How a Soccer Ball Can Improve Your Tennis Game

Footwork is the key to great tennis. However, too many players neglect this simple fact.

If you have excellent stroke technique, but you cannot get to the ball on time, it's not going to be a consistently good shot. The time that you spend on the court moving and running is significantly more in comparison to the time that you spend hitting the ball.

More: Move Like Federer With This 5-Step Footwork Drill

If you really want to improve your tennis game, start working on your footwork. This will improve your speed and fitness at the same time, and you'll become a better player almost immediately.

Improving your footwork will also develop your agility, coordination, and balance, which is extremely important for higher levels of play.

When you hit your shots, you should be well grounded and balanced with a low center of gravity, so you can use the kinetic chain of your body to execute shots that are more powerful.

If you get to the ball quickly and have time to get balanced and prepared, you'll have many more shot options.

If you're late, then you'll be forced to hit a shot that your body position allows you to hit. Even if you strike the shot that you want, you may have poor execution or make a mistake.

More: The ABCs of Tennis Footwork

If you get to more balls, you will force your opponent to hit more balls than they had planned, and they may get tired or impatient and make more errors.

Up to 70 percent of unforced errors are caused by poor footwork. Imagine what a difference to your game superior footwork will make!

More: The Ultimate Conditioning Exercise for Tennis Players

Most of the time on the court, you are moving through side shuffle, crossover-step or backpedal rather than straight forward.

Soccer drills for tennis

Practice these "specialty" movements in a fun way with a soccer ball. Most of the European tennis players are very skilled in soccer, and they move on the court fast and smoothly.

Carry a soccer ball in your bag, and use it for a warm-up, alone or with your friends. Run and kick the ball around the cones, shuffle, run backward, kick the ball over the net, or keep it in the air. Be creative and have fun.

Soccer ball drills will improve the lightness and speed of your feet, and shortly your tennis game will follow.

More: 10 Fitness Uses for a Tennis Ball

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