I love exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise.
Participating in activities that are fun and social, yet also get your blood pumping, is my favorite way to “exercise.”
I’d choose an afternoon of beach volleyball or a dance class over lifting weights alone in the gym any day.
So when Play Your Court offered to give me and the hubs a chance to try out their service and get a doubles tennis lesson, naturally I was game.
Play Your Court is a website that helps connect tennis newbies and seasoned athletes alike with pros in their area based on their goals. You’re able to check the ratings on the suggested instructor and see reviews from other players.
The hubs and I were set up with an instructor named Tark. He started off by asking us about our experience and our goals for the session. We told him that we both love playing tennis — we’re just not that great at it. Luckily, that was something Tark said he could help change.
After an hour of practicing, we both walked away with new insight on improving our game, and a commitment to hit the court at least once a week.
Although I have some experience with tennis, I clearly still have a lot to learn. Tark taught me several things that I didn’t know prior to the lesson, that are very important for beginners.
Looking to up your game? Here are the top five tennis tips I learned for beginner tennis players:
1. Always be on your toes.
It’s important to be ready to move in this fast-paced game. By staying on your toes while waiting for a serve, instead of flat-footed, you’ll be able to react quicker.
2. Keep a loose grip.
Tark says that if someone were to freeze you mid-swing, they should be able to easily pull the racquet from your hands. You want to keep a loose grip so that the momentum of the swing and the racquet are driving the ball, not your wrist.
3. Use your whole body for power.
Just like in other sports, you really want to bring your whole body into the movement. Going back to the loose wrist, the power comes from the momentum, created by the total body — not just the wrist.
4. When you’re practicing, think about your form, but when you’re playing, just play.
After some instruction and form work, the hubs and I had a mini match. At first I noticed I was getting thrown off by trying to remember each of the instructions Tark gave me. I told him and he advised me to stop thinking about the form and just play. Getting in your head too much can keep you from playing your best.
5. Have fun.
This is something I highly encourage for all forms of exercise. Fitness should be fun, not punishment. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re never going to stick with it. The same is true for sports. If you find yourself getting too caught up in the competition and not enjoying the activity, it defeats the purpose.
Regardless of our skill level, the hubs and I always have a lot of fun. And as bonus, it’s nice to know we’re getting a great workout. An hour of tennis burns around 400-600 calories — just as much as your average cardio class.
We’re hoping to improve on our game with our weekly sessions, but we’re also aware that taking lessons once a week, won’t turn us into pros. Tark suggests practicing about 2-3 hours a week in between lessons to really up your game.
If you’re looking to try tennis for the first time or simply improve your current skills, check out Play Your Court for affordable lessons in your area.
Weigh In: Do you play tennis? Any other tennis tips you would add?
*This post is sponsored by Play Your Court but all opinions are my own. Shoes + outfit by Adidas.