It’s always entertaining to watch players so enthusiastic to play tennis that they immediately jump into a match without taking the time to warm up properly. However, to enjoy this sport for a longer period, especially competitively, it’s essential to warm up properly.
Here are some guidelines that can help you start the match on the right foot:
- Take it Easy: Avoid hitting hard, putting the ball away, or running too much in the warm-up. Instead, focus on feeling the ball and getting your body loose.
- Observe Your Opponent: Try to spot any weaknesses in your opponent’s technique that you can exploit during the match.
- Keep Your Special Shots a Secret: If you have any “special shots” that you’re very confident with, don’t show them off during the warm-up.
- Stay Focused: Avoid letting any emotions come out in the warm-up. Remember, this is not the actual match.
- Avoid Conversations: Do not initiate conversations with your opponents before, during, or after the warm-up other than the usual match-related information. Talking is for after the match is over!
I would like to elaborate on the last point, which is based on a true story.
Once, during a warm-up, my opponent complimented my forehand groundstroke, and it made me overly conscious of not showing it off during the match. As a result, I felt more tense and began to question my abilities.
So, it’s crucial to avoid letting compliments or remarks from your opponents distract you from the match ahead.
To wrap it up, the love for competition is so big that many players overlook the importance of warming up correctly. But, by following these simple guidelines, you can set yourself up for a better start to the match, improve your game, and enjoy the sport for a more extended period.