With significant changes to our lives on a daily basis, the world is trying to come to terms with social distance measures as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. With face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) becoming the new ‘normal’, we must adapt to a different way of living.

The sporting world has taken a significant hit from coronavirus with many team sports seeing substantial changes to all aspects of the game. While outdoor racquets sports such as tennis and pickleball haven’t been unscathed, they have been less affected.

Many sports simply cannot meet the governments’ guidelines meaning they are likely to be postponed for the foreseeable future. Racquet sports such as tennis and pickleball, however, can be played, albeit with some slight alterations, in accordance with the current regulations.

Pickleball has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years and is fast becoming one of the favorite pastimes in the USA. This is something that is likely to continue as a result of COVID-19 as the sport’s popularity continues to grow. With sports clubs and facilities across the country temporarily closing many are looking for alternative ways to exercise. Both pickleball and tennis are the (near) perfect pandemic sport as they can be played virtually anywhere with members of your own family or on your own. All you need is a racquet, or paddle, a ball and some space, whether its enough space to have a rally with someone or a wall to practice by yourself.

If you are an experienced tennis player you can make sure that you stay on top of your training at home. We’ve previously outlined the 8 best exercises tennis players can do from home, however, there are other ways to improve your game while at home. Players can use this time to work on their strength and conditioning or work on improving their core, an underrated aspect of a strong tennis player. Again we have previously highlighted some of the best exercises for core strength and stability.

Thankfully, tennis players are no longer restricted to playing at home, as it has been deemed safe in various parts of the country many players are able to get back on the court. However, there are strict guidelines in place set out by the USTA. Of course, there are standard guidelines such as sanitize your hands before and after playing, avoid touching your face, stay 6 feet apart, and staying at home if you experiencing symptoms. Here are some ideas to help improve the safety of players you should consider implementing:

  • No post-match handshakes or high fives
  • Not changing ends of the court during practice (and maybe during a match)
  • Take your own full water bottles, towels, and food
  • Use four or six new balls (two cans) and split balls between you and opponent
  • Use new grips each time you play
  • Use your racquet to pick up balls
  • Avoid touching court gates, net posts, benches, etc.
  • And while it may feel socially awkward, leave immediately after you finish.

Racquet sports such as tennis and pickleball are great pandemic sports. Not only can you play at home with limited space and equipment required but they are also a great way to bring the family together. Add to the fact that they both can be played while abiding by current government guidelines and you have the perfect pandemic activities. This is further supported by the continued growth, something that we hope will carry on as the current lockdown measures start to be eased.

July 13, 2020, by Aleks Szymanski

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