25 Beginner Tips To Improve Your Tennis Game (From a Coach)

Everyone is looking for ways to improve their tennis game in the easiest way possible. While the simple answer in any sport is it takes a lot of practice, these tips, in particular, can help boost performance.

Once a person starts to see more and more success, it’s easy to continue down that road. From on the court to prepare the body of it, all 25 tips will help beginners to improve faster.

1. Prep For Shots Earlier

Players can sometimes fall into a rut if they are not preparing for shots with enough time. It can be very frustrating, to say the least, and preparing a little bit sooner is something that’s pretty easy to adjust.

By preparing without feeling too rushed, most people will be able to get to where they want to be. Touring pros do everything so quickly that they prepare pretty early, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.

That’s because they are able to get to the return and also read where the opponent is going.

2. Exaggerate The Follow Through

Sometimes it will come down to going back to the basics to succeed on the tennis court. That means exaggerating the follow-through to the point that everything‘s going exactly as it should.

Do this when practicing more than anything, and it will help to build up muscle memory and get everything back on track.

3. Play Better Players

Falling into a pattern of only playing bad players will eventually catch up to someone trying to improve their game. Instead of getting better, players start to play so that they don’t lose.

This might work to some degree, but most are going to get bored winning all the time. Playing better players is a challenge that most competitors need.

4. Play Worse Players

As contradictory as this might sound, playing bad players can also be beneficial. Losing once in a while is fine, but losing all the time to be frustrating.

Players sometimes need a window boost of confidence once again, and that’s where playing the worst player can come in handy. A good balance of both will help most.

5. Try a Different String Setup

Too many people are worried about trying something new with their string. Even if they aren’t hitting the way they would like to.

There are many different strings out there, and they can be strong at different tensions as well. Try a few things out before it starts to feel as comfortable as possible when playing.

Here’s my up-to-date tennis strings recommendations.

6. Try New Grips

There are many different ways to grab a tennis racquet. Some people end up using a semi-western grip, while others use a continental grip.

Whatever the case is, don’t be afraid to try different grips and see if one works a little bit better. This is especially true for beginners, as they may not initially know what works best for them.

7. Stay Hydrated During & Before Playing

Tennis involves a lot of running around, and it’s usually played in pretty hot weather. Staying hydrated throughout the day keeps the body ready to go during the important parts of the match.

Stay as hydrated as possible to avoid any setbacks. This is particularly true in the summer, but even during the colder matches.

Here’s what tennis players drink during matches.

8. Eat Healthy

Just like it’s important to stay hydrated, eating healthy also makes a big difference in improving someone’s tennis game.

The food put into the body acts as fuel, and could be the difference between pushing through in the final set and falling just short. Healthy eating makes a major difference.

9. Get Enough Rest

Getting the right amount of rest is going to allow the body to stay as sharp and healthy as possible on the tennis court.

It’s important to train, but equally important to give the body some downtime to not be too stressed out. Getting a good amount of sleep the day before a match can particularly make a difference.

10. Cross Training Helps

Playing tennis every single day certainly helps to a degree, but there’s something to be said for cross training to keep the body healthy and in great shape. Sometimes, it helps to give other parts of the body a little bit of a work out, and it frees the mind of thinking about tennis all the time.

What sports pair well with tennis? Some people like to swim, bike, or run for some cardio. If an actual game is needed, basketball or soccer are two popular crossover choices. Some of the skills used in tennis translate to these activities as well.

11. Stretch

Stretching should be part of any tennis routine on and off the court. Stretching takes place before, and after to keep the body as flexible as possible.

It will help to avoid any nagging injuries as well. Standard stretching not getting everything done the way a person would like? Try yoga as an alternative.

12. Knows the Rules

It seems pretty simple to learn the rules of tennis, but it actually helps improve a person’s game. By knowing what is legal and what is not, it’s very easy to make better decisions on court.

Too many people get in trouble simply by not knowing the rules as much as they should.

13. Read Tennis Instruction Books

Reading is a great way to wind down and have a little bit of relaxation time after court. What better way to improve in tennis than by reading tennis instruction books?

Select a few of the best ones, and it can even go beyond reading. There are videos, podcasts, and more to learn as much information as possible.

14. Visualize

Visualization tools have been around for a long time in several different fields. Since tennis is such a mental game, visualization can really help with execution.

The best time to visualize is late at night when trying to fall asleep. However, most people find what works for them and go from there.

15. Invest in a Quality Pair of Shoes

A tennis outfit isn’t going to make that much of a difference in player performance. However, shoes are the one crucial part that should be the biggest investment.

These shoes need to function properly and protect the body from any injury. If the sole wears out, it’s time to replace them. Getting the right sole for the right surface can also help with playing improvement.

Try shoes on before going out on the court, and don’t be afraid to buy a few pairs of what ends up being the best.

Here’s my up-to-date tennis shoes recommendations.

16. Lateral Movement Drills

Having quick feet on the court makes a huge difference. A lot of people know the basics of training for any sport, but lateral movement, shuffle steps and other drills can make a difference.

By practicing these drills a few times a week, faster feet are around the corner.

Here’s my favorite drills to improve foot work in tennis.

17. Work on Taking Smaller Steps

When the ball is ready to be hit, too many people stand flat-footed when starting their stroke. It puts a player in a bad situation, and can develop some bad habits as well.

It’s better to take a bunch of smaller steps when moving around in the tennis court and preparing for a shot. This is especially true on clay courts, because a bad bounce can happen at any time. It needs to be something the people get prepared for to take anything that comes their way.

18. Lessons Help Address Problems Faster

Not everyone can afford to go to tennis lessons a few times a week. For some, they can’t afford tennis lessons at any level of consistency. However, if nothing else seems to be working, lessons can be a great way to reset everything and view play differently.

There are way too many people who fall into a rut for a long time, when one lesson could get them out of it. There’s a reason why instructors have their licenses. They can identify problems much faster, and provide a wealth of information that can be used on the side in the future.

19. Study Film

It is so easy in today’s world to film a tennis match. Players can either film themselves and watch what they need to improve on, or film opponents and pick up on tendencies.

Whatever the case is, just set up the camera and go from there. It takes just a few moments to get some footage.

20. Improve The Second Serve

One of the go-to sayings in tennis is that a player is only as good as their second serve. Any player can luck into a few great first serves and really have success, but a second serve is where a person really makes or breaks themselves.

Look for consistency and placement with a second serve, but it also needs to have enough on it so that a person can’t exploit it.

21. Work On Weaknesses More

Even the best tennis players in the world have weaknesses that they need to improve on.

Instead of just accepting weaknesses and trying to go from there, it’s best to work on them during practice as much as possible.

22. Focus On The Legs, Not The Arms

The modern game of tennis focuses on strength coming from the legs more than ever before. Players must be able to dictate points by using their core.

Leg strength must be at a high level when playing tennis for hours at a time.

23. Think of Returns as Groundstrokes

It can be very intimidating to go up against a fast, hard server. It feels impossible to get returns back at times, but one way to calm things down a bit is to think of returns as groundstrokes.

Obviously, these ground shows are coming from a different angle and are sometimes very fast, but taking controlled swings at the ball will yield great dividends.

24. Remain Calm

It’s sometimes easier said than done, but remaining calm as a tennis player is going to yield great results overall.

People will never feel like they are overhyped too much during a match, and that means a better approach on all shots.

25. Have Fun

Finally, there is nothing worse than playing a game and not having fun in any way. There are way too many people who lose sight of the fact that this is a game after all, and the vast majority of people are never going to make a single penny off of playing.

Have fun, and it leads to a lot better results for the most part. Instead of feeling uptight and worrying about how everything is going to go, it’s a more relaxed approach.

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