Knock up

Knocking Up the Game

Imagine stepping onto a court, racket in hand, ready to face your opponent in a heated match. But before the official game starts, both players engage in a friendly exchange of shots, warming up their muscles and tuning their reflexes.

This pre-game ritual is commonly known as knock up in racket sports, and it is as essential as the match itself. Let’s dive into what knock up entails, its significance, and when best to employ it.

The Knock Up Explained

At its core, the knock up is a warm-up routine. Both players hit the ball or shuttlecock back and forth without keeping score. It’s not about winning or losing but preparing—physically and mentally—for the match ahead.

The Significance of the Knock Up

  1. Physical Warm-up: Racket sports demand agility, strength, and endurance. A good knock up ensures that the muscles are warmed up, reducing the risk of injuries. It also helps players get a feel of the court, the lighting, and other environmental factors.
  2. Tuning Reflexes: The fast-paced nature of racket sports means every fraction of a second counts. The knock up allows players to fine-tune their reflexes, getting their eyes, mind, and body in sync.
  3. Mental Preparation: Beyond the physical, the knock up is a time to mentally prepare. Players can gauge their opponent’s form, strategize, and visualize the game ahead.
  4. Getting a Feel of Equipment: Every racket and every ball or shuttlecock can feel different. The knock up is an opportunity to get used to your equipment, ensuring there are no surprises during the match.

When to Knock Up

  1. Before a Match: This is the most common scenario. Whether it’s a casual game with friends or a championship match, knocking up before the game sets the tone.
  2. After a Break: If there’s been a long pause or delay—perhaps due to rain in outdoor sports—it’s wise to knock up briefly again before resuming.
  3. Switching Courts: If you’re playing a tournament and you switch from one court to another, a quick knock up helps in adapting to the new environment.

Knock Up Etiquette

  • Share the Court: It’s a mutual warm-up, so ensure you and your opponent get equal opportunities to hit and serve.
  • Don’t Go Full Throttle: Remember, it’s not the match. Avoid using your most powerful smashes or fastest serves. It’s about warming up, not showing off.
  • Respect the Time: Usually, there’s a set time for the knock up, especially in professional matches. Adhere to it.


The knock up might seem like a casual prelude to the main event, but it holds immense significance in racket sports. It’s the bridge between preparation and performance, ensuring players are at their peak when the game begins. Beyond the physical warm-up, it’s a mental rehearsal, a strategy session, and a gear check. So, the next time you watch or play a racket sport, pay attention to the knock up. It’s not just a warm-up; it’s the foundation for everything that follows.