Racquet Sports

Squash and racquetball are played around the world and enjoyed by people of all ages and both sexes. It seems to be Universally enjoyable to simply hit a ball against a wall or to an opponent with a racquet. There is also an intense pleasure To be had in playing a challenging head-to-head competition.

Tennis

Many people think of tennis as the perfect game for a lifetime. Young people, beginners and experienced players can continue to improve their game for years with coaching and knowledge.

How to Get Started

  • Find a friend of equal skill level or join an organized group or club that has members with varying levels of expertise.
  • Always warm up and cool down. Start your warm up with some light locomotors activities to elevate your heart rate and increase the temperature of your muscles. Brisk walking or jogging of your muscles. Brisk walking or jogging to the courts, jogging on the spot and doing jumping jacks are all good locomotors activities. Follow this with some easy practice volleys and serves. Some people also like to do some light 10-second stretches for the Achilles tendon area, legs, and shoulders just before the first game begins.
  • When you cool down, perform stretches for the muscle groups mentioned above but hold them for a longer time, up to 20 seconds each (refer to stretches in Cool Down in this section). Equipment
  • Purchase a racquet that suits your needs and abilities. Although there are many different shapes and sizes of racquets available, most are variations on the slim-profiled “wide-body” type. Wide-bodies are now accepted as the lightest and strongest frames in the world. They are more maneuverable and stiffer than the old-fashioned wooden style. Wide-bodies are also more powerful and lighter than the slimmer-bodied models.
  • Choose brand name balls that are sold in pressurized cans. A can of four balls is enough for playing a practice match. If you’re using a ball machine or doing exercises with a partner you will need a basket full of second-grade balls.
  • Wear comfortable, light clothes. Shirts must allow your arms and shoulders freedom to move. Wear socks with cushioned soles and heels. Some facilities may require that you wear all white clothing. Try a headband to keep your hair in place and to stop sweat from running into your eyes. If you tend to perspire heavily, wristbands can keep the perspiration on your arms from rolling onto your hands. When playing outdoors, wear a hat or visor to protect your face from the sun’s rays.
  • Protect your feet and improve your footwork by choosing good tennis shoes. They must provide flexibility and stability and give support to your instep, ankles and Achilles tendons. Different court surfaces require different soles: smooth soles for indoors, pimpled for grass and herringbone for general use. Running shoes are not a good substitute for tennis shoes since they do not allow for additional lateral support necessary when moving side to side.

Tennis Tips

Technique Tips

  • Gripping the racquet: If you are just starting, try the “eastern forehand” grip by simply shaking hands with your racquet. For backhand shots, hold your index knuckle at the top of the grip. Whether you use one hand or two hands to return balls will depend on your body size and the strength in your arm and wrist. Experiment to find out which is most comfortable for you.
  • Ready position: Face the net with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent and weight over the balls of your feet. Hold the racquet centrally to prepare yourself to return any type of stroke. Support the racquet head by lightly holding it at the “throat” with your other hand.

Serving:

  • Let the racquet drop down and begin to make a counter-clockwise circle. When the racquet reaches shoulder height, let it collapse down your back. From this position, lift and throw your racquet up and out at the ball, hitting the ball on its bottom side. After contact, continue to swing, letting the racquet fall down across your body, producing a hugging effect and creating some forward movement.
  • Since tennis is stop and go by nature it’s not considered a true aerobic activity. To bring it closer to an aerobic activity, keep moving at a steady pace all the time. Bounce on your toes and run to return balls in an easy fashion. Avoid sprinting after balls and temporarily driving your heart rate out of your target heart rate zone. Try working out with a ball machine, ball machines shoot balls to you at 3, 6, or 12-second intervals. Keep moving and bouncing on your toes. You can wear a heart rate monitor to keep track of your heart rate to see if you are in your fat burning zone.
  • For more of a challenge, add a spin adapter to the ball machine. Its internal oscillator creates a random pattern of shots in length and width.
  • Try to play singles tennis since it’s often more physically demanding than doubles.
  • Take lessons from a pro. Group lessons are an excellent and economical way to begin. Receiving good instruction and being patient are key to improvement.

Badminton

Badminton is a sport that involves hitting a shuttlecock made from cork and feathers back and forth across a net with a badminton racquet. The object is to hit the shuttlecock over the net into the opponent’s court so that he cannot return it before it hits the ground. Once considered a slow, low-intensity activity, badminton is now recognized as a quick-moving, explosive interval sport much like competitive volleyball or squash.

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