Plan, prepare and be proactive for a better game of tennis

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Plan, prepare and be proactive.

This was the advice offered by three local professionals when asked for a tip or two.

“I see a lot of people playing without a plan,” said Paula Scheb, manager of Bonita Bay. “They don’t think about their comeback or where to hit their serve. You have to play with a goal.”

A good place to start is during warm-ups.

“You have to watch your opponent closely,” Scheb said. “What are their strengths and weaknesses? How is their backhand? Do they favor their forehand? You’d be surprised how many people don’t even notice if their opponent is right-handed or left-handed.”

Once you have it all summed up, make sure you are ready.

“You have the count of one to get ready once the ball is on its way to you,” said Terry See of Cypress Lake Country Club. “Since I work with people, the first way to play better is to learn to prepare and move around the ball. A lot of people take too long.”

And make sure you don’t clutter the balloon.

“A common mistake is that people don’t move off the ball,” See said. “There’s a jumping drill you can do when you’re getting ready to hit the ball. I ask them to hit a forehand, recover, then hit a backhand and recover.”

And when it comes to hitting the ball, don’t sit around for too long.

“Don’t step back to create time and space,” advised Jeff Diggs of Fiddlesticks. “You have to go forward. You have to hit just about every tennis ball in front of you.”

Diggs asks players to stand in one spot, throw balls at them, and maneuver their bodies to hit the ball in front of them.

Which comes down to positioning.

“You don’t have time,” Diggs said. “You have to react instantly when you see the ball. You have to know where you need to be and your body has to get there. It’s all about the footwork.”

And when do you get there?

“Be offensive,” Diggs said. “Not in that you have to be aggressive and win every point. Be offensive as well as proactive. Catch the ball early. Go forward and take the ball up. Don’t wait for it to stabilize or start to descend. you. as it arises. “

Slices

• Players have until midnight tonight to register for the Colonial Jr. Challenge Level 6 tournament (super series). The tournament, which begins Saturday, is a green dot ball tournament for boys and girls ages 12-18 and 10 and under. Register on ustaflorida.com with tournament ID 150022714. Call 768-1334 for details.

• The Lee County Community Tennis Association will be hosting a USTA Florida 10 and Under tournament at Rutenberg Park on May 10th. Players will use an orange ball on a 60 foot court. Online registration closes May 7 with ID 150053814. There is a registration fee of $ 30.

• The LCCTA will be hosting a USTA Florida L7 tournament starting May 17th at Rutenberg Park. The event is for boys and girls in Divisions 12, 14, 16 and 18 and under. Online registration closes May 14 with ID 150068814. The registration fee is $ 40. Call 482-3382 with any questions.

• Cape Coral Parks & Recreation will be hosting summer tennis camps at the Cape Coral Yacht Club from June 10 to August 7. Camps include toddlers (4-6 years old, $ 30 per week), juniors (7-14, $ 50) and advanced juniors (10-16, $ 50). There is also a junior clinic on Tuesday evenings ($ 60 for five weeks). Call 574-0808 for more information.

• Two summer camps will be held at the Fort Myers Racquet Club. MAD Tennis Academy, run by Mark Davis and Mike DePalmer, will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday starting June 6. Call 281-1387 for details. The MAD tennis camp for future champions (ages 5 and up) will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday starting June 2. Call 931-0015.


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