by Clark Corey
PBI Director of Tennis Kapalua
USPTA Tennis Professional
PBI has taught 3 million students over
the past 30 years with a focus on simplicity checkpoints and
fundamentals that provide individualized instruction rather
than a system. PBI lessons always focus on fun, fitness and
knowledge so the student receives a well rounded experience
One common element we see is players coming
out to play tennis to get fit. Tennis can be a great way to
improve your fitness but in most cases play just isn't vigorous
enough to improve your fitness.
First, are you in shape to play tennis?
You shouldn’t be picking up the sport to get in shape.
Tennis is a great way to have fun and it does help your fitness
level but it won't help you become fit. If you are just beginning
with tennis and haven't done any regular exercise before then
you need to start with some walking and stretching first.
The walking will help your muscles get used to some form of
exercise and the stretching will help prevent injuries and
the stiffness that may follow your game of tennis. Try and
walk 20-30 minutes 3 times a week as that will help your overall
fitness as well as help your new found tennis game.
If you have been playing regularly but now
see yourself playing for longer periods of time when you do
play or playing more frequently then I suggest you get to
the fitness center. The more you play the more wear and tear
your body goes through. It is essential that you do some form
of stretching before and after you play. I would also suggest
walking or biking to improve your stamina. And lastly, you
may wish to use some light weights in improve your strength
and prevent injuries due to muscle fatigue. Please consult
a certified trainer to get you started in the right direction.
Second, do you have the right equipment?
Playing with the wrong racquet or incorrect shoes can make
your tennis experience less than appealing and could lead
to injuries. Don't reach into the closet and pull out a racquet
you have had forever and begin to play. Chances are the strings
have lost tension, the grip is worn out and the frame has
gone soft. If this is the case then you are doing all the
work and putting stress on body parts that aren’t ready
for that stress.
If you are increasing your playing time
make sure you are getting your racquet re-strung at regular
intervals (once every 2 months not once every 2 years!). The
more you play the quicker your equipment wears out. Have a
local Tennis Pro Shop do a tune-up on your racquet.
Take the time to visit a Tennis Pro Shop
like the one at Kapalua Resort and speak with a tennis professional
about the right equipment. Getting a new racquet and proper
shoes is a smart affordable option. With the proper equipment
your game has the chance to improve and your body won't be
taking a beating.
Third, make sure you are doing
it right? Recently the United States Tennis Association held
age group championships for players 90 and over. Tennis is
a game for life as long as you play it correctly. Two of the
main reasons people stop playing tennis is that they have
trouble hitting the ball back and forth with a partner or
they get an injured.
I suggest everyone take a series of lessons
to understand the fundamentals of tennis as well as the rules.
As a beginner you will then be able to rally with a partner,
keep score in a game and have fun. As an intermediate or advanced
player it would be good to checkpoint your strengths and work
on any weaknesses that are holding you back from playing better.
By learning to hit the ball correctly you will enjoy the game
more and prevent injuries from happening down the road. Tennis
is truly a game for life so let's get going.
For more information on Kapalua's exciting
adult and junior tennis programs contact the Tennis Garden
at (808) 669-5677