Credit – Ciaran Redmond, Head Coach & Director of Tennis at Deerpark LTC
1. Thinking you can’t make a change
It’s never too late. As long as you are still playing tennis you can learn something new, changing something you do can improve an aspect of your game.
How many times have I heard “I’m too old” or “I’ll never be able to change at this stage”. Changes are a positive that will make tennis easier and more enjoyable.
2. Using the wrong equipment
Tennis can sometimes seem expensive. However if you play a lot even just once a week you are getting plenty of use out of your equipment. The most important thing is the skill of the person holding the racket but equipment can make a big difference. Make sure your racket is the right weight for you. Too light or too heavy can at best lead you to making more errors and losing points and at worst lead to injuries. Technology moves on so spoil yourself with new a racket and clothing every so often.
3. Warming up before doubles with only one ball in play
Get warm. Get more practice shots. Get two balls in play. You simply rally straight ahead with one opponent while your partner rallies with the other.
4. Using the wrong grips
Using the correct grips for the different shots will help you play better, effortless tennis. That shot you find so frustrating could actually be easy if you were only holding the racket right!
5. Not practicing
If you are only playing matches it’s hard to improve a new skill or master a tactic. Add one practice hour in a week where you can train consistency, techniques and strategies.
6. Playing with the same people
A lot of club players play in the same group of four every week. Keep it interesting by widening your player pool. Competing against different players will challenge you with different problems and make you a more well rounded player.
7. Cancelling if you are missing a player
No need to cancel. If you can’t get a fourth use the time to improve your game. Take turns to play singles and rotate 2v1 drills.
8. Fear of being lobbed
The terrified expression I see when I suggest it’s ok to have both players at the net. Yes you might get lobbed. You may not. If you do, you can always run back after a high lob and continue the point. You might even be able to smash back a failed lob. They might over hit their lob out. You might lose the point if you run back anyway. Volleys are the most effective way to win a doubles point. You will definitely miss the opportunity to win the point with volleys if you are afraid to go to a volley position.
9. Not playing competitions
Competitions are fun. Particularly in-house ones run within your own club. They are nothing to fear or stress about. League, Team Tennis, Championships etc are a great way to meet people and starting new weekly games or even friendships. Challenge yourself to put your game to the test. If you don’t win you will at least learn something and the experience will make you a better player.
10. Not getting a lesson
If the financial expense of getting a tennis lesson is not an obstacle then spending some time on court with a coach is a great idea. The tips you learn will make tennis easier and more enjoyable. Just think, the difficulty you’ve been having with a particular shot or situation might be easily fixed if it is pointed out to you by a professional.
So what are you waiting for?! Check out WW Tennis for info on how to get started…