If you have watched other people enjoying tennis, whether they were ordinary club players or highly skilled professionals, you may have decided that this is something you would like to try for yourself. You might have ambitions of being the next Djokovic or Osaka, or you may simply want to keep fit and meet new people, whilst enjoying some friendly competition.
Whatever your ultimate aim, you will need to begin by purchasing some key items of equipment and learning the basics of the game. So, what are the most important tips to help you make the best possible start to what will hopefully be many years of enjoying tennis?
Tennis beginners need to learn the main rules and the most commonly used shots. They need to buy appropriate clothing, balls, and a racket. The best tips for beginners are that it is vital that they enjoy themselves, so they should avoid getting too technical, and finish every practice session feeling positive.
What Should A Beginner Learn In Tennis?
If your aim is to eventually play in competitions, you will need to know the rules of the game in some detail. As a beginner, however, there are a few key things you need to be aware of.
In particular, rules like whether and when a ball is allowed to bounce, what is ‘in’ and what is ‘out’, how to serve, and how the scoring system works, are crucial if you want to play the game.
Having learned some basic rules, you can turn your attention to hitting the ball. It is very helpful if you can work in conjunction with a coach, as this will assist you in getting into good habits and avoiding bad ones. Being well taught when you start to play the game can help you to avoid many difficulties later on.
Most coaches will start by teaching you to hit a forehand. They will concentrate on helping you to hold the racket in an appropriate grip, and making a simple, smooth, swing. As you hit the ball, you will be encouraged to move the racket from low to high, in order that you can impart a small amount of topspin.
A similar approach will be used on the backhand side, although a good coach will give you the option of choosing a single or double-handed shot. Either way, simplicity will be crucial at this stage, combining a smooth action with a ‘low to high’ movement when striking the ball.
When you have played a few times, volleys will be introduced, using a ‘chopper’ grip and a short, punchy motion.
Best Beginner Tips For Serve
Once you can hit the ball over the net, your coach will start to help you to learn to serve. The crucial point to focus on is that the serve requires a throwing action. Before you try to hit an actual serve, it is therefore really useful to practice throwing a ball using a technique a little like the serve.
Many coaches will suggest that you stand sideways behind the baseline and hold a ball in your racket hand. Point forwards and up with your non-racket hand, and bend the elbow of your racket arm, so you begin to look rather like Usain Bolt. Finally, bend your knees, then simultaneously straighten them and throw the ball forwards and upwards as far as you can. With practice, the ball should go well over the net every time.
The progression is to put a ball in your non-racket hand too, and throw it in the air first, trying to hit it with the other ball when you throw it. Finally, pick your racket up and hold it in a continental grip, whilst holding a ball in your other hand. Adopting a position like the one you practiced, lower then raise your non-racket arm to throw the ball up, placing it fairly high in front of you. ‘Throw’ the racket at the ball (without releasing it!), and eventually, you will learn to strike it cleanly into the court. The action is complicated, so it will take a while to master.
Best Beginner Tips For Equipment
Clothing-wise, buy proper tennis clothes, as these will allow you to move the way you need to and will give you confidence that you look the part. Equally, shoes designed specifically for tennis will give the support your foot and ankle need when moving around the court, and will not make unsightly marks on the playing surface.
Make sure that the shoes are suitable for the specific court surface you will be playing on. It is possible to get some real bargains by searching online, so there is no need to spend an enormous amount of money on clothes and shoes when you are just starting out.
To start with, buy a cheap racket from a bulk supplier like Walmart. Once you decide that you like playing the game, and have developed your own playing style, you can invest in something more expensive.
As far as tennis balls go, look for a cheap deal on balls from a major manufacturer. Don’t buy low-quality unbranded balls or use old worn-out ones.
Don’t Get Too Caught Up On Technique
Getting the basics right is important, but don’t worry too much if your forehand doesn’t look like Federer’s. Learn to play and enjoy the game first, and develop your technique as you progress.
Always End Practice On A Good Note
To ensure that you keep enjoying the game, make sure that each practice session ends with you feeling positive. This can either mean stopping after a success, or simply reminding yourself of the good progress you have made during the session.
Tennis is a great game to learn. Start the right way and you will enjoy playing it for a long time.