27 July 2018

Active warm-ups are the way to go!

David Swan

A veteran of 4 Local Tennis Leagues in north east London, David has played chiefly in the Lee Valley league where most recently he finished a very close second in his group. David is a qualified physiotherapist and clinical editor of the GP magazine, Pulse 

When you’re having one to one coaching, the coach always gives you the perfect ball so you can stand on the baseline and find your rhythm, but in the leagues you play various players and lots of different styles so you don’t always get that. For example, some players will drop it short, some will miss hit it, some will moonball a lot and coaching doesn’t prepare you for this. The only way you can prepare and improve is by playing more matches against those players.

The first Local Tennis League I joined was at Lee Valley in 2016, and I remember playing one player who hadn’t had any coaching but obviously enjoyed the sport and really wanted to play. At the time, it was a quick and easy game, but two years later I played her again and after sticking with the league and continuing to play, her improvement was incredible. Her forehand is now a big weapon, and she’s winning games and finishing second/third in her leagues which is great to see and wouldn’t have happened without playing matches. 

The best form of stretching I find for tennis, or any sport, is active warm ups, so movements that mimic those you’re about to make in the sport you’re about to play. If you look at a lot of pro players, they’ll tie a band to something, and they won’t stretch their shoulder, they’ll instead move it and rotate it around to copy the movements made in a match.