Playing tennis has its benefits, both physically and mentally. These include improved balance, coordination, agility, and reflexes.
Furthermore, the hefty footwork and the upper body workout help keep your metabolism high and keep you in shape.
While the physical benefits of tennis are known to all, the sport also helps your mind, forcing you to develop quick problem-solving and strategizing skills.
Tennis requires you to make split-second decisions, such as when to time your smash, when to shift your body weight, when to hit cross-court, which keeps your mental gears in motion.
Moreover, it also helps you develop your social skills since it requires you to work with other players, whether for singles or doubles.
But if you're entirely new to the sport, it can be hard to know where to start. Therefore, let's take a look at what tennis classes for beginners entail:
Beginners need only a racket, a tennis ball, and tennis shoes for their lessons. However, deciding the right kind of racket and shoes can be difficult for new students.
If they're training in an academy, they might have to follow some prescribed dress codes as well. Hence, let's look at some of the things you may need for your first tennis lesson:
You can't excel at tennis without the right racket. A tennis racket does not have to burn a hole in your pocket, but it is vital to ensure that you invest in a quality piece that you feel comfortable with.
The basic rule to buying a tennis racket is to stress on the head size. The larger the head size, the more area for solid contact with the ball.
Skilled players might find greater precision in rackets with smaller heads, but an oversized racket head is the most forgiving for beginners. However, the length and the grip size must also be considered.
Furthermore, a typical racket should weigh anywhere between 9 to 11 ounces. Beginners should start with lighter rackets.
Conversely, the standard length range for a racket is 26 to 29 inches, but longer rackets can be more expensive, although they help by providing more reach and a more potent serve.
You will need a tennis ball to play the game, and unlike popular belief, this isn't as straightforward a purchase as you would like.
As a rule, tennis balls come in recreational, professional, and championship varieties. Both recreational and championship-level balls can be used in tennis classes for beginners.
On the other hand, professional varieties are reserved for tournaments or leagues. But of course, you can use whatever ball you want when you're practicing alone.
Tennis shoes are often taken to mean any shoe that resembles a sneaker. But there's a reason tennis shoes are called what they are.
While running shoes are made keeping forward motion and impact in mind, tennis shoes are made to tolerate the rigors of tennis, such as side-to-side motion and constant pivoting.
Other factors are also worth considering for professional tennis players, such as the court's surface and the foot type. Still, general tennis shoes should work for beginning tennis lessons.
Your tennis attire won't be all about shoes, though. You also need to abide by the dress code of the establishment where you play.
While professional clubs will have a strict dress code, most of them will let beginners off easy as long as they wear suitable fabrics.
Since players move sweat a lot, it's advisable to wear breathable, wicking fabric to absorb moisture and allow greater mobility on the court.
In addition, most tennis players prefer to wear wristbands and headbands to keep the sweat off their hands and faces.
Lastly, tennis can be tough on the joints. Players like to combat this issue by wearing supports for their knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows.
Some common supports include elbow braces and patellar straps, which are specifically designed to help tennis players avoid injuries.
Fundamentals Of Tennis
After you've got all your equipment in order and have warmed up, it's time to acquaint yourself with a few basic rules of tennis.
While your coach will teach you these rules, it doesn't hurt to know some of them beforehand. Learning the fundamentals of tennis is vital if you wish to take up the sport at a competitive level:
Respect The Lines
If you're playing singles tennis, your serves need to land in the opponent's service box. Hence, if the ball hits the net and passes onto the service box, you need to start again with the first serve.
If the ball goes outside the box but touches the line, it is considered in-play. Furthermore, the outer alleys are also considered as part of the boundaries in doubles matches.
Players must not touch the net during the game, either by their body or by their racket. Touching a net will cause you to lose a point automatically.
You're also not allowed to reposition the net during play.
Racket And Ball Etiquette
Your racket must also stay in your hands during the game. Dropping or throwing it will cause you to lose a point.
When returning the ball, you can only hit it with your racket, including any part of the racket and not just the netted face.
Lastly, you must hit the ball within one bounce. Once the ball has bounced twice, your point is automatically void.
Also, if you hit the ball within one bounce but it bounces without reaching your opponent's side, you lose a point.
Get Adequate Competition
Unlike running and swimming, tennis is not an individual activity. You need at least one person to play alongside you.
And especially when learning, it is crucial to have someone at the same skill level as you. If you don't have a partner, you can find another beginner at your tennis class or practice with your coach.
The social benefits of tennis are another reason why you should be learning this sport! It will allow you to make new friends.
As a beginner, you can try several unique practice techniques, such as the short court. This helps players perfect their timing and improve their coordination.
Moreover, after you become adept at sustaining a rally, you can consider moving onto playing points. It can be hard to grasp the scoring style in tennis, but you'll get the hang of it after a few games.
Additionally, if you wish to become a pro at tennis, you need to develop the correct techniques. Conversely, starting with the wrong techniques will compel you to adopt errors.
The proper technique entails developing efficient strokes that do not break down under pressure. They will allow you to read the game and focus on your feet without averting your gaze from the ball.
As a beginner, you are best suited to using a short backswing. Do not complicate your technique by using big backswings.
This is because long backswings are hard to time with your shots. After you've perfected your technique and timing, you can opt for longer ones if you feel they make your shots more effective.
The key to hitting a good stroke is finding the proper footing. Without getting into position, you will be unable to hit your strokes correctly.
Hence, It's also essential to develop good footwork if you want to excel at tennis.
Tennis is meant to be an enjoyable sport. If you don't have fun playing tennis, you would be better off spending time elsewhere.
As a beginner, you should not worry about becoming a world-beater. Instead, your focus should be on enjoying the sport, developing different skill-sets, and improving your fitness levels.
Learning Tennis With A Private Coach
Training with a personal coach is the best way to learn the basic rules of tennis for beginners. In addition, a coach can better examine your technique and provide direct feedback on how to improve your game.
Rather than wasting time checking if you're doing it properly, train with a coach to quickly spot issues with your game and get rapid solutions.
When it comes to training with a coach, you can choose between private lessons and group lessons. The benefit of private lessons is that you get the complete undivided attention of your coach and more personalized training. However, private lessons can be much costlier.
Group lessons, on the other hand, feature two or more students to one coach. This arrangement is ideal if you're looking for a more social environment to train for tennis. They help you mirror other students and analyze your playing style against theirs.
Tennis can be intimidating and challenging, especially if you're training for the long haul. But the only way to get better at this sport is to devote enough time to practice, work on your strokes consistently, and keep your fitness levels in check.
And even if you're just in it for the health benefits of tennis, it is still worth your time and effort.
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