The Power of Small Steps in Tennis

Want to make a big improvement to your tennis game? Take a lot of small steps.

Small steps win over long strides most of the time. Using long strides when hitting the ball can cause you to stretch out, which can throw you off balance and make it harder to adjust. 

Small steps do the opposite. Taking small steps to adjust to the ball can keep you balanced and will improve your consistency.

MoreHow to Get Back Into Your Tennis Groove

Sometimes there's not enough time to take small steps and you'll need to take that extra stride to reach the ball. An extra stride is fine, on occasion. If you have the time, use smaller steps to adjust to the ball's spin and bounce. The small steps will put you in a better position and, ultimately, help you to hit a better shot.

When Small Steps Matter

Small steps can be particularly effective if you're playing in windy conditions. They're even helpful when the opponent hits a ball right to you. 

When the ball is hit within your reach, you might be tempted not to move your feet at all. After all, the ball is right next to you. 

Even when this happens, you should take a number of small steps to move to the side of the ball and get in the best possible position. A lot of mistakes can be made if you don't move at all to hit the ball. Using small steps will help you prepare for a ball that makes a funny bounce or one hit with topspin.

If it's windy, small steps are even more important. The wind can play havoc with the ball and its location.

More7 Tips for Playing in the Wind

By taking several small steps as the ball gets closer, you can avoid getting jammed or the ball getting too far away from you. If the ball is too close or too far away from you, it makes it difficult to hit the ball in your strike zone and your shot will be less effective than it could be.

Remember: Keep your feet moving at all times. Small steps can made a big difference in your tennis game.

More: No. 1 Serving Drill to Keep Your Ball Out of the Net

Active logoSearch for your next tennis event.

About the Author

Scott Baker

Scott Baker is a singles and doubles expert based in central Ohio. To learn more from Scott, visit
Scott Baker is a singles and doubles expert based in central Ohio. To learn more from Scott, visit

Discuss This Article