One of the most important ingredients to winning tennis tournaments is movement on the court and staying agile at all times – after all, how are you going to return your opponents volley if you aren't able to reach it!
Being able to get around the court quickly and smoothly will allow you more time to steady yourself and play an accurate shot, so it is well worth taking the time to practise this important skill.
Here are a few tips on staying nimble on the court from Strathfield Sports Club, the friendliest tennis club in Sydney!
Be ready to move, and stay off your heels
Getting into the right position on the tennis court relies on a combination of speed, precision, knowledge and a little bit of luck as well.
To give yourself the best chance of playing a good return, it's important to move off as quickly as possible after you have played a shot. Don't fall into the trap of standing there and admiring your performance!
That's not to suggest that you should rush your follow through though, as there is no point moving quickly if your shots are going long or wide!
The idea is to play through the shot smoothly and accurately, before getting onto the balls of your feet and making a fast and precise movement back to the middle of the baseline.
Use small footsteps
This might seem counterintuitive at first, after all, you want to move quickly and cover a long distance as fast as possible, right?
Yes, but you still need to be able to play a good shot once you get into position. For this reason, smaller steps often trump larger strides.
This is because taking long leaps across the court can leave you off balance and out of position to return the ball, whereas smaller steps allow you to position your feet correctly for the type of shot you need to play.
Practice your footwork
As with any sporting technique, mastering the art of on-court movement is all about practice and repetition.
Luckily, one of the best ways to improve your game in this area is simply by playing! So grab a partner, head on down to the tennis courts and have a hit around.
You might also like to target your practice sessions by working on specialised cardio drills such as shuttle runs and High Intensity Interval Training – these are great for improving cardio and helping ensure you have plenty of endurance.