Stepping onto the court, whether for a practice or a match, players have goals. These goals can be anything from following through on the backhand to stepping into a volley to only hitting good tosses, all of which are essential to game improvement.

However, there is one technique that can be implemented for immediate improvement, no matter the goal: breathing through the shot. In other words, exhale at the point of contact.


The best way to relax the muscles is to breathe.

The best way to relax the muscles is to breathe. 

This is the most effective way to hit a tennis ball because the body is at its most relaxed state. Without any tension in the body, the racquet arm is loose and adaptive to the ball, and able to better control it.

It is during the inhale that the body is hard at work converting necessary energy, and during the exhale that the muscles relax. In other words, “breathing out requires no effort.”

Fun Fact: Breathing through the shot can result in grunting since you’re exhaling at the point of contact.

What most players fall victim to is holding their breath during the swing and point of contact. Not only is there no energy coming in, but there is no release of carbon dioxide, which changes internal pH and results in the brain working overtime to restore balance.

You're already trying to focus on 1) where the opponent is, 2) where to hit the ball, 3) how to hit the ball, 4) where to recover. Not to mention doing it all over again, this time with the body breathing quicker to bring in more oxygen.

Instead of working overtime during an already demanding sport, breathe through the shot and watch your quality of play improve. Better yet, notice how the mental third of the game finds clarity as well since the oxygen is steadily flowing and the brain can think better, faster.