The game of tennis has been around since the 1870s and is a favorite sport among many Americans. Here at Harbour Ridge, members enjoy pro tennis tips while playing on the nine Har-Tru® tennis courts and participating in weekly socials, round-robin tournaments and men’s and women’s team competitions. The Harbour Ridge tennis program also offers one-of-a-kind training programs developed by the Peter Burwash International (PBI) training program. Globally renowned, the PBI program has been involved with professional tennis management since 1975. We sat down with the Harbour Ridge Tennis Pro, Fabio Vasconcellos, to get his advice on how to up your game. Here are his six must-follow tips.
There is a misconception that all contact sports must be physical and aggressive, such as football and hockey. Many people do not realize that tennis is a contact sport. Players may not be tackling one another, but they are making contact with the ball by using the tennis racquet. I like to educate people about the three steps of the tennis swing. The swing consists of the backswing, making contact and then the follow-through. Contact is the most vital part of the game because, without it, there is no game.
Know your Minimum Potential
Minimum potential is another vital part of the game. Right in the sweet spot of the racquet is minimum potential energy. When a ball makes contact with this area on the racquet, it will soar with speed and power. And this happens without the help of movement, swinging or a powerful backhand. Next time you’re practicing, see how little you will have to work with your racquet.
Take Advantage of Minimum Potential
With the understanding of the concepts of contact and minimum potential, players can hit the ball with precision and speed. When getting ready to return a hard serve there’s little time for your mind to process what is going on, as opposed to a slower groundstroke. Oftentimes, there is not enough time to prepare for the contact and complete a stroke with all three motions. Players take advantage of the knowledge of minimum potential by reacting on instinct and hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the racquet. If players utilize this tactic long enough, it will become muscle memory.
Use Your Index Finger
It is not always easy to make contact with the ball and some days are more challenging than others. I always teach players to place their opposite index finger on the racquet strings closest to the handle. By doing this, players will know where the racquet head is and the angle of its face. Knowing where the face of the racquet is, makes it easier to adjust to external conditions such as wind and speed. This knowledge is crucial on those days when contact seems impossible.
Add an Underspin
For those looking to advance their tennis skills, I would recommend adding an underspin to your forehand stroke. This shot bounces the ball lower, still making it move forward and serves multiple strategical purposes. An underspin can mess up your opponent’s rhythm and exploit their weaknesses. It can be hit effectively from both sides of the body, on forehands and backhands equally.
Mini-tennis is the perfect way to master control in tennis. With two to four players, this game takes place within the service boxes of a court. By playing within a short distance of one another, players will develop a feel for the ball and improve skills like accuracy and precision. Playing mini-tennis also allows players to become more familiar with the tennis equipment and the game itself.
Best Tennis Tip – Come Home to Harbour Ridge
If you are passionate about tennis, or are interested in learning the game, Harbour Ridge is the club you will want to call home. Harbour Ridge is the very best of waterfront, country club living. The heart and social epicenter of Harbour Ridge is our 45,000 square foot Clubhouse that is perfectly designed to take full advantage of the panoramic vistas of the picturesque St. Lucie River. Residents can also entertain themselves at the Lakeside Lifestyle Center. The state-of-the-art complex is home to our tennis program and also features, a full-service spa, salon and barbershop, physical therapy, a fitness pool with lap swimming, and a spacious fitness center. Our two USGA recognized, championship golf courses, designed by Pete & P.B. Dye and Joe Lee, and redesigned by Bobby Weed in 2018, wind along the river and throughout our community offering breathtaking views — and Audubon certified! An active calendar of events informs resident members of the activities available throughout our community ranging from fishing and golf tournaments to waterfront dinners and multiple shared interest clubs who enjoy birding, cycling, tennis, and more!
Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club is the premier, private waterfront and golf community on Southeast Florida’s Treasure Coast. The “Private by Nature” waterfront location on the St. Lucie River makes for the perfect place to live.
To learn more about the unique private club lifestyle offered at Harbour Ridge and the wide variety of residential real estate offerings available, CLICK HERE. We will email you a digital brochure that highlights the amenities and lifestyle of our waterfront community. Visit HarbourRidge.com or call 772.336.3000 for more information.