Tennis Makeover in 20 minuti a settimana – Parte 2
1. Consistency – (we covered this in Part I)
2. Depth – this is a more advanced version of the above where you aim to keep as many balls in a row in, except this time the ball must land in the back half of the court. If it lands inside the service box then treat it as “out” and start scoring again from zero.
Be as strict on yourself with your line calls as you would be in a match. The key to improving is to be totally honest. If the ball is out, it is out. Start again and seek to improve. Kidding yourself with dodgy line calls just so you can write down a new record will get you nowhere. When you truly beat your old record you will know it. That is where the power of these exercises comes into play.
You need to develop your self-image. You need to know within yourself that you are getting better. That your consistency and depth is improving. You can only achieve this through integrity to your own tennis game.
3. Placement – using the same highest count, create games for yourself and your opponent where placement to a particular side of the court is the goal. Once again, treat the ball as out if it lands in the wrong half of the court.
Use crosscourt forehands and record your highest number in a row. Then go to the backhand and do the crosscourt exercise again. You can also do down the line ground strokes as well.
As skill levels increase you can have one person hit down the line whilst the other player goes crosscourt so you get the side to side movement from both players. Record your highest record and then switch so you get to experience and develop both sides of your game. I can honestly say that this exercise is the one I always aim to be doing well as I approach a tournament.
The mental toughness this exercise builds is brilliant. It simulates match play along with the pressure of recording a personal best. If you have enough pride in your game to take this seriously and push yourself to be your best then you will get the most out of this.
4. Rally speed (Power) – this exercise is a measure of the time it takes for you to consistently hit 10 balls up and down the court. You need to do this with someone of an equal standard. You rally the same ball back and forth. Do not do this with a coach with ball feeding. It will lose its purpose.
Here’s how it works – the count begins on zero when the first ball hits the strings. As it travels down the court you count every contact on strings from 1 – 10 to determine your rally speed (5 shots each). A good level is around 14 seconds. Male Pro’s often rally in the 13’s and have the ability to increase that into the 12’s. The key to this exercise is how consistently you can maintain your level of speed. I recommend consistency to be at 3 out of 5 rallies making it to 10 in a row (elites 4 out of 5) otherwise you are rallying at a speed you are not consistent enough at yet.
Tip – record the date each time you break your old record so you can look back and see how much you’ve improved. It also becomes useful when looking through your record book and realizing you haven’t beaten your PB for a while. Personal incentives to improve are powerful.
In the 3rd and Final Part of this Tennis Makeover Series I will be sharing with you the number we aim to achieve with Pro Players. These numbers can be used as a measuring stick between you and the Pro’s.