Court Etiquette.

On Your Best Behavior!

On-Court Rules -

Some simple 'habits' that will make a match more enjoyable for everyone!

  • If you have any doubts as to whether a ball is out or good, you must give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and play the ball as good. You should not play a let.
  • It is your obligation to call all balls on your side to help your opponent make calls when the opponent requests it, and to call against yourself (with the exception of a first service) any ball that you clearly see out on your opponent’s side of the net.
  • Any “out” or “let” must be made instantaneously (i.e. made before either an opponent has hit the return or the return has gone out of play) otherwise, the ball continues in play.
  • Do not enlist the aid of spectators in making line calls.
  • If you call a ball out and then realize it was good, you should correct your call.
  • To avoid controversy over the score, the Server should announce the set score (e.g. 5-4) before starting a game and the game score (e.g. thirty-forty) prior to serving each point.
  • If players cannot agree on the score, they may go back to the last score on which there was agreement and resume play from that point or they may spin a racket.
  • Foot faults are not allowed. If an opponent persists in foot faulting after being warned not to do so, the Referee should be informed.
  • Do not stall, sulk, complain, or practice gamesmanship.
  • Wait until the players on another court have completed a point before retrieving or returning a ball.
  • Do not use bad language, hurl your racquet, or generally behave in an anti-social fashion. You know you know better.... 

Looking After Yourself!

    • Always warm up and stretch those muscles before you play
    • Always cool down after playing by doing some stretching and 5-10 minutes slow jogging.
    • Remember to drink plenty of water during practice and play. And sip it, don't gulp down huge quantities in one go.
    • Try to maintain good eating habits, both at home and when you are away playing in a tournament. That means having regular, healthy balanced meals with plenty of energy foods like pasta and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
    • Train sensibly and plan your time. You need to ask an expert before setting out on any new training programme. Why not contact the local gym for help?
    • When training on or off court, think about the quality of your shots first, then worry about quantity and consistency.
    • Enjoy your sport
    • Play other sports. This will help your overall fitness levels.
    • Make time for other interests like friends, hobbies, and the dreaded homework (if you are lucky enough to still be a junior!) 
    • Get a full night's sleep. Sports people usually need more sleep than non-active people. 
      'If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that's a big accomplishment. That quality is important because it stays with you for the rest of your life'

Manage your Fitness.

All tennis players have a dominant side that can produce muscular imbalance and lead to injury. Here's how to straighten yourself out.

"Train for your sport." That's what the fitness instructors are telling us these days. And it's true, you need to train your body to be able to meet the particular physical demands of any athletic activity. But what exactly does "sport-specific training" mean for tennis players?

Watch any match and you'll get a general idea: Every player needs to stop and start quickly, scramble to get to wide balls, and use the core of the body to provide balance and rotate through ground strokes, all while hitting with power and accuracy. These skills don't just happen; they're all built on a solid fitness foundation. Because of that, a well-structured conditioning and strength program that focuses on injury prevention and performance enhancement should be an integral part of every tennis player's training plan.

For 15 years, the USTA sports-science committee and staff have been looking at the physical makeup of elite tennis players, identifying specific areas where they're weak and strong. Using a Cybex 6000 Isokinetic Testing Machine, we have been able to measure the relative strength of many muscle groups throughout players' bodies and identify strength imbalances that come from playing tennis and can lead to injury. With the results of these tests, we develop training plans that show players how to combat these deficiencies in a precise way.

Here's a look at a tennis player's major muscle groups, with exercises to keep dominant and weaker sides in balance


  • SHOULDER The muscles that internally rotate the shoulder (pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, latissimus dorsi) are typically 33 percent stronger than the external rotators (posterior deltoid, infraspinatus) on the dominant side in tennis players. Every time you hit a serve or a forehand you use your internal rotators, and they become quite strong. The external rotators typically must be strengthened to maintain normal shoulder function and prevent injury.
  • FOREARM AND WRIST The muscles in the dominant forearm and wrist are 30 percent stronger than the same muscles on the non-dominant side. Within the dominant side, the pronator muscles, which rotate the palm inward, are 40 percent stronger than the supinators, which rotate the palm outward. The pronation that occurs in serves and ground strokes contributes to this strength imbalance.
  • LEGS The quadriceps, crucial muscles for getting up for serves and exploding toward the ball on ground strokes, are twice as strong in tennis players as the hamstrings. This is not an imbalance to be worried about, but a ratio needed by every athlete.
  • TRUNK Because they contract their stomach muscles with every stroke, tennis players typically develop abdominal muscles that are stronger than their lower-back muscles. This is in contrast to most people, who have stronger muscles in the lower back.
  • OBLIQUES These are the abdominal muscles just above your hips along the sides of your torso that cause the trunk to rotate when they contract. Tennis keeps trunk-rotation strength balanced on both sides of the body because players hit both forehands and backhands, which require these muscles to be strong in both directions. But because these muscles facilitate the rotation necessary for open-stance strokes, tennis players should train them regularly.
  1. Shoulder Exercise: To keep shoulder strength balanced, do rows. With a dumbbell in one hand, bend and anchor your body by putting your opposite hand and knee on a bench or chair. With your back flat and arm straight up and down, slowly pull the weight up to the center of your body. Hold and release to starting position. Do three sets of 10 to 15.
  2. Forearm and Wrist Exercise: To keep forearm strength balanced and help prevent tennis elbow, perform wrist extensions. Sit with one end of a light exercise band under your feet. Rest your right forearm on your thigh so your hand is over your foot and hold the end of the tube in your hand, palm down. Place your left hand, palm down, over your right forearm for stabilization. Raise your right hand, keeping your forearm on your thigh. Hold for one second; do 15 times with each arm.
  3. Trunk Exercise: To strengthen your lower back and rebalance the strength in your core, try performing Superman exercises. Lie face down on the floor, arms fully extended over your head. Lift your arms and legs simultaneously. Hold for one to five seconds, release, and return to starting position. Work up to 20 repetitions.
  4. Obliques Exercise: To keep your obliques strong, do crunches with a twist. Lie on the floor with knees bent, back flat against floor. Place your arms on the same side of your body, holding a tennis racquet in both hands. Bring both arms up and across your body in a diagonal movement while using your trunk to rise up. Do 20 reps and switch sides.
  5. Legs Exercise: Strength can be built in the quads with standing squats. Put a barbell of comfortable weight across your shoulders (or use a Smith machine), point your feet slightly outward, bend your legs 90 degrees, then power the bar up until you're standing. Keep your back straight throughout. Do 15 repetitions.

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