WE LOVE TENNIS <3
Playing tennis starts by watching your favorite players on the TV, or your local champions in a school tennis competition. At least, that is how I started playing, mimicking my favorite player Rafa Nadal with a racquet.
Whether you want to build a career for yourself as a professional player or a coach, or you simply like to enjoy the game and meet new friends to compete with, you have to look at the quick tips in this post. They are easy to learn and you can implement them in your game right away.
There is no magic wand to improve your tennis level, it just does not happen overnight. You might need to train for several hours a week for years to master all the aspects and up your game. Nevertheless, these 5 important tips will help you cut the learning curve and grow rapidly.
These five easy tips can get you to impress your same-level-as-you friends in your next match.
1) Hold the racquet properly
There is no need to emphasize that your racquet grip affects massively the outcome of the shot. In tennis, each shot has its proper grip and you should not try to be creative about it. Just follow what the most successful players have accomplished over the years.
I will show you exactly how to hold the racquet to perform powerful and accurate groundstrokes.
First, this is how we define the grip. The line between 1 and 2 is how you put your hand on one of the 8 bevels of the racquet handle.
The most simple and effective way to grip your racquet as a beginner is to use the semi-western grip. This will give you the best all-around forehand to play flat strokes with enough topspin to keep it inside the court. There is a reason why this is the most used grip among top players (Djokovic, Serena,…).
Now how to grip without errors?
- Put the racquet on the ground
- Pick it up naturally
- Grip firmly on the bottom of the handle
And naturally, this is how you obtain the semi-western grip to hit superb forehands.
Serve, Volley, Slice & Overhead
All these shots require the continental grip. It is also called the hammer grip because you hold the racquet like if you would hammer someone you hate…
This is how the view looks when you make a continental grip.
This grip allows you to hit:
- Flat Serves
- Easy volleys
- Easy slices
- Effective Overheads
I would recommend learning a two-handed backhand. It is the easiest one for beginners especially when you lack the force to drive the ball over the net. You will notice that some newbies and amateurs try hard to shoot one-handed backhands because they like Federer or Wawrinka. Do not be like them. You can always switch to a one-handed backhand after you master the shot.
Now let’s take a look at the grip.
You remember the volley grip above; simply place your non-dominant hand to hold the top of the handle. This is how you get an effective all-around backhand grip. Keep it simple and drop your friends’ jaws.
This classic grip allows you to play:
- Powerful flat backhands
- Top spin backhands
As complicated as it sounds, it is a crucial trick to improve your shots in a short time. Follow-through in many sports like baseball, golf, billiards means continuous movement after the ball has been struck or thrown.
That means that you should not stop the movement of your racquet after striking the ball. Instead, make it glide naturally and have the feeling of the racquet piercing through the ball.
Many newbies make the mistake of brutally stopping the swing.
You now have the opportunity to surpass them if you implement this trick in your game. So, always try to complete the motion of the racquet until it hits your back like this:
This is the trajectory of the racquet after you hit the ball.
3) Strike the ball in front
I see a lot of players waiting for the ball so long until it reaches a position parallel to their standing point. And then they play the forehand or the backhand.
This is a big mistake especially when you are comfortable in the exchange.
Always try to strike the ball in front of you, so that you can drive through it and move your body to the front.
By doing this easy adjustment, your shots will be at least 50% more powerful and accurate.
The point of impact is in front of the body position. In general, the striking point is on the level of the front foot, but it can be much more in front especially for attacking shots.
4) Power of footwork
Footwork is one of the most important techniques in tennis. If you move well on the court, your chances of winning points increase drastically.
Footwork is about reading the shot of the opponent and moving to the exact right spot with steady steps. But the difficulty resides in doing this action repeatedly. Not everyone can have footwork awareness like Federer or Djokovic, but applying the following advice will enhance your footwork in no time.
Now is the time to impress your friends with awesome footwork.
1- Bend your knees slightly
Don’t stand straight on the court. Instead, bend slightly your knees and stand on your toes. This allows you to be more dynamic and in a ready position all the time.
2- Small Steps
Unless the ball is very far (drop shot or opposite court), approach the shot with small stutter steps. Think about it as if you are searching for the perfect distance from the ball to strike it well.
3- Run to the ball
This one is surprisingly useful. Don’t wait for the ball. Instead, you run to it. Once the opponent shoots, you anticipate the trajectory.
This simple tweak helps tremendously to save more balls and return them with precision and power.
5) Proper tennis gear
Tennis requires paying some money for good equipment. You don’t want to bring your running gear to a tennis court.
Tennis demands having tennis shoes. They are specifically designed for the courts. There are shoes for each surface but you can find versatile shoes to play on any surface.
They are essential because they absorb heavy shocks that prevent your ankles and toes from suffering injuries. Moreover, the facility supervisor often looks at the player’s shoes to not damage his courts.
Choose carefully a comfortable racquet. The brands are confusing, but try to keep it simple and ask the seller for an adequate beginner-friendly racquet. We suggest it should be:
- A little light (less than 300gr/10.58oz)
- A suitable handle for your hand
- A bigger frame size/bigger sweet spot
A Babolat Pure Drive 110 would cut it for a starter.
Check the racquet on amazon for a good deal!
To Wrap it Up
Using these 5 easy tips and implementing them in your game, will kick start your journey in tennis. You will improve massively if you focus well on the aspects we mentioned above.
If you are working with a coach, listen carefully to what he says about technique, because it is the foundation of a solid tennis game.
For a complete beginner guide, read this post.