Six Tips for Improving Tennis Performance

A diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine, Kevin Buckwalter, MD, provides care to patients at his eponymous Las Vegas practice. In his spare time, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys playing various sports, including badminton and tennis.

A sport requiring agility, strategy, and precision, tennis takes time to build endurance and skill necessary for winning a match. While the sport can be initially frustrating, integrating the following tips can greatly improve your performance.

1. Wait for a tennis ball to fall at waist-level before hitting. This gives you time to plant your feet to follow through with a stroke and apply the necessary force to send a ball to its intended location.

2. Skip with a jump rope around the court to work on coordination and footwork. This exercise prepares you to quickly react to an opponent’s serve and return shot.

3. Work on stamina by completing aerobic exercises or playing different sports frequently. Aerobic exercises keep you from losing energy following a few games.

4. Consistently use one pattern of play. Instead of mixing up shots for the sake of creativity, stick with strokes and shots you can effectively execute throughout a match.

5. Apply all weight to the back leg before swinging. Positioning the back leg behind the ball and shifting weight to that leg allows for easier weight transfer and a more precise shot.

6. Record one’s own matches during practice and competition. This gives you direct insight into how your body moves during a match to determine what you can adjust in subsequent matches.


Camping and Fishing in the Lake Mead National Recreational Area

Board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, Kevin Buckwalter, MD, treats patients at his office in Henderson, Nevada. When not attending to his patients, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing at nearby Lake Meade.

The lake is impounded behind Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, and regarded as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. Built over a period of five years in the early 1930s, it accomplished three main objectives: it controlled the often deadly flooding of the Colorado River, it provided much-needed irrigation for crops throughout the Southwest, and it supplied hydroelectric power. In addition, when the government created Lake Mead, the largest reservoir by volume in the United States, it also established what is now known as the Lake Mead National Recreational Area, a park of unparalleled beauty and numerous recreational opportunities.

Visitors can stay at several campgrounds operated by the U.S. Park Service within the park’s borders, as well as several others operated by concessionaires. They accommodate both tents and recreational vehicles. In addition, backcountry camping is available throughout the park in areas accessible by car, horseback, boat, or backpacking. Vehicle camping is limited to designated areas, and vehicles are not permitted to leave the roadways. Horseback and backpack camping is permitted throughout the park except in ecologically sensitive and developed areas.

Boating and fishing are favorite forms of recreation on Lake Mead, which straddles the border between Arizona and Nevada, and on Lake Mohave, which is downstream from Hoover Dam and inside the park’s boundaries. The necessary licenses and stamps are available at marinas in the park. Both lakes are home to numerous species of fish, many of them introduced, including large-mouth and striped bass, channel catfish, crappies, and bluegills.