Tennis Tips for Beginners

Top 4 Mistakes Beginners Make

Whether you're a seasoned athlete looking for a new sport or a novice who needs a hobby, tennis is a great sport to learn. Though the rules are straightforward, playing tennis well requires strength, agility, endurance and the proper technique. In fact, lots of tennis fans who will tell you that it's the hardest sport to master.

Wait, where are you going? Don't give up before you start! Follow these tennis tips for beginners to avoid some common errors made by new players, and you'll be serving up aces in no time.

Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Racket

If your racket is too heavy, you'll have trouble timing your swings and following through. But for a casual player, heading to the pro shop for an expensive, graphite racket is over the top.Choose an affordable, pre-strung aluminum racket that weighs between 9.5 and 11 ounces. Heavy wooden rackets that you find at garage sales aren't a bargain — they'll just make you miserable.

Mistake #2: Playing Too Far Forward

In almost every other sport, keeping your eye on the ball means running directly to the ball. In tennis, that habit will get you too far forward, and lots of balls will pass you by before you have a chance to swing. Tennis balls bounce, and you need to adjust your timing accordingly. This is something that comes with practice, and a good coach will advise you on your timing to help you along the learning curve. You can also read more to get a technical understanding of how to time the bounce.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Overall Fitness

You can learn the basic skills of the game regardless of your fitness level, but if you want to advance to the next level of the sport, getting in shape is crucial. In addition to honing your swing and practicing your footwork, tennis requires great balance and conditioning. To improve your balance, try adding some core-strengthening exercises to your warm-up routine. To increase your stamina to chase down all those balls, make sure you do some cardio on the days you're not on the court — jogging, swimming and skating are all good choices.

Mistake #4: Swinging From the Elbow

Newbies often swing the racket using only the elbow and forearm. This may make it feel easier to control the racket, but it won't give you much power and can eventually lead to injury. Get an experienced player or professional coach to show you the ins and outs of a proper swing, which should be from the shoulder and incorporate your entire arm. Get your swing under control before you start playing, and you'll be ahead of the game.

With these four tennis tips for beginners, you can avoid common pitfalls and become a seasoned player in no time at all. Get out there and hit the courts!