Best tennis drills for beginners

Tennis is a popular sport that requires a combination of physical fitness, hand-eye coordination, and mental focus. Whether you’re new to the game or looking to improve your skills, incorporating drills into your practice routine can be extremely beneficial. By working on specific exercises, beginners can develop their technique, footwork, and overall game strategy.

One of the most important aspects of tennis for beginners is learning proper technique. Drills that focus on stroke development can help beginners build a solid foundation. For example, practicing forehand and backhand shots against a wall can help improve hand-eye coordination and accuracy. Another effective drill for beginners is the “shadow swing,” where players mimic the motion of a stroke without hitting the ball. This drill allows beginners to focus on their technique and build muscle memory.

In addition to stroke development, footwork is another crucial element of tennis. Drills that focus on agility and quick movements can greatly improve a beginner’s game. For example, the “ladder drill” involves setting up a series of cones in a ladder-like formation and moving quickly through them, simulating quick changes in direction on the court. Another effective footwork drill is the “side shuffle,” where players move laterally from side to side, focusing on maintaining balance and quick reactions.

Finally, incorporating game strategy drills can help beginners understand the tactical aspect of tennis. Mini-matches or point simulations allow beginners to practice specific strategies, such as hitting with depth, approaching the net, or defending against a strong opponent. By working on these drills, beginners can improve their decision-making skills and learn how to adapt to different game situations.

Overall, incorporating a variety of drills into your tennis practice routine is essential for beginners looking to improve their skills. By focusing on stroke development, footwork, and game strategy, beginners can build a solid foundation and develop key skills necessary for success in the game of tennis.

Forehand Groundstroke Drill

One of the fundamental skills in tennis is the forehand groundstroke. This drill focuses on developing and improving this essential shot for beginners. It helps players understand the correct technique, footwork, and body positioning required to execute a powerful and accurate forehand groundstroke.

The drill starts with the coach or partner feeding balls to the player’s forehand side. The player stands in a ready position, keeping a firm grip on the racket and maintaining a balanced stance. As the ball approaches, the player takes a step forward and transfers their weight to the front foot, preparing to swing the racket.

  • The player then extends their non-dominant hand toward the ball for balance and to help with timing.
  • As the ball reaches the ideal hitting zone, the player rotates their hips and shoulders, keeping their eye on the ball as they swing the racket forward.
  • The player aims to make solid contact with the ball, using the middle of the racket strings.
  • After making contact, the player follows through with the racket, brushing the ball slightly for topspin and directing it towards the target.

This drill can be done in a repetitive manner, allowing the player to practice and improve their forehand groundstroke technique. By focusing on the fundamentals and getting comfortable with the correct body mechanics, beginners can develop a strong and consistent forehand groundstroke, setting the foundation for their future tennis game.

Backhand Groundstroke Drill

In tennis, the backhand groundstroke is an essential shot that every beginner needs to master. This drill is designed to help beginners improve their technique and accuracy when executing a backhand groundstroke.

To start the drill, position yourself on one side of the court, facing the net. Take your racket back with your non-dominant hand and place your dominant hand on the grip. As the ball approaches, step into the shot with your non-dominant foot and swing the racket through the ball, making contact with the backhand side of the racket.

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Repeat this drill multiple times, focusing on keeping your eyes on the ball, maintaining a solid grip on the racket, and following through with your swing. As you become more comfortable with the technique, you can increase the pace and power of your shots.

This drill is beneficial for beginners as it helps develop muscle memory and improves hand-eye coordination. By practicing the backhand groundstroke, beginners can gain confidence in their ability to execute this fundamental shot effectively during a game.

Volley Drill

One of the essential skills in tennis is the volley. It requires quick reflexes, good hand-eye coordination, and precise technique. The volley drill is an effective way to improve your volley skills and become more confident at the net.

To perform the volley drill, you can either have a partner or use a ball machine. Begin by standing at the net, ready for volleys. Your partner or the ball machine will hit balls to you in random directions. Your goal is to react quickly and hit the balls back over the net, keeping them low and controlled. Repeat this drill for a certain amount of time or until you feel comfortable with your volleys.

When practicing the volley drill, focus on the following key points. First, maintain a ready position with your knees slightly bent and your racket held in front of you. This will allow you to react quickly and move easily. Second, keep your eyes on the ball at all times. This will help you track the ball and make solid contact. Finally, emphasize short and compact swings to ensure control and accuracy.

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Regularly incorporating the volley drill into your tennis training will help you develop strong volley skills. The drill will improve your reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and overall technique, enabling you to confidently play at the net and win more points. Remember to practice consistency and accuracy in your volleys, as these are key elements in becoming a successful tennis player.

Serve Drill

Serving is one of the most important skills in tennis, and mastering it can be challenging for beginners. A serve drill is a great way to improve your serving technique and accuracy. This drill focuses on developing a consistent toss and a fluid motion, which are crucial for a powerful and accurate serve.

To start the serve drill, stand at the baseline with a basket of tennis balls. Begin by tossing the ball into the air with a consistent height and position. Focus on maintaining a relaxed grip and using your whole body to generate power. As you progress, try to aim for different targets on the court, such as specific areas in the service box.

Another variation of the serve drill is to practice serving from different positions on the court. This will help you to develop a strong and versatile serve that can be effective in different situations. Start by serving from the right corner of the court and gradually move towards the center and left corner. This drill will also improve your footwork and balance as you adjust to the changing positions.

Remember to always start with a warm-up and stretch before practicing any drills. It’s important to maintain proper form and technique throughout the drill, even if it means starting with a slower pace. With consistent practice and focus, the serve drill can greatly improve your serving skills and take your game to the next level.

Overhead Smash Drill

Tennis beginners can improve their overhead smash technique with the help of a specific drill. This drill focuses on developing the timing, footwork, and coordination required to execute a powerful and accurate overhead smash. It is an essential skill to have in order to dominate a game and score points.

To perform this drill, players should start by standing at the net. They should have a partner stand at the baseline, ready to hit high lobs towards their side of the court. As the lob is hit, the player at the net must quickly move into position and time their jump to meet the ball at its highest point. The player should then execute a powerful overhead smash, aiming to hit the ball downwards and towards the opposite side of the court.

  • Focus on footwork: This drill helps beginners work on their footwork as they have to quickly move into position to meet the high lob. Developing good footwork is crucial for executing an effective smash and maintaining balance.
  • Timing and coordination: The drill also helps players improve their timing and coordination, as they have to anticipate when to jump and when to swing their racket in order to connect with the ball at its highest point.
  • Power and accuracy: By practicing the overhead smash drill, beginners can develop the power and accuracy required to hit powerful shots that will be difficult for their opponents to return.
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By regularly incorporating the overhead smash drill into their training routine, beginner tennis players can enhance their skills and become more confident in executing this important shot.

Footwork Drill

The footwork drill is an essential exercise for beginners learning to play tennis. It focuses on improving the player’s agility, speed, and coordination on the court. The drill involves practicing different footwork patterns, such as shuffling, lunging, and pivoting, to navigate the court and reach the ball effectively.

One variation of the footwork drill is the ladder drill, where a ladder is placed on the ground, and players have to step in and out of the ladder rungs. This drill helps develop quick footwork and lateral movement. Another variation is the cone drill, where cones are set up in a zigzag pattern, and players have to move quickly between the cones. This drill improves agility and change of direction.

During the footwork drill, it is important for beginners to focus on maintaining a low center of gravity, staying light on their feet, and using quick, small steps. They should also pay attention to their body posture and positioning to ensure efficient movement on the court. Regular practice of the footwork drill will help beginners develop a solid foundation of movement skills that are crucial for their overall tennis performance.

5 Best tennis drills for beginners

Constraining 8U Tennis: A collection of Constraint Led Tennis drills to enhance player development.

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Question and answer:

What is a footwork drill?

A footwork drill is a training exercise that focuses on improving a player’s agility, coordination, and foot speed in sports.

Why is footwork important in sports?

Footwork is important in sports because it helps improve a player’s balance, speed, and ability to change direction quickly, which can give them an advantage over their opponents.

What are some common footwork drills in basketball?

Some common footwork drills in basketball include ladder drills, cone drills, and defensive slide drills.

How can footwork drills be beneficial for soccer players?

Footwork drills can be beneficial for soccer players as they help improve their dribbling skills, agility, and ability to quickly change direction on the field.

Are footwork drills only for athletes?

No, footwork drills can be beneficial for anyone looking to improve their overall coordination, agility, and balance, regardless of whether they are an athlete or not.


In conclusion, footwork drills are an essential part of any sports training. They help improve agility, speed, and coordination, which are crucial skills in many sports, such as football, basketball, and tennis. By incorporating footwork drills into your training routine, you can enhance your overall performance on the field or court and stay one step ahead of your opponents. Remember to start with basic drills and gradually progress to more advanced ones to challenge yourself and continue improving. So, lace up your shoes, get on your feet, and start practicing those footwork drills to take your game to the next level!

Harrison Clayton

Harrison Clayton

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