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2024 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin

Directors of Tennis Operations

MAY 2024
Getting in shape for the outdoor season involves aerobic and anerobic conditioning. Aerobic activity includes longer duration and steady paced movements. Anerobic includes high-intensity, short duration events. 
Tennis is an anerobic sport requiring sprinting, stopping, changing directions and explosive movements. Aerobic conditioning, however is also very important to aid in recovery between points and to last through long matches. 
Try to incorporate both types of training along with some strength conditioning, to be in the best tennis shape going forward

2023 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin

Directors of Tennis Operations

Besides being fun, which makes you smile and laugh, various studies on tennis have shown:


Tennis boosts brain power, brain development and mental alertness by having to keep score and implement various tactics.



Playing tennis can also instill…. confidence, optimism and self-esteem. It can lower tension, anger, depression and fatigue.


Tennis builds hand eye coordination. It also requires lower body agility to move to the ball while the upper body simultaneously adjusts to hit the ball.


Playing tennis improves bone strength. It’s weight baring combined with resistance training; both effective bone builders.

Tennis helps develop social skills, especially helpful for kids. Communication, grace, courtesy, support of your partner and discussing strategy are just a few such skills.


Playing tennis increases life longevity (a whopping 9.7yrs) as opposed to jogging(3.2yrs) and cycling(3.7yrs).

The real difference is the social interaction that tennis provides.

2022 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin

Directors of Tennis Operations



Tennis is played from the ground up. You won’t be able to hit groundstrokes or any shot if you can’t get to the ball in good balanced position. Always work on good footwork and anticipation.


Split step! Split step in between every shot. When volleying, split after each volley to recover and when your opponent hits the ball, split to push off to get to their next shot.


Add a drop shot to your repertoire! It can be an amazing shot to change up or break open a point. Add a lob and you have a great 1-2 punch!


Pull back on your serve speed. For most players, it’s much more important to get a high percentage of serves in and also to be more accurate with the placement (don’t forget to work on your 2nd serve).


Work on your weakness in practice, but in a match, play your strengths. Don’t overthink this-use your strength to your opponent’s weakness as much as possible.


When you practice, have a plan… Plan your work and work your plan! An unfocused practice can be worse than not practicing at all!

2021 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin

Directors of Tennis Operations



Regardless of which racket you use…the most important parts are what you touch and what the ball touches. Take care of your equipment and restring and regrip when needed.


Learn how to catch a ball directly on your racket to develop the skill of taking pace off the ball. This will help with dropshots and other touch shots.


Grit beats talent- how you compete is far more important than how good your strokes look. If you have the combination of both grit and talent, you’ll be a very good player.


Squeeze your racket right before contact when volleying and also freeze the racket head at contact for short, crisp volleys. The mark of a good volleyer is one who can volley against a wall successfully.


Exaggerate your follow through on your groundstrokes-this will add depth and penetration to your shots


Serving wisdom…

You’re only as good as your second serve so don’t forget to practice it. Your serve is also only as good as your toss. A consistent toss equals a consistent serve.

2020 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin

Directors of Tennis Operations



First time in history: two Grand Slam tournaments in one month! Compare & contrast the characteristics of the different surfaces; you can learn a lot from watching. Clay takes patience, tenacity and defense with sliding into the ball as a big benefit. On the other hand, strokes have to shorten to adapt to a ball coming at you much faster on hard courts -points are shorter with far less time to get to the ball and organize with offense being easier to implement.


Most volley issues are problems caused by too lengthy of a stroke. To develop crisp volley technique, stand 2-5 feet from a hitting wall and try to volley the ball back multiple times. To accomplish this successfully, you must have a short, crisp and staccato stroke.


Have aim- target your serve! Most players are too concerned with power when serving. Instead, focus on an area of the court. Being accurate can increase your percentage and cause your opponent to begin the point with a weaker stroke. Pick out your target and go for it!


One of the hardest things about overheads is judging the ball-particularly on a clear day. Hold non racquet hand up and point; place the racquet hand with racquet behind your head (like pulling back a bow aiming up) this should line up the shot. The pointing hand could also be used to block the sun!

Remember during these trying times, tennis is an excellent, safe and fun way to get some exercise. At BCTC, you can enjoy fresh air in a beautiful setting while still maintaining smart social distancing.

2019 Playing Tips / Hints from Rick-n-Jen Aubin

Directors of Tennis Operations



Loosen Up! If feeling tight or having arm fatigue, you may be using the "DEATH GRIP." Try holding a more relaxed grip... it will help you relax, give you better feel, and increase smoothness. 


Inconsistent serve? Most players toss the ball too high or too low. For most players, the best toss height is for the ball to peak at the contact point of thee xtended arm.

P.S. If dumping serves into the net, release the ball at a higher point.


The continental grip is the grip of choice for volleys, serves, and overheads. Mastering this takes some wrist strength. To build up the wrist and get more comfortable with the grip, hold a continental grip and bounce a ball repeatedly - soon the grip will seem natural. 


Get back to the middle!

If you hit a good shot, don't stand and watch. Make sure you recover to the center of the court or the center of your half in dubs. Don't expect to win the point. Be prepared. 


Sun Strategy:

When sunny, warm up wit the sun facing you. You will be better prepared for serves and overheads. If you win the toss, make your unready opponent serve into the sun! 


Watch the ball!

Seems obvious, but most mistakes are caused by timing issues - a little early, a little late. Best way to cure this is to watch the ball from opponent's contact your contact. Watching the ball will also improve concentration and timing. 

2018 BCTC Pro Tips

Words of wisdom from former Northwestern scholarship tennis player and business leader Doug Conant (past CEO of Campbell Soup and chairman of Avon)

October: Pressure is Privilege

These words come from the title of a book by Billie Jean King.

They speak to the need for competitors to have a mindset that delights in being in the arena

͟and having the opportunity to do something special. In both my tennis and work life, I talk

about rising to the challenge of the moment, and finding a way to prevail with integrity. Having the opportunity to perform under pressure is indeed a privilege.

September: Civility Matters

Tennis promotes civility and the development of good character while also demanding competitive excellence. As a teen, my temper could get away from me.  However, the game challenged me to channel my energy into the next shot, not to project it elsewhere.

August: Critical thinking is Critical…

When playing a match you have to constantly analyze the situation and make adjustments. In many ways, this is a lesson in vigilance: be hyper alert to the world around you in order to craft a winning point or a winning proposition.

July: Play to your Strength….

In tennis, human nature often points people in the direction of wanting to “fix” their weaknesses. But in my experience, your greatest success lies in getting maximum leverage of your strengths while smartly managing weaknesses such as running around your backhand to hit your forehand.

June:  Have  Fun....  

The  people  who  have  the  most  success  both  on  and  off  the  court  are  those  who derive  genuine  joy  from  their  journey.  You  simply  find  a  way  to  enjoy  the  ride;  the demands/pressures  are  too  great.  If  you  can’t  enjoy  the  ride,  pick  another  path  or sport-life  is  too  short  

May : Practice makes Perfect…

The level of success I achieved in competition was directly proportional to the intensity of my practice. It’s hard to imagine achieving any enduring success without intense practice and hard work. Bring a fierce resolve and sense of purpose to your game, knowing that every day is “game day.”

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