Tennis, Anyone?

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Have you ever wanted to play tennis, but never knew how or where to begin? Here’s a good place to start from scratch.

Tennis is a great way to stay in shape, while trying to master a new skill. It is an activity that requires technique, finesse, agility and most importantly, patience. Patience and practice are the two most important aspects about tennis. Without them, learning the sport of tennis is almost impossible.

Before you start hitting and practicing though, you must make sure that you have all of the tennis essentials. To play tennis, you must have a tennis racket, tennis balls, sneakers, breathable clothing and water at all times. Now, let’s go over some of the basic shots in tennis.

The forehand is the most important shot in tennis. A forehand is when you strike the ball on your dominant side. If you are right handed, you will turn your body to the right and if you’re left handed, you will turn your body to the left. Turn your hips and your shoulders toward your dominant side, bring the racket back and swing from low to high. At the end of the swing, make sure to follow through over your opposite shoulder after driving through the ball.

The second most valuable shot in tennis is the backhand. A backhand is when you hit the ball on your non-dominant side. Turn your full body to one side, but this time to the opposite side of your forehand. A backhand usually requires two hands on the racket. And similar to the forehand, you bring the racket back, swing from low to high and make sure to finish your stroke by following through over your opposite shoulder after driving through the ball.

Another effective shot in tennis is the volley. A volley is usually hit close to the net and it is meant to be hit before the ball bounces on the court. When you hit a volley, you must keep your feet about shoulder width apart, stand about four feet from the net, turn your body and almost punch the ball back over the net. A volley is not a full swing and does not require a follow through.

To start a point in tennis, one must hit a serve over the net into their opponent’s service box. With your feet behind the baseline, toss the ball into the air. When the ball is rising in the air, extend your racket overhead and hit the ball once it looks like it is at its highest point. The serve, just like the forehand and backhand, requires a follow through after making contact with the ball.

As you go through all of these shots, you must make sure that your footwork is the most precise part of your game. Each shot in tennis is a game within itself. If your footwork is not what it should be on each hit, the shot can be completely lost and erratic. Keep your feet moving and always be ready to hit that next shot. Technique and effort put into next shot in tennis is just as important as the last ball you hit.

—Dylan Spilko is a contributing editor for Anton Media Group

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