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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why Tennis Is Fun For Everyone (+ Tips for Beginners)

Don't try this at home
Before I comment about the wonderful sport of tennis, I must comment on last week’s US Open. I know it’s a bit late but the Djokovic vs. Nadal match was history in the making. First, Djokovic’s record of 64-2 will most likely not be equaled anytime soon, but then again it wasn’t that long ago in ‘84 when Johnny McEnroe went 82-3. Congrats to him and I’d love to rally with someone of his caliber one day.

Considering that one of Djoko’s loss was a result of an injury vs. Murray, he really only lost one match this year vs. the Federer Express at Rolland Garros (which is ironic because that venue has been cursed for Federer for many years). I don’t think anyone expects him to continue this streak in 2012, so it will be fun to see what happens. I predict he will win two Slams which is still really good.

Ok, now back to how tennis can be fun for everyone.

First, tennis is a great social sport in that you can play with a variety of people and have fun. It's one of the rare sports where professional teams are actually mixed with both men and women playing together. The risk of injury is pretty low and it's easy to get one other person to go out and play compared to other sports (soccer, hockey, football...). In the worst case scenario, you can even hit against a wall.

Depending on your level, you could get a good work out or break a mild sweat so the tempo can be set to whatever you want. The only catch is that it takes a good season or two (+100 hours of hitting/season with the right technique) to be able to learn how to hit a ball properly into the court. At the start, it’s frustrating because all you end up doing is fetching balls.

Here are some tips to start off:
  1. If you're an adult, use an adult racket with the right grip size. You might have an old kid’s racket in the closet but that will only cause injuries and de-motivate you.
  2. Learn the proper grips, Eastern (hammer grip), Western (frying pan grip), semi-Western (in between) and when to use them. For example, when serving many debutants use the Western “frying pan” grip but this is really the worst thing to do.
  3. Use decent balls. You don’t have to use a new can of balls every time you play, but if you’re using those balls that were soaked in puddles the other day, it’s like playing soccer with a half deflated ball. The balls should bounce at least 1.35m when dropped from 2.50m high.
  4. Get lesson from someone who knows how to play. It may seem obvious but serving with a frying pan style for 10 years won’t help your game if you never learn the proper techniques.
  5. Mental Toughness. I remember this term when I was in a Tennis camp. Tennis is totally mental in a sense that if you lose focus or become mad, you will probably blast everything out. If you miss a shot, forget it and concentrate on the next one. After seeing Federer miss so many easy balls, it makes me feel better when I miss them too. J

Be prepared to hit thousands of balls in order to reach a decent level. It’s a fun sport and I encourage everyone to give it a try. Doubles is a lot of fun so get out there and start getting into the game! I'm also open to hitting with new players so feel free to reach out.

This could be you one day…


  1. When can I play at that level? :D!!!

  2. If you want to learn, just let me know, I'm a part-time coach :)