Is there anything I can do inside my home over winter to improve my tennis?

PKorda

Rookie
Just curious if anyone does anything inside their home to improve their tennis and that wouldn't be a waste of time. I live in the NE so outdoor tennis season is coming to an end and I only play once or maybe twice a week during the winter. I live in a condo so don't have access to a garage or anything like that. Would volleying into the air trying to use as close to actual volley form as possible help at all and gain me a better feel on volley? Or simulating my service motion and groundstrokes? I'm thinking of maybe just doing a short amount of time each day but thinking if I do it every day over the winter it would add up over time. Anyone have any thoughts or am I nuts?
 
Just curious if anyone does anything inside their home to improve their tennis and that wouldn't be a waste of time. I live in the NE so outdoor tennis season is coming to an end and I only play once or maybe twice a week during the winter. I live in a condo so don't have access to a garage or anything like that. Would volleying into the air trying to use as close to actual volley form as possible help at all and gain me a better feel on volley? Or simulating my service motion and groundstrokes? I'm thinking of maybe just doing a short amount of time each day but thinking if I do it every day over the winter it would add up over time. Anyone have any thoughts or am I nuts?
Keep up the fitness/stretching/conditioning.

Shadow swings.

Put on a YouTube video of two pros practicing cooperatively [not playing points]. Become the near-court player and split step and swing in time with him/her. What seems relatively slow on film can translate to a lot faster when you have to move.

And yes, you're nuts but that's a different thread. :p
 
I do a lot of shadow swinging. Back in college, in the *******, when I first fell in love with the sport, I would drop feed a ball in the living room of my apartment and whack it into the open space between kitchen cabinets and counter. I think I listened for whether the neighbors sounded like they were home............ I think.

Haha. Figures a competitor whose name is the same as a section of the country, is a bad word here.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Lose weight. I don't know too many recreational tennis players whose game wouldn't benefit from dropping a couple of kilos - even the fit guys are usually carrying more muscle than they need.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Get a hopper and baseball pitch tent, collect old balls. You must have an area where you can swing freely and send balls 20 feet out to the baseball net.

I'm doing this for my serve. I can't build a feeding system yet for ground strokes. It's fun.
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
Put a ping pong table with a robot (ball machine) in your garage ... buy a pickleball paddle with similar tennis-racquet weight and handle shape ... put cheap adhesive neoprene rubber (1/8") on both sides ... and practice an hour of "TENNIS-SPECIFIC" technique every day.

I teach certain components of technique this way ... which allows for HUNDREDS of the exact same focused repetitions in a row ... and in turn embeds muscle memory much faster than can be done on a full-sized tennis court. THEN ... the player takes the bullet-proof components that we worked on down to a real court ... to "assemble" them with the proper positioning, timing and easy-to-accomplish adjustments.

~ MG
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Guys - OP is playing once or twice a week in the winter. That's more then enough to maintain your current level which is what you need in the offseason. Mix in some fitness for the other 5 days and you will be doing great.. I'd say two days of full body weight training + 3 days aerobic fitness training + daily stretching or yoga and you will be ready to go when the weather warms up..
 

sovertennis

Professional
Guys - OP is playing once or twice a week in the winter. That's more then enough to maintain your current level which is what you need in the offseason. Mix in some fitness for the other 5 days and you will be doing great.. I'd say two days of full body weight training + 3 days aerobic fitness training + daily stretching or yoga and you will be ready to go when the weather warms up..
Agree--I lived in northern NE for nearly 50 years before moving south a few years ago (tennis and cycling year round, no more boots and coat, filthy car, only 8 hours of daylight and cabin fever five months of the year) and agree that indoor tennis 1-2x weekly is very favorable. One rule I lived by in the winter months was to get outside for at least an hour nearly every day. For this I found showshoeing and xc skiing to be great exercises. Of course, this requires snow and depending on where the op lives, there may be very little of it. Other than tennis, I did a lot of yoga and used the BOSU ball extensively, especially by standing on it and practicing shadow swings--really helped improve core strength and balance. Good luck OP, and don't wait too long before packing up for warmer climes. The Carolinas beckon!
 

Searah

Semi-Pro
first lockdown i did almost nothing but shadow swings.
when gametime came.. i found almost no difference sadly or i guess i thought i'd have an edge on my opponents.

when i moved and ended up in another lockdown.. i focused on fitness/core and did not bother with shadow swings at all.
was much better this time!
 

Gael4

Rookie
They have banned tennis for a month in Belgium, again, because of Covid. Even Singles with people you live with are forbidden. I was getting the tennis bug, but I think that one month without tennis and I'll go back to my level before "try harding" or even worse. So depressing.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
They have banned tennis for a month in Belgium, again, because of Covid. Even Singles with people you live with are forbidden. I was getting the tennis bug, but I think that one month without tennis and I'll go back to my level before "try harding" or even worse. So depressing.
Why depressed? Your peers are going through the same thing.


Last weekend an old man who I used to play with came out again, after many months of absence. I jokingly said let's play again, same deal as before. He brushed it off, saying he's no long in shape to play, feeling older now. But he actually looked skinnier than before while I've gain 15 lbs. I laughed and told him it's not like I am not aging while you guys are aging. He then argued "but for me it's exponential while it's linear for you."

And he rather wrapped up and went home than play. LOL.
 

Gael4

Rookie
Why depressed? Your peers are going through the same thing.


Last weekend an old man who I used to play with came out again, after many months of absence. I jokingly said let's play again, same deal as before. He brushed it off, saying he's no long in shape to play, feeling older now. But he actually looked skinnier than before while I've gain 15 lbs. I laughed and told him it's not like I am not aging while you guys are aging. He then argued "but for me it's exponential while it's linear for you."

And he rather wrapped up and went home than play. LOL.
Well I have been playing on and off, so periods when I get really involved, spend a lot of the time on the court and improve fast are few and far between. Last time it happened right before the pandemic, and now it happened 2 or 3 weeks ago. If I played more regularly it wouldn't be an issue.

your partner is right though, at a certain time ageing is exponential. Doesn't mean that you shouldn't play tennis though, just switch to doubles to stay competitive !
 

PKorda

Rookie
Thought this video was interesting, particularly liked the weighted book idea. For those that don't want to watch video it's taping a book to a racket to use for shadow swinging

 
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Fintft

Legend
first lockdown i did almost nothing but shadow swings.
when gametime came.. i found almost no difference sadly or i guess i thought i'd have an edge on my opponents.

when i moved and ended up in another lockdown.. i focused on fitness/core and did not bother with shadow swings at all.
was much better this time!
And personally I should add diet to that...
 

blablavla

Legend
Just curious if anyone does anything inside their home to improve their tennis and that wouldn't be a waste of time. I live in the NE so outdoor tennis season is coming to an end and I only play once or maybe twice a week during the winter. I live in a condo so don't have access to a garage or anything like that. Would volleying into the air trying to use as close to actual volley form as possible help at all and gain me a better feel on volley? Or simulating my service motion and groundstrokes? I'm thinking of maybe just doing a short amount of time each day but thinking if I do it every day over the winter it would add up over time. Anyone have any thoughts or am I nuts?
from things not posted here, in no particular order:

1. footwork. You might not be able to do spider drills, but agility ladder? quite some exercises yes, and then other variations for footwork that might be almost as good as spiders
2. upper body: push ups, plank
3. abs
4. resistance band, both for upper body and for footwork
5. any exercise that can improve your hand-eye coordination
 

GuyClinch

Legend
from things not posted here, in no particular order:

1. footwork. You might not be able to do spider drills, but agility ladder? quite some exercises yes, and then other variations for footwork that might be almost as good as spiders
2. upper body: push ups, plank
3. abs
4. resistance band, both for upper body and for footwork
5. any exercise that can improve your hand-eye coordination
Resistance bands are great if you can't get to the gym, IMHO. Here in Texas you can go to gyms now.. so I don't use mine as much. But very good for overall strength with minimal damage. One downside of weights is your chance of injury is pretty high on some movements - and IMHO more joint pain in general. I can see why Tom Brady only does bands - that resistance from any angle is very good for you.

But yes so much you can do with your fitness. And playing once or twice a week in the winter in NE is actually pretty great compared to most people. The issue with fitness if you have to be your own trainer and decide what your focus/routine should be. It's easy for overweight out of shape people - because they can just focus on fixing that as a top priority. Either way if you work out 4 or 5 days a week outside of tennis on your overall fitness I think it will help your tennis maybe as much as an additional day of practice would.. But as a bonus you get to be in better condition and improve your overall athleticism.
 

joe sch

Legend
Do you try to execute what these books teach in terms of preparation, mental focus throughout a match, staying in the moment etc. Try this book.
Agree read to understand the mental game. Practice meditation. Improve your flexibility, strength, and cardio. These can all be done inside a home, without weights. Dont need to buy an expensive Peleton trainer, just get a used roller given you have a bike, or just jump rope or run in place.
 
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