Tennis for Beginners

Learning to play tennis

Tennis For Beginners

First off, we just want to let you know that tennis is one of the great lifetime passions of all of the contributors to this site. 

One of the greatest things about the amazing sport of tennis is that it can truly be played and enjoyed for a lifetime.  It’s suitable for everyone, at every level of athletic ability, from small children all the way to senior citizens.

With that in mind our aim here, at tennis for beginners, is to put together a truly useful and comprehensive resource about all things tennis.  We will make use of many resources and draw on the talents of a varied and knowledgeable group of experts and tennis players.

As you follow us on the journey, we will include excerpts on everything from the history of tennis and the basic rules for playing tennis all the way to the latest exploits of the tennis stars on the ATP tennis tour - the absolute major league of the sport for men, and the WTA tennis tour - the ladies equivalent.

We’ll show you the tennis techniques used by top players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the men’s side all the way to the top female tennis stars like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. 

And we’ll do our very best to present all of this information in a way that makes it easy for you to apply to your own game.  So, whether you aspire to reach their level or you just want to have a friendly hit at the local park … there will be something here for you.

We’ll even cover tennis rackets, the latest and greatest tennis strings and all sorts of other amazing tennis equipment and tennis apparel complete with our expert reviews of their real world performance and value.

tennis racket and ball tennis oops                                                     

But first things first, let’s start with one of the most common questions we get asked all the time: What’s the best age to start to play tennis?

The simple answer is right now!  It’s almost never too late or too early.

Sure, it’s true that the absolutely ideal time to start to teach children tennis is at about age six.  Much younger than that and kids typically lack the physical strength to handle the racket in an appropriate fashion and usually lack the necessary attention span also.  So if you are lucky enough to be starting off a youngster in the game of tennis you should follow this guideline. 

Remember though, you can still get very young children started by just playing all sorts of simple ball games with them - this helps to develop hand-to-eye coordination and ball sense.  There is a famous story that the great Andre Agassi had a tennis ball dangling securely - like a mobile - over top of his crib.

Whether you are young or old this hand-to-eye and ball sense is an important aspect of the game that involves constant improvement just by simply doing.  A great tennis specific way to work on this is to concentrate at the beginning on playing “mini-tennis” by trying to keep the ball in play with your partner using only the service box areas.  If you are not sure what we mean by the service box area just go here to get the basic tennis court dimensions.

When you are just starting to play the game conventional tennis balls can seem a bit heavy and hard to control.  This is completely normal for all beginners, so it’s a great idea to start off with special foam tennis balls.  These balls make it much easier to keep the ball in play longer and allow you to focus on the tennis techniques that we will be sharing with you in upcoming segments.  Feel free to practice often as you are getting started with these foam balls.

tennis court diagram

a tennis ball is made of

tennis on uverse

However, I recommend that you always hit at least a few regular tennis balls also just to get used to the difference in weight and feel.  As you progress to a minimum level of proficiency were you can keep a slow paced rally going for a half a dozen shots or more you will want to make increasing use of regular balls and only go back to the foam balls when you notice your technique beginning to break down.

If you are starting off with a very young player it is very important that you buy them a junior tennis racket.  This racket will be shorter and lighter as well as having a smaller grip circumference that is especially designed to be suitable for young children with smaller hands allowing them to improve at a much faster rate than if they were struggling to control a full size adult racket.  Children’s rackets come in a variety of lengths from 20 to 26 inches.  (A racket that is 27 inches long is a full-sized adult tennis racquet). 

The shorter rackets are obviously for the very young children.  You definitely do not want a child’s racket to have to large of a grip for their hand - smaller is better here for a lot of reasons that will become increasingly clear as we continue.  Remember, you can always easily build the grip size up and add an overgrip as the child’s hand grows, but you cannot make the grip smaller in any functional way.

In the next instalment we’ll touch further on the important beginner’s tennis issue of grips and get into a bit more preliminary tennis shot techniques and rules of tennis as well as some exciting surprises. 

So stay tuned, bookmark us, and visit often - we’re going to keep the content fresh and ever-evolving! 

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