Tennis is a sport that provides a fun, competitive, full-body exercise that's great for people of all ages! The way in which a match is set up is easy to understand, the rules are simple, and it's a relaxed, non-contact sport that keeps our bodies moving from childhood to maturity. While playing the sport is fun, there are tennis drills we can practice that will increase the amount of fun and expertise we have on the court. We would like to share with you a helpful ultimate guide detailing some of the best-known tennis drills that will increase your match skills and take your game to the next level!

All of the tennis drills we describe here are competitive by nature and are the most fun proven methods out there to improve your game! We will detail many different varieties of drills depending on the skill being practiced. What you choose to spend more time practicing (be it forehand, backhand, serving, footwork, etc.) should depend on your personal skills and where your weak points lie. Remember to challenge yourself and always strive to be better than you were the day before! 

Brief history of tennis

tennis

Tennis has been around for an estimated, thousands of years. A popular tennis theory is that monks used to play a crude version of it against the walls of the monastery and was called "je de paume" or "game of the hand." When they served the ball, they would yell out "tenez!" or the verb "to take." Once the tennis ball started rolling, the popularity of it grew so much the Pope, and King Louis IV both tried to ban it. The racket used evolved from paddle-types to wooden frames with string, to what we recognize today. Tennis balls were wooden and later changed to leather filled.

In 1850 Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber which is now used on tennis courts, and it makes the balls bouncier. This invention steamrolled the creating of the beginnings of tennis courts as we know them today. The sport continues to grow in popularity as it is now played by millions of people all over the world. 

WHAT IS TENNIS AND WHY SHOULD I USE TENNIS DRILLS?

Tennis can be played by two or four players in singles or doubles. Each person carries a racket to hit the ball with. The strategy lies in hitting the ball over the net to the opponent's side in such a way they cannot return it. One successful volley is 15 points, the next is 30, the next is 40, and one more wins the match.

Tennis is unique because it is a relaxed sport that can be played at all levels, from children's to social to Olympic levels. There are even wheelchair-friendly tennis matches! Back in 2013, an MIT study revealed wheelchair tennis is played in over 100 countries, and that number has only grown since.
Some notable professional-level tennis tournaments are Wimbledon, the French Open, the US Open, and the Australian Open. Courts vary from clay courts to hard courts and grass.

Through doing different drills (especially if you go with the ones on our list), you will begin to see how much tennis lends itself well to a variety of options for practice and improvement. If you practice any drills or especially the ones on our list, you will begin to see vast improvements in your game! Not only will you perfect your form and practice a well-rounded variety of strokes, but you will also get used to a healthy gentle pressure that will help you and teach you how to focus better.

The best tennis drills, you will find, require lots of concentration to succeed. You'll need to give yourself time to hone in your skills so make sure you don't end up overworking yourself. Start with about 45 minutes (or less if you have to) the first day, and as your fitness level increases so too can the time, you spend working on drills. Mastering the tennis drills on our list will guarantee you a stronger forehand and backhand across-court and down the line. You will have immense control and ample court coverage and make sure you don't forget to practice your serves! 

 Drills will help you on your way to becoming a fitter and most consistently hard-to-beat player, especially if you follow our guide and take the time to perform these drills between your matches. They will vastly improve your results during matches! 

TENNIS DRILLS THAT WILL TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Since tennis is great for all ages and there are many different skills and moves you can work on when doing drills, we organized our guide by age group and will follow up with our top five best-proven tennis drills. We hope these drills will help you improve your game and allow you to hone your skills no matter your age or situation.

DRILLS FOR CHILDREN UNDER SEVEN


A control-improving drill called Hula Hoops requires children to line up about 10 feet away from a coach holding a hoop. One at a time, the coach feeds a ball, and the child in line tries to hit it through the hoop. To improve shot variation, a coach should demonstrate soft, medium, and hard shots and have the children stand behind the baseline to return balls fed to them. To improve form and stance, the freeze drill has the kids line up at the service line and simulate the stances for certain shots. The coach yells "freeze," and they must stop where they are so the coach can correct form if necessary. 


DRILLS FOR BEGINNERS AND CHILDREN 


Running the lines is a great warmup drill that requires the student to jog to the net from the baseline, backpedal all the way back to the baseline, sidestep left to the sideline, jog to the net, backpedal to the baseline, sidestep to the right sideline, jog to the net, backpedal to the baseline. The frying pan drill is easy, fun, and individual as it requires the student to hold the racket in their dominant hand like a pan and see how many times they can bounce a ball on the strings.

Forehands and backhands are the basis of important tennis drills and require the player to stand at the center of the service line, and the coach tosses the ball, so it bounces at waist height for the player to hit the stroke and practice following through with their form. Side to side drills are a step up from the forehands and backhands drills as side-to-side mixes them up and requires the player to think fast as the ball is coming at them. 

DRILLS FOR INTERMEDIATE PLAYERS 


Deep rally drills require two players to hit the ball past the service line ten times in a row (five per side). This drill is unique as it can be easily changed and increased to make it more challenging, such as requiring a 20-rally instead of 10. The down the line and across drill is designed to make the player hit the ball in an assigned area no matter where they are on the court. This will teach you to get into position quickly and accurately while staying in control of the shot.  

Service drills force the player to improve the accuracy of their serves by setting up three targets on the other side of the net labeled one, two, and three. As the player gets ready to serve, the coach will call out one of the three numbers, and the player will aim for that target as closely as they can get. Charging the net is another important drill that teaches confidence in one's ability and aggression at the net. The coach should feed balls that just make it over the net, forcing the player to run into the net to return the volley. After each net charge, the player runs back to the baseline to wait for the next shot. 

DRILLS FOR groups


The go to jail drill is fun and fast-acting, as many as 20 people can participate. Players line up at the end of the court and balls are hit towards them. They must return a forehand or a backhand to a specific area, and if they don't do this, they go to "jail" which is the other side of the court. Catching a ball hit by another player will get them out of jail. Around the world is a popular drill with as many as 16 players divided into two teams lining up at opposite ends of the court. The coach feeds a ball to the first player who hits it into the court and runs around the net post to the other side.

The fast-paced lob drill has players line up at the net to the right of the feeder, who lobs the center of the court. One at a time players run and return the lob and go to the end of the line.

DRILLS FOR ADULTS


Figure eight volleys require four players each standing in a service box facing the net. The first player hits the ball straight across the net to the player in front of them, who must hit it diagonally to the next player without letting it bounce as the pattern continues. Drop shot drills require two players on opposing sides of the net and use undercut strokes to angle the shots over the net as close to the player as possible. This drill has been known to help develop a finesse touch for the ball.

No-bounce drills encourage players to get close to the net. With two players on each side, the server puts the ball into play and runs towards the net. The rally must continue without the ball touching the court; otherwise, the team who let it drop gives the other team a point. This drill is helpful in real matches to assist in winning games. 

DRILLS FOR seniors


Lateral jumps require a jump rope to be placed on the floor and players to jump over to the other side and back to clear the rope by a few inches each time. Forward and back jumps are similar but involve jumping forward over the rope then backward. Criss-cross rope requires rapid movements to straddle the rope, landing on one foot first then the next (similar to a game of hopscotch).

Assisted let go drills require the player to lean forward until their shoulders are cupped in the other person's hands a shoulder height and imitate the running stance with the support of the other person stopping them from falling. Once the player is let go, they perform a short sprint.

Zigzag drills have six cones laid out 8 feet apart in the form of a W and players must run through the cones as quickly as possible without touching them.
Lateral throw drills require the player to stand with their legs shoulder-width apart and arms at the sides with a ball in hand. In one swift movement, the player should raise their arm and throw the ball to another player as vigorously as possible.  


THE 5 BEST TENNIS DRILLS THAT WILL BRING THE HEAT TO YOUR GAME

MASTER VOLLEYER

master volleyer

image source: optimumtennis.net

This well-known drill helps players improve their volley (which is helpful for singles and necessary for doubles). The goal is to hit certain sections of the court that represent a letter until you can spell out the word "master" for a fun way to prove you are a master of this drill! M is the left service box; A is the right, S is the left half of the singles court beyond the service line, T is the right, E is the left doubles alley, R is the right. Your aim, speed, and agility will all boost from the benefits of this drill and will offer a powerful conditioning workout as well.

alley rally

alley rally

image source: sportplan.net

This well-known drill helps players improve their volley (which is helpful for singles and necessary for doubles). The goal is to hit certain sections of the court that represent a letter until you can spell out the word "master" for a fun way to prove you are a master of this drill! M is the left service box; A is the right, S is the left half of the singles court beyond the service line, T is the right, E is the left doubles alley, R is the right. Your aim, speed, and agility will all boost from the benefits of this drill and will offer a powerful conditioning workout as well.

20-ball suicide

20_ball_drill

image source: active.com

We know this one doesn't sound too pleasant, but the benefits far outweigh the questionable name! Have a friend or coach stand at the center line at the net on the other side and feed balls in random directions forcing you to move constantly. Every ball you retrieve successfully, you get a point. Keep going until you reach 20 points! You will improve your footwork, your quickness, and your shot-making even while mobile. This exhausting drill will also improve your stamina during a match!

four-ball drill

Four ball drill

image source: addvantageuspta.com

Have a friend or coach hit a series of four shots over and over in different spots? You will work on your strokes and will be able to easily take on an opponent with good control who is trying to tire you out by making you run all over the court. Make sure you alternate between forehands and backhands to strengthen both strokes! Once you master hitting forehands and backhands across the court and down the line, you will be able to use them in combos that will change the game for your opponent. It will also build substantial muscle memory.

FIVE BALLS OR DEATH

Another intense drill fixated on death? The name may be scary, but we believe this drill to be the best of all of them because it focuses on every practical skill that is key to winning matches. With a partner or coach, take turns beginning rallies that last at least ten shots (five on each side) then start a new round. The goal is to complete ten of these rallies. Lots of players use this drill as a pre-match warmup to lock them into what they need to do during the match. Did you know if you are able to hit five shots in a row during a match, you will win most rallies? That's exactly what this drill conditions you to do! 

Conclusion

Tennis is a fantastic sport perfect for players of all ages. It is competitive, fun, laid-back, non-contact, and a great way to stay in shape. We hope we have given you a few substantial tennis drills that will help you improve your skills and make the most of your games during match time! Pick out your favorites from our ultimate guide and try a few of them out the next time you hit the courts. We guarantee you'll be feeling the burn and will begin to see vast improvements in your tennis playing skills!

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