I created Tennisnerd as a way to collect everything I learn about tennis. It is not only about gear, far from it. Here is how I work on my tennis.
I got into tennis gear because I noticed it made a difference in how I feel and play on the court. But I am not a collector of racquets, and I don’t think the racquet is everything. One of the most common things I tell people is to try to find a setup that works, commit to that, and focus on improving. This post deals with how I work on my tennis.
Tennisnerd keeps me busy with testing racquets, strings, creating content, and doing racquet and string consultations, but I also make time to work on my game. Here are a few ways I do this.
I always record myself
Recording yourself playing is perhaps the number one tip I would give to players who are keen about improving. We have no idea how we look when we’re hitting the ball, and it can be quite a shocking experience the first time you see yourself on screen. But instead of reacting in horror, it is better to look at what you do well and what you do less well and try to improve.
You can do this together with a coach or just a hitting partner. Make sure you record both points play and hitting, as the presence of nerves changes things drastically. In case you don’t know what you need to correct, talk to a coach about it or watch some of the many, many instructional videos on YouTube. It is not impossible to put things together on your own, but it takes work and persistence.
I stay relatively fit
Being injured and away from the court is the worst. That is why I do some form of exercise and light stretching every day. I do footwork drills from the programs offered from Martin Method Fitness and use the Flexbar to avoid getting tennis elbow again. I try to arrive early at the tennis court and get some warm-up in. All this helps to stay loose and in shape and avoid injuries.
Nathan Martin shares some tips about warm-up and fitness in the podcast I did with him, which you can listen to here.
I work on my mental strength
Tennis is a mental game, and I have a tendency to break down a bit in matches when the going gets rough. I am now working with mental coach Filippo Gioello from Mental-Tennis on how to build a better character on court and enjoy competitive tennis more. I have only done two sessions so far, but I am positive about the experience. A full-length review about the process will come later on Tennisnerd.
It might be obvious to some of you, but I see many club players not putting in any time to practice. I practice my game three times a week. I do drills, hit buckets of balls, netplay exercises, cross-court, and more. It’s essential to improving as a player. Playing only matches will limit your technical improvement because you rarely work on shots and technique when you play points. You tend to fall into old habits to win the point.
Those are the main things I do to improve my tennis in between reviewing gear and playing some matches.