Tennis is a sport feared by many as being one of the hardest sports to get good at. While there is some truth to this but let me tell you, the things in life that are worth having are the hardest to get.
BTW, if you are a beginner transitioning to an intermediate and not sure how to choose a racket/racquet that suits you then I have written a pretty comprehensive guide that goes over this and I hope you will enjoy it. You can check it out by clicking here
Let this not deter you from learning tennis as your favorite past time though. You can learn tennis and that too pretty fast if you follow a systematic plan. This guide is focused on making you a pretty good intermediate player and you just have to polish the fundamentals after that and you should be good to go.
This is the most important step of them all. If your fundamentals are weak and you ignore them, you’ll not get very far in your tennis learning journey. What fundamentals are the most important you might be thinking right now? Well, fundamentals are the things without which the game can’t be played at all. That includes forehands, backhands, serve, volleys, footwork, and slices. You can’t simply move on to the advanced stuff like approaching the net without taking care of the fundamentals.
Do whatever it takes to practice your fundamentals over and over again. The practice will impart all of these fundamentals to your muscle memory. If your fundamentals are sound, and you feel confident only then will your game continue to achieve that higher skill ceiling.
Coaches focus on the fundamentals way more than any other part of the game because they know that if their student is proficient at them then they will continue to improve even if they don’t have a coach in the long run.
And do not let people deter you from practicing, it’ll be so much more beneficial for you in the long run.
Consistency Is Important
Consistency is everything that’s going to set you in the habit of playing good tennis. If you are not consistent with your game that just means that you are going into this half-hearted and you can not be successful in anything if you are half-hearted. Set yourself a schedule of when you have the time to play tennis and stick to that schedule for three months. After the three months is up you will notice that you have developed a great habit and you will never slack off.
This is what will spike your improvement in tennis. Tennis is a game that requires multitudes of practice and consistency to achieve some competency and if you can get the ball rolling then it’s pretty awesome for you in the long run.
Most of the people that fail to learn tennis or remain the beginner stages for too long generally do not follow a set routine and they are never consistent, they barely play 1 or 2 times every week and that stunts their growth a lot. I tend to advise people to be consistent and they will automatically start seeing improvements without spending a lot on expensive coaching sessions.
Mentality Is The Key
The mentality to improve at the game is very important. Learning from mistakes is all the jazz when it comes to tennis. Rather than being a pessimist you have to be realistic or optimistic to get far in this game. Keep a positive mindset because as a beginner it is far too easy to get demotivated when you do not see progress daily but that’s the thing, you will not see improvements daily. There will be times when you will be stuck with one shot while only seeing minor improvements.
Keep your mind in always improving state, never try to think that you have learned a specific shot or technique. Once your mind accepts that it needs improvement, you will keep improving. All the best players think that they can improve and that is what makes them the best.
Build Your Stamina Off The Court
Good stamina is very significant in tennis. There will be days when you have to play very long matches, whether they are singles or doubles and having good stamina is going to significantly improve your longevity.
Every week, take about one or two days off from the court to do some stamina focused running and cardio. You can also do them on the court but a long 15-20 minute two times a week can improve your stamina by multitudes and it will translate to great results. You will notice that you are not as tired as you used to be before and you can spend more hours on the court perfecting your craft.
Building your stamina and cardio is also a great way to lose weight. You can essentially kill two birds with one stone if you do it.
Your Equipment Should Be an Extension Of You
The most important thing in tennis is your racket. The racket should be an extension of your arm. That means that you should choose a racket that fits your play style.
People tend to believe that the most expensive racket will yield the best results for them but that can’t be far from the truth. You should be extremely careful when selecting your racket. If you are control oriented player then choose a racket that is 18×20 string pattern rather than a 16×19 string pattern because those are designed for more power and topspin.
There is no shame in asking people to try out their rackets and you will find that the tennis community around the world is generally very friendly in this regard as this is the best method to try out rackets without paying to demo them.
Once you are satisfied by your choice buy that racket and do not care about the price because most of the rackets can be found under the $250 range and they stay new for more than 5 years.
Do Not Enforce Bad Practices
This one is a little hard to figure out without a coach but even your local club coach can point it out and you can fix them by watching the correct techniques on Youtube or some private coaching. Bad habits can include things ranging from bad forehand technique to choosing to wrong grip while serving and it should be your duty to figure how to do them correctly.
Never practice on bad habits as they will get into your muscle memory and they will be very hard to redeem once you are out of the beginner stages. Always be on the lookout to perfect your techniques and if you feel like something is off, make a video of yourself and compare it to a pro players technique and remedy it.
Self Reflection is a great way to improving not only in tennis but in other walks of life too
Keep Challenging Yourself
Always be on the lookout to play with better players. You can have fun playing with the same people every day but if you want to improve in tennis fast then you should keep looking to challenge new opponents.
Take part in tournaments whenever you get the chance. They are a very good way to socialize and build long-lasting friendships and increase your skill level. The scope of tennis of different players will help you motivate to get better and learn from your mistakes. Better players can give you pointers on what you are doing wrong and then you can remedy them.
Tennis players improve the most when they challenge themselves against better opposition and you should too if you want to accelerate you tennis learning.