If you are not getting the basics right your game will be heavily capped. There are some areas you want to avoid as a tennis player. Below is a list of some that I feel are important to get right.
7 Tennis Training Don'ts
- Bad Punctuality - Being consistently late for training has a lot of negative ramifications for your game. First of all your coach/trainer will get frustrated and can lose motivation and focus, I know it has with me in the past, as a tennis trainer subconsciously when players are showing up late consistently I ask myself how much do they want this and how much do they respect what I am doing.
You also lose precious time that you could have used to improve, if you consistently show up 5min late for 1 year, which adds up to a lot of missed lessons, costing you money and the chance to become a better player. The thing with punctuality is that it is about attitude and you can control when and where you are going, so control what time you get yourself to training and be ready.
- Listening To The Wrong People - Getting advice from the right people is crucial for long term success in tennis. Too many people listen to other parents, friends, etc that really don't know what they are talking about, getting advice from people who have no experience or knowledge about tennis is a big NO-NO. Find professionals who are experienced (do your research) and seek advice and direction from them.
When you find a parent that has a child who is the best, it does not mean they will give you the best advice. The coach and trainer of the child would be the ones to seek advice from. Parents can share knowledge on lots of things in order to support each other, but do not cross the boundary between coaching and tennis training. We get 1000s of emails from people around the world who are looking for answers. We are always willing to help as much as we can, this is one of the main reasons we developed our online Tennis Fitness Programs. To create a platform of guidance and support.
- Changing Things All The Time - It is important to find out what works for you and stick with it. We find too many players jump from one thing to another, coach to coach, racquet to racquet. Source out what you need, ask questions, work out what works best, and then stick with it. You should always be looking for growth and to add to what you have, but adding to your program is different to changing it. Being consistent with the right tools/people for you will lead to progress. Chopping and changing will lead to confusion and frustration.
- Going Through The Motions - This is very common in tennis. A lot of players just turn up and are happy to play below their best, they know they have more but really don't want to push or do what it takes to achieve it. To change this you need to do 2 things.
1. Shift your attitude: Be more positive and look for things to add to make positivity occur. I can guarantee you right now you could think of 3 things you can add or shift today that will improve your game and your attitude. Have a think about it and make it happen.
2. Set goals: This is one of the easiest ways to get you motivated and moving forward. By setting attainable goals you will start to get some real momentum and every time you turn up to practice or play you will have some motivation and something to aim towards. Some goals could include; chasing every ball down, getting to practice early 10 weeks in a row, and performing comprehensive tennis warm-up., locking in a tournament, getting 6 tennis fitness lessons, each night performing a variety of tennis stretches.
5. Focus On Both Your Strengths And Weaknesses - A lot of players focus on their strengths and enjoy doing so. This is because they are good at that particular shot or movement, it feels good! What I have found is that strengths have little room for growth compared to our weaknesses.
Improving an area of weakness could mean, improving your tennis strength and conditioning, working on your running backhand, focusing on your return of serve, or becoming more agile. Improving on multiple weakness areas is where we see big growth occur in a player's game. When weaker areas become areas of strength players start to realize the importance of looking at their game from a more comprehensive perspective, this leads to a more knowledgeable and equipped player. Find your weaknesses and work on them!
6. Not Playing Tournaments - Training should always be focused on looking for ways to improve to help you play better in tournaments. Some players get really good at just training for tennis and not actually playing enough matches. Locking in tournaments is important for accountability, goal setting, and growth. Don't just train, play!
By setting a goal to play a tournament you are setting yourself up to work hard and get ready, that's a real positive and it will make you feel great when you get there. If you are someone that likes to just get lessons or hit, that's fine too, but adding in a little competition occasionally is great to get you going. If you are someone that wants to play and reach as far as they can, you need to play matches and get good at the process of training for a tournament swing, then getting the matches completed. After that, you debrief, set new training goals, lock in more tournaments, and continue the journey.
7. Having Multiple Coaches Without The Coaches Knowing - Players having 2, 3, or 4 coaches is common, so is the fact that none of the coaches know that the player is hitting with other coaches. I have always found this to be concerning. From a technical perspective, every coach will see and do things differently, even slight changes in technique will have an impact on a player's development, as will point structure advice.
For young players, it can get super confusing and challenging to know who to listen to and ultimately how to play. The only way I see multiple coaches working is when the coaches are all aware of the scenario and there is one main coach who controls the technical and strategical guidance. The other coaches are used to provide hits or squads.
These are just a few tennis tips that I hope can help you or those you work with learn from and become better. At the end of the day, that should be all of our goals. Learn, apply, and improve.
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