Tennis is a game that demands adaptability, and seasoned players know that serving into a low sun can be one of the most challenging scenarios they face on the court. As the sun dips lower on the horizon, casting long shadows across the court, it can become a formidable opponent. However, with the right strategies and techniques, you can overcome this challenge and serve with confidence, even when facing a blinding sun. In this article, we'll explore some tips to help you master the art of serving into a low sun.
1. Wear the Right Eyewear:
Start with the basics. Wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses can significantly reduce glare and improve visibility. Opt for tennis-specific sunglasses that provide optimal coverage and protection against harmful UV rays.
2. Choose the Right Side:
If possible, choose the side of the court that minimizes the sun's interference. During a match, this might mean winning the coin toss and selecting the preferred side for serving when the sun is less intense.
3. Timing Is Key:
Understanding the sun's trajectory is essential. The sun is usually lower in the sky during early morning and late afternoon matches. If you have a choice, schedule your matches during these times to avoid serving into a blinding sun.
4. Adjust Your Toss:
Modify your serve toss to avoid looking directly into the sun. Adjust the placement of your toss slightly to the side, which can help you maintain better visibility during your serve.
5. Cap It Off:
Wearing a cap with a visor can provide additional shade for your eyes and help shield them from the sun. Many tennis players find this simple addition to their attire invaluable when facing a low sun.
6. Ball Toss Consistency:
Focus on maintaining a consistent ball toss, even when dealing with the sun's glare. Practice tossing the ball at the same height and position for every serve to build muscle memory that can help you overcome visibility challenges.
7. Shadow Awareness:
Pay attention to the court's shadows and any potential obstructions caused by the sun's angle. Anticipate how these shadows might affect your opponent's perception of the ball and use it to your advantage.
8. Develop Alternative Serves:
Expand your arsenal by practicing different serves. A slice serve or a kick serve can be effective alternatives when the sun is particularly bothersome. These serves can be more challenging for opponents to read and return accurately.
Remember that serving into a low sun is a challenge that affects both players. Adaptability and preparation are your greatest allies. By implementing these strategies and putting in the practice time, you'll be better equipped to handle the conditions and maintain your serving prowess, no matter where the sun is in the sky. So, step onto the court with confidence, and let your serves shine even when the sun is low.