Tennis Footwork 101

Tennis is a sport that requires quick movements and agility. To be successful, you need to have good footwork. Footwork refers to the way you move your feet on the court to get into the right position to hit the ball. In this blog post, we will explore some tips and techniques to improve your tennis footwork.

1. Focus on Your Foot Placement

The first step to improving your footwork is to focus on your foot placement. Make sure you are taking small, quick steps instead of large, slow ones. Your feet should always be shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other. Try to keep your weight centered and your knees slightly bent. A tip I was given by my coach is that between each shot, try to take 5 small steps.

2. Practice Your Split Step

The split step is a fundamental movement in tennis. It’s the small hop players make just before their opponent hits the ball. The split step helps you stay balanced and ready to move in any direction. Practice this movement by jumping slightly in the air, with your feet shoulder-width apart, as soon as your opponent hits the ball.

3. Use the Correct Footwork for Different Shots

Different shots require different footwork. For example, when hitting a forehand, you need to step forward with your front foot and pivot on your back foot. When hitting a backhand, you need to step back with your back foot and pivot on your front foot. Practising these movements repeatedly will help you get comfortable with them.

4. Train Your Footwork with Agility Ladders

Agility ladders are a great tool for improving footwork. These ladders are made up of a series of rungs that you step through as quickly as possible. They are designed to improve your foot speed, agility, and coordination. Incorporate agility ladder drills into your training routine to enhance your footwork. I will add a video below to show you. 

5. Work on Your Reaction Time

Reaction time is the time it takes you to move after your opponent hits the ball. To improve your reaction time, practice drills that require you to react quickly. For example, you can have a partner randomly hit balls to you and practice moving to the ball as quickly as possible.

Improving your footwork in tennis takes time and practice. By focusing on your foot placement, practicing your split step, using the correct footwork for different shots, training with agility ladders, and working on your reaction time, you can take your footwork to the next level. With dedication and hard work, you’ll be moving around the court like a pro in no time!


Here are some of my favourite Youtube explainer videos.