How to improve your reflexes and anticipation in tennis

Gaby tennis in lockdown

Check out our fitness training to improve reflexes in tennis.

These are some of my favourite exercises I have been doing during lockdown in Barcelona to improve my reflexes and anticipation. They are perfect for when you want to vary your training or if your courts are closed.

The importance of quick reflexes in tennis

Having good reflexes is super important for tennis players especially for those who often play at the net. When you come to the net you will be much closer to your opponent and the ball. The ball will be coming at you at a fairly high speed so you need to learn to react quicker to gain time.

Another situation on court where having quick reflexes is crucial is when your opponent hits a drop shot. Essentially, if your reaction is slow you will have no chance of getting to the ball.

Quick reflexes training is something you should incorporate in your tennis training routine at least once a week as it will greatly help you become faster when reacting to your opponent’s moves.

Working on speeding up your reflexes will make you a faster tennis player!

I have selected 7 exercises for you to speed up your reflexes. To do those drills you will need a tennis buddy. Why? Because in order to practice reflexes you need someone else throw the ball at you or hit to you. An element of surprise is necessary fo you to learn to guess and find patterns. In some of the exercises I’m using Wilson Triniti tennis balls and a reaction ball.

For the warm-up I did lateral steps, cross over steps, skippings, butt kicks, hip and leg circles, abductors, shoulders, ankle and knee rotations. Remember to warm up your legs properly before attempting those drills. Take at least 5 minutes to warm up. In the cool-down I’m doing some static stretches, with a special focus on the legs.

Check out our fitness training to improve reflexes in tennis.

Exercise 1

Catch reaction ball, random

25 balls, 30 sec rest, 3 sets

Exercise 2

Surprise ball catch, overhead or rolling

15 balls, 30 sec rest, 3 sets

Exercise 3

Catch after one bounce, random

25 balls, 30 sec rest, 3 sets

Exercise 4

Eye-hand coordination

2 mins, 30 sec rest, 2 sets

Exercise 5

Wall rebound catch

20 balls, 30 sec rest, 3 sets

Exercise 6

Ball dodge

20 balls, 30 sec rest, 3 sets

Exercise 7

Catch without bounce, random

25 balls, 30 sec rest, 2 sets