Josh’s Fresh Take: May Edition

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Coach and Communications Lead, Josh Martin, weighs in on topics in the world of tennis and shares his two cents.

It is amazing how the fundamentals of tennis stick with us throughout our tennis career, but they are not skills that you actively think about during a match. As one of the tennis coaches at UBC, we stress the fundamentals to our students to help develop their game. Some of these fundamentals include the ever-important impact point, set-up, hitting zone, recovery, and the different grips for each stroke. To think about all the fundamentals at once is overwhelming when you are playing, but when your game is off and you are skanking balls off the court, it is beneficial to focus on a specific one.

I hit for the first time in weeks the other day and noticed I wasn’t quite getting what I wanted with my shots. Either they were just going out, or coming up short and hitting the net. Instead of just playing out the points with my opponent, I tried to focus on my set-up; getting my feet set and body sideways before the ball bounced on my side of the court. This meant that I could not be lazy, but instead had to be quicker in order to get set properly. By focusing on this, I could control more of my shots and place my opponent from side-to-side with less difficulty. It ultimately kept me in the game and I was able to win some points.

I am not necessarily saying that everyone needs to work on their set-up in a match. I just believe that it is beneficial to have a specific focus or goal during a match. The old quote “perfect practice makes perfect” comes to mind. Having something in particular to strive for will go a long way. Try it out, and if you are already doing this, try focusing on other fundamentals or skills next time you hit the courts.

Josh’s Fresh Take, signing off.