Tips and advice

Joe's secrets: warm-up exercises

Joe's suggested warm-up exercises off the court before the 5 minute warm up on the court. Just a few tennis specific warm-up exercises to help lubricate your joints, warm your muscles and connective tissues and to activate and sharpen your senses to make you club session ready:

  1. Whilst standing, circle both hands downwards by your thighs and upwards above your head 10-15 times forwards and then backwards. 
  2. 10-15 shoulder circles forwards and then backwards.
  3. Holding your racket (waist/stomach height) at both ends, swing it side to side whilst moving your hips and feet towards the direction of each swing about ten times. This will help loosen your hips, knees and ankles and it actually replicates the orthodox forehand and backhand drives. 
  4. Lunges: Stand in an imaginary circle or clock on the floor with feet together. In this order; lunge with the right leg to 12 o'clock and back, right leg to 1 o'clock, right leg to 3 o'clock, right leg to 5 o'clock, right leg to 6 o'clock, left leg to 6 o'clock, left leg to 7 o'clock, left leg to 9 o'clock, left to 11 o'clock and lastly left leg to 12 o'clock.

If any of the exercises are not clear enough Joe will be more than happy to demonstrate them in a short session or individually to any club member.

Joe's secrets: avoid foot faults

  1. Without altering your technique, start your sevice motion with your feet about 6 or 9 to 12 inches behind the baseline.
  2. Technically put weight (load) on your feet whilst tossing the ball and hopefully this will help stabilise them or prevent them from any transgression.

Joe's secrets: a service tip

As well as 'trying' to have a SOLID KNEE BEND, it is also useful to keep both hands extended after the toss. This position invariably helps to achieve upper body balance, precise tracking of the ball and an improved coordination. Practise it a few hundred times and your serve should be at par with the pros in no time. 

Joe's secrets: Job descriptions for doubles players

A quick refresher to remind you of the key things you need to focus on when playing doubles. 


  • call out the score
  • plan the speed and spin; serve & volley or stay back
  • get 75% 1st serves in play
  • serve to the middle in the deuce court, at the returner's body in the ad court, or to the weaker side of the returner
  • 1st volley should go down the middle
  • server is responsible for 1st volley 95% of the time

Server's partner (SP):

  • call server's placement if signals are being used
  • shift with the serve placement
  • know your targets if the ball is played to your area
  • adjust to back if ball goes by you and key on opponents
  • play net aggressively, poach on all floating returns
  • should cross or fake on all serves


  • position in centre of possible serve angle
  • use outside stroke on any ball at the body
  • ball in play: never wide or in net
  • always attack weak serves
  • try to keep ball low to allow RP to poach and threaten
  • both play back until you get opportunity to attack off a good shot

Returner's partner (RP):

  • help to make call
  • key in on SP if SP makes a play; RP is responsible for the middle of the court
  • if return gets by SP, move in 3 quick steps to apply pressure, shifting with the angle of the return
  • if ball is returned low to server's feet, stay inside and ready to cut off server's 1st volley
  • play back to change up and give a different formation to serving team
  • position in centre of possible serve angle