Roger Federer

Want More Power in Your Tennis Game? Just Relax

If you want to learn how to generate more power and spin in your tennis game, you must first learn to relax and flow. Relaxation is speed — and speed is power.  

Roger Federer

Pick any top athlete in any sport, and you will find an athlete who has learned to relax and flow. Take Muhammad Ali in boxing, Tiger Woods in golf, Tom Brady in football, and, of course, the great Roger Federer (pictured above) in tennis — they all seem to generate effortless power with such ease. Why? Because they have mastered how to relax and flow.

Here are some tips to help you master the art of relaxing.

First, check how tightly you are squeezing on the tennis grip. Ideally, you should squeeze the grip like there is a baby bird in your hand. Try hitting the tennis ball and see just how loose you can be on the grip each time you hit. If you’re relaxed enough, it should feel like your body and racket flow into the ball in an effortless manner.

If you have trouble feeling this loose-grip sensation, try holding the racket with just your thumb and index finger. No, you won’t normally hold the racket this way, but it will force you to relax on the grip.

Second, throw the racket. Get some junior rackets and have some fun. Practice throwing the junior rackets up at your ball toss on the serve. Better yet, I like to use this same concept of throwing junior rackets for groundstrokes. Pick up a junior racket and have a partner toss you a ball (be sure your tell them to take cover). Using your forehand or backhand stroke, throw the racket at the incoming ball. You can’t help but be relaxed when practicing throwing motions.

Third, give yourself a word to say each time you make contact with the ball. Not after, not before, but the moment you make contact. Saying a word each time you make contact forces you to breathe. You would be surprised at how many people forget to breathe when they hit.

So there you are: three quick tips to have you hitting like the pros, generating more power, speed, and spin, and mastering the art of relaxation and flow.