A few years ago, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel highlighted a group of brave souls known as the "Tennis Polar Bears," an informal club comprised of roughly a dozen senior citizens who love to play tennis outdoors--in the middle of the frigid Milwaukee winter. Insulated by multiple layers of clothing as well as mittens and earmuffs, these uber-committed players have exchanged volleys in single-digit temperatures, and have even played in blowing snow.
While it's hard not to admire their dedication, most of us would much rather skip the potential hypothermia and find an indoor court when the temperatures outside are freezing. Not only does playing tennis indoors guarantee a much more comfortable environment, but if you stick with it throughout the winter, it'll help your outdoor game flourish as well; read on to find out why.
1. It keeps your body conditioned.
There's a lot of truth to the phrase "use it or lose it," especially when it comes to your physical fitness. Taking a lengthy hiatus from tennis during the winter could hinder your mobility, coordination, and speed, causing you to feel rusty and slow when you step back on the court in the spring. Playing tennis indoors helps you keep those muscles engaged and accustomed to the types of physical movements that are common during match play.
2. It further sharpens your muscle memory.
There's no substitute for consistent practice. By regularly playing indoors throughout the winter, you're giving yourself more opportunities to sharpen your muscle memory through routinely executing your forehand and backhand strokes, as well as your serve. If you skip the winter months (or play very sparingly), you'll notice less precision and accuracy in your stroke mechanics when you start back again. Keeping a consistent playing schedule through the winter months ensures your muscle memory and technique stay on point.
3. It trains you to follow the ball more closely.
Playing outdoor tennis provides you with a wide open field of vision, and this can sometimes be disruptive to your style of play when you transition to indoor tennis. What often happens is that you realize how much you relied on other visual information from your familiar outdoor settings (e.g., the background) to help you frame your shots.
By switching to indoor courts during the winter, you're forced to deal with a more limited field of vision, which trains your eyes to pay more attention to the ball itself. This improves your accuracy in terms of estimating the speed and trajectory of the ball, leading to better shot selection and execution. Not only that, but training yourself to follow the ball more closely in an indoor setting carries over to your outdoor play as well, which will improve your game all-around.
Fortunately, you don't have join the Tennis Polar Bears to enjoy the game of tennis during the winter. Five Seasons Family Sports Club offers eight extra-wide, climate-controlled indoor tennis courts that will keep you frostbite-free during your matches. Be sure to visit our tennis facilities soon--and often--so that you can keep your game on point all winter long.