Warm-up Goals?

What is your purpose when you go out on the court to warm up before a match?  Different people have different philosophies.

Planning Strategy

It is reported that Sam Querry uses the warm up to see how he is playing (making volleys, serving well, etc.) to THEN decide how he will play the match.  If he feels confident in his volleys he says, he would then serve/volley more during the match.

Johnny Mac

He commented that he “didn’t want to leave his best stuff on the warm up court” and would intentionally miss shots!  Very strange.

Assessing Your Opponent

Many people watch their first-time opponent during the warm up to try to assess their strengths and/or weaknesses.  One tactic used is to hit a ball straight at them to see if they opt to hit a forehand or backhand.

But does this focus take away from your own warm up?


Naples teaching pro Spike Gonzales advises to focus on your own game and try to get every ball back in play.  He says to use the “bounce-hit” mantra to fine tune your warm up focus.

What do you try to accomplish?

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com

My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

7 thoughts on “Warm-up Goals?

  1. Morning George.

    Tom Stow had us warm up short court to ONLY get our feet moving so that we were always thinking about ‘spacing’ to path of the incoming ball. No chatting, just footwork to make sure that we were always to the side of that ball.

    This wasn’t an opportunity to feel topspin or anything to do with the swing, but instead, get to the side of the ball every time, tap it back, and repeat …

    Brent, funny, i have been doing the short court and thought it was for the hand-eye warmup. Maybe i should be moving my feet more! thanks, george

    Too often I see players out there in short court rooted in one spot and reaching for balls when they warm up. That’s telling your brain that’s how you play the game.

    It only takes a couple of minutes of short court ‘spacing’ and then move back to the baseline where your brain is now thinking — feet first 😉


  2. I have always done what Brent and Spike suggest plus I warm up hitting volleys from the service line rather then on top of the net. Many opponents try to practice hitting hard passing shots when you are at the net. Also, I find most players are not good at feeding you lobs because they hit with topspin rather then backspin.

    Doug, yes, a good warm-up partner really helps you warm up! thanks, george

  3. George,
    I have never had any skills at figuring out an opponent during a warm up so I just concentrate on me. Focus is on moving my feet and not missing. I really like the idea of the mantra bounce, hit so am going to be incorporating that. I have read or seen online Brent Abel talking about spacing. Very important, obvious and something I had never thought about before. I started doing that a couple of months ago. Also I always warm up my volley from the service line. Unlike Sam Querry the decision has been made, I am coming to the net, (alot). 🙂

    Randy, good stuff! george

  4. I agree with most of this…get your feet moving and work on your timing. And also to assess the other player(s) – in Doubles figure out who the weaker player is and target them when you can. Don’t forget to work ALL your shots, high low volleys, overheads, SERVES and serve RETURNS! The most important shots in tennis! Work on placement with moderate power.

    Mark, it has always surprised me that American tennis tradition (Note: Canada is different) frwons on players returning serves during the warm-up. Why shouldn’t we?? George

  5. I totally agree with Spike also because it really sends a message to the opponent if you have that consistency. I like what Mark said about returning serves and I really should do that. I’m probably over concerned with practicing the serve. I will try that next time and also I know that when you return the opponent’s serve easily, that sends a major message to them because that has happened to me.

    Dave, see you soon. George

  6. Re mini tennis in warmup…It’s all about footwork and a consistent contact point. Move the feet and get yourself the right distance to the side and in back of the ball. Re volleys…next time you watch tennis on TV, note where the pros stand in the warmup. From the backcourt…aim for the baseline, even slightly beyond it. Better to miss a tad long and reel your shots in than hit balls short.

    p.s…I like what many college players now do in doubles matches warmup…hitting against (working with) their partners.

    Alan, all great points, including the P.S. Thanks, george

Comments are closed.