Every player should be able to master the tennis basics before learning the more advanced tennis strokes. While learning the tennis basics, it is important to remember that developing the proper tennis strokes and technique is a learning process. Most of the time, learning any new concept will come with it’s challenges and hurdles along the way.
Tennis beginners may become frustrated with the learning process if they are still learning the proper tennis basics. Anything worth learning will be difficult at first, but once the mountain is climbed it will make the rest of the learning process easier in learning the fundamental tennis basics of the game.
Winning tennis matches is easier once the tennis basics are in place, so players can follow a steady progression towards advanced tennis. Tennis basics involve the groundstrokes, volley and serve strokes.
Tennis Basics: The Forehand Stroke
In modern tennis, the forehand stroke is considered as one of the main tennis basics as well as the most important stroke. It is also the most magnificent and destructive weapon by many professional tennis players in the name of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and many others. In fact, this stroke is normally used by players to hit winner shots. In addition, a forehand shot is a type of tennis basics shot that can be hit in any position of the court.
The Basics of the Forehand Stroke:
- From the ready position, you have to create the energy from your legs. It is also important to use the proper tennis footwork to move towards the ball.
- Once you are in the right position along the path of the ball, be ready to move your hands towards the direction of the incoming ball. This movement also allows you to begin the shoulder and the upper body rotation.
- The next step is to bring your racket back in a circular loop. As you do this step, imagine yourself as if you are making a circle. Then drop the racket when you start to bring your racket forward. Acceleration at this stage provides power to your forehand (one of the main tennis basics shots). To produce topspin, the forward swing of the racket should also be from a low to high direction.
- Do not move your head/eyes away from the ball as you are about to make contact with the tennis ball. For beginners, the ideal height to hit the tennis ball is more or less at waist height but the ideal height may increase as you become more confident in hitting this tennis shot. A higher point of contact helps you hit a more powerful stroke.
Tennis Basics: The Backhand Stroke
- Always start with the proper ready position and hold your racket using the backhand grip. Then turn your shoulders and hips as you are about to start your backswing.
- Then step out towards the path of the ball and transfer your weight from your inside foot to your outside foot.
- The next step is to move your inside foot forward and start transferring your weight from your outside foot to your inside foot. You have to do this at the same time as you are about to start your forward racket swing.
- For beginners, learning the tennis basics, it is recommended to hit the ball when it is just in front of you and at waist height level. For best results, avoid waiting for the ball to reach to your side to hit it. In addition, you have to transfer your weight to your front foot when you make contact with the ball. To produce enough power on your shot, do not leave your arms alone to do the job but allow your whole body (legs and torso) to generate power. Lastly, to add more power on your one-handed tennis basics shot, you should be able to generate more power as you push up and move forward your legs.
- Keep your weight on your front foot during the contract and also maintain your balance during the follow-through and even during the recovery steps.
- Practice is the key point in mastering any of the tennis basics. During the contact point, practice and make sure your that you keep your chin over you front foot and maintain this position several seconds after the contact.
- As with the other tennis basics, when you do practice the backhand, try not to force your movements. Do it as natural as you can and in the end you will be able to hit the ball with more power and accuracy. Remember that the racket is a lot heavier than the ball, thus it help a lot to provide power on the shot.
Tennis Basics: Volley Shots
The volley is one of the most challenging shots in tennis. Technically, it is a bit tricky to hit. For you to hit the shot perfectly, you need to be physically and mentally alert to quickly react to its very fast pace. However once you master this basic tennis shot, it can become one of your greatest tools in tennis.
To benefits of developing the confidence to hit a volley and play at the net are numerous. Firstly, you can put pressure on your opponent. The tennis volley is also one of the ways to hit easier winner shots. But remember that volleying can also put you in a vulnerable situation. The court is wide enough to cover when you are playing at the net. Thus you need to be exceptionally fast and alert to cover the different angles of the court when you are volleying.
The Basics of Hitting A Volley:
- The ready position is crucial in the tennis volley. Since proficient use of the volley includes dealing with very fast pace shots, an incorrect ready position will just delay your ability to hit a clean volley. The ready position for volley shot is slightly differs from the ready position of other tennis basics shots or the groundstrokes. The racket head is position slightly higher than in the ready position for groundstrokes. Your elbows should also be well in front of your body.
- When the ball is on its way towards you, you have to move your hands and head towards the direction of the ball. These movements bring your racket head in front of you. If you are able to execute the perfect movements, automatically your upper body and your legs follow (moving towards the ball).
- To execute a good volley, a big backswing is not needed but instead a short cut one is enough. You make contact with a ball in a punchy manner and do it just in front of your body. It is important to execute the contact using your wrist and forearm. In this way you are able to hit the ball in a downward direction at a very fast pace.
- When you make contact with the ball, it is also best to have your racket head in a slighty open position. These two techniques (downward movement and the slight open racket face) enable you to create topspin in your shot. As a result, you hit a low-bounce ball making it hard for your opponent to return.
- In volley shot, the follow-through is towards the direction of the ball. After the follow-through, it is essential for you to recover quickly to the right recovery position and be ready for your next return.
Tennis Basics: The Drop Shot
The drop shot is one of the tennis basics and possibly the best shot to win points if the execution is right and timely. The tennis drop shot is often learned once the other tennis basics have been learned. To make the drop shot more effective, it has to have a surprise effect on your opponent. And to make this happen, your drop shot must be powerful and has a lot of topspin. In addition, only hit a drop shot when your opponent is pressed behind the baseline. Another way make this shot more effective is to hit it with a backspin making your shot harder to return.
The Basics of How to Hit a Drop Shot:
- You can’t hit a drop shot anytime you want. There are special situations that dictate a correct use of this shot. The ideal ball to do it is when the ball is moving at a fast pace and when it is not that low. Remember not to make your opponent guess that you are going to hit a drop shot. For the best disguise, your shot preparation must look like as if you are going to hit a normal forehand or backhand with topspin.
- The next step is to shorten your backswing in a more downward direction. Then position your racket face in a slightly open manner. As you are about to hit the ball, make sure to keep a loose racket grip.
- During the point of contact, make sure that your racket face is positioned underneath the ball. This movement allows you to create backspin resulting to a low-bounce ball.
- An ideal tennis drop shot is when the ball has to bounce back to the net or bounces on the ground many times before it reaches the service line. In this way, your opponent will have difficulty in reaching and hitting the ball. If he does hit it, most likely it will be a weak shot and you can return back a winner shot easily.
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