April Tennis Carnival: Drillin’ and Chillin’

Kathie Marshall

Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. This is the mantra of a tennis coach and friend who told me this as I was learning to play. It does no good to repeatedly practice using incorrect form because all you are doing is reinforcing bad habits and creating muscle memory for a poor stroke. Unlearning those habits makes it all the harder to learn the proper execution of the strokes needed for good play. In addition, due to the biomechanics of the body, poor form on groundstrokes, volleys, and the serve can lead to significant injuries over time.

That is why here at SaddleBrooke Ranch Tennis Association (SBRTA), we take development practice seriously and offer weekly practice and learning sessions offered by our visiting tennis pro and volunteer SBRTA coaches. However, practice does not need to be stressful or grueling. The joy of learning to play or improve your game is that the practice drills can be fun and great exercise.

To augment the weekly development clinics, the SBRTA Events and Training and Development Committees planned and hosted an action-packed Tennis Carnival held on April 10. The carnival featured skill training sessions followed by a members’ social on the patio. The skill sessions were divided into groups using four courts: Chris Madsen led an overhead and lob drill, Tom Marshall conducted movement and volley drills, Wayne Watkins gave tips and practice on topspin groundstrokes and placement, and Bill Shipp worked with groups on several types of serves. After drills, members gathered at the tennis court patio for a late afternoon social.

SBRTA President Mark Adamson participated in the carnival and said this, “I loved the Tennis Carnival and learned new tennis tips as well. I started on Tom’s court and ended on Chris Madsen’s. The sessions were 20 minutes each, and they were so much fun that the 20 minutes flew by! After the Tennis Carnival, I took considerable pride as president to see the carnival attendees mixing with other members at the social. I think the carnival and social were enjoyed by all!”

He went on to say that he would like the event to be held twice a year in spring and fall.

So, no matter what level player you are, if you want to get better and improve your game for competition, it is important to practice your shots, placement, and strategies. Remember, it is perfect practice that makes perfect!