First tennis lesson for complete beginners

Gaby Tennis Fundamentals, Tennis Lessons Beginner Players

This is our first free online tennis lesson for beginner players.

If you have never played tennis before or even never had a tennis racket in your hand, this first tennis lesson is for you. Before a beginner player is comfortably holding their racket and hitting the balls they should get used to the moving ball and learn what steps to take to get to it at the right distance. The catching and throwing exercises in this video will teach you just that. You will learn the basics movements of tennis footwork and stroke motion technique.

Elements of tennis footwork

Check out our tennis lesson for beginner player.

Even if you have the perfect stroke technique but lack good footwork you will unlikely hit the ball on the sweet spot of your racket. A player with better tennis footwork will be able to reach the ball with better timing and therefore, hit it with more accuracy and consistency. Getting in the right position to hit the ball should be the objective of your first tennis lesson.

 

Check out our tennis lesson for beginner player.

Those are the elements of tennis footwork and techniques for moving around the court:

  • Ready position: A position with your racket in front, your legs shoulder width apart and your weight body slightly forward. Make sure to stay on your toes as preparation is vital in such a fast-paced sport.
  • Split step: The split-step is a short hop that helps activate the legs in order to move towards the ball and have a better reaction time.
  • Directions: In order to cover the whole court a player has to move in all directions: horizontal (to the left or right), diagonal (crossing the court), and vertical (forwards and backwards).
  • Moving steps: There are many types of steps to use when you go to the ball or recover such as a cross step, side shuffle, sprint, adjusting steps, and many others.
  • Stances: Tennis stances are ways of loading your feet before you hit a ball. Their choice largely depends on how much timing you have. We distinguish four main stances: closed, neutral, open and semi-open stances.
We talk in more details about the above footwork elements in the other tennis lessons for beginner players.

Key takeaways

Check out our tennis lesson for beginner player.

The main learning points from this tennis lesson for beginners are:

  1. In tennis, everything starts with the feet; therefore, you should never stop moving your feet when you are playing tennis.
  2. The split-step is a short hop to be done before going towards the ball. It should be synchronised with the moment your opponent is impacting the ball.
  3. For a quick return to the middle of the court after the shot a player should use side shuffle steps.
  4. A coach should slightly vary the characteristics of the coming ball such as depth or direction already on the first lesson.
  5. Learning tennis is a gradual process from basic to more advanced concepts and we have to respect all the steps and be patient.

In tennis, everything starts with the feet and footwork!

In this video Javi has selected 3 exercises to show you how to do a split-step, arrive to the ball at the right distance, catch it and throw it back to him. He is teaching beginner's tennis footwork techniques of how to move forwards, backwards and to the sides. This is how he would introduce a beginner player to a tennis game for the first time.

Check out our tennis lesson for beginner player.

Exercise 1

Catch and throw the ball

3 sets of 10 balls

Exercise 2 part 1

Go backwards to catch the ball

3 sets of 10 balls

Exercise 2 part 2

Go forwards to catch the ball

3 sets of 10 balls

Exercise 2 part 3

Move to the right to catch the ball

3 sets of 10 balls

Exercise 2 part 4

Move to the left to catch the ball

3 sets of 10 balls

Exercise 2 part 5

Move in a random direction to catch the ball

2 sets of 15 balls

Exercise 3

Catch the ball fed from a racket from across the net

3 sets of 10 balls