How to start playing tennis if you’ve never held a racket before

“Don’t go full-on Serena as soon as you step on court.”

9/18/2021 2:02:00 PM

How to start playing tennis if you’ve never held a racket before:

“Don’t go full-on Serena as soon as you step on court.”

, a physiotherapist, has been playing tennis since she was six years old. “What I love about tennis is how you can have fun at any level. No matter how good or how bad you are at it, if you go to a tennis club, you will almost certainly be able to find someone to knock a ball about with,” she says. “The joy of chasing a little yellow ball around a court is the reason I’ve fought back from

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and surgery. And it’s brought me lifelong friendships and friendly rivalries, and taught me valuable lessons about fair play, teamwork, winning, losing, resilience and leadership.”You may also like“There’s no ‘right time’ to pick up a racket and start playing at all.”

Is it possible to learn how to play tennis at any age?“Absolutely,” says Ward. While Raducanu may have risen through the ranks aged just 18, anyone really can get involved. “We have adapted tennis, and the way we teach it, to account for different ages and the various motivations people have to pick up a racket and play. There’s no ‘right time’ to pick up a racket and start playing at all.”

You may also likeNaomi Osaka’s comments on being “humble” prove the sexist standards around female successTop tips for starting to play tennisHarriet Dart, author and professional British tennis player, has five maintips for starting out on the tennis court: 

1. Firstly, it’s always very important to be on your feet. Keep moving, be aware of your footwork as this will help you play better. Don’t stand still.2. The second thing to master would be the ‘split step’ or the ‘get ready’ move – feet at least shoulder-width apart, hands out front and you jump into this position as the other person hits the ball so you’re ready to move to your next shot.

3. Make sure you get your racket back early, in preparation for your shot – that’s really important to ensure you’re ready to hit the ball in front of you, not behind, which will offset you on your feet.4. Next, focus on the ‘follow-through’; the continuation of your racket swing through the ball as you make contact between racket and ball which steers your shot in the right direction; low to high.

5. And lastly, just enjoy it. Tennis is such a fun game; there’s no right way and all it takes is a bit of practice to master the basics.You may also likeStretching: try these 9 beginner-friendly mobility exercises before your next workoutFor beginners, LTA recommends starting with lower compression balls, which are less bouncy and easier to control. “Start in a small space, so if you’re on a tennis court start closer to the net, and work your way back when you start to achieve a few successful hits and rallies,” advises Ward. “Don’t go full-on Serena as soon as you step on court and try to whack the ball a million miles an hour. If you want to master the basics quickly, find a local coach and get to know the basics. You’ll meet lots of people, get fitter, and get to grips with the game in no time.”

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