Is learning tennis one of your goals for this year? Do you want to pick up some great tennis tips for beginners? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
More and more people are getting into the tennis scene and for good reasons. In fact, over 17.9 million people in the US play tennis. Tennis isn’t only a fun sport to get into but it’s also good for your health.
In this guide, we take a look at the key tennis basics. Read on to learn more about where you can improve your tennis play as a beginner. With enough practice, you can play like a pro in no time.
1. Get the Right Gear
Let’s begin with one of the most important tennis basics: getting the right gear. Using the wrong equipment can cause many problems for you. That includes injuries and bad play due to the discomfort the wrong gear gives you.
For example, if you’re an adult, your racket needs to be 26” or 27” long. It should also have the right grip size for your palm, which is typically 4 inches in diameter. Every little difference can make or break your tennis experience.
In any sport, your comfort and safety as an athlete is your foremost priority. Your shoes need to tolerate the side-to-side movement. Get yourself a pair of tennis shoes since regular running shoes or soccer shoes won’t cut it.
2. Master Making Contact
Like with most sports, learning tennis takes time and effort. With time, learning advanced tennis techniques like the kick serve becomes easier. Before all that, you need to master the tennis basics.
One of the first things you’ll learn about is the contact point. For many beginners, it’s easy to think about but difficult to find. When you’re hitting the ball, try to place the racket behind the expected contact point.
Practice hitting the ball at the right time and the right contact point. Mastering this will make your tennis technique consistent and give you a platform to build on. Don’t worry too much about the follow-through yet.
3. Add a Follow-Through
Once you’re more comfortable and consistent at making contact with the ball, add a follow-through.
The most basic follow-through technique is to bring the racket over your shoulder. You do this with the forehand and backhand groundstrokes. The difference between the strokes lies in the position of the racket and your body.
4. Improve Your Stroke Preparation
Good stroke preparation helps you reach and return the ball with ease. Keep your grip on the racket loose and make sure your form is ready to receive. Different things will happen depending on the next stroke you’ll make.
Your body should turn to prepare for the next stroke. Your feet will also change positions. You then need to bring your racket back in plenty of time to begin the stroke so that you nail that perfect hit point.
Learn how to prepare for different strokes. Practice how you transition from being in one position to the next without the ball, and you’ll be amazed how much easier it is in play.
5. Know the Split Step
The split step is part of tennis footwork fundamentals. It must be present on every shot you’re receiving. It helps you push off in any direction in a heartbeat.
Practice timing your split step with every shot you receive. When you realize where the ball is going, you must land into the split-step right away. Time it right and you’ll feel you can be explosive enough to reach the ball.
6. Play by Feel
Playing by feel is a great way to learn to control your hits. Many beginners don’t yet know how powerful their swings are. Thus, they end up hitting the ball too hard.
No tennis tutorial can teach you to play with feel. This one is a trick you learn on your own as you continue to practice. We can only give you tips for learning how to trigger this feeling.
Try the following exercise. Stand next to the net and place the racket on your partner’s side. Next, your partner will toss the ball into your racket.
From your position, you have to play without making a backswing. The net will catch you if your body reacts with a backswing. Here, you’ll realize that you can still hit the ball with plenty of force without a backswing at all.
7. Learn to Relax on the Court
Learning the basics of tennis is exciting and nerve-wracking. With the right opponent, you could enjoy thrilling, high-energy games. However, you need to let all the excess energy go and relax your body.
Many beginners tend to ignore their tension. Check your posture, grip on the ball, or grip on the racket. If it’s too tight, it may be why you’re not doing as well as you want to.
When you’re aware of your tension, you’ll notice you can control the ball better. Your body will respond better to your intentions. Be careful about being too relaxed as you can lose your focus on the game.
8. Loosen Your Serve Ball Toss
Many beginners are too tight and thus make tosses that always feel off. When you’re playing tennis for beginners, one of the first things you learn is to relax. One tip is to hold the ball in your fingertips when you toss it.
Avoid flicking your wrist as you let go of the tennis ball. Try to develop a consistent motion so that the ball always ends up in the same place. Throwing it too high up makes serving it more difficult.
9. Practice Tennis Basics From the Baseline
Often, you’ll start your beginner practice from mid-court. As you get better at the sport, you’ll be more familiar with the speed of the ball. Your reaction and preparation times will also evolve and become faster.
As your body evolves, the challenges you take need to level up as well. Start moving further from the net when you hit the ball. Finding some distance will also help you add power to your strokes.
10. Learn From Advanced Players
Even when you’re busy studying tennis lessons for beginners, engage with advanced players. Watch how they play. Observe their posture and their strokes.
Get onto YouTube or record professional players. Watch the games in slow motion so you see every movement. From your insight, reflect on your technique.
Even professional tennis players do this basic trick. It’s how they learn to improve. If professionals can gain a lot from watching others, so will you.
Aim to Improve Your Tennis
These are 10 vital tennis basics you need to know. These tennis fundamentals are the foundation of your game. Make sure you know them by heart before you move onto more complex maneuvers.
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