People begin the game of tennis at all ages. The sad part is only a percentage of all new tennis players stay with the game. They are many reasons that factor in to people quitting the game, but I am here to help you get started on the right foot so that does not happen to you.
Reasons people do not play tennis:
1. I am not coordinated enough to hit the little yellow ball
2. Tennis is too complicated with all the fancy footwork and swinging of the racquet.
3. The ball goes everywhere that it is not suppose to go.
4. I will never get good at this game.
5. I feel like people are looking at me and laughing.
6. Requires to much effort.
These are only a few examples of why people do not stick with tennis, and if you are one of these people don't worry, it doesn't have to be so complicated.
When first starting tennis, leave your racquet at home or at least until step 5. You are probably saying this guy is crazy, how can I play tennis without the racquet? Tennis is a game of timing and feel. If you use your racquet, it will just get in the way of the learning process. Alright now that I have gotten your attention, let's proceed. This drill can be done at home or on the courts, but should be your first step in becoming a good player. If you have a partner that's great, but if not, just use a hitting wall or brick wall, it really doesn't matter.
If you are using a wall, stand about 12 feet away, and if you were brave enough to take it on the court, then stand at the center of the two service boxes. If you are a complete beginner then I am sure you are saying, what did you just say? Don't worry I will make it simple because that's the way it should be. Walk up to the net and turn around facing your side of the court. If you are standing in the center of the court then you will see a line beneath your feet that extends forward about 21 feet. It then meets with two additional lines that forms a large T. Walk back to the T and stand in the middle of it and turn to face the opposite side of the court. You are now standing between the two service boxes.
If you are right handed have your partner to throw the ball to your right side. Let the ball bounce in front of you and catch it with your right hand and throw it back. If you are using the wall then throw the ball underhanded so that it bounces and you catch it with your right hand. If you are left handed, then just reverse the process. The key here is to only concentrate on catching the ball after the bounce. Don't worry about footwork, you have practiced that since you were a baby.
Make sure you have mastered step 2 before advancing to step 3. Alright you now can catch the tennis ball if it comes to you, so now have your partner to throw the ball more to the right so that you have to go after the ball. Catch the ball and throw it back and return to center. Move naturally to the ball, meaning don't worry about the body. Tennis is a game of timing and touch. The body should not get in the way of learning. One other valuable tip is if you are getting to the ball late, start your movement by leaning in that direction. This gets the body moving in that direction. This advice will be even more valuable as you become more advanced.
Alright now you are getting pretty good. Start back in the center of the court. Have your partner feed you the ball as in step 2, but this time use your hand to push the ball over the net. A common mistake is to hit the ball instead of pushing it over the net, Once you feel comfortable with this drill then repeat it using step 3.
By step 5, we have accomplished some amazing things. You now have timing, coordination and feel in order to play tennis, and we still have yet to pick up the tennis racquet, how great is that? Alright, I have just given you your diploma, and it's time to move on to the racquet. For all if you still using the wall, it's time to get a partner and hit the courts. Lay your racquet on the ground and pick it up naturally. Choke up on the racquet so that your right hand is just below the head of the racquet. If you are left handed then just reverse everything that I have just said. Have your partner feed you the ball in the same fashion as in step 2. The racquet head is now nothing more then the extension of your hand. All you want to do at this phase is just push the ball over the net as in step 4. Open the racquet face a little so that the ball clears the net about 3 feet and watch as the ball drops in to the court.
Now that you can consistently push the ball over the net lets add another step. Continue to push the ball over the net, but his time lets add some follow through. After pushing the ball over the net continue the racquet movement back across the body so that it finishes over the left shoulder. WOW, you just hit the ball with topspin. Topspin brings the ball up and drops it back over the net. To give you an example of topspin lay the ball on the court and roll it forward with your hand, Watch how the ball rotates forward, guess what, that is topspin, simple right!!!
Once you can perform step 6 then gradually start moving back from the net. Move back several feet after you get comfortable with that portion of the court.
You now have a great forehand and it wasn't brain surgery, how great is that! If you would like to know more about me then you can visit www.fryestennis.freeservers.com My name is Shane Frye and I give private and group tennis lessons in Taylorsville, NC. I would also like to give credit to Oscar Wegner for his revolutionary teaching method. My teaching method has continued to improve by studying his system.
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