For as long as I can remember I have loved playing tennis, I am not a sporty person in general and as a child I always shied away from football, basketball and baseball. There was always that one sport that I loved playing and throughout my youth I was always to be seen with a racket in my hand. My buddy Blake Rubin and I would practice night and day but unfortunately there were no clubs near where we lived so we were unable to get the game time that we needed and we were often lucky if we could even find a court to play on.
Once I got a bit older and moved away from my hometown, I joined a club nearby and soon realized that despite my love for the game, my skills weren’t great when held up to those who had played more games and even had coaching. I had to up my game, and here’s how I did it.
I used to think that coaching was just for the pros, after all there are few sports which offer coaching unless you are trying to make the grade. Despite my apprehension, I decided that I would have 2 hours per week of coaching and boy did it change things. The coach that I had addressed every part of my game from my grip t my positioning on the court and after just a few weeks I could feel things starting to change for the better. I began to implement what I was learning during games and whilst it did take a while, it served my well ( no pun intended ).
The biggest thing that I lacked during my youth was the ability to actually get n the court and play games. For this reason I made a point of speaking with everyone at the club and trying to make new friends so that I would be able to arrange games with them. Like many of these clubs, the tennis club was formed by a few different cliques, I decided to ignore this entirely and speak to everyone and before I knew it I was playing 4 or 5 games every week, the perfect chance to practice.
Playing Against The Best
I tried to organize as many games as possible against players who were better than me in order to get better myself. This may have been frustrating for them as I presented less of a challenge to them but it most certainly helped me to improve my game.
I have always watched tennis on the TV when the big tournaments came around but I had never really watched the games. My coach told me that I should study how the players play, how they strike the ball, what they do when they don’t have the ball and in particular, the footwork that was used. Once I started watching for the details I picked up some great tips which I have since gone on to use on the court and it has really helped to improve my game.