I like to tell my students that if they can hit the ball over the net and in the court they are good
If they can hit the tennis ball over the net and in the court, and land it anywhere they want, I will sit down and enjoy watching them play.
If they can hit the tennis ball over the net and in the court, and land it anywhere they want, and do so with varying spin and power, I will buy a ticket to sit down and enjoy watching them play.
In tennis, hitting with great power is fun, but ball control is much more important. Anyone who wants to learn how to play tennis should concentrate on mastering the 5 elements of controlling a tennis ball. This will result in the ability to vary your shots according to any situation.
The first obstacle any tennis player must deal with is the net. For a shot to be successful it must first clear the net before it lands in the court. Beginner tennis players should focus on clearing the net by 5 - 8 feet on all their shots from the baseline.
In general, a ball that lands deep in the court is a better shot than a ball that lands short. However, there will be times you want to deliberately hit the ball short. Beginner tennis players should practice placing their shots to different depths on the court. Remember, where the ball lands is directly related to the height of the ball. Height Equals Depth.
After you master height and depth, I recommend beginner tennis players move on to mastering direction. Don't get too complicated here. Just try to direct every ball to either the left or to the right.
After you've mastered hitting the tennis ball with different heights, and to different depths and directions it's time to move on to spin. Learning to put spin on the ball is definitely a more advanced concept and a clear sign that you are moving to the next level as a tennis player. You can hit a tennis ball with topspin, backspin, sidespin, or relatively no spin.
This is the last element of ball control in tennis. A player should move on to hitting a tennis ball with power only after they have learned the previous elements and how they can be combined to create shot variety.
Mastering all 5 elements of ball control takes lots of practice. It's what separates the good players from the elite players. I suggest beginner tennis players focus on the first three in order. Practice hitting the tennis ball over the net, into the court, land it anywhere you please. Then you can work on hitting a tennis ball with spin and power. After that, who knows, maybe someone will buy a ticket to watch you play.
Learn how to play tennis at Instant Tennis! It's the internet's hottest tennis newsletter designed especially for people who want to improve their tennis skills.
Published by USPTA Tennis Professional Andreas Radermacher, It's full of tennis tips for anyone who wants to improve their tennis form, expand their tennis knowledge, and just plain learn to play tennis!
Subscribe now to receive the latest updates including how-to videos, expert audios, and other high quality content from Andreas and other top tennis teaching experts.
You'll also get immediate access to The Instant Tennis Report: The Fastest and Easiest Way to Get Good at Tennis in 12 Simple Steps. (a $45 value)