Tennis Footwork for Intermediate Players

As an intermediate player, by now, if a ball is hit directly to you, you should be able to return it without any issues. However, have you ever missed an easy shot because you were in the wrong position? Chances are, your footwork is to blame. As your game begins to progress, so should your footwork. For those shots that require you to move, which is most of them, having the proper footwork can make all the difference. In this article, you will learn some drills to improve your tennis footwork for intermediate players.

Tennis Footwork for Intermediate

The Split Step

Tennis footwork for intermediate players begins with the split step. If you haven’t heard of the split step before, pay attention now, because it’s one of the most essential tennis maneuvers. The split step itself is simple: as your opponent is about to hit the ball, jump up an inch or two off the ground and land on your toes. Your weight should compress equally onto your legs so that you can react and push off in any direction. Timing is key and will take lots of practice, but ideally you want to be landing as your opponent is hitting the ball. Here is a drill to practice the split step:
1. Without a racquet, stand at the center baseline, facing the net and perform a split step.
2. Upon landing, sprint to the corner of the court on the forehand side, and then slide step back to the center of the court.
3. Once back in the center, split step again, this time running to the backhand side, and then return to the center.
4. Repeat this motion back and forth to the forehand and backhand sides. It’s recommended to complete three sets that last two minutes each with a minute rest between sets.

The Spider Drill

If you have arachnophobia, no need to worry, the spider drill is a an effective footwork drill that is designed to increase speed, agility, and endurance while replicating similar movements that occur during a tennis point. The way the drill works is you’ll start at the center T of the service line with five tennis balls. Upon go, as quickly as possible, pick up one tennis ball at a time and place them in each of these five designated locations.



Make sure if you’re placing at the baseline locations, you’re using an effective side step. When placing at the forward locations, focus on your back pedal. It’s recommended to repeat this drill three times, with a 30 second break between sets.
Here you can see the Spider Drill in action.

Here is an in depth video about the split step.

There are three main ways to use the split step in different situations on the court-
1.The defensive split step, use this type when further back in the court and …

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