It was mid-October and the first day of long-awaited fall temperatures, an enjoyable time for us tennis players in the Lowcountry after a summer of relentless 100 degrees plus heat indexes.
We were so looking forward to a great day on the courts, but the beginning of the changing weather also brings unpredictable wind. With speed and direction all over the map, it became evident that whoever displayed the most patience would likely win the day.
In most minds patience, in its basic form, connotes waiting. Tennis adds another dimension to the mix. It’s a quality that allows you to be calm and confident and successfully execute your shots.
Good anticipation, seeing and taking action early enough, creates more time to be in control of balance and footwork.
Having these qualities at your disposal allows for fewer unforced errors and a less rushed feeling when making your shots. It will certainly make your tennis more fun and reduce the effects of outdoor factors.
Speaking of Mother Nature, in windy conditions take note of wind direction. Look at the direction the trees are swaying, or, if there is a flag flying close by, it can help you know if you’re playing with, or against, the wind and how to gauge your hitting.
Having the patience to get positioned to work with the wind is an advantage.
The same goes for playing in sunny conditions. Work with the sun to try and make it an advantage. Don’t think for a minute that your opponents wouldn’t do the same! Again, this takes patience, and a good lob to make it work.
Overall, being patient and using good fundamentals when executing any shot will pay more dividends than trying to power through your opponents.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a ball away when the opportunity arises. Rather, strive to achieve good placement through the virtue of patience.
Lou Marino is a USPTA Cardio and youth tennis coach who lives, teaches and provides racquet service in the Bluffton-Hilton Head Island area.