Tennis is a type of sport that needs a lot of skills and techniques. To be on top, a tennis player needs to possess the technical, physical, and mental skills and techniques. A diversified set of tennis skills and techniques are needed if a tennis player desires to improve in tennis.
Players must possess a wide range of different tennis skills and techniques, which includes stroke production, strategy, mental toughness, and physical athleticism. Some these tennis skills and techniques are discussed here.
Fundamental Tennis Skills and Techniques
Below are the fundamental tennis technical skills that every beginner player should acquire. Additional skills are acquired as players mature and become more knowledgeable of the more advanced technical skills. Examples of these advanced skills are net play, net charge, making contact, slice, drop shots, swing and many others. Only the fundamental tennis skills and techniques are described here.
Tennis Forehand Tennis Skills and Techniques
The tennis forehand stroke is the number one part of tennis skills and techniques for many players from beginner to professional tennis players. The forehand stroke is considered as the most natural stroke in tennis.
If you are a right-handed player, and your opponent returns a ball directly towards your body, your tendency is to step to your left and hit the ball from the right side of your body. If you are a left-handed player, and your opponent returns a point directly towards your body, you naturally step to you right side and hit the ball from the left side of your body. Because the forehand stroke is a sort of s natural stroke, this stroke is performed more by players in tennis matches compared to the other tennis strokes.
Tennis Backhand Tennis Skills and Techniques
The backhand stroke is executed from the opposite side of your forehand stroke. Thus, if you are a right-handed player, you hit the ball from the left side of your body. If you are a left-handed player, you hit the ball from the right side of your body.
To correctly execute the backhand stroke, you must bring back you dominant hand or racket hand around your body before you hit the ball.
The tennis backhand stroke can be awkward to execute in the beginning. But if you are diligent to familiarize and practice it regularly, it can be a very good additional tool for you tennis skills and techniques.
Tennis Serve Tennis Skills and Techniques
The tennis serve is the beginning of a point in a tennis game. The player who serves is called the server and the player on the other end is the receiver. There are several types of serves such as topspin, topspin-slice, flat, slice, kick and many others.
Since the serve begins every point, it’s crucial to develop this among other tennis skills and techniques.
A perfect serve is achieved by executing the right stance, the right tennis serve grip and the correct ball toss. In addition, power can also be added if the server has the ability to execute the proper body movements (knee bending and body coiling), the right racket swing and the right point of contact. Most importantly, the serve must be developed as a primary weapon while achieving pinpoint accuracy and depth.
A tennis lob shot is an important additional asset to add to a player’s tennis skills and techniques. It is a shot that can be used as an offensive or defensive shot. A lob shot is executed by hitting the ball high and deep into your opponent’s court. Normally, an offensive lob shot is hit when the opponent is at the net. Whilst the defensive lob shot is used to force the opponent back and allow you to recover to a better defensive position. As a result, you can gain back the control of the play and make it to your advantage.
A tennis overhead is a shot hit above the player’s head just like the serve execution. It is also called as a smash shot as it is usually hit with power. If executed correctly, it gives a point to the smasher. If a lob shot is normally hit down deep, an overhead shot is normally hit near the net or in the middle of the court. In some cases, a poorly executed lob shot (not very high and not to deep) can be returned as an overhead shot by the opponent. To give more power to an overhead shot, hit it before it bounces on the ground. A lob shot is another addition to the player’s tennis skills and techniques that ensures a point.
A tennis volley is a shot where the ball is hit before it bounces on the ground except for the overhead shot and the serve. In most cases, a tennis volley is hit when you are playing net. However, it can also be done even if you are in the middle or even on the baseline depending on the circumstances.
A volley is considered as part of the overall tennis skills and techniques that can be applied when you are off balance or out-of-position to hit a groundstroke. However, it is normally played as an offensive shot near the net, where you hit a winner angled or a well placed volley shot.
Physical Tennis Skills and Techniques
General athletic ability
The game of tennis involves a lot of physical activities. It needs speed, agility, endurance, and flexibility that any players to want to reach the top must have. These are among tennis skills and techniques needed to be a successful player.
You need speed to run for a ball as quickly as possible and you need agility and alertness to anticipate your opponent’s shot.
Your muscles and tendons needs to be flexible for you to be able to hit balls that seem unreachable. Lastly, you need to have the endurance to last long hours of tennis matches.
Balance is one of the very important physical tennis skills and techniques a player must have. Balance is vital to hit well placed and accurate shots. Good balance also minimizes injuries especially in the lower part of the body such as the legs, ankles and knees. Exercises and drills to improve balance can be done both on court and off-court (e.g. gym).
Tennis is a sport where hand-eye coordination is important so that your hand and the other parts of your body quickly react to do the right moves in response of what your eyes see. Hand eye coordination is one of many tennis skills and techniques that are very important especially for advanced tennis where the nature of the game is very quick and fast. Although this skill is believed to develop through years of playing tennis, drills to develop this skill is still necessary especially for young beginners.
Mental Tennis Skills and Techniques
Without motivation, tennis skills and techniques are of little use. Having the motivation to accomplish something is the recipe of many successful individuals in their own fields. The same is true for tennis players. Young beginners have to have motivation to learn the different tennis skills and tactics for them to succeed and improve. Professional players on one hand, must be motivated enough to win difficult matches.
Concentration and focus play a vital role in every tennis player’s performance. To have focus while you are on court means you have to eliminate all the other thoughts especially the negative ones that can distract you. Concentration is necessary to let your first serve in especially during crucial points or you need to focus not to miss your second serve to avoid double faults.
Concentration is not only important on court but off court as well such as during practice. You need to have a full concentration for you to improve your tennis skills and techniques during regular practice.
Tennis is a tough game particularly for tennis singles. It can become tougher if the match is not going your way because you are alone out there on court. Your competitive spirit is tested when you are racing against the leading opponent. The way you handle the situation when you are losing will be determined on your competitive ability. A competitive player does not give up until the winner is declared.
In tennis, a player must develop a game plan whoever his/her opponent will be. However, a game plan does not always work. Unlike basketball where a coach can ask for a time out to change his game plan if the first one is not working, a tennis player needs to come up with his own solutions in case his tactics are effective. He has to find ways to stop the opponent’s momentum for him not to be out played.
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