To begin to learn to play tennis, you need to understand its unusual scoring method. As a tennis beginner, you must understand how to keep score. Scoring doesn’t start with 1 or 0 — it starts with the term “love”, equivalent to zero. The first point is then 15 followed by the next point, 30, and the next point, 40. The following point is the winning point and it’s called game point or set point or match point — depending on which you are playing.
Learning to Play Tennis
The server’s score is always announced first. So, for instance if the server has two points and his opponent, the receiver, has none, the score is 30-love. If a game is tied at 40-40, it is called “deuce”. If the server gets the next point, it’s called server advantage; if the receiver gets the next point, it’s called receiver advantage. It’s advantage because the player who has it only needs one more point to win. Should they not make this one point the game goes back to deuce. Scoring is perhaps a bit complicated, but necessary to understand as you learn to play tennis.
The Tennis Court
We’ve now covered scoring, the first step to learn as a tennis beginner — let’s move on to understanding the court. A tennis court is 78 feet long by 27 feet wide, and divided in half length-wise by the net. At each end of the court, there are white baselines — here, the serves are taken. These are also the out-of-bounds lines — a ball must not bounce beyond them or it’s out and the player who hit the ball loses a point.
Each side of the court is lined with two white marks to indicate the width of the court for singles play and the larger width for doubles play. The short white line extending from the net to halfway down the court is the service court. As a tennis beginner, you can’t learn to play tennis without understanding these rules of the court. With ample practice time working on tennis strokes, the right tennis techniques may be in fact a element that can propel a tennis player allowing them to hit shots they never could with their old and inefficient tennis strokes. That means that all of the tennis strokes can be improved, the tennis forehand, backhand and serve are the three biggest tennis strokes in the modern game. All three tennis strokes are also incumbent upon having good tennis technique to make these tennis strokes work.
OK. Now that you understand the court, let’s learn to play tennis with some specifics. As already mentioned, a tennis beginner can play a singles or doubles game with either one or two players on each side of the net. The game — and, each point — begins with a serve taken from behind the baseline. The ball must bounce into the diagonally opposite service court. (Your serve may be your most difficult stroke as you learn to play tennis.) The play — or point — continues until one player fails to hit the ball back or hits it out-of-bounds.
I’ve spent years in attempts to understand tennis techniques and secrets that few people ever learn in tennis lessons. Most competitive junior tennis players have the privilege of time and money to develop and learn tennis techniques, but maybe you don’t. Tennis techniques are an important part for every tennis player and even small changes in tennis technique can result in big improvements.
Learn the Tennis Serve
So, as you now know, learning to serve is essential as you learn to play tennis. Here’s how (for right-handed players — left-handed players should reverse the directions): Stand with both feet behind the baseline. Assume a sideways stance with your left foot pointed towards the right hand net post. Hold the ball in your left hand. Raise your left hand throwing the ball upwards about one foot in front of your left foot and about eighteen inches above your reach. While the ball in the air, move your racket back and up. Hit the ball at full stretch, with your racket arm straight, at the highest point possible. You are switching the weight of your body from your back foot to your front foot to give added strength to your shot.
Hit the ball with an “up and over” action as if you were throwing the racket at it — and, after hitting the ball, follow through with your swing. This follow through will propel you forward into the court, prepared to hit the returned shot. Good! You’re progressing well in your efforts to learn to play tennis! If you’re unhappy with your serve — perhaps even miss the ball when you swing — don’t worry; this is common when you first learn to play tennis.
Tennis Doubles Game
But would if it’s a doubles game? How do I learn to play tennis then, you wonder?! Who serves? With doubles, the serving position rotates across teams and partners. For instance, if team partners A and B were playing doubles with team partners C and D, partner A would serve first and then it would rotate to partner C and then back to partner B and finally to partner D.
Also important to know when you learn to play tennis: At the end of the odd-numbered games in a set, including the first game, the players exchange ends of the court. This is true in both singles and doubles games.
What else do you need to know as you learn to play tennis?
Well, as you learn to play tennis, you need to know how to continue the play. If the serve is successful, the play may continue with a variety of shots. Often, play will continue with groundstrokes. Groundstrokes are shots taken after the ball has bounced once. These can be hit with a forehand or a backhand stroke. The forehand stroke is made with the face of the racket, the palm of your hand facing the ball. The backhand stroke is made with the reverse side of the racket, with the palm of your hand facing away from the ball. To successfully learn to play tennis, you’ll need to learn to hit forehand shots; and to successfully learn to play tennis, you’ll need to learn to hit backhand shots.
Tennis techniques has adapted for every new generation of tennis players. Tennis forehand technique has evolved, from old school closed stances, to rotational angular momentum hitting styles.
Learn to play tennis with a forehand stroke
Begin with the grip. The most common grip in tennis is the eastern forehand; the eastern forehand grip is also the best choice as you learn to play tennis. Use it for your forehand drive and the majority of your shots. Place your hand flat on the racket strings, and then slide your hand down to the handle. Wrap your fingers around the racket. Your first finger should be forward slightly as if you were holding the trigger of a gun. Keep all tensions out of your fingers. The eastern forehand grip is often called the “shake hands” grip by those who have just begun to learn to play tennis, because, in essence, you are shaking hands with the racket. For most people, it is the preferred grip for serving — particularly, when you first learn to play tennis.
Learn the Tennis Backhand Stroke
Again, begin with the grip. Whether you choose to use a one handed backhand or a two handed backhand, it’s important to grip the racket closer to the top bevel with your dominant hand. For a two handed backhand, the non-dominant hand should grip the racket underneath the handle, and keeping your palm rested firmly on the racket handle. Fingers should be free of tension, and not too close together. The grip for the two hander should have your other hand adjacent to the first. It’s necessary to practice both the forehand and backhand tennis strokes as you learn to play tennis.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Finally, choosing the right equipment is essential as you learn to play tennis. Proper grip size avoids pain. To measure the correct grip size, hold your racket hand out palm side up, and measure from the crease of the ring finger to the tip of the ring finger. This should be the measurement around your racket handle, generally about four inches in diameter.
Even your choice of shoes, socks, and other clothing are important considerations when you learn to play tennis. As opposed to running shoes, tennis shoes are made to withstand side-to-side movement. They should have a herringbone tread for longer lasting protection and grip. Socks should be thick and able to absorb sweat, thereby preventing infections such as athlete’s foot. Generally, tennis clothing is white, a color chosen to best reflect the sun and keep the player cooler. (Wear the appropriate gear even when just beginning to learn to play tennis!)
Tennis is a Lifelong Sport
If you learn to play tennis, it can be your first step toward a lifetime of fitness and pleasure. And now that we’ve discussed how to learn to play tennis with the basics, you’re ready to get out on the court. There’s no better way to learn to play tennis than with practice; with practice, you’ll not only learn to play tennis, you’ll learn to play tennis well.
Learn to Hit a Forehand Like Roger Federer
If you want to jumpstart your forehand and play like the PROS, check out my 70+ page Tennis Ebook that will immediately show you how you can take your forehand to the next level.
The Modern Forehand Domination Ebook is guaranteed to improve your tennis technique, and increase power, topspin and accuracy of your tennis forehand!
Modern Tennis Forehand Ebook
Learn How to Hit a Forehand Like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic