Mastering The Tennis Footwork Drills
Footwork is an important part of tennis and is the main reason why tennis is such an effective cardio workout.
Here are some helpful tennis footwork drills that provide a great way to break a sweat as well as help you during a tennis match:
1. Direction drill:
Begin by standing in the middle of one side of the court (this will be home base). Sidestep to the right until you touch the fence; sidestep to the left towards home base until you touch the opposite fence. Sidestep back to home base and backpedal all the way to the fence, followed by running towards the net. After touching the net backpedal back to home base where you will run in place for 30 seconds. Repeat the steps 2-3 more times. This is a great drill because the player emulates the footwork that is used during an actual point.
2. Back to the middle drill:
Start with one foot to the right of the baseline tee. Have someone feed a ball to the forehand side about three to four steps away. After hitting one shot, sidestep back to the middle, then run to the ball and hit, sidestep back to the middle and repeat the process. A series of five balls can be fed, followed by a short break. Repeat the drill on the backhand side. Four sets of five balls is ideal. Footwork and hand eye coordination are key components of this drill.
3. Sidestepping and anticipating:
This drill may seem simple but it is an important part in anticipating the next shot and moving to the next shot. One person is standing on the baseline with a partner directly facing them and either saying forehand or backhand. Once a command is given, the person on the baseline is to run and swing a forehand, sidestep back to the middle and wait for the next direction. This works well when the partner giving the directions rapidly orders each shot. Running to the ball and sidestepping back to the middle helps the footwork, but the key to this drill is preparation, and the faster the command is given, the better the player will be in preparing for the shot.
Practicing these tennis footwork drills will give any tennis player an incredible advantage over many opponents. It is usually footwork that every tennis player needs to work on. Once you have these footwork drills down, the better your groundstrokes will be. Getting the footwork down gives you more control and more time to react to each ball that comes your way.