Most of the instruction your pro gives you, or you give yourself, can be enhanced with the knowledge of which parts of the body to strengthen in order to improve your performance and endurance!
Legs: Who has ever been told to bend their knees more? As the hands go up, take a moment to think about what you have done or have not done to prepare for this instruction. We walk around all day, all life long, so our legs are strong at being straight.
Your challenge is to get them strong in the bent position. We would suggest playing a game of tag, permanently in that bent-knee ‘athletic position’, or putting a chair on the court and hovering your butt just above it before you run out meet to the ball. Wall sits, with music to keep your mind in it, are another great suggestion.
Core: You use your core in tennis for more things than most students realize! If all goes well, you are using your core to fully rotate your upper body while holding good balance with your lower body. Go try this, with and without flexing your abs.
The pro will typically challenge you to take enough steps and react early enough in order to keep the ball in your strike zone, and we agree. For the times that this doesn’t happen (the ball is above or below waste height), if you flex your abs, you will find more ability to stabilize your entire body. If you don’t, you will typically feel your limbs flailing or working against each other.
To prepare yourself to do this, in addition to lots of reps on court, we suggest abdominal work in the gym that allows you to stay standing, and incorporating the most tennis-like movements. Try taking a medicine ball and throwing it against the wall by rotating your lower body and core while keeping your arms as straight as possible. Any variation on this, that works the core and not the arms, will be great.
These are two great examples of what you can do to prepare and impress your pros at home or us on the Ranch. Can’t wait to see you back here at Newk’s. We want to see all those improvements and enjoy those moments off the court, too!
Please feel free to email if you have more questions.