I wrote an epic and amazing aweosme guide for improving you tennis game ( I like to gloat :P).
I was a soccer coach, but I’ve moved on to tennis now; my new love. Tennis and soccer are more similar than most people think, I wrote this guide a while back, but I decided to re-write it and make it better so I can post it on this blog!
Soccer looks as dissimilar to tennis as home cats look to lions and tigers. However, some soccer skills translate well to your tennis game, as mine did. Training routines for soccer often mirror training regimens for tennis players.
You can use these soccer tips to help improve your tennis game, as they’ve done with mine.
Soccer Tips that Improve Your Tennis Game
- Communicate freely and often.
When you play singles, most of the communication until the match is over, is with yourself. Soccer teams must communicate with each other even if they’ve played together for years. However, doubles tennis demands free, constant communication with your partner, similar to soccer players’ communication (with words and/or actions) with each other.
- Play the ball fast and smartly.
Don’t just kick or dribble the ball too long. You will lose it to a defender. Similarly, when playing tennis, you should have a purpose with every shot. When playing soccer, make your passes crisp and quickly, before defenders have a chance to get to you. The same plan helps you and your teammates get off good shots on goal. When playing tennis, an identical plan helps you minimize opponents’ returns and helps you win more games. That’s why most good coaches recommend you prepare for your shots as early as possible, returning shots crisply and before your opponent gets set.
- Fake a defender to slow him/her down and generate indecision.
A simple head fake when you’re dribbling the ball, often “freezes” a defender momentarily, which is all you need to maintain possession and cover ground. You can also make it look like you’re going to pass or shoot, which achieves the same goal. When playing tennis, use your eyes to falsely indicate where your next shot is going (very effective when playing experienced opponents). At the last moment, use your footwork to change the direction of your return to keep your opponent off guard and unprepared.
- Swing the ball from one side to the other.
Be aggressive, but not foolishly overaggressive. Making cross-field passes in soccer will slow down defenders and help midfielders and forwards get open for good shots on goal. When you play tennis, as long as you don’t try to make every shot “kick up chalk” on a side- or end-line, hitting crosscourt returns can tire your opponent, making it easier for you to win points, games, and matches.
- Cross the ball to help attackers get off good shots.
Soccer players often keep opponents off-guard by making what look like “blind passes” to teammates. Of course, these are not really blind passes, as players use their peripheral vision to target teammates, but they surprise most opponents, keeping them from quickly closing on your teammate. Amateur tennis players who are able to disguise their crossing returns, also can “surprise” opponents, making them one-step too late getting to the ball, preventing a strong shot back at you. In doubles tennis, your partner may also get a winner, by making a crisp shot off an opponent’s weak return.
These tips will make you a better soccer player as well as a better tennis player. I use them regularly because they improve my singles and doubles tennis performances.