Improving Your Tennis: How About Changing Your Racket?

Are you a tennis player who wants to keep getting better? Then it's time to up your game with the help of 3 other racket sports: badminton, squash and padel. They're complementary sports that, aside from being fun, will give your tennis a boost. Why wait? Change your racket now!
Decathlon Malaysia
June 30, 2021

GRAB A SHUTTLECOCK!

Improving your tennis: how about changing your racket?

From jumps and lunges to smashes, drop shots and lobs, tennis and badminton are so similar they even use the same words. The main difference is that badminton is played on a shorter, narrower court with a higher net. The footwork and tactics are different but complementary. Let us explain:

An explosive sport! Badminton is an incessant series of jumps, adjustment steps, and lunges forwards or to the side. Your body has to constantly react to the shuttlecock's flight path. Your glutes, abs and back muscles are subjected to intense repetitions over very short periods of time. Applying this explosiveness to your tennis will increase your dynamism and your ability to react to your opponent's shot.

Coordination and flexibility! As a fast sport, badminton requires you to constantly shuffle your legs and adjust your movements/footwork based on the shuttlecock's trajectory. This develops not just your coordination, but your flexibility too. In tennis, these two criteria will make you much more precise and your new-found upper-body flexibility will accelerate your shots.

Fly like the shuttlecock! If you play badminton for an hour, you'll run on average 5 to 6 km. Your footwork is light and floaty. This is really beneficial for your tennis, particularly for your split step before hitting the ball. It's essential for good positioning.



Do you know where badminton comes from? Badminton originated in South East Asia, where a sport called "poona" was played with a light ball and a racket. In 1873, the British drew up the rules in the town of the same name (Badminton!), but because they didn't have a ball, they attached feathers to a champagne cork. The shuttlecock was born.

Improving your tennis: how about changing your racket?

GET YOUR HEART PUMPING WITH SQUASH!

3 walls, 1 glass wall: the limits of the squash court. 62 m² in which to run, crouch, think and hit the little black ball. Considered one of the most calorie-intensive sports, squash both gives you a great cardio workout and perfectly complements your tennis.

Train your endurance and explosiveness! Footwork and positioning are essential in any racket sport, but particularly in squash. Your heart will work both aerobically (endurance) and anaerobically (explosiveness) to respond to the intensity of the rallies. This will benefit your tennis by improving your recovery between points. And with this increased ability to recover, staying focused and physically fresh for the next point will be easier.

Develop your visual acuity (your eye!)! Squash is a fast sport. On average the ball flies at between 10 and 200 km/h (280 km/h for the very fastest shots) yet is only 40 mm across. Your eyes are therefore really put through their paces. They're constantly adapting and scanning 360° around you. This visual training has a huge impact on your tennis: the tennis ball's trajectory is straighter and it flies less quickly, so your eyes will be better at reading the ball, which will give you more time to get into position.

Physical stamina! There's no rest for the wicked! Hit after hit, point after point, the continuous effort required for squash will boost your stamina. And the fitter you become, the more you'll see the difference on the tennis court as you're able to keep going for more points and games.

Physical stamina! There's no rest for the wicked! Hit after hit, point after point, the continuous effort required for squash will boost your stamina. And the fitter you become, the more you'll see the difference on the tennis court as you're able to keep going for more points and games.

TO WIN, BE PRECISE!

Improving your tennis: how about changing your racket?

Padel was invented in Mexico in 1974 and exported to Spain, where it quickly became one of the most popular sports, with 8 million players. It's played on a 20-metre-long, 10-metre-wide closed court. The points can be very long. This Hispanic sport is a cross of badminton, squash and tennis, and works great as a complementary sport for tennis:

Play as a team! It's played 2-on-2, which demands plenty of coordination. Translating this coordination to the tennis court, be it for doubles or singles, will help make your shots that much more precise.

Jumps, lunges, split steps, volleys, smashes, attack, defence! Everything comes together to train your legs intensively. This training will really raise your tennis game.

Precision! It's harder to score a point in padel than in tennis. You have to be patient and play the shot in exactly the right place. Precision is needed to throw off your two opponents. This patience and precision are also called for in tennis. Taking your time to build your point will make it easier to finish.

Did you know? The longest padel point in history lasted two whole minutes (80 strokes).

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