The ABCs of Tennis Footwork

One of the best and most tennis-specific ladder drills you can do that works on all ABC components is the "icky shuffle." Here's how it works:

  • Start by standing at one end of the ladder just to the left.
  • Step into the first space with your right foot, then step in to the same space with your left foot.
  • Step out to the right side of the ladder with your right foot and repeat the sequence in reverse to the left.

The rhythm is 1-2-3, 1-2-3, or In-In-Out, In-In-Out. Some people even do it better if they think about it as Right-Left-Right, Left-Right-Left.

Footwork Training Tips

1. Don't go too fast. Try to complete the drill properly, rather than kicking the ladder halfway up the court because you are trying to move at a speed you can't control.

If you are struggling, say the cues out loud, "In-In-OUT." Saying them out loud will force the correct sequence much quicker than you might think.

2. Try to use a tennis racket while you are performing the drills -- this will help you get used to moving with a racket in your hands. It will also make it easier when you are trying to implement these skills into your game.

For more tennis footwork drills and information on how to improve your level of tennis fitness visit .
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About the Author

Paul Gold

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

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