Footwork: The Foundation for Success

Reduced Errors

As much as 70 percent of unforced are due to poor footwork. What would it mean to your game to reduce your unforced errors by as many as seven out of 10?

Do I need to say more?

Stay In Points Longer

Improving your footwork for tennis will also improve your agility, balance and coordination, which are all critical for higher levels of play.

You will be able to get to more balls more often (even when under pressure), and that forces your opponent to play one, two or three more shots than they expected to -- or wanted to. And that gives them more chances to miss.

Improved Court Speed and Fitness

If you work on improving your footwork, you will have no choice but to improve your tennis speed and tennis fitness -- not a bad thing.

I have seen many good "technical" players lose to so-called "lesser" players who had superior court speed, movement and fitness.

This goes back to the previous point and links in with forcing your opponent to play as many shots as possible.

Not only will it draw more errors in the short term, but over the course of a match a decrease in your opponent's stamina means an increase in their potential for errors.

So if you really want to improve your game, it's very simple: Leave your racket in the bag and work on your footwork.

Here's How

The first thing you need to do is stop running so much on the court. You should only run if you are a long way from the ball and it is the only way to get there quickly.

Apart from that, the majority of your movement around the court should be made using side shuffles and crossover steps.

Start by incorporating tennis footwork patterns into the warm-up routines of every one of your lesson/practice times. Then progress to using cones (for zig-zags, etc.) and ladders as training aids.

Start slowly with simple footwork exercises and build up the speed of execution and difficulty level of the drills as you improve.

For free tennis footwork videos and drills to help you along the way, visit

Paul Gold is a former international-level cricketer and a Lawn Tennis Association licensed coach. He holds a Master's degree in Sports Science and Speed Agility Quickness (SAQ) trainer accreditation. For more information on how to improve your level of tennis fitness visit .
  • 2
  • of
  • 2

Discuss This Article