Tennis for Beginners: The Fastest Way to Learn Tennis
You would like to learn tennis, but have never held a tennis racket in your hand before? It’s no problem at all. Because every tennis player started out that way. We all know the feeling of starting with something completely new. On the one hand it’s a change, but on the other hand it’s also a challenge that we want to master.
As a beginner, you first have to find your way around the “jungle” of tennis. The technique, tactics and rules seem quite extensive at the beginning. Therefore, you are probably asking yourself how you can best approach the subject of learning tennis.
We have put together some helpful tips for you in this article. Here we show you what you can do to see success as quickly as possible.
The Right Equipment
As with any sport, in tennis you need to equip yourself with the right gear. Here we have a checklist of the basics you should remember:
- Tennis racket
- Tennis shoes
- Tennis clothing
- Tennis balls
- Tennis bag
This point alone is neglected by many beginners. Of course it is tempting to get the racket from Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, but these models are designed for a completely different level of play. It is the same with the rest of the equipment.
If you have been looking for new accessories, you will have noticed that it is not so easy to find the optimal equipment. Practically, you have been overwhelmed mass of different models.
In this case we have several guides on our site for you. Should you have difficulties in choosing the right equipment, you will find the answers to your questions in our “tennis equipment” section.
Contrary to what most beginners think, tennis equipment is relatively inexpensive nowadays. For a comparatively small budget you can get high quality products.
Some shops even offer the possibility to test several rackets for a small fee. Then you decide whether you want to buy one of these rackets. Alternatively, you might know someone who will lend you his racket or balls.
Find a Tennis Court
Once you have put together the equipment, the first important step is made. Now theoretically you can go directly on the court. But where do you play tennis?
Basically you have two possibilities to get to an access to a tennis court. The best known option is to join a tennis club. Often the respective tennis facility has several courts, so that you are more flexible in booking the courts. You should note, however, that membership fees for the club and possibly for the tennis association will be added to the costs.
The cheaper option for the time being would be to rent a tennis court. There are many private tennis facilities that provide their courts. As a rule, you will be billed there on an hourly basis. In the long run, i.e. at least several months, membership in a tennis club is much cheaper.
The First Steps on the Court
After you have found a place, it is best to familiarize yourself with the court dimensions. A tennis court initially appears to be relatively manageable until you play on it yourself. If you are on a clay court, you should first read our instructions for maintaining the court.
Now you can start your first training session. Ideally, you should warm up well before the start of each training session. In general, the second mistake most beginners make is to start playing without a warm-up program. In this way they accept an unnecessarily high risk of injury.
To prevent this from happening to you, we will go through two exercises with you.
First, you run two laps around the playing field. In one lap you run at an average speed and in the other lap you only do side steps.
In the second exercise, your running speed is now required. In this case, stand About 10 ft. away from the net on one of the two outer side lines. Your gaze is directed towards the other side line so that you run parallel to the net.
Now you sprint to the first line on your path, touch it with your hand and then run back to the starting point. You touch this line with your hand as well. From there you run to the next line, the middle line, tap it and run back again. The running exercise continues until you have run through all lines.
After a break of 30 seconds two more sprints will follow.
With these two exercises you not only prevent injuries, but also get a feeling for the size of the court. From now on you can better estimate how long it will take from the baseline to the net, for example.
Learn the Technique
Since you have got to know the tennis court better, we will start with the training of concrete stroke movements. The good thing is that you don’t need a coach or hitting partner at the beginning to develop a basic understanding of the technique. If you are ambitious and learn the basics yourself, you can save a lot of money.
We recommend that you start your tennis training with the basic strokes, i.e. forehand, backhand and serve. Because they are the essential elements of tennis. You can find instructions on how to learn the respective stroke here: Training the basic strokes
For many beginners it is the case that the racket feels unfamiliar at first. To get a feel for the racket, you should definitely do some dry runs. This means that you should perform the movements according to the instructions, but not yet use a tennis ball. Step by step, you will get a feel for the weight of the racket and its swinging behaviour.
Then you will put the racket aside and do similar dry runs with the tennis ball. Stand on the baseline and tap the ball 10 times on the floor. Repeat this exercise a total of 5 times. Then, get into an upright position, toss the ball vertically upwards in front of you and catch it again. Do this exercise with the same intensity.
You will notice that tossing the ball becomes easier and easier. The correct handling of the ball is particularly important when serving.
Then combine the racket and the ball in the exercises. Hold the tennis racket with its face horizontal to the ground and try to bounce the ball on the face as often as possible. If this works well, make the exercise a bit harder by turning the racket 180° after each contact with the ball.
Then, you train the basic strokes in the entire stroke movement. Throw the ball sideways in front of you and then swing through with the racket on the forehand and the backhand side. Then you do the same with your serve.
Find a Hitting Partner
If you have gained a little more experience in the movement sequences, it is time for a hitting partner. Look for like-minded people who are also interested in improving their tennis game. The important thing is that you are at about the same level of play.
It doesnt make sense to play against a tournament player who shows you his strength. That would be too frustrating for you and would take away the fun of the game. On the other hand, your partner shouldn’t be too weak, otherwise you won’t develop further.
Basically, with a playing partner, completely new training possibilities arise for you. From now on, you can practice the remaining strokes, such as volleys or smashes. You will also make your training more effective because you can hit the balls to each other. Practically, you both benefit.
Ideally, you will vary different exercises. For training the forehand or the backhand, you can for example organize a cross court game. More precisely, you stand diagonally opposite each other on the baseline and hit the ball to each other with the same shot.
We recommend that you also play complete rallies, to awaken the idea of competition. You simply play better tennis if you want to win.
Practice Tennis Regularly
In general, consistency is a decisive factor in tennis. Because without regular training you will quickly forget the movements again. For success in tennis it is crucial that you get a certain rhythm in your game. In addition to training with a hitting partner, you can also take coaching lessons.
A good tennis coach is characterized by the fact that he helps you to refine your technique. With his experience, he will analyse your stroke movements and give you the appropriate feedback. In this way, you learn from a professional what exactly you are doing wrong and how to correct these mistakes.
However, you should keep in mind that this service is not free of charge. Among all costs in tennis, coaching lessons are by far the most important. What exactly does a coaching lesson cost? That depends mainly on the qualification of the coach. On average a private lesson costs $50.
In group training, the sum is of course divided between the players. As a rule, training in summer is cheaper, because in winter there are additional costs for playing on indoor courts.
Tip: Usually tennis coaches offer trial lessons or taster courses. These give you an insight into tennis training so that you can better decide which coach is right for you.
Set Yourself a Goal
What do I want to achieve in tennis? Where will I be in one, three or five years? These are questions you should definitely ask yourself. Sit down quietly one evening and write down your goals in tennis.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to become the next Andre Agassi. There are also things that matter, like just having fun playing or playing in a certain team.
The main thing is that you have goals and that you think about them regularly. That gives you an extra boost of motivation in case things don’t go so well on the court.