Tennis is one of those sports that you can easily pick up later in life. However, learning tennis as an adult takes the right mindset, approach, and preparation. With that in your back pocket, you can start playing a game that’s not only easy to learn, but gratifying and enjoyable to play!
Whether you’re playing singles or doubles, here are some tips to help adults and seniors play the game safely.
10 Tips to Play Tennis As You Age
1. Take tennis lessons.
If you’re really serious about learning this game, seek help from a professional who can guide you through the right movements and progression. Don’t just take one lesson. Try to stay as consistent as you can with your tennis instructor.
2. Have the right equipment
In addition to a good racket and tennis balls, remember to think of your feet. If your feet feel good, your whole body feels good! You’ll want lightweight, low-to-the-ground models like New Balance and K-Swiss. If you have any foot or knee pain, try out some soft orthotic insoles.
3. Incorporate tennis stretches
Remember to always take about five to 10 minutes to warm up and cool down before and after your tennis practices. You can do this by stretching and doing other light exercises, like swimming or sitting in the sauna. If done correctly, you’ll decrease your chances of getting injured.
Taking lessons, or playing once a week won’t take you too far. To get better at tennis, you have to continue practicing. This sport requires you to develop proper muscle memory, and the only way to do this is by doing adequate repetition of the strokes, over and over again.
5. Use a wall
One way to get extra practice is by hitting against a wall. Make sure you maintain proper technique. If you practice the wrong way, you’ll develop bad habits that will be detrimental to your game.
6. Exercise and stay fit
In addition to tennis stretches, stay loose and flexible. Use a stationary/recumbent bike, walk briskly, or do pilates or yoga. It’ll greatly pay off and add to your tennis playing longevity.
7. Play on hard-thru and clay courts
For the health of your knees, especially your joints, try to play on clay or hard-thru whenever you can. Depending on where you live, clay courts might not be available in your area. If this is the case, make sure to get those shoes we mentioned to get some more support.
8. Set goals
When you’re learning tennis as an adult, remember to have a purpose in mind every time you practice. Each day you’re on the court, hitting against the wall, or just practicing by yourself, have an objective in mind on what you want to achieve in that specific moment. This will help you focus specific strokes or elements of the game.
9. Move any balls lying around the court
One common mistake that beginner tennis players make is to play while there are balls on the court. While the chances are slim, you can easily step on the ball and twist an ankle or incur any number of other injuries.
10. Pro tip Use the drop shot often. Many senior players still move well side to side, but not as well back to front. A deep shot followed by a drop shot followed by a lob (if necessary) is a good three-shot combination for the adult player.