Tennis Tips

Tennis Garden:
(808) 669-5677

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Getting Started
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 on court.

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


Tips Archive

Getting Started

Three Fundamentals of Tennis

The Foundations

Serve and Return
Forehand and Backhand
The Volley
The Lob and Smash
Keep Your Opponents Off-Balance with Backspin
Give Balance Priority