The last few days here in Perth the weather has been terrible. Wet. And very windy.
Unfortunately we couldn't get on the court a number of times this week because they were simply too wet.
Let me put this to you...
If your computer fails at work, you'll still be required to give that presentation to the board. Just minus your PowerPoint.
If one street is blocked due to road works, you'll find another way to get to your friend's house.
If the Pub you're in closes at 12 a.m., but the one next door is open until 3 a.m., don't try to tell me that you're going home at 12 a.m.!!
My message is simple; there are alternatives in everything we do.
WHY CANCEL TENNIS BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER?
Here are my five tips on what you can do to improve your game when it's raining.
1. Reflex volleys
Indoors, get into pairs, stand a few metres apart and focus on a "firm wrist" and contact in front of your eyes. This will help your overall ball control and general coordination. Then, on the court, no matter the conditions—volleying will be easy!
2. Ball toss
Did you know that the problem with most people's serve is an inconsistent ball toss? Set a target on the ground (a racquet length away from your front foot is a good guide) and get the ball to land on the target. Get a feel also for the height of the toss—at a minimum, if you extend your racquet to the sky, the toss should go at least to the top of your racquet. You'll be serving aces in no time!
Skipping, "high knees" on the spot, and "side to side" jumping over a marker will all help keep you on your toes and avoid being flat-footed!
4. Abdominal work
Strength through your "core" not only prevents injury but will give you greater control and power off your ground strokes and serve. Try bridges, crutches, push-ups and sit-ups, and watch that six-pack develop!
5. Go for a run
I love running in the rain. But, make yours specific to the "stop-start" manner tennis is played in. Jog for five minutes, sprint for 30 seconds and repeat this process. As you get better, include hills in your training and sprint for longer! Pretty soon, you'll be chasing down balls like Rafael Nadal!!
So, next time it's raining outside, you can still participate in tennis-specific exercises inside to help take your game to the next level.