Tennis Footwork for Beginner Players

One of the biggest determining factors between a beginning tennis player and a club pro is the footwork. Beginners simply try to make clean contact with the ball and get the ball over the net. Avid club players know how to set up for each shot and prepare the feet for the next shot. There isn’t a pro player on the tour who doesn’t have stellar footwork as footwork is essential to tennis success. In this article, you will learn some drills to improve your tennis footwork for beginner players.

Tennis Footwork for Beginner

The Back to Where You Were Drill

A very common tennis footwork drill is to sprint about 15 steps forward and then quickly backtrack where you were as fast as possible while maintaining control and not looking back. So essentially you’re running backward. Often, tennis players backpedal to get into place and this drill will help. This drill will also help you develop the necessary muscles to move quickly around the court.

The Carioca

Tennis footwork for beginner players absolutely begins with the carioca. This is a sidestep where one foot crosses the other. Do several steps to the left, then to the right. This is a favorite drill for kids to do. This drill is great to help you recover and prepare for the next shot.

Learn Carioca

-Have a look at the speed training warm up of carioca to learn and understand the basic tennis footwork

The Ski Jumpers

Jump with both your feet together from left to right. Do this 10 times and you will feel the burn. This allows your muscles to develop quick springing movements which tennis players need to quickly react to changing position.

The Square Dance

Pick 4 spots on the court about 20 feet apart. Starting at one of the back corners, sprint forward and stop as quickly as possible at the spot in front. Then shuffle to the side as fast as possible. Then, back to the cone behind you without turning your body. Do this until you’re tired. You’re training your body to stop and change directions quickly, which is an essential skill set in tennis.


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