Many of us think of the warm up as just a quick whack across the net before getting the game going but if we take our time to warm up properly then we should have a much better game of tennis afterwards.
The warm up that many of us will see during Australian Open, The French Open, Wimbledon and The US Open is actually a widely recognised standard format to help activate each player and their game.
We’ll take a look at this warm up protocol below so we all have a good idea of what is expected from each player and how we can use it to benefit our own game.
Let the warm up commence.
Total Warm Up Length – Approx. 10 Minutes
This breaks down as follows;
3-4 minutes of co-operative ground strokes. You are not trying to hit winners just trying to get a rally going with shots at around 70-80% power.
Aiming for the ball to bounce beyond the service line and within reach of your opponent.
Mid Court Strokes
1-2 minutes of mid court strokes. This is where you will be taking volleys on or around the service line.
Once again this should be co-operative play. You are not trying to hit the ball as hard as you can for winners as both players are trying to get warmed up ready for the match.
Volleys At The Net
1-2 minutes of volleys at the net. Try and get your volley’s back so your opponent can keep returning to you. You want to get as many practice volley’s in as possible.
After 5-6 volley’s you could ask for a few lobs to be put up so you can practice you overhead shots. Remember you are trying to practice so play them back at a speed that your opponent can put another lob up for you to practice your overhead shots with.
1-2 minutes of practice serves.
Serve 3 tennis balls to your opponent who will catch them and then practice serving back to you. Two sets of 3 serves each side is normally enough.
A good indicator that your opponent is ready is if they return your serve to you. This usually means that they do not wish to practice their serve anymore. However if you wish to practice a couple more then simply say the you would like a couple more practice serves.
After these few quick steps you should be match ready now.
Some tournaments will have umpires that will keep you to the 1o minutes warm up time as they have a tournament schedule to try and keep on track but some league matches may be bit more lenient. Try and keep it to 10 minutes if you can though.