Getting back into the ‘swing’ of tennis
You don’t need to be a pro to get out on the court – tennis is a fun and social way to get some exercise, meet new people and spend some time outdoors. Our Weekday Social Tennis sessions are designed to help you do just that. Each session is designed for you to hit on court with similar abilities and in an enjoyable and non-competitive environment.
But if you need a little more encouragement to take part, read on …
Tennis isn’t just about being physical on court – although a good hour of play can burn between 400-600 calories. Tennis requires mental focus and quick response times, so your brain is reacting just as quickly as your body – a wonderful exercise to balance both the physical and mental stimulants our bodies and brains need.
However, before we consider getting on court, we need to make sure we’re properly prepared for the game.
Don’t go out ‘cold’
Whatever our age (or ability), we can’t just go out on court and play the game. It’s important to warm up properly, particularly as we get older – even minor injuries can be troublesome. A brisk walk or light jog for five minutes before you play, will get your heart rate up and get your blood flowing to your muscles.
Follow this up with a few minutes of some dynamic stretching – these are stretches as you move. Focus on the muscles you’ll be using most during the game – areas like your shoulders, wrists, arms, knees and ankles.
Proper shoes, good form and the right routine will all help guard against injury and help you make the most of your game. Get advice from other club members or speak to our Coaching team if you’d like practical advice.
Tennis is a fantastic sport to help strengthen our bones and help with balance – and as we age muscle mass naturally declines so it’s important to work on this area. Why not consider doing some strength training at least once a week to help build muscle, focusing particularly on your arms, legs and back? This will certainly help when you’re back on court.
Think of ways to to improve your balance whilst you’re not on court. Try alternating balancing on one leg and then the other while you talk on the phone or cook dinner – don’t worry if it looks a bit silly! You know why you’re doing it. Another great technique is walking in a straight line – as if you were on a tightrope. Again, something you can do at home.
If you’re a Beginner or ‘Rusty Racket’
Here at Swindon Community Tennis, we’d be happy to guide you back on court with some useful playing tips. If you’re a complete beginner or a ‘rusty racket’ (someone who’s not played for a long time), why not try the following:
- Start with a relaxed rally back and forth with a partner. This will help you get to grips with following the ball and keeping your eye on it as it moves around the court. Start slowly and then increase your speed over time.
- The ‘ready position’ will help you react and move quickly to take your shot. Stand with both hands on the racket, feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Always aim to move back to the centre of the court between shots giving you a better opportunity to reach the next one.
- Aim to keep your swing as smooth as possible – practice extending your arm and racket in the direction of where you hit the ball and then bring it across your body in a smooth, fluid motion.
Finally remember – it’s all about having fun on court! Don’t take it seriously, keep it social and enjoy the game. Our brains and bodies need more than just physical exercise – tennis is also a great way to maintain our emotional well-being. Come and give one of our Social Tennis sessions a try. No need to book, just turn up and play!
Thanks to silversurfers.com for some of these insightful tips