Tennis Practice: Do More With Less

by Head Coach

11h6h01 Tennis Practice: Do More With Less

Now, I’m here to debunk a myth regarding tennis practice.

Too many tennis players all over the world think that the longer you spend on the practice court,  preparing for an upcoming match, the more wins you will generate, automatically.

 

And it’s because of this type of thinking, you see kids miss out on so much of their childhoods and adults skipping so many home-cooked meals (….yummm) and quality time with their loved ones.

Now, I admire their fight and tremendous will to sacrifice just to improve at this game they love.

But, I’m sorry to burst some of your guy’s bubbles, but the “time” practicing equaling wins notion isn’t necessarily true.

You don’t have to miss out on your best friend’s birthday at Disneyland or movie night with your spouse/significant other to be able to establish on-court dominance.

It’s simply not necessary – IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

Now sure, I believe you’ve got to put in the work if you want to reap the benefits and see results.

But the amount of times your watch ticks isn’t always the deciding factor on whether you get better or not.

If you’re a serious player, like I know you are, you want to get better. And you want to get better the fastest way possible, right?

The way to do that is by playing and practicing smarter, NOT LONGER! We always say it’s a thinking man’s game.

So, use what’s in between your ears. Be an EFFICIENT player. You don’t really want to do more. Be realistic.

The quicker you can get in and out of there, the better right? Of course. You’ve got things to do and people to see.

And you can do that, without people calling you a wimp or poking fun at you, saying you can’t hack it or you quit too soon. They won’t be much for words after you get done kicking their tails.

You want to (…and can) exert less energy, and maximize your results at the same time -  all the while, spending less time on the court.

Sound impossible? It’s not. Here’s how you do it:

24pe9gl Tennis Practice: Do More With LessMaximize Tennis Practice Method #1: Plan Ahead (…Write Things Down)

 

Develop A Plan of Attack: Don’t go in blind. Don’t walk onto the court cold and without a clue and then say, “Hey what do you feel like doing?” *WHOOOOMP! VALUABLE TIME WASTED*

Decide on the practice criteria and determine what aspects of your game you’re going to work on BEFORE you even get into the car (…preferably the night before). Oh, and be ultra specific too.

The more details included, the better. Not just “the forehand…”  What about the forehand etc.?  Then, once you’ve got that down, determine the amount of time you’re going to devote to each segment/section.

For example, if you’re going to dedicate that session to shot selection/placement and volley strategy, then you want to have those two items written down or typed out with the amount of practice time you plan on dedicating to it along side it (see below).

 

Session Focus (2-4-14): Shot Placement/Selection & Volley Strategy

Session Breakdown

A. J-Bomber Shot Selection Drill

Duration 5:00pm to 5:20pm

(Water Break/Consultation)

B. At The Net Warfare: Volley Drill

(Duration) 5:30pm to 5:50pm

(Water Break/Consultation)

C. Directionals and Point Construction

(Duration) 6:00pm – 6:20pm

(Water Break/Consultation)


D. Line That Bad Boy Up Drill (Consistently going down the line aiming for specific targets)

(Duration) 6:30pm – 7:00pm

(Water Break/Consultation)

Etc:

 

59v8fl Tennis Practice: Do More With LessMaximize Tennis Practice Method #2:  Video Is Worth So Much More

Bring a video camera out to your next tennis practice. A lot of the big time tennis pros use this strategy. So, why shouldn’t you, eh?

If a picture is worth 1,000 words. Then, how many words is a video, which is comprised of 1,000+ pictures every few seconds, worth? You’re right, A TON plus a bag of chips icon wink Tennis Practice: Do More With Less !

This will save you so much time! By doing this, you’ll take the guesswork that may come about completely out of the equation. No more wasted time arguing or debating.

No more going back and forth with your coach or your hitting partner during tennis practice about what is or what isn’t taking place. You get all the right answers with unquestionable evidence.

If you’re not taking your racket back and preparing quick enough, the camera will show you – plain and simple. If you tend to get a little flat-footed or sloppy on your volley technique, you’ll be able to see that too.

Haha, nope, it’s not only the bad stuff. If you’re doing a phenomenal job on what you’re practicing, that will be evident as well.

The great players, the legends, they don’t need to spend their whole lives on the court to sustain a successful tennis career while making millions.

Heck, otherwise, where would Serena find time to design a rockin’ clothing line, or how would Federer be able to do his millions of endorsement commercials *AND* still have time to play with his adorable kids?

So see, if they can do all that, you’ve still got time to enjoy your mom’s famous tacos without losing your edge.

But with that said,  I’m sad to report that many players aren’t adopting this kind of approach.  And as a result of not being prepared properly, they’re out there for forever and a day trying to get things done, all the while not achieving or accomplishing much at all.

W-H-Y? WELL…

a59q2f Tennis Practice: Do More With Less

a) Their sessions are disorganized and have no structure.

b) They’re pretty much playing a horrible game of catch-up the entire time, because of that disorganization. And nothing of note really gets improved upon.

And you don’t know what the heck is really going on. Drills get started and often times go unfinished.

Players and coaches can find themselves rushing to cover things at the last minute,  just so they can say they (…at least) “touched” on everything they wanted to before the park/club turns off the lights.

 

NOTE TO SELF: A lot of a little bit, really isn’t much.


And let me tell you, if this confusion & lack of results becomes routine, players may begin to think to themselves, “What’s the point in playing the game at all?”

…You know, they can start to believe they don’t have what it takes to be a good player. I mean the proof is in the pudding right?

They spend all this time on the tennis court and are getting relatively nowhere (…younger players sacrificing their entire childhood, and adults, their days off from work) to do this tennis thing.

And you don’t want this sort of thing happening to you. So, make your time count.

Remember, if you’re not out there wasting time, and got some structure and your trusty “guess-work” removing camera, you don’t have to be out there grinding from sun-up to sun-down.

…Same thing in the gym.

People are in there for 2.5 to 3 hours sometimes.   But does that mean they’ve got the best bodies and are in the best shape? Heck no.

Often times, those are the ones sitting on the machines, either talking to folks, texting on their cell phones and/or the ones that have no idea what they’re there to work on in the first place.

So yeah, they’re not working, they’re just wandering.

So, don’t wander.  Incorporate the two elements we’ve talked about today, and you’ll be there less time and have a more productive session, GUARANTEED! That’s a WIN-WIN!

Remember the words of a wise man by the name of Sam Ewing, “It’s Not How Many Hours Your Put In That Counts… It’s What You Put In The Hours!”

That Is All…

Have a great a day and an even better game,

Coach Brian,
TennisMindCamp

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