7 Best Tennis Drills for Beginners

If you are new to tennis and are looking to improve your game outside of the match court, then spending some time practicing is a great idea. But, practicing the wrong things over and over again is a sure fire way to reinforce bad habits into your tennis game.

Repetition is a great way to develop consistency, and ultimately, being more consistent than your opponent is the main way to win more tennis matches. At the end of the day, the player that gets more balls into the court will go on to be the winner.

So, let’s take a look at 7 great tennis drills for beginners and see how they can take your game to the next level.

What Are Tennis Drills?

A tennis drill is a controlled, repetitive activity that aims to improve a specific aspect of your game within a predetermined set of rules. The idea is that if you focus on one particular area of your game and work on improving it for a period of time, you’ll get better results than randomly hitting balls. 

Tennis drills come in all shapes and sizes. Even professional tennis players use drills to improve their footwork patterns and agility. So if it’s good enough for them, we’re sure recreational players can use them to their advantage too. 

You can set up tennis drills on your own, with a coach, or with a tennis ball machine. Either way, the aim is to create some controlled conditions that will enable you to focus on one key area of your game and improve it at an accelerated rate. 

If you want to improve your game from the comfort of your home, check out our range of online tennis courses.

How Tennis Drills Can Improve Your Game

Using tennis drills to develop specific areas of your game is a great way to reinforce good habits and improve your consistency on the match court. Drills can be set up to replicate match situations that you may struggle with or to work on a particular shot that tends to break down under pressure. 

Tennis drills can be used to work on specific shots, such as the serve, forehand, or backhand, movement patterns like cross-over steps or moving backward for a smash, or simply to get more balls into the court. 

No matter your needs, we’ve got you covered with our list of tennis drills below, which is perfect for beginners.

7 Best Tennis Drills for Beginners

Here are our picks of the 7 best tennis drills for beginners. These are aimed at players that are pretty new to the game and therefore are easy to follow, require no additional equipment, and will focus on developing core areas of tennis fundamentals. 

Use these drills to work on all aspects of your tennis game.

1. X Drill 

The first drill on our list will help you improve your side-to-side movement and consistency. The X drill is a great way to replicate a real-life game situation but work on it in a controlled environment. 

The X drill starts with a player standing behind the baseline, with another player or coach standing on the service line in the middle of the court. The player or coach needs to hand-feed four balls for this drill. 

First, the player or coach throws the ball underarm to the player behind the baseline, so they can hit a deep forehand. Then, a shorter ball is fed to the backhand, so the player has to run diagonally across the court. 

Next, a ball is fed behind the player so they have to hit a deep backhand, and finally, the last ball is fed for a short forehand. 

This focuses on moving diagonally, forwards, and backward while also accelerating towards the shot, and decelerating as you hit.

2. Approaching the Net Drill

The next drill on our list focuses on moving toward the net and finishing the point convincingly. Five balls are needed for this drill, with one player performing the drill and another feeding. The drill should be done once on the forehand side, and then again on the backhand side. 

Begin with the player partaking in the drill behind the baseline, and feed them a deep forehand. The aim is to hit a heavy trading ball that would push an opponent back. 

Then, a shorter forehand is fed around the service line as an approach shot, which should be hit with lower net clearance. 

Next, the player should move forward and hit a volley just inside the service line. This is practicing the low first volley which should set the player up to dominate at the net

The next shot is a more aggressive volley played much closer to the net and can therefore be hit a bit harder, followed by a high feed that the player can smash down and finish off the point. 

Once this sequence has been done on the forehand, repeat it on the backhand and then switch roles.

3. Running the Lines

The next drill focuses on developing footwork, fitness, and change of direction. Start by standing on the outside tramline, facing the opposite side of the court. Then, run to the sideline, touch it with your hand, and return to the outside tram. Then to the service line and back. Then the opposite sideline and back. Then the opposite tramline and back. 

This will help take your change of direction, agility, and balance to the next level.

4. The Spider Drill

Another drill that can improve your ability to change direction quickly is the spider drill. This is a great way to replicate tennis movement patterns and focuses on diagonal movement specifically. 

Start by placing your racket down on the center line on the baseline. Then, place 5 balls on the court at the far left and right corners of the baseline, the left and right edges of the service boxes, and on the center service line. 

Stand by your racket and then run to pick up each of these balls and place them on your racket. The fast movement forwards and backward, acceleration and deceleration, and bending down to pick up each ball will serve as great practice for the match court.

5. Beyond the Service Line Drill

This drill emphasizes hitting your shots deep which is a great way to improve your consistency and push your opponent back. 

Whilst rallying with a partner, both players start with five lives. Every time a player hits a ball shorter than the service line, they lose a life. The first player to lose all their lives loses the game. 

Focus here on lengthening your ground strokes and adding more height to your shots to get the ball landing deeper in the court consistently.

6. The Serving Pyramid Drill 

The next drill is a great way to improve your serving under pressure. 

The serving pyramid drill uses fourteen balls per pyramid which are arranged in a pyramid (nine on the bottom, four in the middle and one on top). 

A basket of balls is needed at the back of the court, and the game can be played with a minimum of two players but there is no limit to how many can participate. 

First, set up two tennis ball pyramids in each tramline so there is less risk of knocking them over whilst playing the game. 

Then, each player steps up to the baseline with a ball from the basket (not the pyramid). 

Both players hit their serve at the same time, and if the serve goes into the correct service box, the player can take one ball from the pyramid and use it for their next serve. 

If the serve misses, the player must take their next ball from the basket and not the pyramid. 

The team that gets rid of their pyramid of balls the fastest wins.

  1. Badminton Tennis Drill

The final drill on the list focuses on improving volleys and getting the racket below the ball. Badminton tennis sees two players starting just inside the service line, using one service box as their playing area. 

One player feeds the ball in and the aim for both players is to not let the ball touch the ground. If a player lets the ball touch the ground on their side of the court, they lose the point. 

It is important to bend your knees and get low with this drill, as well as keeping your racket out in front so you can control your volleys more easily.

Develop Your Tennis Skills to Win on The Match Court

Overall, tennis drills are a great way for beginners to develop specific areas of their game and take these new and improved skills onto the match court. 

Follow the drills listed above to work on your movement, consistency from the baseline, serving and volley technique.

For more great free tennis content, check out these articles: 

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