Today, I’m writing this article about the five tips formula to improve your tennis game. And I figured this would be a great little summarization for you of the five steps that you can take right now to really get to where you want to be in tennis. And you might want to grab a pen and paper in order to write down these tips and maybe some other notes that you might find helpful. So let’s jump straight into these tips.
Define the ultimate level you want to reach in tennis.
this will obviously be different for all of us. You know, whether that’s getting to a five O level, a four or five-level, maybe you want to be a national champion in your age group and win a gold ball or whatever that is. You want to first figure that out because you want to ultimately be happy when you’re a tennis player and be fulfilled in what you’ve accomplished. And so you need to choose the level that you want to get to.
Obviously, you know, that most of us won’t get to the Wimbledon level and all that, but we don’t have to in order to be really pleased with where we’ve come from, where we started in our game. And so in doing that as well, in defining your ultimate level that you want to reach in your tennis game, this will help you determine your next tips that you’re going to take in terms of what you should work on.
So this is really a key tip. You know, if you don’t really have a vision in mind, it’s basically not going to be clear for you. You know what you need to do next. And, you know, things will be more tangible and you’ll get more excited when you actually have a clear path in mind rather than just having. Oh, yeah. You know, I want to be the best that I can be. And, you know, you do hear that with athletes. And that may work for some people.
But I think that it’s really important to first define where you want to get to, because that then determines a lot of different things, you know, like your stroke technique, you know how much you need to work on that, how much you need to work on other areas of your game as we’ll get to very soon.
Evaluate your tennis game
Define what type of player you are.
The first thing is to ask yourself what type of player you are. Are you a counter puncher? Are you an all player? Are you a certain volleyer? You know, that type of question that you want to ask yourself because that will help you determine what areas every game you need to work on because these are all obviously different styles of play here.
And just to note that you see very successful players of all games at every single level, even at the pro level.
Define the skills that you need to improve.
So once you define what type of player you are, let’s say, I am a baseliner, OK, so now you want to go to the second sub tip of this, evaluating your game, and you need to think about and write down what skills that you need to improve in order to improve your tennis game and reach the level that you want to be at.
For example, if you wanted to get on the pro tour, then I definitely know that your techniques on the forehand backhand need to be able to withstand a very high level, very heavy balls, very fast shots.
Work on different strategies.
You’ll have to work on different strategies depending on what style you play with. Once you figure out your style of play, you need to look at other similar style players who are at the level that you want to be at, then think about what skills you need to improve in order to beat these types of players.
That’s really important because I think a lot of people when they watch certain players like Roger Federer and then all of a sudden they fall in love with his game, which I’m sure a lot of us do. But then you try to actually copy what Roger is doing. maybe it’s not right for your game. It’s something that you’re not, it’s just not in your nation.
I step back to say, obviously, you need to improve your tool kit, to speak, they have different skills that you develop, but perhaps your game is more like a DVD for air. so that’s the person that you want to actually study and see how this person is successful rather than trying to just emulate any random player.
Write down the skills that you need to improve
with that, once you figure out what skills you need to improve upon, maybe hitting deeper balls or setting up points to get people off the court, on your serves, and then hitting the other side.
You want to write down these skills and then once you write these skills down that you need to work on in order to get to the level that you aspire to be at.
After that you should prioritize which skills you need to work on first in order of return on investment and start with that one, no matter how difficult it is, that’s the one that you should really tackle first, because obviously that’s why I mentioned the return on investment, the one that gets you the biggest, win for you and makes the biggest impact in your game.
So maybe for a lot of you, that’s the bigger serve. Maybe for some of you, that’s weaponizing the forehand. Maybe for some of you, it’s a fitness that you’re struggling with.
And so you really have to put a lot of effort and time into working on your fitness skills.
Become a problem solver.
This mindset is really useful because back in the day, there were certain problems in my game and I just thought to myself, man, I don’t know how to fix this.
it’s just not happening and I’ll just have to work around it. , but that’s not the case.
There’s always a way to solve a problem, sometimes we can’t do it ourselves. A lot of times we can’t. maybe we don’t possess the knowledge and the experience of other people.
That’s why on my articles, I interview such incredible coaches and pros, like Paul Annacone, who’s part a coach like Sampras and Federer. And, Dennis could lower a top hundred player, James Blake, who is number four in the world.
It’s because that way you’re going to be able to extract the knowledge that you need in order to improve these areas from people who have been there and gone through the struggles. So obviously, some great ways for you to solve issues in your game.
get a great coach
First and foremost, to get a great coach. So, do the research, ask around and see what coaches are in your area, see their resumé, see their teaching style and find one that you think will really improve your game in the area that you need
Maybe that’s a tennis-specific fitness coach, perhaps from the eye TPA or racket fit, or perhaps it’s a really high-level coach who’s coaching hiring players.
Maybe it’s somebody who’s coaching more like club level players, who knows what’s, more what is successful for those types of competitions, it’s definitely to solve issues in your game, get a coach. You can also get great online courses and videos.
get great online courses
In addition to getting a coach, you can also seek excellent resources online. And those would be things like online courses and videos from people that really know their stuff.
people that come to mind are players that have been on tennis podcasts like essential tennis, fuzzy yellow balls. Peter Freeman from Crunch Time Coaching, those people really know what they’re doing.
Find tennis events and conferences
And then also, find events as well that you can attend perhaps conferences around, per maybe they’re hosted by the USTA or by U.S. PGA. Maybe it’s something like tennis Congress, which you should check out as well a great event for amateur players.
So events like that will help you enhance your knowledge and help you hear from people who really know a ton about the game.
I definitely hope to see you again at Tennis Summit 2021, if you can make it out, I say make it out, but it’s online. So back to the tips once you have figured out a way to improve. And, I mentioned get a coach, find online courses or videos, attend live events. You can also obviously get excellent books.
get excellent tennis books
One of my audience members recently mentioned tennis anatomy is a great way to figure out what types of exercises you need to work on.
There’s the inner game of tennis. If you’re having issues with the mental game and a whole host of other books, and I’ll list some more for you.
And these books are great because they have, decades of knowledge and compiled for you from what the author or authors have learned. So in addition to seeking these resources, the essence of being a problem solver is to relentlessly work on improving that skill until you master it.
You really have to be able to deal with the ups and downs. And, it’s going to be tempting to think that, I’ve tried this and that and there’s no way I can improve this particular skill.
But that’s not the right type of thinking. That’s not how problem-solvers think. There will definitely always be a way to improve an area you are struggling with, and that’s again why you have to seek the best resources possible.
I fit many times in my life where I thought that improving the serves just seemed like there was no way I could do it. And it was just such a struggle. , I’d go out there, practice for hundreds of hours and still have the same basic issues.
Other than getting a little bit better feel, I would still have a lack of power on a lack of spin and whatnot. But one thing I realized in that area, perhaps it will help you, is that oftentimes, what are technical inefficiencies are caused by certain physical limitations in the body.
And this is something that racket fit is talked about a lot. So, one example of this is that perhaps you have a poor record drop.
Consistently practice a skill.
It’s key. Consistently. I remember back in the day when I was taking lessons from a coach named Jeff at the Club A I played at a while.
He told my dad, you’re not done after the lesson. You have to practice and practice. Otherwise, these lessons will be useless.
And that’s totally correct because otherwise you just fall back on doing what you previously had been doing. And so it’s pretty much a waste.
So what do you need to do here is to plan how many sessions you can practice per week on this skill and then you want to put it in your calendar.
So maybe if it’s practicing your kicks serve, you say, OK, I’m going to practice on, say, Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday morning and for 30 minutes. So you book it in your calendar and you stick to the calendar.
Very simple. I mean, it’s easier said than done, but a very simple concept. And so you stick with it. And with a lot of these skills, you want to practice in a non-competitive match situation first.
Consistently track your progress.
for example, if it’s a fitness program, you better be tracking it. Tracking it with a chart. Whether on your phone or, just a paper printout. You don’t have a chart that’s tracking your progress as far as, the number of sets, reps, weight, rest time. All of these things.
It should be a tennis file journal. You can check out the practice journal, which would be perfect for this, for planning or practices, and then also writing in how you felt after your practices. And it’s really important.
I mean, first off, it obviously further ingrains you into the process, a lot of times you hear the greatest athletes like Kobe Bryant say that they are obsessed over what they were doing and that’s what it takes.
A part of that is just writing down your experience and what you felt and your progress, and it’s really, really useful.
You also need to have these periodic check-ins. You can do a bi-weekly or monthly to evaluate your whole game. And those are really excellent things to do. Of course, to see, what direction you’re going in, are things working or not, how impactful is your change that you’re making in your game currently?
Of course, things don’t come easily. As I mentioned, especially if you’re making a technical change or you’re working on adding a new strategy to your game, it’s not going to be instant. So never quit just because you get a little frustrated. That’s super important.
So that’s a five tip framework for improving your tennis game and reaching the level that you want to reach. And obviously, I know that there were a lot of little things packed.
So I hope that this five tip framework for improving your tennis game was helpful. You know, I’m sure that many of you do one or more of these, but perhaps you don’t do them in order. Or maybe you don’t do them at all. So I hope that this really jogged your mind and gets you to follow this framework.