If you’d rather be a playoff contender in your tennis league than the laughing stock, read these Four Football Analogies to help elevate your game:
Throw Your Thumb Down on the Serve
We’ve all heard, “serve like you’re throwing a football,” but let’s get more specific. After a quarterback releases the ball, their thumb turns down. The anatomical action of the thumb turning down is called forearm pronation. Pronation is the last and most powerful link of the serve. If you focus on “throwing your thumb down” rather than just “throwing the football,” you will undoubtedly add some Fitzmagic to your serve.
Punt When On Defense
In football, when an offense is faced with 4th and long, the obvious choice is to punt. The probability of converting in that scenario is quite low, so the Head Coach usually opts for the safer choice. A good punt is kicked high and deep and forces the opponent back nearer their goal line. In tennis, when your opponent puts you on defense, it’s logical to do the same—hit high and deep, keeping your opponent back. Unfortunately, I’ve seen players hit low and flat from this position too often, leading to countless unforced errors. Relating defensive shots to a punt will surely help you reduce your unforced errors. And remember—don’t try the fake punk—unless your name is Tom Tupa.
Be a Wide Receiver on Your Touch Volley
Just ask the sure-handed Brandon Marshall—receivers are taught to catch the ball with their hands, not their body. The hands are initially away from the body, then upon catching the ball, the elbows tuck into the body to secure it. This same “out-to-in” pattern is essential when hitting a touch volley. It will allow you to simultaneously open the racquet face and absorb your opponent’s pace. The open racquet face and downward action of the racquet will impart backspin on the ball, making it more difficult for your opponent to reach.
When Poaching, Don’t Throw Back Across the Field
Every NFL quarterback knows that when you’re forced out of the pocket, you should NEVER throw back across the field—unless you’re Brett Favre—then you do it at the most inopportune times. Quarterbacks avoid this throw primarily because their momentum is going in the opposite direction, making it more difficult to get pace behind the ball. When you poach in doubles, try to honor a similar rule: hit the volley in the direction of your momentum—which in most cases, will be directly at the opposing net player. By intercepting the volley and hitting it aggressively, the net player is rendered defenseless. You’ll also make less errors with your volley because you won’t be going, “against the grain.” Use this tip and you’ll never commit another interception while making an interception!
Thanks for reading. If you have any other helpful Football Analogies, I’d love to hear them in the comments section below!