Coming Back From a Layoff

Whether it is due to injury, work, or travel, we all have come back on the courts after not playing for a period of

Marc V
time. What are some tips to bring with you as you venture back?

The first and foremost suggestion is DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH OF YOURSELF. Give yourself a lot of mental slack to miss “easy” shots, not have the footwork you had before the layoff, and not to push yourself too hard.

Good Naples friend Marc VanDam prompted this topic with his note on his recent return to the courts…

“I recently stepped on to the court (courts are really big when you haven’t seen one for a while) after about 8-10 weeks of not hitting a ball.

The match was Sunday morning dubs with a teaching pro and a solid 4.0-4.5 player as his partner; and my partner was a very solid 4.0 player.

I was a little bit worried about my performance, but dropped that anxiety quickly, as it just felt good to be out and get a chance to play. Before the first point of the match I put the following “reminders” in my head:

1. Point to the ball with the opposite hand.
2. Watch the ball intently and as long as you can (an effort to keep your head still)
3. Use the OPPOSITE hand on the racquet to turn the racquet face before the stroke
4. Don’t over hit

These four simple reminders helped me play in control, with few errors. It was enough to steal a win 6-2, 6-4.”

This game is too good to stay away too long. So if you have been gone, “Come on home!”

4 thoughts on “Coming Back From a Layoff

  1. George – I liked the reminders, except I don’t understand 3.:

    “Use the OPPOSITE hand on the racquet to turn the racquet face before the stroke.”

    So, since I’m right-handed, use my LEFT hand to turn my racquet face – but … in which direction and with what end result?

    So that the racquet head is low and the face perpindicular to the plane of the court at the start of the swing?


  2. Hi Nick,
    Yes that is correct…so that the racquet face is perpendicular. or an approximate thee off. If you look at the pros, they (almost) all use that opposite hand on the racquet to “set it up” for the swing. It’s something Peter Burwash has been teaching/preaching for over 30 years. Try it sometime. Marc
    (PS to Marc from geo … Nick uses the Continental grip for forehand… still the same?)

  3. George,
    Regardless of grip….but the angle of the racquet should be like the swing pattern. So for Nick it would be more of a “bringing back of the racquet” as compared to laying it flat for the heavy topspin stroke. But racquet face STILL angled.

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