The ABCs of Tennis Footwork

Without changing a single shot, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your overall game by moving to and from balls better.

Getting to your tennis shots earlier and in better position will allow you to hit with more power, precision and with more options than ever before.

To help you visually with the benefits, I always find it useful to get people to think about driving two cars with identical specifications but one of them with superior tire alignment and balancing, braking and suspension.

Although these cars may have the exact same engine, doors, weight and horse power, they will feel and behave very differently when you drive them.

The performance of the cars will primarily change as the center of gravity in the one with the superior suspension will allow it to make twists and turns with less effort and less wasted energy. Simply put, it will be more efficient.

This is exactly the same as improving your footwork for tennis.

Just as in the ABCs of the car analogy (Alignment, Braking and Center of Gravity), we now need to look at working on another version for tennis: Agility, Balance and Coordination.

One of the best tools for doing this and indeed for all footwork training is the tennis ladder. You can store the fold-up ladder in in your racket bag and easily develop a repertoire of drills within minutes.

All you have to do is make sure that you only increase the speed of execution once you have mastered the drill at a slow, controlled pace (to give the brain and muscles a chance to imprint the pattern) and that small list of drills can go a very long way.

Start by adding in and mastering three or four movements and just add say one new drill a week. Pretty soon you will have a dozen or so drills to call on at any given time.

About the Author

Paul Gold has been involved in enhancing the performance of tennis players of all levels from beginners to touring professionals for more than 20 years.. For Paul's free mini-course footwork video, visit footwork4tennis.com.

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