Maybe you've always been interested in taking up tennis, but you weren't sure where to start or what to focus on first. Besides the obvious first steps of purchasing a tennis racquet, a decent supply of tennis balls and some comfortable athletic clothes, what would be the best way to start off on the right foot with learning how to play tennis? Below are some simple steps you can take to familiarize yourself with this unique game, even if you've never set foot on a tennis court before.
1. Learn the tennis lingo.
With every new endeavor in life comes a new set of words, phrases and jargon specific to that endeavor, and tennis is no different. Familiarize yourself with the definitions of basic tennis strokes such as the forehand, backhand, lob, serve, etc. There are tons of websites that provide this type of information, and they're only a Google search away.
It's also a good idea to learn the rules and scoring system of tennis, so that you can better understand what's happening when you watch a tennis match on TV. And speaking of watching matches, there is perhaps no better way to improve your basic understanding of the game of tennis than to watch the pros play in popular televised tournaments. Not only will you be able to take note of how the best players in the world do it, but you'll also get the benefit of listening to the commentators explain what's going on during the match.
2. Start on the practice wall.
Find a practice wall at a sports club or local tennis court near you, and begin by practicing basic forehand and backhand strokes. Focus on hitting the ball to where it strikes the wall above the line representing the net. Try to see how many consecutive strokes you can hit above the line; you'll know that you're getting better when you can put together a decent "volley" of at least 10 or 15 strokes in a row.
Also work on keeping a volley going while alternating your strokes--i.e., a forehand followed by a backhand, followed by a forehand, etc. The main purpose of starting on the practice wall is to improve your ability to control the power and direction of your strokes, which will give you confidence when it comes time to hit around with a partner on the regular court.
3. Sign up for tennis classes.
Tennis classes offer the beginner a chance to develop their tennis skills in a structured and sequential manner. Many times as beginners we can be tempted to skip the fundamentals of the game for the sake of wanting to focus on the cool stuff like learning how to deliver a blazing serve. While this approach can definitely be more fun, it can also leave you with gaping holes in your game, which will come back to haunt you if you plan on playing competitively.
As a beginner, it's much better to approach your tennis education by taking instruction from people who are more experienced and have more knowledge of the game than you do. Five Seasons offers highly informative and engaging tennis classes for people of all ages and experience levels, so definitely take advantage of this type of valuable instruction in order to set your tennis game on a solid foundation.
4. Play regularly with someone who is slightly above your level.
One of the best ways to improve your game is to play regularly with someone who's more experienced and skilled at playing tennis than you. This will force you to step up your game, and your tennis skill set will improve as a result. If you have a friend, family member or co-worker who regularly plays tennis, set up some times during the week where you can hit around.
Tennis is one of the most fun and invigorating activities you can be involved in, and it's one of those rare sports where mastering yourself is just as important as mastering your opponent. If you're just starting out, keep the above tips in mind and remember to practice, practice, practice. With enough time and consistent effort, your tennis game will continue to get better and better.