Am I doing it the right way? if you have just embarked on this new and exciting tennis sports journey, learning the rules and the techniques of this game can be a little bit daunting. However, don’t let that get you down, this is one of the most challenging games out there, you just need to make sure you are learning it the right way with enough amount of consistent practices. I mean if Roger Federer can do it, you can do it.
Whether you are just looking to play tennis as a fun activity during the weekends or simply you are a newbie with an intention to become a professional tournament player, this article is just for you.
In this brief article, we will highlight the 7 basics steps on how to play tennis as a beginner. It will show you the easiest drills to serve, volley, positioning, and some footwork as well. Keep on reading.
The first 7 steps instructions on how to play tennis as a beginner:
- Tossing a coin
- Positioning in the baseline corner
- Holding racket tight
- Tossing the ball in the air
- Serving towards service box
- Run and hit
- Keep it going for the point
Step 1: Tossing a coin
At a certain point when playing tennis, you will probably have your favorite side of the court field. Suppose you are playing a single match. At the very first, one person has to initiate the first serve of the match.
To avoid trouble, players opt for coin-flipping. The person who wins the toss gets to choose which courtside he will play on or if he wants to serve. If you are serving then you will continue doing it until the match ends. Then on the next game, the other player gets the chance for serves.
Step 2: Positioning in the baseline corner
Before the match even kick-starts, the two players have to master the court. They need to understand how to position themselves on the baseline and in their domain. The server should pick a corner of the baseline so he can serve while another one places himself on the opposite back corner.
For instance, if you’re serving from the right baseline corner of the courtside, another player will be standing at the far left baseline corner. The position will be, you will stand facing your opponent.
The player has to ensure keeping one foot a bit above the baseline whereas the other should be kept 18 inches away within the court.
Step 3: Holding racket tight
As your hand is gripping the shaft tight, there is not any certain way of holding the racket. You just have to grip it firmly in your dominant hand while extending your arm unless the racket head is more or less parallel to your head.
If you are not serving, you can grip the shaft using both of your hands. Basically, the dominant one will hold the topmost part of the shaft whereas the other will grip the bottommost.
However, there is no such required placement when it comes to gripping the racket.
Step 4:Tossing the ball in the air
The player should take the first serve from the right half of the court from behind the baseline. Next, a player will toss the ball in the air to serve. No matter what, part of the player’s foot shouldn’t touch the baseline until the serve gets complete.
You can practice throwing the ball a couple of times before you officially start serving in the game. Try to get used to it and learn to handle it prior to serving.
Make sure you do not strike the ball with your racket if you want to practice throwing the ball. It is considered as an error in the game. And this can provide the opponent with a point. So, it’s better you save practice when you are not in the official game.
However, if you are not serving, then keep on gripping the racket and wait.
Step 5: Serving towards service box
This is your time to shine, it is the only time you will have full control of the ball. Let’s be real for a second, learning how to toss a ball is the first step to learn how to serve it, and if you ain’t good at tossing, the serving won’t happen.
Now let’s say you are commanding the tossing step for the moment. If you are the server, you have to use the racket to hit it hard diagonally to serve it towards the service box of your opponent. Target the service box section that will be closer to them. The main purpose is to have the ball bounced once before they return the serve.
If the ball touches the net to the other side of the court, it will be a ‘let’. If that happens, you will get a chance to serve the ball again.
But, if the ball lands on your courtside or you miss the service or it lands out of boundaries, then it will be a ‘fault’. If that happens, you’ll get a do-over for the fault. But if you double-fault in one service, then your opponent will get a point and the game will shift for the next point.
Step 6: Run and hit
Run to the opposite side of your baseline after serving the ball. Strike the ball hard having the racket pointed a little upward. You will need some practices to ace the skill regarding the way to return the services effectively. So, you shouldn’t feel disappointed if you play bad for the first few times.
Step 7: Keep it going for the point
The point can be awarded only when the opponent strikes the ball towards his side of the net or his return goes out of the sideline or the baseline on your courtside. It can be won if you strike the ball and the other player cannot get to it or if the latter comes to your courtside. So, continue the game unless one of the players gets a point.
The server will get 20 seconds to start the next point. Just after the point is awarded, you will be calling the score and serve again unless any player wins the match or any set.
Some tips to play like a pro:
- Try to read your opponent’s strategy. Get to know the serving style of your opponent or from which position he plays most of the time. Also, observe the mental state of the opponent.
- Try to play on different fields or surfaces. The surface can affect your skills and playing speed. Since you are a newbie, you can try on acrylic or asphalt surfaces as they have more bounces. Besides, you can also play on the grass surface as the ball will bounce less and the player is more predictable to miss a serve.
- Add top-spin to your strokes so that it enables the ball to rebound higher and fly quicker. Try to strike the side of the ball and then, move the racket upward and hit the top of the ball. It will help in making the ball spin in an upward manner so you get better net clearance on your shots.
The 7 step-by-step preparations for tennis beginners and the other tips for playing the game like a pro will accelerate your training knowledge process and help you play and experience tennis in a rather brief amount of time.
Following these instructions as a beginner tennis player will also place you on the right path in order to acquire new advanced skills in your journey including various and distinct footwork patterns which are considered the turning point in your gaming abilities.