Tennis for different reasons?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Fuji, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hey all,

    I wasn't sure on where to post this but it was a toss up between here and Health/Fitness, but here goes, (Mods feel free to move if it's in the wrong area!) I know a lot of people play tennis to get in better shape for the sheer physicality of the sport, and I also noticed that some people get in better shape to be better tennis players.

    Last night when I was out for a practice match I overheard a pair of University guys who were newer to the game saying that since they wanted to play for the schools recreation league, they better get in better shape. One of them laughed saying how ironic it was that they first started playing to get in better shape in the long run.

    At what point in your playing career did you decide that tennis wasn't just for fitness, you wanted to improve your own abilities to get better at tennis? :razz:

    -Fuji
     
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  2. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I never played tennis for fitness. I was in much better shape when I played basketball recreationally. High intensity pick up basketball is a better workout than anything other than a really hard core non-stop hitting session.

    I always loved tennis but made it more of my main pass time after injuries from basketball piled up...twisted ankles and jammed fingers being the real deal breakers, I just couldn't deal with them anymore.

    So, I play tennis because I love it. I wish I could get more cardio out of my league matches but there are too many out of shape guys in the league who wouldn't allow that to happen.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Played around with tennis to get my shattered leg back into shape, after the required 13 months in a cast. After a year with the same beginner partner, went to another court, saw the local legend hit the wall for 1/2 hour, and she asked me to hit a few with her. Holy smokes, that CeciMartinez (former top 30 women's pro) could hit a mean ball, for a girl. I figured, if she can hit like that, I could hit harder, deeper, more consistent, and on the run. Maybe not.
    She lived in the house next door to Dupont Courts at 32nd and Clement, SanFrancisco.
    I started to get serious after that afternoon.
     
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  4. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I played baseball (was a pitcher) in my early youth, played a lot of basketball (although I sucked), played table tennis very extensively (was pretty good), and then a friend suggested I play tennis.

    I play because I love it, it is fun, it is a great workout, it is very competitive, tons of tennis courts around, and there are endless opponents/tournaments/pick up games available.

    I've never had a coach. I don't have an NTRP goal. I'll bump to 4.0 probably in a few months. I expect I'll get to 4.5 in a few years and then top out. That's fine.

    From a competitive perspective, I'd like to one day be able to enter the Open draw of any USTA local tournament and not be embarassed in the first round.
     
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  5. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I think it's safe to say that most if not all recreational players first got into tennis because they'd like or need activities or at least move their bodies a little. Probably some first came out to hang out with friends and others. Once started, many find competition fits their personality and that's when they want improvement.
     
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  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I don't know how old you are, or what your game looks like, but, the men's open division includes current high level D1 players and even top 200 ATP ranked players. IMO, unless you are already a 4.5-5.0 level player now, it's probably not realistic for you to become competitive in the men's open division. However, based on your self description, if you devote sufficient time, effort and high quality coaching on your game, it is possible for you to reach the 4.5 level in a few years.
     
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  7. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    My first glimpse of tennis, I fell in love with the sport right away. Everybody has their own reasons to play sports, though unfortunately some people I know only played tennis because their parents wanted them to get some D1 money to pay for college.
     
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  8. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    my parents were fairly well-off and tennis, golf, skiing, rugby r almost regarded as much social necessities as sports. they were avid watchers o the game n played weekly on the grasscourts at the club, so it was natural i wanted 2 play as soon as i was old enough 2 hold a racquet.

    tennis is terrible 4 fitness tho. the calorie burn is extremely low, especially compared 2 the wear n tear on ur body from impacts. if anyone tells me they r goin 2 take up tennis 4 health reasons, i tell em to choose somethin else
     
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  9. Bagumbawalla

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    My guessis that very few people choose tennis to get in better shape- and those that do, most likely, soonturn to something else. Tennis is a difficult sport to learn to play well- there is long learning curve that, in the beginning, involves more learning and practice than actual playing of tennis games.

    On the other hand, there are lots of sports/activities that are easier to "get into" and more effective at getting one "into shape"- swimming or aerobic workouts, for example.

    Most people choose tennis, I would think, because they enjoy the dynamics of the game, the movement, its style, its competitive and mental aspects- and then, like you say, improve their fitness in order to improve their tennis.
     
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  10. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I have this question for you folks:

    What reasons are there for a woman who looks like in late 40, looks and walks like a hotel maid who comes out at noontime (quite hot) to an empty court and practices serving by herself. She carries old balls in a household bucket and patiently "patty cake" serves, softly and quite off, ie miss alot! The whole scene looks very sad but I truly admire her dedication which I can't understand. :confused:
     
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  11. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    She prolly has kids n its the only time she can practice
     
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  12. The Wreck

    The Wreck Semi-Pro

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    I think it definitely has to do with what age you start. I've been playing since I was 10 and play competitively, so obviously I run and workout to improve my tennis (among other reasons). Most people who start playing later in life are doing it just to have some sort of physical activity to do.
     
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  13. dman72

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    Some people just love certain things. For instance, there are millions of people around the world who play the guitar who will never play a note of music than anyone will want to listen to..does that mean that shouldn't do it? It's arrogant and childish to imply they shouldn't.

    Tennis is not a team sport, so it's something that can really be something for an individual to focus on that they find rewarding, whether it's just a peace and quiet/meditation type thing or trying to serve 130 MPH.
     
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  14. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Well, I played tennis solely for fun for the first 15 year or so, at that point, my body started telling me I was not going to continue without getting in better shape.

    That led to working out consistently until kids came around and my business required much more intensive time. Now I try to push my athletic envelope for exercise sake every time I step on the court...and as my consistency and ability improved I can't help but think...why didn't I do that when I started...idiot.

    Now I look at tennis for basic 'get your butt moving' exercise and fun and look at working out for longterm injury protection.
     
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  15. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    what, you'd have to be nadal or djokovic in a 5+ hour match to even start to compare the physicality of tennis to soccer. Sorry :twisted: oops (I lost it) anywho i think to get past 4.0 you'd have to start doing fitness. I never played for fitness cause i started at like 13
     
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  16. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Seems like a great story to me.
     
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  17. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I don't disagree with you, I played high level soccer (my family is quite soccer orientated) when I also started playing tennis. Let's face it though, soccer is a team sport and frankly I find team sports awful to play. I'm sure I'm not alone in this idea, and That's where individual sports that can improve fitness come into play. :)

    -Fuji
     
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  18. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    there are a ton of individual sports that r better exercise than tennis

    Tennis is short burst so u get puffed n work up a sweat, so u feel like u r workin hard. but the cardio n fatburnin value is low. It feels better exercise than it actually is

    Its y there's so many fat tennis players. They think they r gettin plenty o exercise but they should actually be at the gym or summat
     
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  19. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    My background sounds a bit like TeflonTom's. I grew up skiing in the winter and playing tennis (on our own court) in the summer.

    It is an unfair advantage. My dad took a coaching course (he was a very good player anyway) so all I needed was a reasonable amount of athletic ability to ensure I would be a decent player. And that's how it turned out.

    The upside is I get to play at a level that actually does give me some cardio, and because I have been doing it my whole life my legs are conditioned to not fall apart too much.

    I agree with whoever said that taking up tennis later in life for health reasons, while not a hopeless idea, isn't such a great one either. It is just really hard to develop a level where a player runs hard enough for long enough to achieve anything.

    Although, there is a thing called cardio tennis...
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is a great idea. How much you run depends on how much you play and how much time you have. There is also exercising before the match, the social aspect for mental health, the brain activity, and so on. It is far better than taking up gym or swimming or running, and then giving up due to boredom.
     
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  21. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    sureshs, have u actually looked at the calorie burn of ur average match

    Most ppl drink more energy than they expend durin the post match drinks

    Is a massively inefficient way 2 exercise
     
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  22. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    #22
  23. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Honestly, tennis was never for fitness. It's a great side benefit, but I play for the "hit." I love the feeling of the ball on my racquet, of a good clean hit executed well.

    I'm fortunate that I play well enough that tennis is a cardio workout for me. I can be literally panting after some points. A couple of guys I hit with (and my son) are good players and are in similar shape, so we can drive each other pretty hard.
     
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  24. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    a common misconception
     
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  25. boramiNYC

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    As in anything, common sense dictates a high quality performance requires high calorie burn. This has been true in my experience.
     
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  26. Larrysümmers

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    in high school i started playing because i was bored and wanted something to do when i wasnt playing soccer. well that turned into me loving the game so much so that i quiet soccer and focused every second to tennis. i eventually became number 1 and one of the best players from our school.

    now that ive graduated hs and there is no adult leagues or tournaments, i just play as something to do when i get high.

    its weird because tennis used to be my life, now its something to do
     
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  27. maggmaster

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    I have worn a heart monitor when I play both doubles and singles. Doubles I burn about 200 calories per hour over NEAT singles I burn closer to 600 over NEAT, ball machine work is higher still. It is a workout, unless you are an endurance athlete your heart rate will not lower to baseline between points thus your body reacts like you are constantly working.

    I do not play tennis for fitness, I play because I need to train for something all the time and age group tennis seemed like a cool idea. I grew up playing soccer and tennis, quit junior tennis at 14 and played soccer into college. Picked tennis back up at 26 and now I am training to see if I can win age group tournaments at 35.
     
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  28. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    4 comparisons sake, this is slightly less than u burn durin a brisk walk.
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I agree with you. That is why diet is important. Eating a lot after playing tennis negates the purpose.

    The problem is that other sports are usually youth-dominated, like soccer, volleyball and basketball, don't have a social tradition, are played in only a few venues, need a minimum chorum, etc. They also don't have a social etiquette and can cause injuries. Ideally, swimming, jogging, gym etc should be the best, but they are not fun.

    Tennis is also a skills sport, so the brain and reflexes remain sharp.

    The main thing is to resist the temptation to eat a lot after playing.
     
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  30. maggmaster

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    If I walk at 5 miles per hour which is pretty fast I burn about 550 calories. Running at 8 mph for an hour I burn closer to 800. If you train or play tennis for multiple hours per day the calorie burn is significant.
     
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  31. monsterkicker79

    monsterkicker79 New User

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    I play tennis because I love it and 4 to 6 hours of tennis per week is enough workout for me. I'll add extra hours to that if I want to practice something. This keeps me competitive enough. Combined with proper diet, I think I'm pretty fit and healthy. I'm 33yrs old.
     
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  32. Alchemy-Z

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    I was physically stronger when i was playing hockey.
    I switched to tennis because it's easier on the body a sport you can age well with but still get the heart pumping.


    I still wanted to be active in competition but not have to deal with the pain the next morning.

    I still hit the Gym/Run/Bike/Hike to fulfill my fitness goals because I could not meet them playing tennis alone.
     
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  33. rkelley

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    post deleted
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
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  34. mightyrick

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    Wow... if you think you're smoking hot... let me tell you about my Atlas-esque physique.

    I'm 5'10" tall. About 215 pounds. I have a one-pack (that is... I have a single "ab"). My resting heart rate is about 72. Blood pressure is around 125/85 -- somewhat higher after a pot of coffee. I have lost a ton of hair. I sweat like Andy Roddick while I play. Not one single piece of clothing I owned when I was 22 would fit me now.

    And I routinely beat people 15 years younger and 60 pounds lighter than me. :)

    Beat that.
     
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  35. rkelley

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    Mightytrick, my intent was not to brag. Mr. Teflon was telling me that I'm not getting any cardio from tennis - a common misconception in his words. The guy wouldn't know me from a hole in the wall yet he feels he can make this comment. I was just trying to give him some context. Tennis is about the only exercise I do. I just ate two donuts before I wrote that reply. If I'm not getting exercise from tennis then I'm some kind of genetic freak - which of course is possible.

    BTW, I'm 49 and likely have more forehead showing than you do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
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  36. mightyrick

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    Have you seen the way he words his posts?

    You have nothing to prove. Ignore idiocy. Words to live by. :)
     
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  37. rkelley

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    You're right. Sorry, I just let it get to me.
     
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  38. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    no matter your level. the true purpose to as we play is because we are just tennistards
     
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  39. Avles

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    If you burn over 600 calories per hour while while briskly walking you must weigh like 350 pounds.
     
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  40. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    4 most ppl, a 5mph walk with a bit of hill work will burn more than a game of singles, even if u are playin at a high level. n most ppl arent playin at a high level

    if u play enough tennis AND play at a high level then of course it will be good exercise. just sayin it aint real efficent
     
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  41. ATP100

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    I started at about 6 years old taking is seriously.
    Now, just play for fun and fitness.
     
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  42. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    idiocy is to dismiss content due 2 preconceptions based on its packagin

    perhaps part o the reason i post the way i do is 2 expose ppl with such limited thinkin as urself
     
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  43. rkelley

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    TeflonTom - can I call you Polytetrafluoroethylene - anyways I understand your point that if you're playing a game, especially doubles, and you're just nicely stroking the ball over that your heart rate shouldn't get too elevated. Is that what I'm doing? Do you know if I'm playing singles, doubles, or maybe I'm just hitting ground strokes and competitive points for 2 hours? Maybe the time between rallies is the time to pull a ball out of my pocket? Do you know how hard I'm swinging at each ball, how long the rallies go, how many wide shots and drop volleys I run down? Seems like you'd need to know all of that to make a statement about the level of cardio I'm experiencing when I play.
     
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  44. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    dood, fo sho the harder u play the better exercise it is. i am just sayin that regardless of how hard u play it aint never gonna be real efficient exercise

    i mean even pros dont rely on court work 2 stay fit. thats how u have elite players like fatbandian carryin a spare tire around. they spend time doin real cardio n hittin the gym 2 keep in shape
     
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  45. Larrysümmers

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    it is exercise, but if you are playing tennis purely for exercise then you better look into joining a gym
     
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  46. Up&comer

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    I play and have always played tennis for tennis. I love swimming and I love running track, but I always end up spending most of my time playing tennis because I love the competetive nature and individuality of the sport. I like that even if I am not as talented as my opponent I can still out think and strategize my opponent, which was a component that was lacking for me in swimming and track. I work plenty hard off court, so even if I stopped playing tennis, I'd still be in good shape.
     
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  47. rkelley

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    So true, but I'm not a professional tennis player and getting the optimum cardio workout isn't my goal, as I stated previously. I'm a 49 year old engineer who enjoys whacking yellow, fuzzy balls and would like to keep up with my ever improving 16 year old son - at least for as long as I can.

    I just came back from an hour on the wall. Taped myself. Saw stuff I have to fix. I love the form aspect of this game. As a side benefit, the wall is a killer workout, even when you're hitting medium pace and working on form. You hit so many balls, and your feet never stop moving.
     
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  48. mightyrick

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    I have to say, I love the wall also. One of my favorite wall drills is going from forehand to backhand. However, the last two times I've turned an ankle, I did it while doing wall work.

    I pride myself on footwork and balance. The thing I hate about wall work is the insanely jerky footwork and footspeed you need to get into position. If you hit with pace, it really causes you to rush around like crazy. It can be dangerous.
     
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  49. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    I originally chose tennis because basketball became too demanding of a sport physically. I just didn't have the strength or stamina to play basketball competitively when I was younger.

    I chose tennis because I didn't need to be a super-built athlete. At first, it was a way to stay in shape, but after realizing tennis was much more about talent/skill than fitness, that's when I started to step up my game to become a better player (and not so much a better athlete).
     
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  50. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    tennis, especially singles, can be an excellent interval workout.
     
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