In all sport, fitness is critical. I actually developed a new term for a s specific shot I like in tennis. Nothing new, and good athletes do it all the time, but only because they can.
Today, I was practicing hitting targets while serving. For this specific serve, I aimed at my opponent’s back hand. I was serving to the ad side of the tennis court. Whenever I serve there, my opponent has a harder time returning the ball with his one hand backhand, and returns it a bit short. Knowing this, I rushed the net and was positioned to the right of the ball’s landing spot, in perfect location for a backhand down the line. Instead, though, liking my topspin forehand better just for the feel of the shot, I carefully moved around the ball, took my back swing, and drove the ball to the open court for a clear winner.
This is quite a routine shot for me. I prefer my forehand over my backhand, although I do spend a lot of time practicing my forehand. Yet, I started to think about what it takes to actually execute this shot. It really takes a lot, of fitness that is. Not only is the ball clearly on my backhand side, and I’d have to actually do little from my left side to drive the ball to the open court, but I have to move myself around the ball’s runaway to get to the right spot to hit the shot well. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “this is a real fitness shot”.
We all have different levels of fitness. I spend a lot of time on the exercise bicycle developing my endurance. I play hard and chase after balls on the tennis court too, so that I can be the fittest possible for my age. At 53, lots of my peers spend their entire days eating and drinking their way to Type II diabetes or heart disease. Although playing tennis, cycling, and skiing are no guarantees that I will be healthy and live a long life, they sure do keep me fit enough to have fun on and off the court. So, the next time you play tennis, try out the fitness shot and see if you can run around a ball and hit it to your target.