Tennis is great exercise and can be great fun. But if you’re just starting out, there are five fundamental tennis strokes you need to learn and master to get the most from your game.
The essentials of this stroke include fluid motion and rotation of the entire body into the shot. You should be turned predominately sideways at the baseline with the front foot angled towards the net post. Bring the racquet back while tossing the ball in the air slightly toward the other shoulder with your free hand. Keeping your eyes on the ball, quickly coil up at the waist and knees and release into an overhand motion that drives the ball at the opposite server box.
This is usually the strongest shot, but requires footwork and focus. Remain in ready position with the knees and torso bent. Keep your eyes on the ball as you reach back with the racquet. However, too much backswing may result in a late stroke that lacks power or direction. How much control you have over the return swing will depend on your playing strategy and timing. Concentration, balance and practice will help to develop more control.
It takes good footwork and timing to get into position for the backhand. Fluid body rotation is important. Beginning players tend to use a short backswing and lack follow-through, making their backhand shot weaker. Backhands can be delivered with one or both hands. The one-handed style will give you more reach while the two-handed technique provides better power and control. You should really practice both techniques, but either way may work for you.
A volley occurs when you approach the net and hit the ball from the air. A half-volley is volleying after a bounce, not in the air. Making a strong volley involves a short backswing and hitting the ball when it’s directly in front of you. Being out of position creates loss of coordination that can lead to strains and sprains.
This stroke requires getting into position to hit the ball overhead in the same strike zone as the serve. You shouldn’t plant your feet until you’re about to swing. This may require small adjustments in your footwork. Just before impact, the racquet should already be up and back with the knees bent and the body angled to provide the best leverage into the shot. However, the movements should be more compact than a serve to retain balance.
Golden Ocala has excellent facilities for tennis. Our Tennis Club features six clay courts of the finest material available, lit up for night play as well as daytime enjoyment. We also have a Tennis Pro Shop, Championship League teams and private lessons. Contact one of Golden Ocala’s tennis professionals at 352-402-4351 and find out how easy learning new tennis strokes can be.