I didn’t start playing tennis until I was well into my 40’s. Talk about a learning curve! The good news is that even if you pick up tennis later in life with patience, consistency, and a good sense of humor, you can catch up quickly. Here are my tips for starting tennis at a more (cough, cough) mature age.
1) Join a recreational league.
I had picked up a racket a few times in my life but never did much more than hit the ball at a local park. A few years ago, I asked my friend, who played in a local league, about how to get started. A week later, I showed up to a practice with my $15 Target racket and a smile. You learn a lot when you are thrown into a situation, and I found all the women I played with to be friendly, helpful, and very supportive. I still apologize to my first tennis partner who was very patient as I figured out what the heck I was doing!
2) Don’t ever lose your sense of humor.
Tennis should be fun especially when you are starting out. If you can’t smile and laugh at some of your awful shots, you are going to end up having a lot of bad days. Tennis humbles you because one day you can’t miss a ball and the next day you miss everything. Just laugh through it and remember you are still out getting exercise and socializing.
3) Practice, practice, practice.
You don’t have to attend an organized practice to improve your game, but you do need to play a lot. Don’t ever turn down an invitation to play. Beg your spouse, friend, or child to hit balls with you. Find a backboard or hit balls against your garage door. Just hit the ball as many days a week as you can. You will be amazed at the improvement.
4) Take lessons or join a clinic.
I attended my first clinic about a year after I started. Most local tennis pros and clubs offer them and they are an easy way to get some tips and extra practice to fine tune your skills. It’s also a great way to meet new friends and find more people to play tennis with, so what are you waiting for?
Jen @Love Love Skirts