Practice Makes Perfect ?

Does Practice Really Makes You Perfect ? Know the Right Way

As the saying goes that practice makes a man perfect. However, how true is this ? Why do some players spend so much time on the tennis court and see little or no improvement in their game. In this article we will discuss the optimum way to practice, so you can maximize your court time and speed up your tennis development.

Does Practice makes you Better ?

But before we get into that, think about the players in your club. In my experience, around 80 percent of them will see very few improvements after years and years of training. These are typically the players that stroll onto the tennis court, do nothing to warm up their bodies properly and get straight into mindless hitting. They spend hours and hours hitting, with actually no purpose right down the middle of the court. Or they are the players who when asked to rally will turn it into a point session.

If this sounds familiar, doing just a few simple things in practice will help you to avoid being this type of player. So how exactly should you practice if you want to see steady improvement ?

We should not start our training sessions when we’re not ready to engage fully. And this isn’t just physically but also mentally. The vast majority of people who are playing tennis today would have just shown up and has no idea about what they wanted to work on, with no clear goals in mind.

1) Planning

So step number one is to prepare your plan. This means that the night before or even the day off, you write down a few things that you want to focus on in that session. It doesn’t have to be a 20 page dossier, it could be something as simple as focusing on preparing early on your backhand or making sure that you hit at least 20 serves in practice that day. Having a small plan is better than just showing up unprepared.

2) A Good Start

The next thing you want to do is make sure that you’re physically ready for practice. If we look at the pros, they’ll have different routines that they like to follow. Some players will warm up by jogging, others will focus more on dynamic stretches and you will see plenty of players using resistance bands to warm up their muscles. Whatever you do, the goal remains the same, to reduce the risk of injury and to ensure that you’re ready to capitalize on that one or two hours that you have on the court.

3) Using Right Drills

The next thing that will help you massively is the drills that you use. The internet has been a great tool for many players. We can now learn so many of the skills required in tennis by just viewing free lessons on YouTube. However there is also a downside to some of the videos that we see online. In particular, the practice sessions of the pros. About 90 to 95 percent of these videos are filmed during a tournament and many before a match. We typically see the players rallying down the middle, hitting a few volleys, a few serves and playing a few games. This gives the impression that this is how the pros train all year round which is actually way further from the truth. If you see a pro player during a training week, you’ll see them spend many hours doing drills.

Djokovic has a particular movement drill that he does on almost a daily basis. Nadal likes to hit baskets and baskets of forehands focusing on being aggressive and getting around to hit as many inside out and inside informs as possible. Federer is known for spending an hour or so with his fitness trainer, working on footwork patterns prior to his actual tennis sessions. They use focused drills that target specific areas of their games. If they need to improve their slice backhand, the coach will use a drill that is specific to that stroke. If the player wants to get more topspin on their forehand, their coach will use drills to help create that extra spin.

4) Quality Over Quantity

The next thing that will help you is to focus on quality rather than quantity. Hitting 30 serves where you’re focusing on either your technique, your consistency or aiming for targets is much more beneficial than hitting 100 serves with no focus. Practice does not make you perfect, perfect practice makes you perfect.

Focus on these key things and you’ll speed up your improvements massively and you’ll also enjoy the process much more.

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