Unless you are fortunate enough to have your very own tennis court then there will no doubt be times when you can’t practice or train with the use of a court. However, there are plenty of ways that you can train to get better at tennis without having access to a court.
To start with, you can work on your cardiovascular fitness through running or cycling, which will improve your fitness in tennis games. The fitter that you are, the better your game will become so this is one easy way to get better at tennis even without a tennis court. Your speed and endurance for running around the court is one of the biggest areas of your game.
Short sprints are also good to practice; you can set up some markers that will incorporate sprints the width and depth of the court and different directions too, completing them in a circular routine.
Another big element of tennis is having good strength, to enable you to deliver fast serves and to return balls to the back of the court with pace. You can work on your arm strength through weight training at the gym, or buy your own set of weights to work with at home.
Of course, you also need to be able to improve your racquet ability and you can do this by improvising with your training environment, for example:
If you have access to use a large wall, you can use it to hit the ball against to improve your racquet skills. You can move closer to the wall to improve your short game and further back to practice your back of court shots.
A large flat area of concrete or grass is perfect for practicing your serving. You will need to measure out the relevant areas and if you have something to mark out the court like tape then you can practice your serves. Ideally you will want to be serving into an area that has a wall or something behind it so that you can easily collect your balls in and go again.
You might remember swingball as a fun garden activity as a child but it is also a great way to practice your forehand and backhand shots in a small area. If you are not familiar with the set up, it is basically a ball attached to a post that allows you to hit the ball to make it spin around the post. You can practice hitting it from one side to the other but you will want a high-quality one to get more out of it.
There are also ways of improving your game that don’t involve exercise in any way such as:
Sometimes your game can see huge improvements by small tweaks to your techniques. From understanding the most effective grip for each shot, to how to get a topspin on the ball, video tutorials will help you to develop your overall game. There are many free videos on YouTube that will help you to improve your skills, including ones with former ATP pros and coaches. Pick a skill that you want to improve and then search YouTube for one of the most watched videos on that specific skill to get a high-quality tennis lesson without leaving your house!
Like most sports, your diet has a large influence on your performance. If you are carrying too much weight for example, you will find it harder to get around the court or your stamina may be affected. You need to have a healthy, balanced diet that provides a body shape that equips you best for playing tennis. If you look at the pros, you will see a lot of muscle, particularly around the shoulders, arms and thighs. At the same time, you don’t want to have so much muscle that it slows you down.
Your diet can also be adapted to give you more stamina when you are playing in a match. Some games can go on for hours, which is difficult to maintain energy levels without the right diet. You will often see tennis players eating bananas in the breaks between games for a quick energy boost.