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Tennis has been shutdown with parks and courts closed and locked all over the country. Here in Los Angeles, our courts are all city or county run facilities so the Government as decided to disallow people from gathering on the tennis courts. This does not mean we should stop exercising or thinking about tennis. On the contrary, this gives us an opportunity to work on those areas of tennis that we always say we are going to do, but never get around to it. In this episode of the podcast Valerie and I present indoor and outdoor activities you can practice to adapt your tennis for the Safer at Home duration.
Tennis Indoors at Home :
Blog post for Rainy Day practices : things like shadow sing, string catch, stretching
Shadow swings in front of a mirror : I have been trying to focus on the angle of my racquet as I coil and uncoil my core on these swings. The idea is to really notice what your body is doing when you are swinging rather than getting 1000 reps in. I noticed that I need to keep the tip of my racquet up more, have a shorter take back, and keep my head straighter rather than leaning to one side or the other. How does your swing look?
Increase flexibility on service motion : Warm up your arm for a couple minutes before stretching and then drop your racquet behind your back like you do in the service motion. If you can grab the racquet with your opposite hand and pull stretch in this position, that should help your flexibility. Try not to bounce up and down in stretching, rather keep a straight pull and hold for 60 seconds.
Watch videos of yourself playing – Over the years I have recorded a lot of footage of myself playing and it was fun to dig it up, organize it in a folder, and begin reviewing. It is never easy to see yourself on camera and especially when you have the image of Roger Federer or your personal favorite in your mind. The comparison is pretty depressing! Realization is the first step to change so learning to watch yourself without bias and analyzing your swing will really help your game.
Practice changing your grip – As a beginner we learn one grip and often apply it to all shots. The same forehand grip gets applied to the backhand producing a slice. It’s great to practice holding your racquet in your non dominant hand at the throat of the racquet and completely let go of your dominant hand. Practice grabbing the racquet for the shot you want to hit. Western grip for top spin at the back of the court. Neutral or continental grip for volley and short balls. You can apply this technique to both forehand and backhand strokes.
Make an action item list of what you want to accomplish this year in tennis – Hopefully soon we will be back on the court and swinging free again! What is it you want to accomplish this year in tennis? Why not create an action list in the down time to decide in advance what you want to change about your game. Some ideas to think through are : What will your practice regime be? How many serves are you going to practice? What warm up habits are you going to implement? Who do you want to beat and how are you going to do it? How much do you want to play each week?
Cross training – planking for back, situps for core. There are ton of resources available now for virtual traning. I have been using the NIKE app for cross training which is available free right now. You can download the app at Nike.com
Restring your racquets – I suggest restring every year at the very minimum whether you break a string or not. I know it might seem like you are wasting money because your strings aren’t broken yet but the playability you receive and the possible injury prevention you can gain from a restring is much more valuable. If you are a beginner and your racquet still has the logo of the racquet manufacturer on the strings, it is time to change. Those strings are often the lowest quality to just ship the racquet. Time to upgrade to strings that can actually be used to improve your game. I suggest using a Multi-Filament string for beginners. This set of Head Velocity MLT is a good choice at an affordable price. Avoid Poly strings in the beginning. If you have any questions about stringing or choices, send me an email and I am happy to interface with you.
Clean out your tennis bag
Go through old tennis balls and separate the truly awful
Send old balls to Rebounce
one way to recycle tennis balls and save the planet although the program is no longer free it’s definitely a great investment into our environmen
Study old copies of Tennis Magazines for tips
There is a wealth of information and tennis fun in old tennis magazines. Why not spend some of your tennis time learning from the great articles, reviews, technique tips and even advertisements to see what they have to offer
Tennis Out Doors at Home:
Practice on a wall = short game like volleys with no bounce and full swings from way back
How else are you guys #TrainingFromHome @tonikroos @gianluigibuffon @imVkohli @tombrady @trevornoah @luka7doncic @billgates @swish41 @cristiano @alexzverev @cocogauff @kensingtonroyal @realhughjackman @rafaelnadal @stephencurry30 @therock @beargrylls @coldplay https://t.co/N8BHl4v0HR
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 7, 2020
Practice with a ball machine (clean and repair – change battery?)
Practice your serve toss – no rotation on the ball
Play catch – throw the ball and catch at hitting level
Toss & Try reading the print on a tennis ball
TennisPAL Chronicles is a tennis podcast to feed your passion for the game! We are tennis fans that interview tennis professionals and discuss tips, news, and reviews for your tennis obsession. Our global Fan Favorite reports are created by passionate fans who share news about their favorite players. Host Phillip Kim is the Tennis Pro at the historic Langham Huntington in Pasadena as well as the Director of Tennis for the City of Azusa and an avid player and coach. Visit tennispal.com to download the tennis app everyone is talking about and access the show notes! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Stream from iTunes here. Thanks for recommending and listening! If you enjoy the show people leave a review and help share the tennis love!