22 Great Mistakes Beginner Tennis Players Make (2024)

If you’re a beginner tennis player, it’s essential to learn the basics of the game. However, even with the right techniques, you can still make some common mistakes that can cost you points and ultimately the game.

One of the most common mistakes beginner tennis players make is hitting the ball too hard. You might think that hitting the ball hard will make it harder for your opponent to return, but in reality, it can lead to more unforced errors. Instead, focus on hitting the ball with proper technique and placing it in the right spot on the court.

Another mistake beginners make is not moving their feet enough. Tennis is a game of movement, and you need to be quick on your feet to get to the ball and hit it back. Practice your footwork and make sure you’re always in the right position to hit the ball. By moving your feet and keeping your body balanced, you’ll be able to hit more accurate shots and avoid making errors.

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05/23/2024 06:25 pm GMT

Understanding Tennis Basics

As a beginner tennis player, it’s important to understand the basics of the game. This section will cover the essentials of mastering the tennis equipment and learning the rules of tennis.

Mastering the Tennis Equipment

Before you start playing tennis, you need to have the right equipment. Here are the essential pieces of equipment you’ll need:

EquipmentDescription
Tennis RacketThe tennis racket is the most important piece of equipment. Choose a racket that feels comfortable in your hand and has the right weight and size for your skill level.
Tennis BallsTennis balls are used to play the game. They come in different types, such as pressurized and non-pressurized, and different speeds.
ShoesTennis shoes are designed with specific features to help you move quickly and easily on the court. They should have good traction and support for your feet and ankles.
ClothingWear comfortable, breathable clothing that allows you to move freely. Most tennis clubs have dress codes, so make sure to check before you play.

Once you have the right equipment, it’s important to take care of it. Keep your racquet clean and restring it regularly. Replace your tennis balls when they start to lose their bounce. And make sure to wear the right shoes and clothing for comfort and safety.

Learning the Rules of Tennis

To play tennis, you need to know the rules of the game. Here are the basic rules of tennis:

  1. Scoring: Tennis is scored in a way that can be confusing for beginners. The first point is 15, the second point is 30, the third point is 40, and the fourth point wins the game. If both players have 40 points, it’s called deuce, and the next point wins the advantage. If the player with the advantage wins the next point, they win the game. If the other player wins the next point, it goes back to deuce.
  2. Serving: The player who serves starts the point. The serve must be made from behind the baseline, and must land in the opposite service box. If the serve hits the net and lands in the correct box, it’s called a let, and the serve is retaken.
  3. Groundstrokes: The most common shots in tennis are forehands and backhands. To hit a forehand, the player swings the racquet across their body from right to left (for right-handed players). To hit a backhand, the player swings the racquet across their body from left to right (for right-handed players).
  4. Volleys: A volley is a shot that is hit before the ball bounces. Volleys are usually hit at the net, and require good hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
  5. Footwork: Good footwork is essential for playing tennis. Players need to be able to move quickly and efficiently around the court to get to the ball and hit it back.

By mastering the equipment and learning the rules of tennis, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great player.

Common Mistakes in Tennis Techniques

As a beginner tennis player, it’s common to make mistakes in your technique. Here are some of the most common mistakes you might be making in your tennis techniques and how you can avoid them.

Faults in Serving

One of the most important parts of tennis is serving, but it can also be the most difficult. Here are some common mistakes that beginners make when serving:

  • Tossing the ball too low or too high, which can make it difficult to hit the ball
  • Not using enough wrist action, which can result in a weak serve
  • Not following through with your swing, which can cause the ball to go in the wrong direction

To avoid these mistakes, practice your toss and use your wrist to generate power. Make sure you follow through with your swing and aim for the right spot on the court.

Errors in Forehand and Backhand

The forehand and backhand are the two most common shots in tennis. Here are some common mistakes that beginners make:

  • Gripping the racket too tightly, which can cause tension in your arm and affect your swing
  • Not using your legs to generate power, which can result in a weak shot
  • Not following through with your swing, which can cause the ball to go in the wrong direction

To avoid these mistakes, hold the racket loosely and use your legs to generate power. Make sure you follow through with your swing and aim for the right spot on the court.

Missteps in Volley

The volley is a shot that is hit before the ball bounces on the court. Here are some common mistakes that beginners make when volleying:

  • Not keeping your eye on the ball, which can cause you to mis-hit the ball
  • Not using your wrist to generate power, which can result in a weak shot
  • Not following through with your swing, which can cause the ball to go in the wrong direction

To avoid these mistakes, keep your eye on the ball and use your wrist to generate power. Make sure you follow through with your swing and aim for the right spot on the court.

By avoiding these common mistakes in your tennis techniques, you can improve your game and become a better player.

Physical Mistakes Tennis Players Often Make

As a beginner tennis player, it’s common to make physical mistakes that can affect your game. However, with the right knowledge and practice, you can avoid these mistakes and improve your performance on the court.

Inadequate Posture and Balance

One of the most common mistakes beginner tennis players make is having inadequate posture and balance. This can affect your ability to hit the ball accurately and with the right amount of power. To avoid this mistake, make sure to:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.
  • Distribute your weight evenly on both feet.
  • Maintain a good balance by keeping your head still and your eyes on the ball.

Incorrect Arm and Hand Movements

Another physical mistake that beginner tennis players make is incorrect arm and hand movements. This can affect your ability to hit the ball with the right amount of force and accuracy. To avoid this mistake, make sure to:

  • Keep your wrist firm and your elbow close to your body when hitting the ball.
  • Use your shoulder to generate power in your swing.
  • Follow through with your swing and extend your arm towards the target.

Improper Use of Legs and Feet

The improper use of legs and feet is another physical mistake that beginner tennis players make. This can affect your ability to move quickly and efficiently on the court. To avoid this mistake, make sure to:

  • Use the split step technique when your opponent is about to hit the ball.
  • Move your feet quickly and take short steps to get into position.
  • Use your legs to generate power in your swing and to move quickly around the court.

Mental Mistakes in Tennis

As a beginner tennis player, it’s easy to get caught up in the physical aspects of the game and forget about the mental side of things. However, mental mistakes can be just as detrimental to your game as physical ones. In this section, we’ll discuss some common mental mistakes that beginner tennis players make and how to avoid them.

Lack of Patience

One of the biggest mental mistakes that beginner tennis players make is a lack of patience. Tennis can be a frustrating game, and it’s easy to get impatient when you’re not hitting the ball as well as you’d like. However, impatience can lead to poor shot selection and unforced errors.

Try to stay calm and focused on each point. Don’t rush your shots or try to hit winners on every ball. Instead, focus on keeping the ball in play and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake.

Poor Decision-Making

Another common mental mistake that beginner tennis players make is poor decision-making. Tennis is a game of strategy, and making the right decisions on the court is crucial to your success. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and make impulsive decisions that end up costing you points.

Take your time between points to assess the situation and make a plan for your next shot. Think about your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and try to exploit them. Don’t be afraid to play it safe and hit the ball back to your opponent if you’re not sure what to do.

Overemphasis on Power and Speed

Finally, beginner tennis players often make the mistake of overemphasizing power and speed. While these are important aspects of the game, they’re not the only things that matter. In fact, trying to hit the ball too hard or too fast can often lead to unforced errors.

Focus on developing your technique and footwork. Make sure you’re hitting the ball cleanly and with good form, rather than just trying to hit it as hard as you can. Remember that accuracy and consistency are just as important as power and speed.

Improvement Strategies for Beginner Tennis Players

As a beginner tennis player, it is important to develop effective strategies to improve your skills and become a better player.

Effective Practice Routines

Practice is essential to improving your tennis skills. However, it is important to have a structured and effective practice routine. You should focus on practicing your weaknesses and improving your strengths. For example, if you struggle with your backhand, spend more time practicing your backhand shots. Additionally, you should practice with a variety of opponents to improve your skills in different situations.

Importance of Consistency

Consistency is key to becoming a better tennis player. You should strive to be consistent in your shots and movements on the court. This means practicing your footwork, timing, and shot selection. Additionally, you should focus on maintaining your form and technique throughout the game.

The Role of Endurance and Relaxation

Endurance and relaxation are important factors in improving your tennis game. You should focus on building your endurance through regular exercise and conditioning. This will help you to maintain your energy and focus throughout the game. Additionally, you should practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization to help you stay calm and focused during high-pressure situations.

Learning from the Pros

Watching professional tennis players can be a great way to learn from their techniques and strategies. By observing their movements, you can pick up on the proper form, footwork, and shot selection. Here are a few tips on what you can learn from some of the best players in the world:

Federer

Roger Federer is known for his graceful and fluid playing style. He has a strong serve and a powerful forehand that he uses to control the pace of the game. When watching Federer play, pay attention to his footwork and how he uses his body to generate power in his shots. You can also learn from his ability to stay calm and composed under pressure.

Nadal

Rafael Nadal is known for his aggressive playing style and his incredible athleticism. He has a powerful forehand and a strong defensive game, which he uses to wear down his opponents. When watching Nadal play, pay attention to his footwork and how he moves around the court. You can also learn from his mental toughness and his ability to stay focused throughout a match.

Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is known for his versatility and his ability to adapt to different playing styles. He has a strong serve and a powerful backhand, which he uses to control the pace of the game. When watching Djokovic play, pay attention to his footwork and how he uses his body to generate power in his shots. You can also learn from his ability to anticipate his opponent’s shots and his strategic shot selection.

Learning from Tournaments

Watching tennis tournaments can also be a great way to learn from the pros. Pay attention to how the players handle different situations and how they adjust their strategies based on their opponents. You can also learn from the commentators, who often provide insights into the players’ techniques and strategies.

FAQ

Why am I not getting better at tennis?

Improving at tennis takes time and practice. If you’re not seeing progress, it could be due to a few different reasons. First, make sure you’re practicing regularly and consistently. Aim to play at least a few times a week, and try to incorporate drills and exercises that focus on your weaknesses. Additionally, consider seeking out a coach or instructor who can give you personalized feedback and guidance. Finally, be patient with yourself and don’t get discouraged. Tennis is a challenging sport, and progress can be slow at times.

What are the rules of tennis for beginners?

Tennis can be a complex sport with many rules and regulations. For beginners, it’s important to focus on the basics. A tennis match is typically played between two or four players, with each player hitting a small, lightweight ball back and forth over a net. Points are awarded when a player hits a shot that the opponent can’t return, and the first player to reach a certain number of points (usually 6 or 7) wins the game. To get started, it’s a good idea to review the basic rules and terminology of the sport, such as the different types of shots (forehand, backhand, etc.) and the various court lines and markings.

What are some common mistakes beginner tennis players make in their swing?

There are many mistakes that beginner tennis players can make when it comes to their swing. Some common errors include gripping the racket too tightly, failing to follow through on shots, and not using proper footwork. Additionally, many beginners struggle with hitting the ball too high or too low, or failing to generate enough power on their shots. To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to focus on proper technique and form, and to practice regularly with a coach or instructor who can give you feedback and guidance.

How can I get better at tennis fast?

Improving at tennis takes time and practice, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. First, make sure you’re practicing regularly and consistently, ideally with a coach or instructor who can help you identify areas for improvement. Additionally, focus on building your strength and endurance through exercises and drills that target the muscles used in tennis. Finally, try to incorporate mental training and visualization techniques into your practice routine, such as visualization exercises and positive self-talk. With dedication and hard work, you can make rapid progress and become a better tennis player in no time.


What are some common mistakes that you see beginner players make, and how do you suggest correcting them? Are there any mistakes that you made when you first started playing tennis that you wish you could go back and fix? Share your thoughts and experiences on the topic in the comments section below.

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Alexander Krause
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