In pursuit of a better backhand/serve/return-of-serve/anything-to-do-with-tennis, I refuse to fall down the rabbit hole of YouTube tennis videos. During drills and lessons, I ask my pro for the specific steps to better warmups, strategies, strokes, equipment and more. She leads me to a wealth of materials.
Dynamic Warm-up and Mini-Tennis
- The USTA provides a list of seventeen exercises with video instruction for the pre-match warm-up. Can’t remember them all? Download the free bag tag: http://s3.amazonaws.com/ustaassets/assets/689/15/11654_player_development_bag_tag.pdf
- Jeff Salzenstein has a four-minute video that pumps up the mini-tennis routine into a more rigorous stroke and footwork session. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjluUp6IGvk
- RacquetFit showcases tests to demonstrate how your body functions in relation to tennis moves. Can you stretch your shoulders behind your ears with your arms extended? If not, does that help or impede your serve? http://www.racquetfit.com/articles
Court Movement and Strokes
- International Tennis Performance Association, https://itpa-tennis.org/index.html, offers a 53-page eBook on tennis movements and footwork. Did you know there are four major footwork movements for the volley? Answer: jab, pivot, split step, recovery.
- Watch some of the excellent online instructional tennis videos. Some favorites are Gigi Fernandez, John Yandell, Will Hamilton, Serena Williams on MasterClass, Ian Westermann, Craig O’Shannessy, Jeff Greenwald, Florian Meier, and Jeff Salzenstein, Enjoy the freebies and subscribe to the in-depth training. Take notes then practise with your local pro and hitting buddy.
- Steve Smith, www.greatbasetennis.com, includes podcasts and blogs to his instruction courses. Using comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s format in a blog, he writes “You know you’re a tennis player if….you go to the net for reasons other than picking up balls and shaking hands. You know you’re a tennis player if….you know that “Billie Jean” is much more than just the name of Andy Roddick’s dog.”
- I have a copy of the classic tennis book, Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert, on my bookshelf, but https://booksvooks.com/ provides a free mobile version.
- The USRSA, United States Racquet Stringers Association, offers a one-month access to their members-only portal for $19.00. Read an article about the ten reasons why strings break—and how to prevent it. Gain access to the “Racquet Selector” that makes finding the perfect new racquet effortless. You enter a wish list in eight racquet attributes (from power to head size) and weight the importance of each. The algorithm spits out racquet recommendations based on your vision of the perfect racquet.
- During a key match point, an opponent will cry “Hindrance!” when there is no interference. Take the free Hindrance quiz at www.iKnowTennis.com.
- The ITF, International Tennis Federation, provides a library of treating common tennis injuries. Update your knowledge about hamstring treatment at https://www.itftennis.com/media/2284/injury-hamstring-muscle-strain.pdf and illiotibial band friction syndrome treatment at https://www.itftennis.com/media/2286/injury-illiotibial-band-friction-syndrome.pdf.
These are only a sampling of resources to answer the questions: “What can I do to improve my tennis game today? Got any tips, Coach?”