largely a mental exercise, which means that physical prowess is only one aspect of the game. Take time to read up on various tennis fundamentals including basic mechanics, constructing points, defensive tactics, etc., as well as tips and techniques written by professional tennis players or instructors.
Another helpful exercise is to read the biographies of players you admire, as they can often give you valuable insight into what makes them tick. As you read, you can record your various findings, thoughts, ideas, etc., in a tennis journal in order to develop a homegrown manual that can provide priceless instruction.
3. Give time to strength training and physical conditioning.
It's no secret that tennis is a physically demanding sport, and the more time you dedicate to improving your overall athleticism, the better tennis player you'll be. Since practically all of the movements in tennis involve using your core muscles, training and strengthening your core is one of the best places to start.
Weight or resistance training can also help you develop strong muscles in order to put more power behind your shots. In addition, an often-overlooked but critical element to your physical training is stretching on a regular basis; this will help increase your flexibility and prevent injuries.
4. Join a sports club that offers indoor tennis courts.
Why should the weather be a hindrance to your tennis game? Join a sports club that offers indoor tennis facilities, so that you can hit around with a partner regardless of the outdoor conditions. Five Seasons Family Sports Club offers top-notch indoor tennis courts and simple scheduling procedures, making it easy for you to book some court time on those blustery winter days when outdoor tennis is a no-go.
5. Study the great players in action.
Watch as many professional tennis matches as possible, whether through live television, DVDs or online. While these matches are always entertaining, they can also be very instructive in terms of observing the techniques, playing styles and strategies of the world's greatest players.
Take notes as you're watching, and rewind or put certain shots in slow motion if you need to. Study the techniques of your favorite pros, and pay attention to the finer details of their game such as shot selection, point construction, etc. You might begin to discover a "method to their madness," and you'll be able to compile a list of valuable techniques that you can incorporate into your own game.
6. Devote some time to self-analysis.
Many tennis players overlook the importance of self-analysis in order to improve their game. Without taking the time to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses on the court, you can unwittingly ignore the areas that need the most attention. Remember, you may not be fully aware of your own on-court weaknesses, but your opponent is actively looking for them. It's your responsibility to assess the quality of your own game, so that you can strengthen weak areas and eliminate tendencies in your game that opponents can take advantage of.
If you have any videos of practice sessions or matches you've played, that's even better, because you can study your own form, technique, swing mechanics, etc., to determine what needs to be improved. Write those things down, and then develop a plan to shore up your skills in those areas. This will do wonders towards making you a better player overall.
Your tennis game doesn't have to suffer just because the weather is cold. Use the tips listed above to keep your game on point all throughout the year.