Learn at Home! Although all Tennis Clubs across Melbourne are currently closed until September 28th we have plenty of online content that you can access free of charge. Check out our YouTube channel, Website Blogs and Social Media Pages for weekly instructional videos, tips and insights that you can learn from while we’re away from the courts. Click here for more info.

How to Prepare for Your Weekly Tennis Match

To achieve that winning feeling from your weekly tennis match you need to be well organized beforehand.
Don’t rely on your parents for the following, as you need to take responsibility for your performance.

Remember to:

  1. Wake up at least 90mins before your match, especially if your match commences at 8.30am.Our bodies take at least 1 hour to wake up so set your alarm the night before for a fun morning ahead.
  2. Eat a nutritious breakfast consisting of- cereal, toast, fruit, juice etc. Don`t rush out the door with no food eaten as your body’s blood sugar level will be low and you will have no energy for the match ahead.
  3. Do some light stretches at home (approx. 5 mins) to warm up and loosen your muscles so you’re ready for the match ahead.
  4. Pack your Tennis Bag with your racquet/s Water Bottle full of water, cap, towel, spare socks .Also a snack or fruit is helpful if your match is in the morning and you may play more than 3 sets.
  5. Have your shoelaces tied firmly BEFORE you enter the court so your movement, court speed is at its best.

If you are playing in a tournament for the entire day try to:-

Organize a light 30 min warm up hit at your local court nearby before travelling to the tournament venue.
This will relax your mind, warm up your muscles and help your footwork for the day ahead.
Also take a larger water bottle, more snacks and fruit in preparation for a longer day ahead and perhaps waiting between matches.
ENJOY your match as you are now well organized to have fun and win at tennis!

Why Your Child Should Transition Into Competition Tennis

Taking the leap from learning the game to playing the game competitively can be one of the biggest decisions and challenges for players to make – both junior or adult. There are a number of unanswered (and potentially scary) questions children and parents will want to be answered prior to making the jump into competitive play.

From a developmental and progression perspective I will always encourage a player to begin to challenge themselves by competiting for the following reasons:

  1. Competition tennis instantly adds an element of pressure to the strokes you are trying to execute as there is an end goal (to win the point).
  2. This pressure is an enormous positive for the player as it highlights the need to concentrate on every shot that is being executed. (Players can cruise through tennis lessons because they know even if they miss a shot or lose a
  3. point the lesson will continue all the way until the allotted time is over). This match pressure will help develop a more focussed approach to the players lessons result in accelerated stroke development.
  4. The heightened level of focus results in progress both technically and tactically.
  5. Competition tennis greatly helps to improve a player’s tactical knowledge of the game as they begin to learn numerous patterns of play to win points.
  6. Competition tennis is also a fantastic arena where a player can develop their mental approach to concepts such as winning and losing, dispute resolution, self-belief and positive/negative reinforcement.

Players Concerns

The most common concerns I hear before a player takes the next step into competition tennis are:

  1. I’m not good enough – if you can rally and get 5/10 serves in play you’re right to go!
  2. I’m going to lose every match – not necessarily as you’ll be grouped with players your standard.
  3. No one my standard plays competition – Competition standards range from entry-level players through to top section suburban players.
  4. I’m going to let my teammates/partner down as my level of play isn’t as strong as theirs – Every tennis player setting out on their competitive journey has to begin somewhere. Your focus when starting competition is to learn the game in a competitive environment not to have an expectation to win immediately.

To summarise, playing tennis competitively helps you to develop your skills much more rapidly, it teaches you to handle pressure, it can help with goal setting and working towards achieving those goals, it’s great for building self confidence and it gets you active amongst your local community.

A Coaches Perspective – What Does Tennis Mean to Me?

Hi there!
Coach Cal here,
So as you’re well aware, Future Demand Tennis has opened up a blog series and I thought I’d take this opportunity to look at tennis from a more mental perspective. To look at life on court through rose-tinted glasses if you will. Look at its emotional connection and things that have applied to life and tennis to not only make me a better player
but a better person.

I hope you’ll indulge me, and hopefully, whatever your age, whatever your standard and whatever your reason may be for playing this beautiful game, you can gain something from what I’ve experienced.

So for Numero Uno, I’m going for the question we all start with:
‘Why tennis? What makes tennis worth it?’

Well… I’m glad you asked…
(You most certainly didn’t ask but it’s my blog contribution so work with me here!)

Tennis is the chameleon of the sporting world. She’s the same game, but she blends into whatever environment you put her in.

(Also to address the actual question in your head, ‘why’s tennis a she?’… I was taught at a young age that all the most beautiful things in life were a woman. Who said chivalry is dead? However, I digress…)

Tennis is slightly different to your average chameleon however, she transforms those who enter her environment.
You could enter on the court a child picking up a racket for the first time, a seasoned veteran fresh off their 20th ITF title victory or some random who saw some person in a headband ‘grunt funny’ on tv and decided to give it a try to see if it was really necessary.

You walk on the court, you are now a tennis player.
Congratulations.
No exceptions.

It can be a relaxing hit, a lesson, a match. She comes in many different colours.
Clay courts, grass courts, hard courts,
The concrete ya uncle had leftover on a job for some couple in Toorak that they clearly over-budgeted for.
Slap some lines and a net on that bad boy and you have a court.

World-class courts aren’t the only thing that can be supplemented though. Rackets aren’t always necessary either, ask the rather convenient ‘2 by 4’ I used every time my parents took my rackets for ‘not doing my homework.’

(In hindsight, was probably why I had great hand-eye coordination at such a young age… and also why that homework still remains unfinished)

Don’t even need friends. Just a wall and a ball and ya trusty plank of wood. This was especially convenient for me… little Cal had a hard time making friends.

But it didn’t matter.
I had already met the love of my life.
And she was the sweetest.
(Ohhhhh yeahhhh, I’m about to get really dramatic on ALLLLL OF Y’ALLLLLL)

Tennis, like most sports, became a retreat for me. It became my armour against the world, where the bad things would ricochet off of me. She was my protection from all the bad things around me.
Bad day?
Something as simple as a ball and a racket and my imagination could fix it.
Being bullied?
Who needs their understanding when I understood something as perfectly as I understood tennis.
Can’t seem to do anything right?
Who cares! I couldn’t do anything wrong on the court.

My front yard garage became Rod Laver arena and I became the greatest Australian player since the stadium’s namesake every time I asked my dad to move the car out the way, provided he wasn’t sound asleep, in which case we called rain delays and hoped that weather would pass (I.e. my dad would get off the couch).

Back then I was going for the all-time male record of 15 grand slams (jeez how that’s changed) and I was allllllways fighting back from 2 sets to love down in the final, carrying an injury because apparently I had to also be the biggest badass in history while I did it.

Tennis never judged, she never laughed at me and my imagination. She egged me on! She added to it with every off bounce, with every solid contact with every stroke of my racket I painted the picture of happiness, me, dripping in sweat, a smile as wide as the great Australian bite and a mother at the doorway calling me to dinner for what she always claimed to be ‘the hundredth time boy!’

Tennis was everything to me.
I loved her and she loved me.
And I didn’t need anything else.

Now I’m aware of everything that’s happening in the world, and at this time, tennis is so close and yet so far.

But you have a wall, you have a court. You have a game that will open it’s armed to you and embrace you as an equal.

So, dear reader, my fellow tennis player.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time with a racket or whether you have hand-shaped grooves moulded into the damn things grip.
You can still have her around.
You may not have the same experience with the beautiful game (no not football) that I do. But you have a golden opportunity to get acquainted again and again and again.
All it takes is a ball and a little imagination.

Times may be tough, but trust me, tennis will be there for you, just like she was for me.
She can be your friend, your ally, your safe harbour. And god do I love her for it.

So does that explain it?
So if you’ll explain it, it’s 9 o’clock and I’ve got a night session match… I had to keep Fed waiting…

Thank you for reading,
I hope to talk again soon.

Cal

How to Prepare for Your Tennis Lessons

To achieve the most benefit from your weekly tennis lesson you need to be well prepared beforehand.

Remember to:-

  1. Eat a nuturious, high energy snack, food at least 30 mins before you arrive at the courts.
  2. Your blood sugar level needs to be high so you can concentrate, have loads of energy to move well and give your best effort to your coach.
  3. Any fruit is best-I love bananas as they are easy to eat, taste great and are high in natural sugar.
    Also a sandwich, muffin or a small snack if coming from school is fine.
  4. Water bottle full of water is always needed even in winter as your body can dehydrate very quickly.
    Wear a cap all year for sun, wind, hair protection.
    Shoelaces tied firmly BEFORE you enter the court so your movement, court speed is at it`s best.

Be EARLY

Try to be 10 mins early for your lesson if possible so you can:-
Do a few easy stretches then perhaps a short walk around outside of courts to loosen and warm up your muscles.
ENJOY your lesson as you are now well prepared to have fun at tennis!

3 Essential Tips To Help You Hit A Great Forehand Volley

The Forehand Volley is technically the easiest shot in the game to learn yet I constantly see players in club land “overplaying” the shot by adding unnecessary elements to the stroke. Here are three easy, yet essential tips to follow when playing a Forehand Volley. Follow these and and your confidence when at net will improve dramatically.
Tip 1. Continental Grip
To find the Continental Grip (for right handed tennis players) the base knuckle of your Index Finger of your Right Hand is placed on top of bevel 2 on the racquets grip.

Tip 2. Turn
From your Ready Position, begin turning your shoulders to your right hand side of your body. The racquet will follow but must go no further than slightly in front of your right shoulder.

Tip 3. – Contact in Front of your Body
To make contact with the ball, move the racquet towards the on-coming ball ensuring that the racquet face (the strings) are directly behind the line of the ball. The bottom edge of the racquet will lead first and the contact point should always be in front of your body to the right hand side. Once contact is made the racquet continues its path through the line of the volley. Look to have the racquet strings pointing to the target when the stroke finishes.

4 Essential Tips to Help You Hit a Great Double Handed Backhand

A Double Handed Backhand is the most common of the two Backhands for people to begin learning the game with. Having two hands on the racquet provides more support for the player and the swing path is often a lot easier to learn than a Single Handed Backhand.
Whenever I’m teaching the Double Handed Backhand I’ll always refer back to these 4 Essential tips to help my player move forward in their development.

Tip 1. Double Handed Backhand Forehand Grip
To find the Double Handed Backhand Grip (for right handed tennis players) the base knuckle of your Index Finger of your Right Hand is placed top of bevel 2 on the racquets grip. The base knuckle of your Index Finger of your Left Hand is placed top of bevel 6 on the racquets grip (see video for bevel explanation).

Tip 2. Back Swing
From your Ready Position, begin your backswing by turning to your left and taking the racquet away from the ball to the same level as your pocket (see video for pocket level explanation) .

Tip 3. – Contact in Front of your Body
After the racquet drops below the height of the ball you will swing the racquet in a low-to-high motion making contact in front of your body with the strings square on to the ball.

Tip 4. – Elbows to your target
After contact in front of your body, continue a long swing out to your target and aim to finish the swing over the opposite shoulder with your dominant elbows pointing to your target.

I find these steps are an easy progression for players to follow especially those learning the game for the first time. These steps are also great for established players who are maybe having issues with their Double Handed Backhand and are able to take these tips to the practise court.

4 Essential Tips to Help You Hit a Great Forehand

I often see people who are new to tennis getting caught up in trying to nail every aspect of the stroke they are learning. More often than not this leads to frustration and none of those aspects ever really improving.
Whenever I’m teaching the Forehand I’ll always refer back to these 4 Essential tips to help my player move forward in their development.

Tip 1. Eastern Forehand Grip
To find the Eastern Forehand Grip the base knuckle of your dominant hand is placed on top of bevel 3 on the racquets grip (see video for bevel explanation)

Tip 2. Begin swing taking a “C” shape path with the racquet
From your Ready Position take the racquet away from the ball and create a “C” shape with your backswing.

Tip 3. – Contact in Front of your Body
After the racquet drops below the height of the ball you will swing the racquet in a low-to-high motion making contact in front of your body with the strings square on to the ball.

Tip 4. – Elbow to your target
After contact continue a long swing out to your target and aim to finish the swing over the opposite shoulder with your dominant elbow pointing to your target.

I find these steps are an easy progression for players to follow especially those learning the game for the first time. These steps are also great for established players who are maybe having issues with their Forehand and are able to take these tips to the practise court.

COVID19 Stage 4 Restrictions Update

As Metropolitan Melbourne has now moved into Stage 4 restrictions, all tennis facilities in this area will have to shut for a 6 week period beginning on Monday August 3rd. For Future Demand Tennis this unfortunately means all coaching has to stop immediately. We hope that everyone remains safe and healthy during this time and we are looking forward to the day when we’re able to resume our on court lessons. 

In the meantime, we will be providing a number of weekly Instructional Videos, tips and insights through our YouTube Channel, Facebook & Instagram Pages and Website Blogs that you can learn from and practise at your home! 

YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRsiUcSWUx3oIsQAQ0g4Llg?view_as=public

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/FutureDemandTennis/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/futuredemandtennisofficial/?hl=en

#stayactive

#keeplearning