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Great Tips to Win More Second Serves in Tennis

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In tennis, you have two chances to serve the ball and get it into play. Tennis experts agree: the second serve is more important than the first serve. Obviously, you need that second serve to start the point if you make an error on your first serve. And if you have a good second serve, you can afford to be more aggressive on your first. Unfortunately, not everyone has a good second serve (even at the professional level). Though that is a pretty big weakness, all is not lost!

Commit to the following tips to win more second serves in tennis:

Have a plan

Many recreational players hit their second serves with no goal other than just to get it in. Rather than be surprised by what comes off your racket and then react to it, you should create the point to your advantage.

Since the second serve is usually weaker than the first serve, placement is key. Formulate a second-serve strategy based on your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Serving down the T, whether it’s the forehand or backhand, is always a good idea on your second serve. That way, even if your opponent does get a piece of it, you know that it’s probably coming back up the middle as you’ve taken away their angles.

A slice second serve into the body is effective as well, especially if your opponent is somewhat lead-footed. Most club players have no split step and literally plant themselves at the baseline, making it harder for them to move out of the way of the ball. More than likely, their return will be short if it makes it back over the net at all.

Use more spin

Generally, players have trouble handling heavy spin, so use the slice and kick serve often. The great thing about this serve is that it’s pretty effective no matter where the ball ends up landing. The spin not only causes the ball to move sideways as it travels through the air but it also gives the ball a wicked sideways bounce making it more difficult to return. Just make sure and hit the ball hard…at least as hard as you hit your first serve, if not harder. Don’t worry about it going into the net or out, as the speed will make sure it gets over the net, and the spin will bring it down into the service box.

Mix it up

Don’t be predictable. If you always serve your second serve to an opponent’s backhand, you are literally giving them a lesson on how to return backhand serves, and before long, they will be crushing them.

Throw in some body serves and serves down the T to their forehand. And if you’ve noticed that they don’t move well, surprise them with a serve out wide. Keep them wondering where you’ll serve next, and you will keep them from properly preparing for their return.

Always be ready for a return

Don’t assume that because it’s your second serve that it won’t go in, or that your opponent is going to crush it. Decide where you’ll place the ball and as soon as you hit that second serve, get ready for the return. Use your serve to anticipate where your opponent may hit the return before he/she makes contact with the ball. For example: Did you serve down the T? Then be prepared for the ball to come back in the same direction. Was it a serve to the body? Be prepared to move in because chances are it will be short.

Put in the effort

Neither your second nor first serves will get better from playing a league tennis match once or even twice a week. You have to really work on them. Rent a bucket from your club or save the balls from your practice and league matches, and spend some time every weekend just serving (make sure and practice BOTH serves, not just your first serve.) Work on increasing speed, adding spin, and improving placement, and before long you’ll have a second (and first) serve to be proud of. You will gain consistency with landing them, which will make you more confident when it’s your turn to serve. Not only that, but the frequent service repetition will also increase your muscle memory which will help you find your rhythm much faster when warming up for your league matches.

Commit to these tips and win more second serves (and matches!) in tennis!






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Swiss Sportswear Brand On Announces New Tennis Apparel Collection – and We Can’t Wait!

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For a year, tennis fans have only been able to ogle the On tennis apparel worn by World No. 1 Iga Świątek and up-and-comer Ben Shelton. But get this — next month you’ll be able to sport your own On outfits on the courts!

On’s Tennis Apparel Collection: Elevating Performance and Style

on tennis apparel collection

On, the Swiss sportswear brand, recently announced that it will be serving up its first-ever racquet-sports collection in April, marking a significant milestone for the brand’s presence in the game.

The On Tennis Apparel Collection represents a major milestone in the brand’s dedication to premium, innovative product on and off the court. Drawing on the brand’s close collaboration with tennis stars like Iga Świątek and Ben Shelton, the collection combines cutting-edge materials with thoughtful design, ensuring athletes experience unparalleled comfort and freedom of movement.

The tennis world was absolutely buzzing last year when On announced that it had signed Świątek and Shelton to head-to-toe sponsorship deals. It was awesome to see them join the ranks of a team that includes the legendary Roger Federer as an investor.

Fan-ticipation of the new collection is off the charts because fans haven’t been able to get their hands on the outfits the players have been wearing. We know it will live up to the hype, too, because Świątek, Shelton and even newcomer, João Fonseca have been working closely with On, providing feedback and insight to ensure that this new collection is a smash hit.

Ben Shelton

The On Tennis Apparel Collection combine state-of-the-art materials with a sophisticated design that offers athletes unrivalled comfort and freedom of movement.

Key features

  • Breathable materials: The collection features advanced moisture-wicking technology to keep players cool and dry during intense matches.



  • Dynamic fit: Tailored to optimise performance, the pieces offer a snug yet flexible fit that allows players to move effortlessly on the court.



  • Style meets function: Convincing performance should not come at the expense of style. The tennis apparel line offers sleek, modern designs that make a statement.

The On Tennis Apparel Collection is comprised of 17 pieces across apparel and footwear, all designed with sleek, modern designs that make a statement while being snug yet flexible for ease of movement around the court. From Shelton’s pink and white tank to Świątek’s signature two-piece sets, the collection has been designed to go from on-court to off-court with ease.

In a statement, Świątek shared:

The design and advanced technology not only enhance my comfort during matches but also empowers me to perform at my best while feeling confident.


Iga Świątek

on tennis apparel collection

On’s new line of racquet sports apparel will debut in Europe on April 1, 2024. It will hit North Amer and online at On.com in North America on April 5.

THE ROGER Clubhouse Pro: Elevating Everyday Tennis

THE ROGER Clubhouse Pro

While waiting for the Tennis Apparel Collection, tennis fans can take advantage of another On offering to pair with the upcoming apparel. In collaboration with Federer, On recently dropped THE ROGER Clubhouse Pro tennis shoe—its first on-court model designed for casual but competitive players. Think of it as the perfect middle ground between its premier performance shoe THE ROGER Pro—worn by players like Shelton in professional competition—and the heritage off-court style from other “Roger” models. It’s also compatible with all racquet sports—or, as Federer himself put it: “Tennis, padel, or even, dare I say it, pickleball.”

Key Features

  • Underfoot Cushioning: With more cushioning than THE ROGER Pro, THE ROGER Clubhouse Pro features a combination of soft foam and the award-winning CloudTec ® sole that feels exceptionally light.



  • Hidden Speedboard ®: Providing extra stability without compromising dynamic movements, the hidden Speedboard ® at the heel and midfoot enhances on-court performance.



  • Herringbone Outsole: The full herringbone outsole provides proven traction and grip on-court, ensuring stability during every match.

In addition to THE ROGER Clubhouse Pro, On is launching THE ROGER Kids and THE ROGER Clubhouse Pro Youth, catering to the younger generation and providing the same technology and comfort in a casual, sleek, gender-neutral and court-inspired sneaker.

THE ROGER Clubhouse Pro is currently for purchase at On.com and in stores and sports retailers worldwide.

https://www.instagram.com/p/C4Is6fDNKb9/?hl=en


 



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8 Great Tips To Keep Opponents From Attacking A Weak Backhand

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Every tennis player has a weaker side (even the pros), and it’s usually the backhand side. This is especially true for recreational league players. And though your opponents might try and attack it without mercy, that’s no reason to throw in the towel.

Here are some proven tips which can help you not only disguise and strengthen your backhand but also win more matches!

Accept It

Your backhand is weak, so admit it and accept it, and STOP trying to rip winners like you do with your forehand. You don’t have nearly the same control, and therefore the risk of hitting it long, into the net, or right into your opponent’s strike zone far outweighs your hope of hitting a winner. Take off some pace, and hit it deep. Yes, you can still hit it deep without so much pace, and you’ll keep yourself in the point.

Nip It In The Bud

You should always be looking for your opponents’ weaknesses, and a great place to start is during the warm-up. How is their forehand? How do they handle their backhands, overheads, and volleys? Sure, that’s only the warm-up, so watch how they return those during the match, and how well they move on the court. Soon, you’ll discover their weakness(es). Attack those right off the bat, and there won’t be many opportunities to go after your backhand.

Run Around It

Keep your shots deep during a rally, and you’ll have an extra second or two (which is a lot in tennis time) to prepare for the return shots. And if one of them happens to be a backhand, you’ll have a little more time to run around it and hit a forehand.

Return To Sender

In doubles, DON’T go for a down the line winner. Return the ball in the same direction from which it came – and as deep as possible. This will force your opponent to hit one more ball and keep you in the point until you have the opportunity to run around it and rip a winner. In singles, hit the ball up the middle, and deep. This will shorten the angles of your opponent.

Less Is More

Avoid going for too much of an angle cross court when you play your backhands. Hitting an angle is asking for an angle in return (especially in doubles), and you’ll find it harder to avoid backhands if you get into that kind of rally.

Develop Other Weapons Of Mass Destruction

So you have a weak backhand. So what? You’ve got a pretty good forehand, and an even better net game – so work on developing those into weapons that will keep your opponents on the defense and help you avoid those backhands!

Practice Makes Perfect

Every tennis player can use some practice. Just look at the pros–they practice for hours EVERY DAY! Carve out a little “me time” every week and practice hitting backhands with a partner, or ball machine, or even a wall. This won’t make your backhand your strongest stroke, but it will become more reliable and consistent, and you know what they say about consistency. Consistency wins the race game!

Watch The Pros

Believe it or not, you can learn a lot about playing tennis simply by watching the pros. Study their games and learn their weaknesses, and then watch what happens when those weaknesses are attacked. Look for the variety of tactics they use to go from a defensive position to an offensive one.

Don’t worry about the limitations of your backhand. Follow these tips and not only will you have a more consistent backhand that you can rely on to keep you in the point, but you’ll be able to play more offensively, more often, and win more matches!

Which tips worked for you? We’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments section below 🙂

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Positive Self-Coaching: How to Play Your Best Game

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How would you like it if, when you made an error on the court, your coach started screaming at you from the sideline, “You idiot!” or “What a moron!” or something even worse? My guess is that you wouldn’t like it at all. Seriously, no one needs a coach like that! And no one should self-coach like that, either.

What made me think of this actually happened last weekend during a doubles strategy drill at my club. One of the ladies, whom I’ll call “Barb,” was very verbal about her own play when she made a mistake. She cussed and called herself an idiot, a loser, and a few other names I won’t mention here. And if you guessed that the self-coaching abuse didn’t improve her game one bit, then you’re absolutely right! As a matter of fact, it made her play worse.

Look… I know that it’s all too easy to go there, to criticize ourselves when we make a mistake. However, the constant stream of self-deprecation will eventually have a negative effect on how we feel about ourselves and our performance.

So, DON’T do it!!

With the power of positive self-talk, we can change that negative mindset. Instead of telling yourself, “You suck!” or “You can’t even get the ball over the net!” tell yourself this: “Take a deep breath and calm down. Use your high-percentage shots with heavy topspin to get the ball over the net. If you mess up, don’t sweat it. Tell yourself, “You’ll get the next one!” or “You can do this!”

Positivism will allow you to focus on the present rather than dwell on the last or previous points. It will also create a positive mental state, which is necessary for optimal performance.

If you’re going to self-coach, use words of encouragement and motivation when errors have you feeling down or angry, and don’t forget to praise yourself for all the good points you play. Be the coach that you would like to have sitting in your corner!






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