As winter approaches, many tennis advocates retreat to indoor facilities. However playing indoors is a much different environment and not suitable for everyone.
Little do people know, the cold has a massive effect on the ball, which after all is not designed to play in such extreme temperatures. The cold causes the air pressure of the ball to significantly decrease, which causes it to bounce less.
Playing tennis when its freezing outside definitely has its downside, however in the list below I have came up with tips to ensure the winter doesn’t affect your game!
This is the easy part, wear thin layers you can easily add and remove. I like to wear a thin thermal below a t-shirt and usually after 10 minutes of running around I’m neither hot or cold.
Now that your core body temperature is solved, there are still issues with your hands and the low winter sun. Many choose to wear thin gloves, however this will directly affect your normal grip so you need to practice and get the hang of the adjustment.
In colder months the sun is much lower in the sky and also sets earlier due to daylight savings time. In these conditions I recommend wearing special sport sunglasses that block the sun but do not make your world darker.
When your muscles are cold they are more tense. I recommend stretching at least double of what you normally do. Also when warming up it is important to practice at least 10 minutes longer to ensure your muscles are nice and warm.
Since the ball bounces less shots like your topspin will not be as effective.
Effective shots in cold weather:
- Drop shots;
- Flat serves and slice serves
Also since the balls has less pressure, you will actually have to hit the ball harder to yield the same results as the hotter months.
Extra Winter Tennis Tips
Here are extra tips to keep you playing year-around!
Tip: Dress in removable layers so you can shed/add layers to find the perfect temperature
Tip: Hit the ball harder, and keep it lower. Remember it wont bounce as much!
Tip: Alot of places take down their nets for the winter. Call ahead or drive by to make sure you will be able to play
Tip: Always have a couple handwarmers in your bag. They will be great in-between matches and you will come back feeling better than your opponent