T E N N I S Lucas murias

The basics of learning how to play

1. Playing from the contact point and extending forward.

Instead of teaching the preparation of strokes first with a full turn and the backswing, we actually place the racquet just slightly behind the expected contact point.

You might feel that you have no power there, but you’ll quickly realize that even moving the racquet just a few inches towards the ball as you’re about to hit it gives it enough energy to fly over the net and reach your partner after one bounce.

Hitting the ball at the right time and at the right contact point is the key to consistency and correct tennis technique. Focusing first on this element of the game rather than on the mechanics of the stroke will help every tennis beginner improve very quickly and be able to play without many mistakes.

In this first step, you don’t have to focus much on the follow-through technique; instead, you simply extend your arm forward, guiding the ball towards the other side.

This initial technical adjustment applies to the forehand, one-handed backhand and the two-handed backhand.

In all cases, they start playing from the contact point first and simply extend straight forward and upwards, giving the ball some direction and height.

2. Playing from the contact point and adding a follow-through

As you become more comfortable and consistent playing from the contact point and extending forward, we can add the basic follow-through technique.

On the forehand and two-handed backhand groundstrokes, the follow-through is the same: we finish with the racquet over the shoulder. It should touch the shoulder with the edge and point its butt cap towards the net.

In case of a one-handed backhand, the body has to stay sideways with the arm fully extended and the racquet in a vertical position with its butt cap pointing to the ground.

You should now keep playing mini tennis, still preparing your strokes by placing the racquet just behind the contact point and now adding the follow-through technique on each stroke so that you start ingraining this movement into your subconscious.

These two steps are very important for the first few lessons that a tennis beginner takes as they focus on the most important and actually one of the most challenging parts of tennis, which is meeting the ball at an ideal distance from the body. This is the most efficient and comfortable way to play tennis.

Only when the player becomes more consistent playing mini tennis with this modified stroke technique do we move to the next progression in developing basic groundstroke technique.

3. Adding the plit step

A split step is the basic type of footwork that needs to be present on every shot you’re receiving.

It’s a quick hop where you jump slightly off the ground and split your feet wide in the air and land in this same position, namely with your feet well apart. That helps you push off in any direction very quickly.

The key for the split step is proper timing and that means that you must land into the split step exactly when you realize where the ball is going. If you time it correctly, you’ll also feel that you can move explosively towards the ball.

What you need for playing

  • 1. Tennis racquet.
  • 2. Racquet accessories (overgrips, vibration absorbers, lead tape).
  • 3. Balls.
  • 4. The proper outfit.


Created with images by Barescar90 - "network tennis clay" • City of Marietta, GA - "Laurel Park Summer Tennis Camp 06212013 002" • Steven Pisano - "2013 US Open (Tennis) - Ivo Karlovic" • moerschy - "rafael nadal australian open 2012 tennis"

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