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Player to Player: Platform Tennis

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.



This week's question from Jason:

I'm going to be playing in my first league (a 6.5 men's combo doubles league) and have been designated co-captain. Can you point me in the right direction or offer advice on how to best lead a relatively inexperienced league team to success (in addition to regular practices)?

Please share your advice with Jason by e-mailing Player@USTA.com and include your name and hometown.

Got a question of your own? Send that along, too!


Last week's question from Pam:  
(Please note: There's no need to send additional responses to this question)

I was wondering if anyone has ever played platform tennis. If so, what are your thoughts on whether it can help your tennis game during the winter off-season? I have heard conflicting opinions about this.


From Marius S., Edison, NJ:

Pam, how are you? I have been playing and teaching platform tennis for quite a while now and just the same is true for tennis.

I firmly believe that platform tennis can improve your patience, consistency and reflexes on the tennis court. Due to the nature of platform tennis, "winners" are rare, and points tend to last a lot longer than tennis. This can teach a tennis player a great deal on how to be consistent, patient, set up a point and wait for the "right" opportunity. This process in itself can teach a tennis player how to have the mental attitude of "being out there and battling all day, if need be."

Anyone who has played tennis, competitively or recreationally, knows that reflexes can come in very handy, especially at the net. Platform tennis will undoubtedly sharpen reflexes, due to the court's smaller dimensions. Although the ball is denser and heavier than a tennis ball, when driven by a baseline player to an opposing net player, the time to react is very limited, thus forcing that net player to use his/her reflexes more times than not.

All that being said, there are distinct differences between tennis and platform tennis. But I have never come across a tennis player who was unsuccessful at platform tennis and whose tennis game didn't benefit overall by participating in platform tennis. I hope this helps answer your question and helps you decide on playing some "paddle" or platform tennis!

From Lori, Middleton WI:

I tried platform tennis last winter and didn't care for it. It's more like outdoor squash than regular tennis (you play balls off the fence and they don't bounce much). My elbow was not very keen on it, either -- there is no "give" in the paddles used, so I found it very jarring.

From Bob C.:

Platform tennis is a terrific game that can certainly help your tennis, especially if you play doubles. I taught tennis and platform for more than 18 years in Bethesda Md. It is great exercise, especially working on your ab/aductors. It is great for enhancing your volley, overhead and return of serve. Lastly, playing platform tennis will sharpen your reflexes. Have fun!

From Coach Poppie, Palm Bay, FL:

Platform tennis – not a popular game around this part of the country. However, we do play beach tennis using similar equipment, and the ball never bounces.

Any time you can use your footwork and agility skills to move from point A to point B to strike a ball over a net or to a given location is good. You cannot avoid getting better and having fun at the same time. Just use the same firm wrist as tennis, avoiding any racquetball/ping-pong wrist action, and you will cross-connect quickly from game to game.

Enjoy, and, remember, opinions are like noses. Everybody has one, and this is mine.

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Player to Player doesn't work without your questions, so please send any questions you’d like answered, or responses to other players' questions, to Player@USTA.com. 

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