Top Three Things to Think About When Buying Running Shoes

Running can really take its toll on your body and so it is very important to make sure that you protect yourself by buying the best possible shoe for you. There are many things that you should consider when buying shoes and the top three things are listed below.

Gait

Your gait is the way that you run. If you tend to roll your foot over to one side when you are running, then you need a shoe that gives good support around your heel. There are shoes that do this and shoes that do not. In order to find out, it is possible to have a gait analysis done in a sports shop. They will ask you to jog on a treadmill and video your feet so that they can see how you run. Then they will be able to show you which selection of shoes is most suitable for you. If you are buying online, then this could be more difficult, but it could be possible for you to ask a friend or family member to look at your feet while running and check out your gait and then contact shoe sellers and manufacturers to get a list of the shoes that will be best for you.

Buying Running Shoes

Comfort

Comfort is obviously very important when buying a running shoe. When you are trying on the shoes, make sure that you wear a pair of running socks so that you know exactly how it might feel. Take your time to walk around the shop and feel how the fit is for you. Some shoes may rub on the heels or toes or on the ankle bone so watch out for those areas when you are trying them on. Consider how tightly you will lace them as well and try to replicate this when you try them on. If you lace a shoe too tightly it can give you foot pain but if it is too loose it can slip on the heel and so you need to make sure that you can lace it correctly and still make it feel comfortable.

Support

It is important to consider what type of support the shoe will be giving to your foot. It may feel comfortable, but you also need to consider what it has built in to it to protect your body. Some shoes have special technology in them to help you. It is good to find out all about this and how it could help you before buying the shoe. You could end up paying a lot more than necessary for a pair of very technical shoes when a pair of more reasonably priced running shoes from Millet sports could do the job. Consider what your needs are before you part with your money.

Tennis Strategy to Beat Every Player!

No player is perfect! There is always a tennis strategy that can ruin your opponents day. Nadal, for example, finally found a slight sliver of a hairline crack in poor ole Fed’s armor! He has been whipping up spin balls to Federers’ backhand ever since, causing huge damage to possibly the best player who’s ever lived! There are always players that you will think

“Ughh! I got to play that guy?!” Well, those players tend to natural play with a playing style that employs a tactic that you dislike. Such as high balls or slicing backhands.

Having been a college player in the SEC, I certainly have been in the midst of tennis strategies!

The coaches spend more time analyzing strategies and tactics than perhaps Napoleon did before invading Russia. They know it is absolutely crucial to the winning of a match.

Tennis Strategy

Singles Tennis Strategies – are basically your plan while on the tennis court.

Your anti-opponent plan! It is a big deal, not only because you are using tactics that exploit your opponents’ weaknesses, therefore incapacitating his strengths. Furthermore, having a good tennis tactic will do more than just that. It will give you confidence, but more on that later.

Tennis Doubles Strategy – In this clever game, full of dialogue and surprise, strategical planning and communication are of the essence.

Different tactics are discussed such as “I formation” which is where one player crouches down to the ground and springs up to a certain side after the serve, I will also suggest how to make it most effective.

As well as the “I formation” doubles tactics such as “Australian formation” are mentioned and other useful tips such as… where to serve when playing doubles?

What’s Tennis Strategy, Why Is It Such A Big Deal?

Being a man with a plan, (such as Rafael Nadal tennis plan when he plays Federer) gives you confidence in times of pressure! It removes doubts, that otherwise start to sneak in.

Furthermore, there are many different types of tennis courts and as a player learning to adjust your playing style and tactics to the specific court your playing on is key! That leads me onto a whole new section that I find critical when playing tennis… Strategies for different tennis surfaces! Read more below.

Clay Tennis Court Strategies – How to win on a clay court. When playing on a clay tennis court, tennis becomes completely different, the balls come at different speeds, the bounces are different, it is slippery and players end up sliding. So it is vital for players to know their tennis strategy and “play their cards” differently.

On top of this, It loads that pressure on to your opponent because you will make them play their most shaky shot. Your opponent knows it’s coming. He or she will miss it eventually, and… He or she will be angry, frustrated, and nervous because they knows the shot is coming their way again!

A great example of tennis tactics is in “Winning Ugly” by Brad Gilbert! I suggest you take a look, if you haven’t already :-) It’s great.

How to Hit a Tennis Backhand

Many beginners think that the backhand ground stroke is a difficult one. However, once the footwork and basics of the stroke are mastered, it becomes a very natural shot and can be a very effective weapon.

Here are some points to remember for the backhand:

1. For the grip, the hand is placed at the top of the handle and the thumb placed either across the back of the handle or wrapped around it.
2. From the basic ready position, turn the upper body so that you are sideways to the net.
3. Take the racket back in a slight looping motion, so that it is about perpendicular to the net.
4. As you complete your backswing, bring the forward foot around in front of you and step towards the ball, keeping your weight on the back foot until you start the forward swing.
5. Use a firm grip and ensure that it is a strong grip as you come to hit the ball.
6.  Make contact with the ball just ahead of your forward hip.
7. Transfer your body weight as you hit so that all your body weight is on the front foot when contact with the ball is made.
8. Continue the follow through after the ball has been hit and let your rear foot come through as you finish the stroke.

The Championships - Wimbledon 2007 Day Nine

Sliced Backhand

The motion described above can be used for the sliced backhand. The racket head will be slightly open and the position of the racket remains high when coming forward to hit the ball. The swing path is from high to low.

Topspin Backhand

For this shot, the racket head is positioned in a more straight vertical position. After the loop back, the racket head is dropped low and the knees are bent as well. The swing path is from low to high.

Two-handed Backhand

For one-handed shots, the player has a choice of using slice (backspin) or topspin. For the two-handed shots, topspin is invariably used because slice is difficult to achieve. For that reason, the racket head will drop low and scrape the back of the ball from bottom to top, thus imparting topspin.

The Tennis Racket

The racket is the tool with which you perform, so you’ll need to select one that you feel very comfortable with and one that feels as much as possible like an extension of your arm and hand. Try to play with a few rackets before you buy, so that you have a good idea of its feel. Many retail shops will let you try out rackets before you buy.

Choosing a good quality racket, even if it means paying a little more. will help to protect yourself from injuries like tennis elbow.

Most standard adult rackets are about 69cm long, with head sizes of between 237 to 275 square cms. The advantage of using a racket with a large head is that the ‘sweet spot’ (i.e. the centre of the racket which propels the ball the the most) is larger. However, rackets with larger heads tend to be more difficult to quickly maneuver to the ball. Most of the professional players use rackets with smaller heads, so they can generate quicker racket speeds.

Tennis Racket

Lighter rackets can be easy to swing and therefore can be maneuvered quickly to the ball but they also may make it more difficult to control the ball when the shot is played, if the weight isn’t sufficient.

Most racket grips sizes are between 11.25 and 11.875cm. You should be able to fit your index finger into the gap between your thumb and the two middle fingers. If the grip is not large enough, you can increase its girth with overwrap tape.

The type of strings and their tension are also important. Most professional players use natural gut but these are rather expensive. Recreational players tend to use synthetic strings. Multi-filament strings have a softer feel when hitting the ball.

If you are experiencing pain in your arms when you hit the ball, try a slightly lower tension. On the other hand, if you are losing control of the ball too often, a higher tension may be required.

American Open Mens Preview

The American Open starts on the 26th August and the very best players will be trying to win the title. The men’s contest is extremely interesting. Nadal won the French, Djokovich the Australian and Murray Wimbledon. It could be argued that this will be the decider between the top three players.

Murray is the most recent winner and is the defending champion as well and so this could be seen as his title to lose. However, he could be coming down after the climax of winning the Grand Slam that he has always dreamed of winning and he may just not have the strength to pull it together for this one. The first few matches may give away some more clues as to how well the number three seed will be likely to do, but with Michael Llodra of France as his round one opponent, he could be up for a tough challenge from the start. Llodra is the number 49 in the world and the last three times they have met, he has won. Some might say things will not get tough until he meets Djokovich in the quarter finals, but as a professional, he would never assume that it will be easy to get there. He would have to potentially beat Berdych to get there.

American Open

However, assuming that Djokovich, the number one seed will get to the quarter finals may also be a big assumption. He will have to best Del Potro who won in 2010. Djokovich has looked in fine form, has not made any surprising mistakes or had any injuries, unlike the other top players. This means that he could be a massive threat.

That is not to dismiss number two seed, Rafa Nadal who gets what would be seen as easy first round match against Ryan Harrison the 97th in the world. However, although his injury comeback has looked almost miraculous, it does not mean he is yet up to top form. To make matters worse, he is set to play Federer in the semi-final and then Ferrer or Gasquet in the semi-finals if he gets that far.

It could be exciting stuff so you will need to place your bets now with the UK’s no. 1 bookmaker before you get so carried away with watching the matches that you forget! Who will you be placing your money on, one of the favourites or an outsider?

Betting on an upcoming tennis game

Certain sports today have become not only popular as spectator sports but they also are the focus of numerous sports bets. One sport that has become more popular on which to place sports bets is tennis. Throughout the year, many different high profile tennis events occur that are appealing for bettors. This would include events such as Wimbledon, the French Open and the Davis Cup. While bettors don’t have to be tennis fans, it does help to have some knowledge of tennis when betting your money.

The most obvious kind of bet to place on these tennis events would be which player will win a specific match as well as the overall tournament. Many bettors make the mistake when making this wager of reading the odds incorrectly. Prior to a match, the bookmaker will post the odds of each player to win. For example, a match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic may have odds posted with Nadal’s listed as 5/7 and Djokovic’s shown as 6/4. When betting on Nadal, every £7 bet would result in a profit of £5. Whereas a wager on Djokovic would mean a £4 bet would yield a profit of £6. In this scenario, Nadal is the favourite to win.

tennis game

Most people place their sports bets prior to the actual tennis match occurring which leaves them some time to experience other tennis related excitement at Lucky Nugget online slots. Here tennis fans can find slot machine games that have incorporated their favourite game into them. For example, one possible choice would be the Tennis Stars Slot Machine. The game has a total of 40 paylines on which players may place their wager. Another aspect of this game which appeals to the player is the broad range of wager denominations available, which go from .01 to 2000. The largest payout with this game is a lofty 500,000.

How to Serve in Tennis – Improve the Tennis Serve with Ease

The tennis serve is the only shot where you have the ball in your hand, and all the options in the world are available to you. It is a chance to start your opponent off in the worst possible position! So, it can be highly destructive to the opponent if we can make good use of your tennis serve!

Here we will look at how to serve in tennis. There will be suggestions and guidance on how to make your serve in tennis MORE effective with LESS effort. For the tennis serve to be deadly it needs to have, different spins, disguise, consistency, and lastly it needs to be fast fast and fast!

The last point covered so much detail, that i decided it warranted its own page on tennis how to serve fast :-) If you improve these four points, of EQUAL importance, then you are well on your way to how to serve in tennis.

So, lets get straight to it!!

The Tennis Serve Spins

Your opponent is getting every tennis serve back? Maybe he or she has a weak forehand or backhand? Spin can work wonders for situations like these. There are 2 main types of spin.

The Slice Serve

To serve a good slice serve people find it easier to toss the ball further to the right. This however, causes a conflict with our disguise on the tennis serve. People will easily read your slice serve and be waiting for it with a smile.

Instead, the toss should be in exactly the same spot as your other first serve in tennis, (Half a foot in front of you and half a foot to the right of you). If you imagine a clock face then you should toss the ball in line with one o’clock. Next, sneakily adjust your grip. Twist it a fraction clockwise, from your usual chopper grip for the serve. This will help add more spin. When you strike the ball, aim to brush the right side of the ball.

The follow through is critical for a slice serve. Instead of the racquet finishing down by your left foot, the racquet will finnish higher up above your left elbow. This will help make that beautiful curl on the ball, it will also ensure the ball passes the net! :-)

The Tennis Serve Kick

The kick serve is a shot that many players find hard to achieve. Nevertheless, it is even more of a mission to return well. Firstly, your toss will need to be slightly behind your head for the kick serve. If you imagine a clock-face, 11 p.m. is where you will want to make contact with the ball!

Why the toss there? Well, it enables us to do the second step!

Secondly, because the toss is slightly behind you, your back will be bent backwards putting stress on your core abdominal muscles, (this is why core abdominal muscles are so important for tennis players). From this position, you will brush up the back of the ball (your racquet will be close to horizontal to the ground at contact point) and continue to extend your arm up into the sky while using your abdominal muscles to snap you back to your original linear position.

Note: The arm extension is achieved by straightening out your arm from the elbow joint. It is a similar action to waving at some one in the far distance.

Thirdly and lastly, Your legs will play a Vital role. They need to be bent, then extended upwards to meet the ball at contact point. This is the difficult thing about hitting a good kick serve! It is all about synchronizing your legs exploding upwards with your abdominal muscles snapping forwards and your arm brushing up behind the ball!

It takes a lot of practice! One of the best drills you can do for your kick serve is to layout a towel on the floor, and get on your knees. Toss the ball behind you, and practice hitting kick serves like that. When you get back on your feet it will feel easier to generate kick.

Practice makes perfect with the kick serve, develop the kick of a donkey behind your serve and you will not be disappointed with its potential!

The tennis Serve in Disguise!

You only have about 1 second to return a serve in tennis. A player’s inner self subconsciously gets used to trends and patterns in the servers’ routine. That way he or she can anticipate where the ball is going to land. If you can gain a unreadable tennis serve the opponent can no longer anticipate it! John Mcenroe, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer are all famous tennis players serve in tennis that have mastered this how to serve in tennis art of disguise!

Firstly, as mentioned before, a closed stance is probably the most important factor in gaining disguise on the serve in tennis!

Look at the photo of Roger Federer or Marat Safin for a closed stance. Please note that some of these are VERY closed stances… You will most likely find it very difficult to close your stance that much.

Secondly, try holding shoulder position with your back almost facing the opponent. Then uncoil and rotate into your shot!

Finally, when you practice your tennis serve… this simple exercise will help you A LOT! toss up the ball and then, at the last second before you hit, have a friend shout out either: T, Middle, or Wide. You then have to try and hit the ball in the location he shouted out :-)

A simple drill, but highly effective in making your tennis serve as clear as mud to read!

Tennis Serve Consistency problems?

Don’t worry, gaining consistency in the tennis serve is not that difficult! It is a combination of rhythm and practice. Or practicing your rhythm :-) As discussed previously, your rhythm, can help you gain power and consistency. Of course one element that can bring the tennis serve crashing down is a bad toss! So as a final note:

To toss the ball effectively hold the ball between your first four fingers. DO NOT hold or grab the ball. Then bring your arm up guiding the ball and release it when your arm is extended.

Ideally, the ball should not be spinning while in the air.

Return Of Serve – Get A Great Tennis Return

The return of serve is the second shot in any point, and once finely tuned with certain tips and techniques, a player will find that he has a chance at every point! A tennis players whole confidence and morale gets a boost from FREE points and once we cut out those missed or weaker tennis returns…

They will suddenly feel under a lot more pressure. Andre Agassi certainly put an enormous emphasis on the tennis return where he spent hours a day practicing his tennis returns! This ultimately achieved one of the most difficult players to beat in the world.

Preparation For Return of Serve

Know what you are to do before the opponent serves. Do not just react to whatever happens! You simply do not have enough time to hit a good tennis return like that. So, clarify with yourself exactly where to hit your tennis return when you step up to the line. For example, think… If it comes to my forehand I hit cross court, if it comes to my backhand I hit down the line. Players find this helps to reduce the element of surprise which comes with trying to return a good serve.

Andre Agassi

Tennis Return – Footwork and Swing

Ok, so when to split step? You should split step when your opponent has tossed the ball. That way when he makes contact with the ball, you land ready and balanced. Then next thing depends largely on your opponents serve.

If it is a first serve? Then a short take back will suffice and rather than swinging at the ball just move forwards. The serve has plenty of pace on it all ready! On top of this, if you swing at it then the chances of hitting the perfect contact point becomes minimal.

If it is a second serve? And you have time then move in on the return of serve. Split step, then step in a bit (with left leg if forehand) or (right leg if backhand) and put pressure on the opponent with your closed stance.

No need to go for a winner on the line, one of the best tennis return strategies is to go to the center and therefore jam the opponent. If you miss, you will have still made them doubt their serve! Continue reading

Three Tips To Nail A Fast Serve

#1. Relax. Go to your happy place, think about being on the beach with a cocktail! In fact do whatever except “Trying to hit the fastest tennis serve.” It will tense too many muscles which impedes the swing speed. Don’t believe me?

Try snapping your wrist as hard as you can, tense your muscles and give it your all. How fast was it? Now, try relaxing your wrist… and snap it again. Hopefully, the latter is much quicker!

To improve tennis serve? It is not only the wrist, but the muscles ALL the way down your arm that can impede you swing speed! Learning to relax into your serve is VITAL for speed. Check out the learning to play tennis article for this approach to learning to play tennis.

#2. Rhythm. The best servers have rhythm. Rhythm is essential for consistency and improvement of your tennis serves. After all, if you are hitting serves with different rhythms, you are hitting different serves. Its like trying to improve several serves instead of just one. On top of this, a good rhythm can be used to your advantage in gaining YOUR fastest tennis serve!

If we watch a Andy Roddick serve. We will see that there rhythm transfers their weight from their front foot onto the back foot. Once all this weight that is loaded onto the back foot… It is exploded back forwards and into the serve at the striking point!

That is where the power comes from! BAM, a server that has learnt to do this, has just gained a couple hundred pounds of moving weight behind his serve and is gaining his fastest tennis serve. You can feel the ball knock you back a bit kind of like a tennis overhead … if you return it!

Practice using your weight effectively by rocking your weight back onto your back foot, and transferring it forwards and through into the court when you hit! The details are your personal serving style, everyone has different preferences.

#3. Technique. They have good technique. While this statement may not win any noble prizes for originality. The cold truth is that if there is some funky technique in your tennis serves, you are probably not letting yourself hit the ball to your full potential. As this is a very personal area, I suggest you get your tennis serves checked out by your local coach. However, here are the three most common technical errors. That through coaching and playing, I have seen many times. That once adjusted can allow you to improve tennis serve power and technique.

1) Lack of bending of the legs. Your upper body must be loose when serving. So where does the raw power come from?

The legs. You have to get low with your legs and explode, catapult, or push off upwards. Look at all the photos of the famous tennis players pros serving. They all bend their legs to a great extent.

2) Shoulder and arms not in line. By this I mean… When you toss your ball up and are waiting to hit it. Your left hand in the sky should run straight all the way down to where your right elbow bends.

3) Stance too open. Many people do not realize how closed the Pros really are… This creates power through rotation into the ball. Pete Sampras arguable one of the best servers ever lived, is a classic example of this. Andy Roddick Serve is another great example, but we have all ready mentioned that a little :-)

Hope you have enjoyed the tennis how to serve fast page, feel free to look around other tennis strokes , tennis drills or any other pages on the site… you get the idea :-)

The Lob

Definition

The stroke which sends the ball above the head of the net player. A high lofted ball which goes higher than the reach of the net player to land near the baseline.

Uses

The lob is an underestimated stroke used ineffectively by the majority of players. Matches could often be won by effective lobbing at the right time and are often lost through lobbing too infrequently and inaccurately.

1. In singles the lob is used to give the player time to recover correct court position when driven off the court. Also it is used to give the player time to recover her breath during a hard fought rally.

2. It is used as a point winner in singles, when the opponent is unable to run back and return the lob.

3. In doubles and singles it is used to drive the opponent back from the net.

4. In doubles the lob is used to mix up the team work of the opponents in addition to driving them from the net.

tennis Lob

Types Of Lobs

In general there are two types, the offensive and the defensive lob. The offensive lob is hit just out of reach of the opponent and does not give her time to run back and hit it on the first bounce. This lob is very difficult to accomplish successfully and is an advanced stroke, safe only in the hands of an expert. The defensive lob is hit very high, and the opponent may have time to go back and return it, but only if there is a goodly space behind the baseline. When there is little backcourt space the defensive lob is also a point winner. There is some question as to the fairness of lobbing in this situation, however. Continue reading