Last Updated: June 10, 2014
Warming up is a great way to loosen muscles and transition into a competitive frame of mind. The physical preparation lets you adjust to the climate on the tennis court and also boosts your mental state.
Locate your court. Start with cardiovascular activity. Jog around the tennis court about five times taking slow and relaxed strides. After jogging, increase the intensity with short sprints and simulation of activities that you will experience during a match.
Warm muscles are more receptive to stretching, which increases flexibility, improves circulation and creates a wider range of motion for your joints. Better circulation means blood can easily flow to your muscles, helping speed the recovery time after playing. Better range of motion improves overall balance and ability to move around the court.
After you’ve warmed up hitting all of your strokes (starting with shorter shots and moving to longer ground strokes with either another player or a backboard), it’s time to focus on your serve. Serve to both the deuce and ad courts (short for advantage). Practicing different types of serves is a good way to sharpen your second serve and increase confidence.
If you’re hitting with your opponent during warm-ups, use that time to analyze their style of play, including strengths, weaknesses, and obvious tendencies like approaching the net or avoiding certain shots. Warming up will take your mind off any nervousness you might have about playing tennis competitively because you are now involved in a variety of activities as part of your preparation.