I have put together a list of the top 10 tennis tips for beginners just starting out in tennis.
Top 10 Tennis Tips for Beginners
1. Choosing a Racket
When you are first starting out with tennis, don’t be too worried about what kind of racket to get.
I would just purchase a reasonably priced racket at your local sporting goods store.
If you are an adult beginner, then just make sure the racket length is at least 27 inches long as rackets shorter than this are for juniors.
2. Find a beginner’s group at your local club
You may have a few friends or a partner who you can play with when you first start playing tennis, but I would always recommend looking for a group of beginners to play with instead.
As you will all be in the same boat skills wise, you will find it a much more enjoyable experience than playing with more experienced players.
Most tennis clubs will organize some sort of beginners group that will run for a few weeks and will teach you the basics of tennis.
There are also online services like PlayYourCourt that will help you find tennis players near you to play with.
3. Don’t stress over your serve
The most common thing I see beginners have an issue with is the serve.
The serve can be scary when you are inexperienced, but it doesn’t have to be.
As a beginner, your goal should be to just get your serve over the net, don’t think about having to hit it hard or where it will land in the service box.
Just remember you are very unlikely to be playing anyone that will be able to punish a slow serve at this stage, so as long as your serve lands in the service box without hitting the net, it will be a good serve.
4. Don’t go for winners
When you first start playing tennis, hitting winners shouldn’t even come into your mind. Instead, concentrate on hitting your shots cross court every time.
You will be surprised how many points you will win simply by following this simple strategy.
5. Don’t aim for the white lines
You might want to emulate the pros by going for lines on your serve and groundstrokes, but this will only lead you to make a lot of errors.
As a beginner, you need to give yourself a good margin of safety so you should choose a target that is two to three feet away from the line so that if you slightly miss hit your shot, you still have a chance of it going in.
6. Aim high over the net
You should try and visualize a box that is a couple of feet above the net and try to hit your balls through this box.
This will help you avoid hitting the ball into the net.
You may find that you are hitting your ball too hard, and the ball is going out past your opponent’s baseline.
However, it is better to hit a ball long than to hit the ball into the net as you can learn how to add topspin to your shots, so you avoid hitting the ball long.
If you get into the habit of hitting the ball into the net, then this can be a much harder problem to fix.
7. Concentrate on hitting the ball smoothly rather than aggressively
It may be tempting at times to hit the ball as hard as you can, but this is likely to increase the number of errors from your tennis racket.
Instead, it is better to be patient and hit the ball firmly but smoothly, so you put your opponent under pressure and let them make the error.
Just remember that at the beginner’s level, most points will end with an error rather than a winner being hit by one of the players.
8. Don’t be afraid of the net
This is something I see quite often at my local tennis club.
Sometimes I think the net must be electrified as all the players are a mile behind the baseline. :)
If you want to play competitively at tennis (especially in doubles) then you need to learn to love the net as having two players at the net will give you a big advantage in doubles.
If you are playing doubles then at least try and be at the net when your partner is serving.
The more you do it the better you will get and over time you will be more comfortable at the net.
9. Avoid hitting drop shots
As a beginner you should rarely if ever hit drop shots as it is likely that you will either hit the net or you will hit a poor drop shot that will bounce high on your opponent’s side of the net, thereby giving them an easy put away shot.
The only time you should even consider hitting a drop shot is when your opponent is behind the baseline and you are close to the net.
In these situations, try and hit the drop shot on the opposite side that your opponent is on e.g. if you are at the net and your opponent is behind the baseline on your left, then hit the drop shot to your right.
Doing this will force them to run further to the ball and will give you a better chance of winning the point.
10. Be honest with your line calls
This point not only applies to beginners but anyone playing tennis.
If you are not sure a ball is in or out, then you should give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and give them the point.
From my own experience if you are honest then your opponent will also be honest, and you won’t lose out overall.
If you aren’t honest and your opponent thinks you aren’t being fair, then they are much more likely to call your balls out.
Therefore, there is little benefit to being dishonest with your line calls.
However, you will always come across players that will totally ignore this rule so you may have to adopt a more live by the sword, die by the sword mentality with players like this.