Tennis Fitness: Focusing on the Ball

Since the day you picked up a racquet, you have been told over and over again to “WATCH THE BALL!” So how do you do that???

In order to see the tennis ball clearly and make contact in the center of your racquet, you must have three systems working together properly.  These three systems include your vision, vestibular system, and proprioception.

Your vision may be improved by wearing prescription eye glasses or contact lenses while playing.  Your proprioception may be improved by performing balancing activities, such as wobble board training.  But how do you improve the vestibular system???

Watch this video to find out two exercises that may improve your vestibular system and allow you to focus on the ball.

Exercise 1: With your eyes closed and standing on a piece of padding or foam, lift one leg off the ground trying to maintain your balance.  Your goal is to be able to hold for 30 seconds.  Perform this exercise on both sides daily.

Exercise 2: Place a tennis ball on the ground in front of you. While sitting on an exercise ball, lift one leg off of the ground with your arms up in the air.  In this position, focus on the letters on the tennis ball and begin to shake your head back and forth.  Your goal is to be able to focus on the letters for 30 seconds while keeping your balance on the exercise ball.

If at any time you become dizzy or nauseated, stop and consult your physician or healthcare professional.  Do not operate machinery or a vehicle if you feel any dizziness.

Add these exercises to your weekly tennis fitness program and you will find yourself hitting the ball cleaner and with more consistency.  If you have any questions about tennis health and fitness please give us a call or follow us on Twitter.