They say that practice makes perfect, but for professional tennis players, it’s more like perfect practice makes perfect. These athletes spend hours mastering the backhand volley and training their serves every day to ensure peak performance when it matters most.
For recreational players, this might seem like a lot of work. But is it? After all, if you compared playing an hour of tennis to some other common activities, it wouldn’t look so easy. How hard is it to play tennis? Let’s take a closer look at why tennis is one of the most challenging sports out there.
Table of Contents
- How hard is tennis?
- Playing conditions
- Tennis is not easy on your body
- Advancements in tennis equipment
How hard is tennis?
You might think that tennis doesn’t rank very high on the list of hardest sports because it doesn’t involve any strength or power movements. But don’t be fooled. Tennis requires a high level of aerobic fitness, flexibility, and a strong mental game.
The ball travels at very high speeds, and the court is large, meaning players have to cover a lot of ground quickly. In addition, players must have excellent proprioception (the ability to know where your body is in space) and kinesthetic awareness (the ability to know where your body is in relation to objects around you) as well as eye-hand coordination.
The surface type of the court may be the most impactful factor in determining how hard tennis is. The standard surface type is hard court, which is less forgiving to players than grass courts or clay courts.
The hardness of the court affects the speed of the ball, which then impacts the distance the player must travel to hit the ball. The faster the ball travels, the more difficult it is to hit the ball.
The surface type also affects how much friction the ball has when it bounces off the court. The more friction there is, the more likely the ball will bounce out of bounds. This also makes it tougher for players to return the ball because it is hitting against a greater amount of friction.
Tennis is not easy on your body
If there is one thing that players in every sport agree on, it’s that they are sore after every practice or game. Warming up before playing and cooling down and stretching afterward is important for any athlete, but it’s especially important for tennis players.
While some sports emphasize certain muscle groups, tennis is a sport that requires almost all muscles. The amount of force placed on your muscles by a tennis ball is considerable. Every time you swing a racket, the ball comes into contact with a force of about 1,100 newtons (equivalent to lifting 22 pounds). That’s almost as much force as it takes to lift a small car.
Advancements in tennis equipment
Over the past few decades, tennis racquets have been getting lighter and lighter. In the ’80s, racquets weighed about 10 ounces, and today’s racquets weigh about 9.5 ounces. That might not sound like much, but those ounces make a difference. These advancements in racquet technology help players hit the ball harder and more easily.
Rackets are also made with different materials than they were 30 years ago. While they used to be made mostly of wood, they’re now made of lighter, stronger materials such as graphite, ceramics and tennis.
The game of tennis is not easy. It is one of the most physically demanding sports out there. It’s easy to see why tennis has been dubbed as the king of sports. If you’re just starting out playing tennis, keep these factors in mind. It will help you train smarter so you can improve your game.
Keep in mind that tennis is a game that requires a lot of practice to master, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. And don’t forget that taking care of your body is just as important as perfecting your backhand volley.