After centuries of people enjoying tennis, or versions of it, it still remains one of the most popular sports in the world. Anyone at any age can participate in tennis. From primary school kids to 60+ years olds looking for a fun way to keep fit. If you’re looking to learn or better your tennis skills know that it is not as intimidating as it may seem. There are some simple ways to improve your game. These along with some dedication and patience will pay off greatly and you’ll be proud of your results. Here are some top tips on how to learn to play tennis.
Learn the strokes
There are five different kinds of strokes you’ll need in order to play a proper game of tennis. These include:
- Forehand – The forehand stroke is the easiest one to master. This because it gives the player the most control. This stroke is done using ones dominant hand. It is basically swatting your racquet forwards, towards the on-coming ball.
- Backhand – This is a two handed stroke. It is generally recommended that the forehand stroke is learnt and practiced before learning the back hand. However, you can practice both if you wish. The trick to the backhand stroke is keep your wrists even, straight and strong.
- Serve – The serve is a vital part of tennis. This is when a player sets the ball into play.
- Lob – One lobs the ball by hitting it in such a way that the ball goes over the players head. The point of this is to make the opposition run or lunge for the ball in hopes they’ll miss. This works best when the player is closer to the net.
- Drop shot – This is basically the opposite to the Lob. The objective being to hit the ball so that it lands above the net. This causes the other player to have to run into the net to hit the ball. Best played when the opposition is further from the net.
Perfect your serve
You may feel uneasy about serving the ball at first but once you have a little practice you’ll see how simple it is. Serving the ball is a vital part of playing tennis. There are two ways you can serve. Full serve and half serve. With a fill serve you stand with your feet apart. The ball in one hand. The racquet in the other. Toss the ball. Then , with both hands on the racquet and your arms out in front of you, hit the ball upwards towards your opponent. For the half serve stand with feet apart. One, your dominant side, ever so slightly backwards. Your dominant arm to your side and slightly behind. Then toss the ball and hit racquet upwards like before. Most beginners find a half serve less intimidating and easier to master.
Watch some tutorials
There are many free tutorials available online. You only need to look as far as YouTube to get a good one in most cases. If you’re having trouble with a particular stance or stroke etc, look up some videos on how to perform them. Sometimes reading something is not enough and being shown visually is the best. If you see how the moves are done you’ll be more able to try replicate them. You’ll also know if you’re doing them correctly or not. All because you’ll know what to look for.
Take some lessons
There are several options you can take to be taught tennis. The most simple one being getting a friend who can play to teach you a bit. Once you’re good enough the two of you can play for sport and they’ll have gained a tennis buddy. The other way is to take lessons from a professional. With tennis, you can get one on one lesson. Which are great for focused lessons on things you in particular struggle with. Or there are group lessons. These are also great for meeting people as you’ll surely play practice games with your fellow learners.
Don’t forget to stretch
Stretching is a vital part of any sport and it has several benefits. The main one being that it leave you less susceptible to injury of both the joints and muscles.
Some other benefits are:
- Increased flexibility. Over time stretching builds up the elasticity of the muscles.
- Increased fitness. Stretching creates strength in muscles as well.
- Decreases any pain or tenting in the muscles.
- Stretching can be very relaxing to the body as well as the mind. The same way yoga does.
All of the above reasons to stretch can make you a better, more agile player.
At the end of the day, the best tip on how to learn tennis is to practice. Practice with dedication. Persevere through any frustrations or setbacks and keep at it. The amount of time and effort you put in decides how well you’ll learn and how quickly.