If you have been away from the game of tennis for a while, there are some traps that you want to avoid in order to ensure that your experience isn’t spoiled before it has a chance to really get started. Below are three common “rookie” mistakes to avoid if you’re taking up the game again after a long absence.
1. Overestimating Your Skill Level
Even if you were a proficient player back in the day, don’t assume that you can compete at the same level again immediately. Playing opponents with a skill set that is too far above yours can be frustrating and discouraging. Before you play your first match, practice doing some tennis conditioning drills, which will help you to pinpoint any areas you might need to work on.
If you belong to a tennis club or some other type of athletic facility that employs a tennis pro, you might want to consult with him. He can evaluate your current game and skill level. Once you’ve established where you are now, he can recommend other club members to play with who are at roughly the same level you are. If that’s not an option, check out nearby community recreation centers that offer lessons. Often you can get a skills assessment done beforehand to ensure that you are put in the right class.
2. Using Outdated Equipment
Tennis equipment tends to improve dramatically over time. Pros, tennis enthusiasts and sports equipment manufacturers are continually updating, modernizing and improving everything from the balls to racquets to the actual courts. The equipment you used years ago may have served you well at the time, but you shouldn’t expect the same level of performance now. You’ll likely be playing against players with modern equipment, and your old racquet likely won’t be able to compete. Before you hit the courts, be prepared to spend something on new equipment. You’ll enjoy playing with the newer racquet materials, and you’ll feel better about getting back into the game with equipment that doesn’t date you.
3. Playing With Inferior Footwear
In tennis, the most frequent area of injury is in the ankles and knees. If you’ve been away from the sport of tennis for a while, you probably don’t have proper shoes for playing. Running shoes, for example, are designed for forward motion, whereas tennis is a sport that involves a lot of lunges, side moves, pivots, jumps, and sudden stops and starts. Tennis shoes are designed specifically to accommodate these kinds of moves. If you step onto the courts with the wrong footwear just once, you could pay for it with a tennis injury like a twisted or sprained ankle that will keep you off the courts for a long time. Before you schedule your first game, equip yourself with shoes specifically meant to be worn for playing tennis. Make sure you stock up on sports socks as well, because the wrong socks can also negatively influence your comfort level and movement in the shoe.
Your revived tennis game will be much more enjoyable when you avoid these three rookie mistakes. Shop our extensive line of tennis apparel for men and women and you’ll be all set to go!