Learn tennis and participate in a local tournament
Tennis is a great socially distanced sport that’s fun, low impact, mentally stimulating, and played by people of all ages everywhere. This makes it the perfect post-pandemic pastime and a favorite among seniors. If you want to pick up this lifelong skill and unleash your competitive edge, follow these three P’s to learn tennis and participate in a tournament.
First, you must join a club and obtain the necessary materials. Go online and search for your local tennis clubs using sites like this for the US and this for the UK. Once you join one, find a racket with a larger head and shoes suited for the club's court surface - the large racket face makes it easier to generate power and many clubs don’t allow players to wear sneakers. Also, see when the club hosts tournaments and lessons!
Now it’s time to get out on the court! If you don’t take lessons, try rallying and playing mock matches with a partner for practice. Practice forehands, backhands, volleys, serves, and overheads. We recommend starting with a two-handed backhand and serving from the ground - you have more control over these shots this way.
You should also practice off the court too - cardio training to improve endurance and weight training to gain strength. Also, take the time to watch some tennis videos. Online videos can help you improve your technique and old matches can help you improve your strategy. We recommend watching the 2008 Wimbledon final, often cited as the greatest match ever played.
Finally, it’s time to play in a tournament! At this point you should be at a National Tennis Rating Level (NTRL) of 3.0, which means you are “fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but [not] comfortable with all strokes and [lack] execution when trying for directional control, depth, or power.”
You likely won’t win your first tournament, but that’s how you'll get better! It’s also worth noting that you can get disqualified for playing at too low an NTRP level. We’re looking for improvement, not perfection!
If you want to pick up tennis and play in a tournament, click here to download Dreamfora and add the plan ‘Learn tennis and participate in a local tournament.’