8 tips to become an ambidextrous tennis player

Overuse injuries are common among tennis players. The good news is that learning to play with both hands may reduce the incidence of such problems. These eight tips are an excellent way to become an ambidextrous player.

8 tips to become an ambidextrous tennis player

Tennis and injuries

Tennis is, by nature, a very repetitive sport. Players make the same movements over and over again, using the same muscles and joints.

This can lead to repetitive strain injuries including tennis elbow, shoulder tendinitis, wrist strains and leading leg knee problems. Back injuries are also common, mainly due to the powerful, twisting nature of the tennis swing and sudden lunging movements involved.

These injuries are often compounded by the fact that work, for the non-ambidextrous player, is unevenly spread across the back muscles, creating an imbalance.

How can ambidextrous tennis help?

Training to become an ambidextrous player is thus a good solution to prevent getting hurt. It can potentially halve the incidence of overuse injuries, especially in the wrist, elbow and shoulder.

It can also help to evenly distribute the work done by your core muscles, thereby alleviating undue strain on your back.

Plus, you’ll be able to wow opponents with your newly acquired skills.

Mastering tennis swings with your weak hand will not happen overnight. For all but the most gifted of us, it can take weeks to smartly return a good serve, and years to fully master a swing. It will be a long journey, but hopefully a fun one. These tips and drills will help get you started.

1. Practice other activities

Practice throwing tennis balls, skimming stones and other tasks with your weaker hand. Throwing overhead is particularly useful for gaining the coordination necessary for serving.

A major part of training to do anything ambidextrously is to strengthen the nerve signals to that side of your body and build up muscle memory.

2. Learn to bounce the ball on your racket

Learn to bounce the ball on your racket using your weaker hand. This will get your wrist used to making small, sudden movements. You can also bounce the ball between your racket and the ground.

3. Rally with a friend

When you're ready, practice with a friend, close to the net, and try to get a gentle rally going. Gradually increase the distance as your skills improve.

4. Watch slow-motion replays

Get a friend to record some of your tennis strokes to see where you may be going wrong. A common problem is not twisting your body enough and relying mainly on arm movement.

7. Be patient

Try not to get annoyed when it goes wrong. Getting worked up will only make it worse. Take a deep breath, take a break, then give it another go.

8. Switch to your stronger hand

Make frequent switches back to your stronger hand. Throwing in a few strokes with your “normal” hand can help to remind your brain what it’s doing. This might sound silly, but different parts of your brain are used for the different sides of your body.

Follow these strategies and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ambidextrous tennis player. You’ll run the risk of fewer injuries and improve your game while you’re at it.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu