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Being Out of Shape can Affect Your Game More than you Think
By:  Scott Baker | Tennis4you  | Tennis Forum  | E-mail

Can you play a singles match that lasts 2 hours or longer? Most of us may say, "Sure I can". But the real question is: "Can you play the match effectively for 2 hours long or longer"? Being out of shape (even just a little bit) can affect your game more than you think.

Many people only play tennis less than a couple of times a week, and that is fine. But if you are not exercising between tennis days to stay in tip-top shape there could be consequences for your tennis game that you are not aware of. To be your best at tennis you must be in great shape. The pro's keep a very intense training schedule that consists of tennis, weights, running and more for just that reason. Most of us do not have the luxury of focusing on our training 7 days a week, but with what time we do have we need to utilize. We cannot sit at our computers day in and day out and play once or twice a week and expect to be in good shape! (Something I fell guilty to recently)

Let's look at some of the effects of being out of shape and wearing down physically in a tennis match.

1. Going for the big shot too soon. Many times if you are tired you will not want to mentally hang in the long points waiting for your opportunity to hit the winner. To often players will try to hit a winner not waiting for the right shot. Trying to hit winners when you are off balance and deep in the court will get you in trouble more times than not!

2. You will find yourself hitting more slice ground strokes that will not be as effective as your typical shots. If you have a big forehand and big topspin backhand you may feel that you do not have the energy to swing big. A lot of people just slice the ball over the net when they get tired.

3. Dictating the speed of the match. If you are the server you have the option of dictating the time between points. If you are in great shape a short time will not affect you. If I am playing someone I notice is having a hard time catching their breathe after long points and just looks tired, I will try to keep my time between service points (on my serve) to a minimum.

4. You will run for less balls. If you are tired then your brain will tell you not to run for everything. This is bad in my opinion. I always think every ball should be given a chance to be run down and hit. You will also not be able to run as fast if your legs are tired and it is harder to keep your balance as you hit your shots.

5. You will be tired late in the match when it really counts!

All in all, if you are not 100% your game will not be 100%. You need to train and train hard as often as possible. The better shape you are in the better off your game will be!

Good Luck on the Court!
Scott Baker
Tennis4you.com