Young players - do you watch tennis? This article describes why it is important to watch more TV!
With the Australian Open just gone, the 2018 season is in full swing and this means there will be plenty of opportunities to catch some world class men's and women's tennis on TV.
Eurosport, Sky Sports, BT, Amazon Prime - the opportunities are endless and there is little excuse for not catching some of the Globe's best athletes doing battle. Even if you can't catch it live - tennis matches are often available in full on YouTube and other internet video services.
Why watch tennis on TV?
Well, other than the obvious reasons that it is quite enjoyable, there are loads of reasons that good tennis players can benefit from watching pro players perform.
This is one of the huge benefits. Many younger players have incorrect ideas of how tennis should be played. Watching pro tennis gives an understanding of how points can be constructed and won - some players will be surprised how smacking a ball as hard as you can is not the only option!
Tactically, watching different players can help younger athletes understand the different ways to defend, neutralize and attack - from lots of different situations. By finding players similar to them, they can better fine-tune their own game.
Youth tennis is not averse to outbursts. Neither is professional tennis - but by closely watching pro players in between points and how they respond to mistakes, often provides a very good template for how youngsters can better manage their own emotions.
Research into motor skills has shown that just watching a skill can help learning! So your forehand could become better, simply by watching others. More obviously, watching the technique and movement of top players can help you to understand the shape, rhythm and intensity of the body and racket movement - which will give a treasure trove of ideas for how you can improve your own game.
For any player who may wish to go easy on their physical training (you do exist!), watching the physicality of modern players can leave you in no doubt as to how important their strength and conditioning programme is. There are not many weak legs, ineffective cores, or inflexible hamstrings when it comes to top players. Understanding the demands of top level tennis should inspire you to work on your own fitness.
HOW TO WATCH?
Watching is simple, watching and learning is different. To make the most out of watching - get a notebook and pick out one element to make notes about. It might be serve placement, response to failure, shot placement...anything, but make it specific and write how it could help your own game.