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Improve Your Game

Player to Player: Keeping Up with the Competition

November 16, 2012 07:29 AM
Have a question? Receive advice from your fellow tennis players!
Real Tennis Players - Like You! - Asking For and Offering Advice on the Sport They Love
 
Player to Player is USTA.com’s regular feature in which everyday tennis players are given a forum to ask advice on the sport they love – and their fellow players will dish out advice. We’ll post a number of the best responses we receive to our question of the week.
 
Player to Player:
This week's question from Pernilla:
 
Is it beneficial for teenagers to do "low frog jumps" about 10-20 times across the court on har court as a conditioning exercise? All the students who did this were extremely sore for five days and had problems with their knees locking. I know hard training is a good thing, but are other exercises better for teenagers?
 
Please share your thoughts by e-mailing Player@usta.com, and include your name and hometown.

Got a question of your own? Send that along, too!
 
READ OTHER PLAYERS' ADVICE
Last week's question from Christian:
(Please note: There is no need to send additional responses to this question.)
 
Hey, my name is Chris. I’m 18 years old and a freshman in college at the University of South Carolina in Aiken. I started playing tennis when I was five, and my parents have been great supporting me till now. With tournaments and clinics each summer for training, in my hometown, I am pretty much the best player there -- not to be arrogant, but it’s a small town whose main concern is about football. I played many players who weren’t as good or experienced as I was every school year, so I didn’t have many challenges or hitting partners. Now that I'm away at college, I play many other players who have been trained since they were 5 by professional trainers, and they played tournaments all summer, maybe even year-round. I know that it’s great to be trained so early and play many tournaments because I lose 40 percent of the time to them. So I was wondering what the options are for me to catch up to the competition and just to keep getting better as a player and not backtrack, like before.

Player Responses:

Mary M., Fallbrook, Calif.

My advice to you would be to set up practice hitting sessions with the players that are slightly better than you. Playing matches is important, but you need to have the confidence to play to win on the important points. If you practice your shots with an opponent who is more consistent than you, it will help you greatly. Do not aim to hit with someone way above your level. It will tank your confidence and waste both of your time. Make sure you practice all of your shots. Practice and drills breed consistency. Consistency breeds confidence. Confidence wins matches. Good luck.

Kenny S.

It has been said that your game rises when you are playing with better players. To get to that next level and keep up with better players, you might want to look at all your shots and make sure your technique is correct. You want to make sure your conditioning is as good as it can be, and if not, do cross training, weights, core exercises, sprints, yoga and swimming.

Don't get down when you lose and lose again to these better players, but learn from the losses and learn to win. Good luck, and be patient with this. You don't get to the next level in one day and without hard work.
 
Terry, Fort Worth, Texas

Can you get access to either the varsity coaches or some other coach? First, have a trusted coach confirm that your fundamentals for footwork and strokes are correct. Then, for the time being, drill and practice as you are able, and when in a match against those better players, give all your focus to your tactics and technique without worrying about the immediate results of either the matches or even the points. Your game will come along.
 
 
*Please note that any advice given out in this forum should in no way be confused with actual medical advice. Before starting any new exercise regimen or altering your existing one, we strongly urge you to consult with your regular physician.
 
Click here for USTA.com's Player to Player Archive.
 

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