Updated: Feb 8
Whenever you arrange a tennis session with your friends, both of you are eagerly on the court, playing tennis. However, the thing is that both of you are struggling with is to keep the ball in play. I have seen that happening to many people, while I’ve been playing or coaching at the public courts.
If you and your friends belong to the following categories,
1.. Can’t rally for more than 6 shots
2. Miss the ball frequently
3. Balls keep going to the net or
4. Balls are spraying all over the court without control
5. Scared of high balls
you will find the following tips very helpful to you.
#1 Use Slower Balls
I’m a strong advocate of using modified equipment. If you are struggling to play with a trainer ball because they are too hard and fast for you, consider using slower balls such as the Green Dot Tennis Balls. They travel at a 25% slower speed compared to a standard tennis ball, giving it a lower bounce and making the game more accessible to players just starting out. With the reduction in ball speed and bounce, I highly recommend them so that you can work on the fundamentals of the swings and play better.
You can buy these easily from your local tennis stores or from Amazon. Simply search for “Green dot tennis balls”, and you will see plenty of results. You can also click on the image below to order from Amazon directly
#2 Use A Shorter Court
Have you been playing tennis using the whole court and struggle to keep the ball in play? Try using half the tennis court, and play at the service box instead.
Stand behind the service line and start playing. The advantage of using a shorter court is there is no need to use big swings to hit the ball. It can help you to feel the ball better as you hit the ball to your partner.
#3 Place targets
Another favorite teaching aid that I use is to place a target so that you have a place to aim. Many beginners tend to hit the ball directly to their partner, and this gives little room for the partner to react. Remember you need time and space to swing the racket. Hitting the ball towards your partner jams up their body, and they have to move away from the ball to hit it.
Try this: place a marker or a tennis ball about three feet in front of you and your partner. Your job is to aim at the tennis ball or marker that is placed in front of your partner. Likewise for your partner.
The advantage of this practice is you have a visual target to aim at. It also gives you immediate feedback on how close or far your shots are from the target, and you can make adjustments. Your partner will also have more success when he or she has more space to swing the racket and contact the ball.
#4 Know where your racket face is
“Controlling” the ball has many aspects. It may mean controlling the pace of the ball, the direction of the ball and the height of the ball.
In your case, you want to place the ball consistently at the right place and the right pace, so that your partner can return the ball to you. If you can understand how the racket face works, you will have a higher chance of success.
As a guide, when you want to direct the ball, the racket should be facing the target upon contact. If the racket is too open, your shots are going to fly high. If you close the racket face too early, your shots are going to go into the net. Therefore, you must find the balance point.n
#5 Use breathing to help you to focus
Do you feel very tense when you are trying hard to place the ball? Your whole body tightens up because you forget to “breathe”.
I want you to feel as relaxed as you can when you play tennis, and this is what you can do. Whenever you contact the ball, I want you to exhale deliberately, so that you are aware of your breath. It could be making an “argh” sound when you exhale or simply blowing the air out from your mouth.
You will feel less tense and less tired when you focus on your breathing.
#6 Practice more
I can’t emphasize enough that playing good tennis requires a lot of patience and practice. If you are new to tennis, don’t expect to master the game overnight. You may not get it the first time, but you will definitely improve when you practice more. This is the same for other skills.
Stay patient and enjoy your practice.
#7 Get a tennis coach
I can write a full article on why you should get a tennis coach. If you want to really develop your tennis game and play with the right techniques, then you should consider getting a tennis coach. A good coach will help you progressively so that you develop good fundamentals. Once you’ve got the fundamentals, it will be easy to learn more advanced techniques. You can even learn tactics and strategies and play tennis matches.
There you have it. I hope these seven tips will help you enjoy playing tennis more with your friends or partner. Tennis is such a fun sport. I promise that you will get more engaged when you play better and better, and I believe you definitely will play to the level that you want.
If you find this article useful, please share it with your friends. I also encourage you to leave your comments below and share with me if you have benefited from the tips or share your frustrations in tennis with me.