Take advantage of the great outdoors this summer with a spot of tennis. Here’s how to get started.
Get a grip
With summer just around the corner and the promise of lighter and warmer evenings, taking your workout outside will be w welcome change to your routine.
And if you are looking for inspiration to get active, Britain’s tennis courts are a great place to start. Trying the sport get you fit for summer and give you a greater appreciation for Wimbledon-mania this June.
The modern game of tennis is one of the most exciting in all of sport, demanding incredible endurance, explosive power and balance – not to mention huge reserves of focus and dedication. The men’s game in particular is serving up some of the greatest rivalries in the professional sport right now, with a resurgent Novak Djokovic taking top spot by leap-frogging the ongoing battle for supremacy between the established Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – not to mention our own Andy Murray nipping at their heels.
But the wonderful thing about tennis is that it can be practiced by just about anyone, of virtually any age and ability, and is as serious as you want to make it.
The benefits of tennis are numerous, with a study published in theBritish Journal of Sports Medicine finding that regular play improved aerobic fitness and the leanness of a player’s body, as well as bone and cardiovascular health.
Court in the moment
Tennis can be a very sociable sport, especially if you join a tennis club or play with a friend. Doubles games are particularly good for older or less mobile people, who want to enjoy a competitive game without as much exertion.
Of course, you are going to need some rudimentary sports kit.Rackets for beginners tend to be relatively light and therefore easy to handle. In addition, they will have a proportionally larger head, meaning that it will be more forgiving to off-centre shots. As you develop, you can choose slightly heavier rackets with smaller heads, which will give greater precision to your shots. Just make sure you get one with the right size grip, with at least 1cm of free space between the tips of your fingers and the heel of your thumb when you grip the racket – any tighter and you could risk tennis elbow. A convenient way to pay for your tennis kit could be by credit card, especially if you’ve got a card that offers a 0 per cent period on purchases or rewards your spend.
And of course, one thing you absolutely do need is a court. Joining a private club is a great place to start. There will be professional coaches on hand to direct your game and give you strong basics, and an existing social scene, with players of all abilities ready to welcome you. And if you become more serious, there is competitive play at all levels of ability, both within clubs, between them, and in open singles and doubles tournaments at local, county and national levels.
If you are unwilling to commit to paying out for membership fees – or if you don’t think the club vibe is going to be for you – then you may like to try local public tennis courts. Typically found in parks, these can either be free, or allow you to ‘pay and play’ each time the mood takes you. There is even a thriving club scene on public courts in some areas. To get started, try using the free park court finder on theTennis for Free website, which is dedicated to making the game accessible to all.