Tennis Ambassador Emily Webly-Smith's 7 Top Training Tips
In anticipation of Wimbledon, we asked Sweaty Betty Ambassador and professional tennis player Emily Webley-Smith to give us some training tips. Born in Bristol, Emily is currently ranked number 6 in Britain and has competed in four Wimbledon Championships. Here are her top 7 tips for perfecting your play court-side.
1. Be comfortable
Choose kit that you can move in and don't have to adjust while you play. The Deuce Tennis Vest and Match Play Tennis Skirt will be my choice at Wimbledon this summer for the perfect combination of freedom of movement and style. The skirt even has built in shorts so rhythm between serves isn’t disturbed with a search for the second ball.
2. Core control
Core training counts for a lot in this sport. With greater strength in your core, you will be better balanced on court and able to hold positions on the run. If you haven’t already, incorporate core work into your workouts and add a light medicine ball to your exercises to make them more tennis specific.
Warm up well: start slowly with a light jog followed by a dynamic warm-up using movements you will be making during the rallies to come. Once hitting, look for rhythm and timing in the first few minutes rather than pace and power, concentrating on feeling the ball and getting feet in the right position.
4. Watch the ball
It may seem simple but with so many other things to think about, this often gets forgotten. You only have to see action photos of Maria Sharapova to see how intently her eyes are focused on the ball. We may not be able to crush the ball as hard as she can, but we can certainly aim to watch it as carefully. Vocalisations are optional.
5. Stay hydrated
The tennis scoring system is there for a reason: it allows the body to recover. Use the change of ends wisely and ensure you drink enough water or diluted sports drink. You'll be surprised how much water you lose through sweating even in the British summer. Remember a 1% loss of hydration can lead to a 10% drop in performance so sip away.
6. Be determined
Whilst you may not be able to reach every ball your opponent is firing down, aim to make an attempt or first step reaction to each and every one. What's more, with tennis being the perfect all-over workout, you will be burning calories from those summer barbecues and toning muscles you didn't know you had.
7. Remember it's a game
Too often we get caught up in the technicalities of forehands and backhands and forget that tennis is a game. Have fun creating angles and shots in your own style, play with freedom and have some fun!
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