As a spectator, the game of tennis seems rather simple, but as a player or coach there are specific basic skills that need to be taught and learned to become a competent player. Among these are being mentally and physically ready to hit the ball when it comes across the net. This ensures you will be able to return the ball and begin working towards winning the point. In order to do this, both player and coach need to know what the shot options are and when to use them. There are only eight shots that need to be learned, but the number of possible combinations is in the thousands. Combining the shot variations with the correct positioning of your body will develop your skills and become a better player.
The right stance is very important to prepare for hitting the ball. The proper stance is to stand with your feet hip width apart and have a slight bend at the knees. Both hands should be on the grip of the tennis racket to be able to switch hands and have better control of the ball. Once this becomes automatic, then the player can focus on the ball and its location on the court. Doing these things will enable the player to get to the right spot quickly to return the ball.
The game begins by serving. The player who is serving will stand with their feet at behind the court, either to the left or right of the center line. Once the ball is tossed into the air and hit across the net, the point begins. Different spins can be placed on the ball, it can be hit short or long into the service box, or moved to different locations within the service box. This gives the server an advantage.
Once the serve crosses the net, the other player will have to decide what type of shot to make. There are a number of choices the player has, the first being the forehand stroke. This is done by moving the tennis racket from one side of your body to the other. How the player holds the racquet will determine the type of shot is hit. The second type of shot, the backhand, is done by starting the stroke from the opposite side of the body and moving it across the body in the opposite direction of the forehand.
These first two types of strokes are the most basic. There are six other types that can be used effectively. One of these is the volley, where the ball is hit before bouncing on the court. The half volley is much like the volley, except the ball is hit after bouncing once on the court. Both of these shots are done by hitting the ball so it lands closer to the net on the opponent’s side of the court.
The lob is done by hitting the ball so it lands further down the court and with a higher trajectory. The overhead smash is done by hitting the ball as it is rising, downward toward the ground with significant force and speed. Finally, there is the drop shot which is aimed at the edge of the court, often close to the net.
Continually working on these basic tennis strokes will improve your game and help you to win. Combining these different types of strokes will enable you to create a strategy that will further develop your knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment of the game.