‘The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall’ – Mitch Hedberg
The other week I wrote about the Parklives scheme that’s currently running in collaboration with Coca Cola and Newcastle City Council. Their aim is to offer fun, free activities which encourage people across the UK to get outdoors and enjoy their local parks and communities. Did I mention it’s completely free?! After the success of last weeks bootcamp session I was keen to branch and try something completely different. May as well completely obliterate that comfort zone rather than just push outside it!
I’ve never been shy of stating the fact that I absolutely hate Wimbledon and will actively avoid it each year. I hold it up there with golf and snooker in that people only ever talk about it for the two weeks a year it’s on TV then never mention it or follow it again. That said I picked the active tennis session as a nostalgic nod to my childhood where I was often found at the tennis courts in Cramlington over the summer holidays with my purple Steffi Graf tennis racket. I like playing it, just hate watching it. I was a bit unsure as to what Active Cardio Tennis would actually entail; I had visions of a half zumba, half, half badminton, half air guitar type affair.
What we got was actually quite an intense set of drills, all based around tennis. Dave, who was today’s unwilling guinea pig was a little nervous when the session kicked off with some grapevines swinging the racket around however his fears of spending the next hour essentially dancing around a tennis court in public were dispelled when we got down to the more intense stuff.
The two instructors would throw the tennis balls at you and you would hit it back in various different ways depending on the drill you were doing and you would run , sprint or side step to the back of the line to start again (groups were broken down into quite small numbers so you go your fair share of turns).
Each drill was slightly different so you felt like it switched up regularly enough to keep you interest but not too regular that you were able to get into a flow and get plenty of opportunities to whack the ball back and forth. I caught a little bit of one of the tutorials on video as an example:
The last drill of the class was a points game where the group was divided into teams to play against each other for points which was brilliant fun and a great way to interact with some of the other members of the group.
I would say the session is suitable for all ability levels as you’re able to make it as easy or as difficult for yourself; you’re able to tailor the session to your own ability. Aside from Dave being agog at seeing me sprint for the first time in our 12 years together and the mild blow I received to my right kidney due to me not paying attention to a rogue tennis ball I think I came away pretty much unscathed and managed to hit about 90% of the shots. Not on target I’ll admit, but I hit them none the less!
I hold my hands up and say that I’m an Active Cardio Tennis convert and have already signed up with Ang to go again next week!
This has been a collaborative post but all views are my own