How To Improve Your Tennis Game


by Scott Baxter, PlayYourCourt Founder and USPTA Elite Certified Professional

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1How many times have you heard your pro say, “Watch the ball” or “Follow through”?

Don’t get me wrong, both are useful tips, but you’ve probably heard them already.

Today I’m going to share some unique tips you’ve likely never heard that will make an immediate impact on your game.



  • Don’t Beat Yourself – Regardless of your level of play, more often than not your opponents will beat themselves if you just give them the chance. I always like to follow the rule of 3; give your opponent 3 chances to miss before you try something silly.

  • Don’t Squeeze Too Tight – Tension in your game starts with your hands. What starts as squeezing your racquet too tight quickly morphs into a full body clench. While you can’t always force yourself to relax your brain, you know what happens when you get nervous – you squeeze too tight. You may not be able to control your nervousness, but you can definitely control the negative effect it has on your game by remembering to relax your grip when you feel the nerves set in.

  • Serves and Returns – Get the ball in the court. I know, I know – you aren’t double faulting and spraying returns on purpose, but you may not realize how costly these mistakes are to your match success. Your opponent only needs 4 points to win each game, so every time you double fault you are giving them 25% more of the points they need to win that game. I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty confident the breakdown is the same on the return of serve.

  • Focus the Hardest on the Easiest Shots – it’s in our DNA to relax when we think everything is under control. This thought process directly translates to our focus level on the tennis court. The reason we tend to miss the easiest shots is because that’s when our brain is most likely to turn off and lose focus. Once you’ve setup the point, dig in – that wide-open volley or crosscourt winner won’t hit itself.

  • Don’t Overdo It – You don’t need to be on SportsCenter to win every point and the tennis court is an awfully big space. Try to play every ball at least a foot inside the line. This still gives you room to move your opponent and hit winners, but it also gives you a bigger margin for error that will eliminate unnecessary errors.

  • Keep Moving – Don’t forget our good buddy Newton and his laws of common sense. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. It’s very hard to get moving into a full out sprint from a standstill position. If you stay light on your feet between shots your first step and court coverage will improve dramatically.

  • Short Term Memory Loss: Your Key to Success – While there are many things in life you can be upset about and fixate on, losing a tennis point shouldn’t be one of them. The beauty of our sport is each point has no effect on the next. If you obsess on one mistake it can quickly turn into 5 more. Use the 3 second rule – you can be as mad as you want for 3 seconds, but after that move on to the next point.
[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left” font_size=”19″ font_font=”Arial” font_color=”%23000000″ width=”940″]Did you learn something?

What’s so great about tennis is that there is always room for improvement.

While lessons can make you better, you need to be careful when selecting your instructor, otherwise you’ll find your game at a standstill listening to the same boilerplate tips that your average professional has to offer.

Finding the right professional can be a difficult process and many people waste a lot of time and money without seeing any improvement in their game until they finally find a pro that’s a good fit.

minimalistic illustration of hands holding a tablet computer witI created PlayYourCourt six years ago to solve this problem for you.

How did I do it?  I setup a rating system. Just like Uber, Amazon or Yelp – if my students had a mediocre experience filled with the same boring tips, they wrote about it for all to see and the mediocre pros began to filter themselves out.

Fast forward six years, PlayYourCourt is open nationwide and I’ve done all the heavy lifting of vetting out the best pros in the country for you through our rating system. Of the nearly one thousand tennis pros I’ve hired in the last six years I’ve weeded out over 700 duds.

Today I only offer you pros that consistently deliver an amazing experience every time they walk on the court. Patient, encouraging, fun, knowledgeable tennis pros that offer lessons that are far from “normal.”

Ready to get started?

Click below to find the best coach in your area for lessons on your local court.[/text_block]

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