Beginner Tennis Drills and Games to Learn Tennis

There are beginner tennis drills for one player, tennis drills for two players, or tennis drills for many players in a group-coaching situation.

Most importantly, beginner tennis drills increase your mental abilities — that is, your concentration, perseverance, and emotional control; tennis drills teach you to perform at your best despite the pressures of the game.

The following are a few of the most useful and engaging tennis drills for beginning players. If you want a surefire way to up your game, try these beginner tennis drills!

MASTER Beginner Tennis Drill

The first of our beginner tennis drills to be presented — called MASTER — helps players focus on aiming skills. Practice this among other tennis drills to develop consistency, power, direction, depth, and spin. MASTER is one of many tennis drills for groups or the single player. The goal is to spell out the word MASTER by volleying in correct order into sections of the court that represent each letter. M represents the left service box; A, the right service box; S, the left half of the singles court beyond the service line; T, the right half of the singles court beyond the service line; E, the left alley; R, the right alley. Begin at the service T.

A second player will feed you forehand volleys. Run forward a few steps, split-step, and volley into the section of the court that is the current target. You must hit the targets in order; you needn’t start over because of a miss. You’ll find MASTER, like other tennis drills that masquerade as games, advances your performance while you have fun.

Beginner Tennis Drills and Games

Try playing HORSE on the tennis courts; it’s also fun and valuable, like many tennis drills, but here the drill is to assist you to work on your consistency and ability to hit well under pressure. Stand on one side of the court; your opponent stands on the opposite side. Then section off an area of the court into which each of you must hit.

For example, you can extend the center service line back to the baseline; use the section created by that line, the baseline, the service line, and the sideline. The player who lands a shot outside of this area receives a letter. Play to areas that are crosscourt from each other, or mix it further by moving forward and playing within the service boxes. You can continue with the same targets or vary them throughout the beginner tennis drill. The winner of each rally gets to choose the next target area. Playing from the baseline will benefit your ground strokes, while moving up will benefit your short angles.

The first player to spell HORSE is the loser. Among beginner tennis drills, this is one of the most entertaining tennis drills that allow you to work on your consistency and ability to produce shots under pressure.

Beginner Tennis Drills for the Net

Next among beginner tennis drills is one to improve proficiency at the net. Like the previous tennis drills, it works well with pairs of players. Create a back line halfway between the baseline and the service line; create a front line halfway between the net and the service line. Begin centered on the right half of the back line; the other member of the pair should begin centered on the left half of the back line. You run forward and tag the front line with your foot, as the feeder lobs so that you have to scoot back several feet to reach the lob with a smash.

As soon as you’ve hit, retreat to the back line; the other member of the pair then runs forward, tags the front line with his or her foot, and scoots back for his or her smash. Continue to alternate until you have both hit ten smashes. You’ll quickly “get into” these tennis drills, finding that you are in constant motion.

Net Play Beginner Tennis Drills

Among beginner tennis drills is another one developed to increase your competency at the net; it’s ideal for individuals or groups. Stand (or line up) at the service line T; run forward a few steps along the centerline; split-step as the feeder begins to hit the ball; and volley. The key’s to the efficacy of many tennis drills is the variety and frequency of the feeds.

The feeder should send shots covering a full range of heights and widths on both sides — and, the volleys should be in rapid succession; as soon as one is hit, the feeder should send another ball. If you are having difficult with a particular volley, for instance a low backhand, the feeder should emphasize this shot until mastered. Perform this and the other beginner tennis drills each week!

Tennis Volley Drills for Beginners

Need beginner tennis drills for your volley? Some players volley naturally; they are blessed with sharp eyes, quick reactions, agile legs, and great anticipation. For the majority of players, though, becoming skillful at the net requires a concerted effort. Basic tennis drills may help. This most basic volley tennis drills helps develop reactions, footwork, and control.

Try this one: play with a partner, each of you standing about halfway between the service line and the net; and, volley back and forth to each other, trying to keep the ball in the air. Begin by setting a goal for consecutive volley, perhaps eight, and then keep increasing your goal as you succeed. Try this and other tennis drills from three-fourth of the way from the net to the service line; volleying from this distance will help train you on lower volleys. Also, set goals for consecutive all-forehands, or all-backhands, or even an alternating figure eight pattern. Remember, they may be at times quite difficult, or even boring, but tennis drills (particularly, tennis drills practiced frequently) WILL make you a better player!

Tennis Overheads Drills

The following is one of the beginner tennis drills aiming to advance your timing and overhead mechanics, and, to teach you to close in on easy balls at the net, making contact at the best possible height. (A failure to close in on easy balls is a common lost opportunity among beginning players.) One of the most effective tennis drills, it also helps you achieve enough height to clear your opponent’s reach at the net, focusing on the depth and sufficient height of your lobs.

Use cones or a rope to create a line that runs across the singles court, eight feet inside of and parallel to the baseline. Lobs that land in the area formed by the new line, the baseline, and the singles sidelines score one point. To be considered a lob, a shot must reach a height of twelve feet, or the height of the average tennis fence. A feeder should hit you a number of balls, say forty, and you should see how many you can lob successfully, gaining a point. Practice this often (interspersed among your other tennis drills) aiming for personal best scores.

Beginner Tennis Drills and Exercises

Now try some beginner tennis drills that require you put the ball away, and work on agility. Start the tennis drills by alternating between jogging around the court, and jogging backwards around the court. Do a few laps of each. Then, place your hands on your backside, palms facing out; jog so that you kick your palm with your heel on each step.

Jog the perimeter of the court in this manner. Now, continue jogging, but on each step, lift your knee as close to your chest as possible. Continue for five minutes. Practice slides, or a sideways gallop, in which your feet come together, then one foot slides to the side so that your feet are widely separated, and repeat. After every five slides, turn around and face the opposite direction and slide back. Do this for five minutes.

Now try the carioca step: your left foot crosses in front of your right foot; then your right foot steps right; then your left foot crosses behind your right foot; then your right foot steps right; and then you repeat. Continue for five minutes. Now try the wedel: keep your feet together, and make small jumps a bit more sideways than forward (similar to quick turns on alpine skies).

Baby bounces are next: make fairly big jumps, more sideways than forward; try to bounce from the ball of one foot to the other. Do the wedel and the baby bounce for five minutes each. Completing each these tennis drills provides quite a workout, but one that is certain to increase stamina and agility.

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