The United States Tennis Association is making a new home for itself in Lake Nona. Earlier this year, USTA broke ground on a brand new facility called the USTA National Campus.
The 100-court complex includes state-of-the-art technology, fresh facilities and an expert staff. It will be host to national, individual and collegiate events and home base for USTA Player Development and the USTA Community Tennis Division. Residents of the Orlando community are even invited to play at the facility. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, an athlete or a coach, the USTA National Campus provides a place to practice your craft.
The facility is expected to open in January 2017.
As preparations continue, we asked Kathy Woods, director of tennis for USTA National Campus, to put together some simple tips for better match play. Here is what she recommends.
1. Warm up your body prior to play and stretch gently before you get to the court.
2. Keep your feet moving during play to enable you to get into the best position for striking the ball. Waist high balls will allow you to strike offensively.
3. Remember to breathe slowly and deeply to calm your nerves and reduce your heart rate.
4. Drink plenty of fluids and add electrolytes into the mix to hydrate so you can give your best physical effort.
5. Reduce unforced errors by matching up your swing speed to the difficulty of the ball you are playing. Difficult balls call for slower swings while comfortable balls call for faster swings.
6. Aim for targets that allow room for error on the sideline and baseline boundaries of the court. Risk only one line at a time for the best chance for a successful shot.
7. Cooperate with your opponent in the warm up by hitting balls as accurately to them as possible. This is not the time to practice your put-away shots.
8. You should remain serious and focused as you play yet positive in spirit and attitude. Good sporting behavior is expected in your communication with your opponent. Let your tennis shots speak for you.
9. As the match progresses, think about what shot placements and patterns of play best expose your opponent’s weakness. If your weaknesses are being exposed, try to figure out what shots you may be delivering that are contributing to their success and your detriment. For example, in doubles, if you hit a lot of deep, high balls then your partner may be lobbed more frequently. If you hit down the line in singles then you will do more running than your opponent.