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Lesson 5- Warm Up

  Start aiming for a target in the warm up.

Are you one of those players who takes a whole set to warm up? Learning how to manage the warm up and therefore your launch into the match comes with experience. In this tip, I'll try to save you some frustration by helping you get out of the gate faster so you can be competitive right from the very first point of the match.

There are three main objectives to a successful warm up:
1. Get your muscles warmed up to avoid injury.
2. Groove your strokes so you feel confident hitting your targets.
3. Discover opponent's weaknesses

The best way to warm up your muscles is to have long rallys with your groundstrokes- so begin there. Try to keep the ball in play. Pick a target about 5 feet inside the baseline that's right in front of your opponent. Hit the ball consistently right TO your opponent and notice his level of consistency and accuracy. If he knows how to warm up he'll be aiming right to you also. Your opponent will naturally choose between forehand and backhand, which tells you which side, is stronger.

Next, head to the net for some volleys. Use short strokes and try not to miss a single shot. Use the same target and keep the ball in play. Ask for a few overheads as well and swing through them nice and smoothly. Don't try to impress the opponent with your power, good contact and consistency is much more intimidating.

End with some serves to a specific target area. Start slowly without much power and find your accuracy. Then, slowly increase the pace until you've hit some at the same pace you intend to serve the match. If it's doubles, make sure you warm up some serve and volley serves by leading yourself into the court with your toss.

Once the match is ready to start, you've intimidated them with your accuracy and consistency while gaining valuable information about their strokes. Your muscles and your mind are ready to go.

Best wishes for never-ending improvement,

Yours truly,
Steve Tourdo



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Length: 52 minutes
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