By the time you read this, most USTA league players will have started the 2019 competitive season. It’s an exciting and enjoyable time for us tennis players in the Lowcountry.

However, this time of year can have rapidly changing weather conditions along with unpredictable wind. With the wind’s speed and direction all over the map, it becomes evident that players who display the most patience are more likely to win the day.

In many minds, patience, in its basic form, connotes waiting. But tennis adds another dimension to the mix. It’s a quality that allows you to be calm, confident and successfully execute your shots.

Good anticipation, seeing and taking action early enough, creates more time to be in control of balance and footwork.

Having these qualities at your disposal allows for fewer unforced errors and a less rushed feeling when making your shots. It will certainly make your tennis more fun and make outside factors, like Mother Nature, have a lessened effect.

Speaking of Mother Nature, when you’re playing in windy conditions, take note of wind direction. Look at the direction the trees are swaying. Or, if there is a flag flying close by, it can help you know if you’re playing with or against the wind, and how to gauge your hitting.

Having the patience to get yourself positioned to work with the wind is an advantage.

The same goes for playing in sunny conditions. Work with the sun to try and make it an advantage. Don’t think for a minute that your opponents wouldn’t do the same! Again, this takes patience, and a good lob, to make it work.

Overall, being patient and using good fundamentals when executing any shot will pay more dividends than trying to power through your opponents.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a ball away when the opportunity arises. Rather, strive to achieve good placement through the virtue of patience. The results are worth the effort.

Lou Marino is a USPTA Cardio and youth tennis coach who lives, teaches and provides custom-hybrid racquet service in the Bluffton-Hilton Head Island area.