Tennis Tip: Why Your Footwork is Killing Your Game
Whether you are a beginner, a club player, or an aspiring professional, there is one aspect of your game that is most often overlooked: Your footwork. You may have the prettiest forehand in the world, or incredibly soft hands at net, and yet, if your footwork is lacking, many times, none of that matters. Footwork is the groundwork for success in tennis on each and every shot. All players are doing themselves a disservice by spending all of their time working on their strokes, because if your feet are not set properly, you will not be able to maximize the effectiveness, power and versatility of any given shot. See our top five reasons why improving your footwork will drastically improve your game below.
Power is what every player wants more of. Sure, you may never be able to boom a forehand like Roger Federer, but your footwork may be robbing you of ever-important MPHs. When you get to the ball early and get set in a good position, you are able to use your entire body, from the ground up, to generate more power. If you don’t, you will likely be hitting the ball off-balance, or just swinging at it with your arm, which is a sure-fire way to lose lots of power.
More Shot Options
By being set earlier, you will have a much larger arsenal of shots at your disposal. You will be able to utilize different stances to execute different shots, angles, and spins, and put yourself in a more aggressive position in the point more often. Wouldn’t it be better to have options rather than getting handcuffed and forced to dink the ball back into the middle of the court with no pace?
An overwhelming majority of unforced errors stem from poor footwork. Can you imagine if you got set for every ball, and eliminated six or seven out of every ten errors you are used to making? Need I say more?
Stay in Points Longer
Improving your footwork will quickly improve your agility, balance and coordination as well. These are all keys for every tennis player, and they become more and more important as you begin playing at a higher level. You will get to more balls more often and force your opponents to hit more shots and under more pressure. The more balls you keep in play, the more chances they have to make an error.
Improved Court Speed and Fitness
If you work on improving your footwork, improving your tennis speed and tennis fitness go hand-in-hand with that. Have you ever lost to a player with less technical ability than you who had superior court speed, movement and fitness? Most players have. If you improve your footwork, your speed and fitness will improve along with it, aiding all of the previous points as well. You see, everything in tennis is inextricably linked to your footwork. Improve that, and EVERY area of your game will improve with it, as will your record.
How to Do it
Stop “running” on the court. Unless someone hits an excellent shot far away from you on the court and running to it is the only way to get there, think about your footwork and utilize athletic tennis movements. Implement split-steps, side shuffles and crossover steps wherever possible to keep yourself in the best position you can at all times on court. Start by incorporating tennis footwork patterns into your warm-ups and every practice session. Think about your footwork, and even implement footwork drills into your regular practice routines. You still want to work on your strokes, but remember, if your footwork isn’t good, then your perfect looking forehand will be far from perfect! No matter your level, this is the fastest way to improve your game, so get started today!