The majority of tennis players do not practice footwork drills before shooting intense volleys. Without rehearsing tennis footwork drills, one cannot attain a high level of performance.
Even if they do perform well, it would still be impossible for them to win against someone who has been rehearsing footwork drills regularly.
Up until now, you have understood how essential drills are. Now I want to guide you in-depth on having the necessary footwork and performing incredibly to defeat your opponent.
Let’s get into it!
Importance of Tennis Footwork Drills
Have you ever noticed why Roger Federer is considered the God of tennis? Because he is the master of all footwork drills. Most players underestimate the improvement of footwork drills and make tennis mistakes.
But you can’t deny that the number of your win shots depends on how good you are at the footwork. If you want to move like a pro on the court, then you have to be excellent in the footwork movements.
I have struggled with the footwork drills, and now I believe that the quality of your footwork determines your destination in tennis. Like how far you will go in the court. Although there are countless footwork drills, I have shortlisted the most effective drills for you.
After practicing these drills, you are definitely going to perform incredibly on the court.
What is Footwork in Tennis
Footwork is working on the feet’ movement and training the leg muscles to be stronger and more flexible. When a player works on feet and jump, run, or say perform some exercises by putting all the intention on legs and feet is called footwork drills. If a player performs the footwork drills every day would perform better on the court than a player who is not rehearsing these drills.
Here in this video, you can get an overview of footwork drills.
Now, let’s get into the 5 major Tennis footwork drills,
1 – SPRINTS
If you want to beat the opponent on the court, then sprinting is what you need to do before starting the game on the court. It will increase your energy level and help you to stay fit by burning more calories.
When you go to the court without any warm-up sprints, your body takes time to be super active, and you lose initial shots. It would be best if you always started sprinting after some speed walking and stretches.
Take time to jog and stretch when your heart rate is slowing down, don’t pull the plug instantly.
Before getting into sprinting quickly:
- Walk slowly, engaging your arms, legs, and whole-body posture.
- Take your first sprint moderately for about 30 seconds, then before starting the second sprint, walk slowly for some time.
- Repeat this procedure for at least 20 minutes.
- Gradually increase your walking speed so that after some time, you must be sweating.
When you are preparing for tennis, to perform the extraordinary games on the court, then high-quality sprints are needed. This will enhance your cardio performance and the speed of your heartbeats.
At the end of this drill, you will be sweating and highly energetic to excel on the court. But don’t do this for a more extended period of time; it will drain your energy.
Nevertheless, after performing good tennis footwork drills you have to play tennis consistently to have a good command of tennis. And for that you can use tennis machines like silent partner, Wilson portable and even you should read the comparison of tennis tutor vs lobster and choose the best one for you.
2 – CROSSOVER STEP
While playing tennis on the court, players change the direction of their feet through the crossover steps. To change the direction, take your outside leg and cross it over the inside leg. Players who are experts in the crossover step alternate their foot position into a lateral shuffle.
And create intense pressure on the opposite player. Because after mastering this drill, you can move swiftly, which will make the game easier for you.
I have often seen that the players who don’t practice such drills often become perplexed and tend to lose the shots.
Because they are incapable of changing their foot directions instantly, and in this way, the opponent player takes advantage of your weakness and excels in the rally quickly.
This tennis footwork drill seems a bit challenging, but I personally found it enjoyable. And this drill is really going to work. It also makes your leg and feet muscles more flexible.
Furthermore, it will increase your brain coordination when you are about to get your feet in the correct position. So start practicing crossover today; you can easily do it at home in your living room.
3 – LADDER DRILLS
While playing tennis on the court, most of your time is spent running laterally. So you must have agility and swiftness in your walking if you really want to defeat the opponent and be a better tennis player.
Ladders drills are the most significant drills for fast and swift footwork. You must be thinking about how you can make your footwork faster. Here I am going to suggest to you some essential exercises to make it possible. Let’s get into this.
Lay down the ladder on the floor. Place one foot in each box as you go through the ladder. Start slowly, and exceed the speed gradually as you feel comfortable. You can do this in another way by placing both of your feet in the boxes.
Unlike forward steps, in lateral steps, you have to line up parallel to the ladder. Running laterally, take your first foot outside the box, then place the second foot in its place. Repeat this pattern continuously over the ladder.
Bunny hops are much similar to straddle hops, but you must have to hop on the inner side of the ladder. Bend your knees and remain low while hopping down the ladder. You must try this in another way, with one leg, and then change the position and go the same with the other leg.
In straddle, hops move over the ladder while alternating your feet from inside to outside. Also, engage your arms while hopping down the ladder. You can go backward as well as forward over the ladder.
4 -SPIDER DRILL
Playing tennis on the court requires a high level of fitness. If you want to make the people stare at your results of winning shots, then practice spider drills as much as you can. Now I am going to explain the process of spider drills.
Place five balls at the intersection of the court. Two balls at the two points of the baselines, and the other three at the three points of the service line. Now run and get each one of them.
The better way to get the ball is to do side steps or lateral steps rather than running. Because side steps or lateral steps are of high importance, if you want to be a fitter and swifter tennis player, do this for at least 25 seconds, and then take a break.
Spider drills are simple and specific tennis footwork drills and are most effective to improve the footwork. It will improve your speed, agility, and endurance to a greater extent and will make you a pro in tennis.
Moreover, in spider drills, you don’t need any partner to serve you something; you can easily do it by yourself. So start it now and see the difference.
5 – MULTI-DIRECTIONAL STEP
While playing on the court, each step you take going from one point to another is involved in the multidirectional step movements. Practicing effective multidirectional steps will make you a next-level player. Multidirectional steps include all prep step, split step, first step, and crossover step movements.
By training yourself in a multidirectional step drill, you will learn to control your body posture and patterns to give a high-quality performance on the court. It will also improve your speed, in not just one way of movement but in various directions.
Furthermore, multidirectional speed gets better when you master every movement to go lateral or sideways on the court.
In multidirectional steps, step up and step down work amazingly to maintain your body’s movements in all directions. After practicing it for weeks, your quads, ankles, calves, and hip flexors will begin to work incredibly.
You can be an expert in multidirectional movements by following only a simple mechanism. You don’t need many accessories; all you need are cones. Place the cones at different spots and move accordingly.
Start running in different patterns from one cone to another. The best way is to run laterally because, in tennis, about 70% of your movements happen laterally.
Footwork Drills For Beginners
Beginners are not able to rehearse all footwork drills that is why we have gathered some very basic footwork movements that will help them to get into the game easily. After mastering these basic drills they will be able to learn advanced drills.
So, let’s discuss those drills,
1 – Mini Tennis Footwork Drills
Mini tennis footwork drills are all about having a tennis partner who throws the ball and you just catch the ball and throw the ball back without having the tennis racquet. When you or your opponent throw you ball you have to let the ball bounce at the ground for once till the other person catches the ball and throws the ball back with one time bounce.
This mini-tennis drill helps focus on the ball and make beginner tennis player get trained to build focus on the ball.
2 – Run and Pick the Ball Drill
Another basic drill for tennis. The run-and-pick-the-ball drill is basically best for new tennis players. In this drill, a coach puts balls in the four to six corners of the tennis court. After that, the coach let the player stand at a side of the court and commands the player to start.
So, the player has to run from his/her position and pick a single ball and come back to the original location and keep the ball there and run back to pick another ball and put it in the original location. This process should be measured in a specific time interval.
3 – Right To Left Running
The last tennis footwork drill for beginners is right to left running. In this drill, the coach decides the time for the player. During that time the player has to run from right to the lift and lift to right at the baseline.
All these running moments must be counted and the next drill should be completed in fewer time intervals as compared to the first drill.
Improve Tennis Footwork Drills at Home
Some tennis players are so ambitious and want to learn about all drills and master the game but are not able to go out to learn for certain reasons or are not able to afford the cost of a coach to learn the footwork drills.
That is why we have compiled the drills which we have found easy and beneficial to be rehearsed at home. Let’s get into the drills,
1 – Jump on the Stool
We all have tools at home which help us to stand up a little higher to pick any high thing. So in this footwork drill, we will use that tool to practice the drill. In this drill, the player has to jump on the tool with both feet and jump back. This process should be repeated 20 to 30 times at the start and after a week, the player should go up to 50 jumps.
2 – Sit-stand and split
This is the easiest and best drill to rehearse at home. In this drill, a player has to sit and stand and then split the feet and repeat this 30 to 40 times. In this drill one easily can train their legs and feet to have strong and more flexible.
3 – Side shuffle
This footwork moment is a little tougher than all other home footwork drills. In this drill, the player has to shuffle one step to the right and another step to the left. When your mind gets very well trained with these moments you have to do it with a speed and for a little more time as compared to the last one.
4 – Small Step Running
Small step running is a very tough tennis drill to practice because our brain is trained to jump and make large steps when running. But when you run faster while making very small steps your mind gets drained. However, this is the drill that is a complete body workout as well. During this drill, you will be able to train your legs and feet efficiently.
How Footwork Movement Can Be a Game Changer
Footwork drills are a game changer for those who rehearse them on a daily basis. Because footwork moments condition your body and your mindset in a phenomenal way where a player gets trained and during the match their mind makes the moves subconsciously awesome.
Moreover, footwork drills help you smash all tennis shots efficiently whether those shots are hard to face or not. These drills make you enough to outperform on the court.
Footwork vs other Drills
There are so many drills in tennis and the reason behind the footwork drill is different from any other drill is the significance of targetting only the foot moment. Feet are the major part of the game. If a player is very well trained in footwork moment will be able to make amazing shots on the court as compared to the competitor.
Other tennis drills help you in learning the tennis grips and smashing the tennis balls but the footwork tennis drill specifically targets the footwork moments. That is what makes this drill so essential. Because if a player is fast at footwork can move faster on the tennis court and have more flexibility.
Benefits of Footwork Drills
- Footwork drills help you improve your body flexibility
- These drills bring swiftness to your body
- The player becomes more confident
- A player able to jump higher
- Footwork drills make the foot stronger
- These drills make a player play for a long time without fatigue
FAQS Regarding Tennis Footwork Drills
After going through my article and all suggestions, I am sure that you are going to work on your footwork drills soon. I hope now you will agree with me that footwork is a significant part of tennis. As I have explained, you don’t have to buy many accessories, or you don’t need to go into court. You can do this easily in your home. So peeps, what are you waiting for?
Footwork drills commence with stance and improve with training on a daily basis. A skillful workout will make you capable of more effective shots in the rally. Always include footwork drills in your daily workout routine. Because this is the only way, you can go far in tennis. Suppose you want to defeat the opponents and make history in tennis. Then start practicing them today.
I have mentioned the most important footwork drills, so you don’t need to go and search for other drills. Just follow what I have suggested to you; you will definitely conquer in the court.