5 Tips for Playing Tennis in Cold Weather

Shots That Work in Cold Weather

Without the 90-degree temperature and humidity, you may be able to play longer and stay in the longer rallies without feeling like you are going to pass out.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the cold weather does have an impact on your play--and the ball. The colder the weather, the less bounce the ball will have.

Effective shots in cold weather:

  • Drop shots
  • Slice
  • Flat serves and slice serves

How to Adjust Your Shots

Meanwhile, other shots, like your topspin, won't be as effective. If you have a big kick or topspin serve beware: the cold weather will take some of the kick/bounce out of the ball.

Flat serves and slice serves will be more effective for you in the cold and force your opponent to have to get down low for a ton of balls. This also means that the ball will bounce low for you too. Bring your racquet back early for good preparation to adjust to the low bounce, and start your backswing lower than you typically would.

If you have a topspin approach shot and a slice approach shot, you may want to try to lean more towards some slice approaches on any ball that does not bounce much higher than the net. This keeps the ball extra low and really forces your opponent to get under the ball and hit a passing shot, which is tough.

You also need to move to the ball more than you would in warmer weather. Since the ball is flatter it will not get as deep in the court as it would if it was warm out. Be sure to move well into the court for shorter balls.

With the ball being a little flatter, be sure to aim deeper and hit harder to keep the ball from landing too short and allowing your opponent to step into the court to hit every ball.

No Net? No Problem

Many places take down the nets in the winter. Once in a while the weather will be warm enough to play, but there won't be any nets up.

You don't need to carry a net around with you. Just put some caution tape in your tennis bag instead. If you tie the tape to the net posts it works really well. I don't recommend playing a match like this, but it is great for practice. You actually do not need the lower half of the net for depth perception, just the top band.


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