We spend a lot of time honing our tennis technique, but we’re not always as fast to train our footwork. The point is, in order to perfect our technique, we must first be in the proper position. This comes with putting in the work with our tennis footwork drills.
This implies that tennis footwork workouts may have a significant influence on your game and help you advance to the next level.
Why Tennis Footwork Drills Are Important
You should practise your strokes to become better at tennis, but focusing all your effort just on racquet skills is a huge mistake. During a game of tennis, you never just stand in one spot the whole match. If this is something you do, then you won’t go very far.
You need to keep moving on the court to send the ball back, If you can’t do that, then all the hours you may have put into practising your strokes will go to waste. You may have excellent skills with your stroke, but all of this goes to waste unless you have the footwork to help you flow around the court.
Improving your footwork can help you strike the ball more frequently. If you’ve ever missed a shot because you were in the incorrect position, faulty footwork was at blame. Your hit rate will never be 100% since, along from speed and location, many other factors come into play.
If you want to improve your tennis skills, you must focus on every aspect of your game, from footwork to reading your opponent’s movements to stroke accuracy. You may forget about success if any of these are lacking in you.
Working on your footwork can help you increase the chances of hitting the ball. If you’ve ever missed a shot because you were in the wrong position, then know that bad footwork was the culprit. Your hit rate will never be perfect, but there are many different factors that come into effect other than speed and positioning.
If you want to become an expert at tennis, you need to put in the work on each and every component of skill, be it footwork, your ability to read the movements of your opponent, or stroke accuracy. If you work hard at each individual factor in the game of tennis, you put yourself in the best position to become successful.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Footwork drills may not require much equipment, but there are a few items that are useful to have on hand. The most critical items you will need for tennis footwork training are agility ladders and cones.
You may purchase them individually or in a set to bring with you for tennis practice.
Tennis Footwork Drills
Ladder workouts are excellent for strengthening your fast-twitch muscles and improving your coordination.
You don’t have to be a pro to benefit from ladder drills, and completing these tennis footwork drills can help you improve your speed, coordination, and stamina so you can dominate the court.
Whilst we give you some examples below, Cagney Tennis Academy offers adult tennis lessons and junior tennis lessons that really takes this training to the next level. We recommend you also get in touch with us if you’re wanting to take the next step in your game. Read more below on some tips to begin your training at home.
Simple Ladder Run
Set up your ladder and just go through it, one foot in each box, then turn around and return the other way. This is an excellent warmup and a chance to get the blood flowing throughout the body. The fewer times your feet contact the ground, the better. You want your steps to be short and quick, landing in the centre of the square to retain precision.
Step Ladder Run
To make things a little more difficult, you might start by putting both feet in each box. Maintain good footwork by focusing on limiting your time in touch with the floor and placing your feet cleanly in the centre of the box.
Mini Tennis Z Ball
Mini tennis Z-ball is a simple tennis footwork drill for two or more tennis players that will help you enhance your court speed and stamina. It’s not as particular to tennis as some other drills, but it’s great for learning the fundamentals.
Toss a Z-ball into the opponent’s service box using underhand throws. The opponent must capture the ball with their hands after it bounces once. Your opponent scores a point if the ball bounces twice before you catch it.
Only the service boxes serve as a playground. The game continues until one of the participants wins a 7-point tiebreak game. This drill is perfect for junior tennis players, mixing fun and fundamentals into the one exercise.
Begin on the left side of the ladder by putting your right foot in, then your left foot in, right foot out, left foot out, and repeat. This tennis footwork drill will put your coordination and fast-twitch muscles to the test.
To get your feet in the correct positioning, your brain will need to communicate with the muscles it’s activating, just like it will whilst you’re moving on the tennis court. This drill gives you excellent preparation for game-like movements.
Lateral Cone Slalom
Tennis footwork drills with cones are excellent for training your lateral foot movement, with the lateral cone slalom being the most effective tennis footwork drill to replicate on-court quick movement. It’s straightforward, a little difficult, and, most importantly, effective.
Begin by placing 10 to 12 cones approximately a metre apart along the baseline, begin at one end of the cones. Face the cones and with short side steps, weave through each of them. Return to the start by back-pedalling through the same cones.
Backward slalom is significantly more difficult on your balance and coordination, which is wonderful since they are exactly the abilities tennis players want to improve.
Tennis Lessons With Cagney Tennis Academy
Whilst the above drills are perfect for beginning at home workouts, we recommend coming in and joining the Cagney Tennis Academy team to begin junior or adult tennis lessons.
We can help by giving you tennis footwork drills mixed in with other factors of your tennis game to help you be the best tennis player you can be.