Reanimating the Bones of My Tennis Game is Done, but Can I Climb Higher?
On October 20, 2017, I wrote Can My Tennis Game be Salvaged? Due to some medical issues that arose with my now nine-year-old child, I stopped playing tennis for roughly 3-years. This hiatus was not something I consciously chose. It just sort of happened. Here is a list of what was wrong after my first two-sets back:
- My service toss was at the level of a hacker version of Karol Kucera’s toss
- My anticipation was awful
- My movement was awful
- My aerobic recovery from any taxing points was not good
- My flexibility was bad
All of these 5 things have radically improved in less than 2-years. I am striking the ball as well as I ever have with the exception of my serve being much more powerful in my teens and twenties. My anticipation is much stronger. I have never been super flexible, but I am more flexible than I was in October 2017. My conditioning and speed can obviously improve, but again I am quite a bit faster and more fit on than I was. Yet … I think I could go much further. I’d honestly like to be playing my best tennis ever by age 45.
Here is an honest assessment of what I need to work on in 2019 and beyond:
- Hitting spots more frequently when serving will help me a great deal in singles and doubles
- I must find ways to improve my conditioning and my foot speed
- I need to increase my fluency with good doubles tactics
- I need to work toward a 50-50 mix of topspin and underspin backhands in rallies and on service returns
- I need to make special situation shots such as lobs, drop shots, cut volleys, etc. more consistently/I need to have On Demand shot making
Conditioning, weight loss, flexibility, and footwork improvements should help me outside of tennis so these seem to be an obvious starting point. Finding good opportunities for working on skills is also a must. I can serve to targets on my own and I should. Maybe in another 21-months, I will let you know how my tennis is going.
Can I be the Uncle Drew of Tennis or am I destined to be Uncle Buck