Many young students aspire to play high school tennis, which is also one of the most rewarding experiences for a teen athlete. Let us walk you through the high school athletics’ ins and outs, including tryouts, matches, and season expectations.
Many elite junior tennis players avoid trying out for their school varsity JV teams because it interferes with their potential to acquire a USTA rating, interferes with their after-school academy training, and makes getting a college scholarship more difficult. Aside from the lower competition, which makes it simpler for recreational players to make a high school team, several schools operate no-cut programs. Many players we know, on the other hand, have played high school tennis, obtained high USTA rankings, received college scholarships, and even gone on to play professionally, suggesting that it is not impossible.
The Advantages of High School Tennis
According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and the Centers for Disease Control, youth sports provide many advantages for teenagers. Children are all taught by goal setting, discipline, sportsmanship, teamwork, dealing with stress, and interacting with people of various personality types. As a result, sports help children perform better academically, develop leadership skills, and lower their risk for various diseases and conditions.
According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, girls who participate in competitive sports are less likely to drop out, abuse drugs and alcohol, have an unwanted pregnancy, perform poorly in academics, have low self-esteem and a negative body image, and enter abusive relationships.
If you want to play high school tennis or your child to have the experience of playing on a scholastic sports team, take the following steps to improve your/their chances of making the team.
Go Over Your Fundamentals
Allow a coach to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in each aspect of your game. Once you’ve determined this, you can build your game around your strengths and begin to address your weaknesses. In addition to hiring a coach to examine your overall strokes, request an evaluation of:
- Your deep shots
- Your cross-court shots
- Your down-the-line shots
- 1st and 2nd serve
- your returns
- Your drop shots
- Your lob height and depth
- Your volley placement
- Your footwork
Improve Your Mental Game
High school tennis is enjoyable, but you must be able to play under pressure, mainly when your team relies on your match to secure a victory, and everyone is watching and cheering. Working with an individual expert coach or attending group classes with friends from a coach you hire can help you learn how to avoid anxiety during major situations. A good coach will set up high-pressure practice sessions that mimic what happens in a game.
Improve Your Doubles Performance
You don’t have to be a terrific singles player to make a high school tennis team. High school teams must win doubles matches to win conference and state titles. Unfortunately, many good singles players don’t know where to stand, serve, return, or hit when playing doubles. Poaching and lobbing are also important doubles skills that many good singles players lack.
If you want to make a high school tennis team, work with an experienced coach to learn how to be a good doubles player. A good coach can teach you the proper positions, strategies, and tactics for becoming a valuable doubles specialist for a high school (or college) tennis team.
Many tennis players incorrectly focus on their aerobic tennis conditioning to prepare for tennis tryouts, but this does not help during a tennis match. Tennis is an anaerobic sport that requires a different type of conditioning than jogging or using a cardio machine. The key is to build an aerobic base while also training for quick sprints, changing directions, and high-intensity movements.
It’s just as important to learn how to recover after a tennis point, so you’re ready for the next one to get in shape to play points. Take some lessons from a competent coach who can demonstrate footwork and conditioning drills that mimic what happens during a tennis match. Inquire about high-intensity start-and-stop drills that require you to run hard for 30 seconds, followed by 90 seconds of recovery.