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6 Essential Tips for Improving Your Tennis Game

A tennis ball on an outdoor court



Do you love to play tennis but are struggling getting into the swing of things? It is no secret that tennis is a very technical sport that requires certain skills and techniques in order to have a competitive advantage. For those who are new to tennis, getting a hang of these can feel very overwhelming and many find it discouraging if they don’t see improvement right away. 

The good news is that our wellness center in Kansas City has some tips that could help you to become a better player! Below, we have compiled a list of six essential tips that you can use to improve your tennis game as well as some information about signing up for private tennis lessons with one of our incredible instructors. Keep reading to learn more!



While it might seem trivial or like a basic idea, having the proper hold on your forehand grip is actually very important. In fact, it plays an instrumental role in how you swing your racket and how much control you have overall. There are different names for the various types of holds. Below are the two most common holds you will encounter as you play:


The ‘continental’ hold is popular with the pros during serves and volleys. For this hold, simply pick up and hold onto the handle of the racket as if you are trying to shake someone’s hand. Be sure to place the knuckle of your index finger on the top right bevel (angle) of the racket. 



When going after groundstrokes, you will want to adopt a hold called the ‘semi-western’. To achieve this hold, move your index finger knuckle round to the bottom right bevel of the racket. This should provide you with more power and control and allow you to put more topspin on the ball.



Once you have a general idea of where the ball is headed, move there and be prepared. Get yourself in position to play the shot. Just remember: the higher you make your backswing, the more power you are going to put into play. However, on the same hand, the more complex swing can go wrong if your nerves get the better of you. This makes it all the more vital that you find the right balance.

When taking your racket back, try supporting it with both hands. This will help you with your follow through as well as provide better rotation and give you more power in your strokes. 



Do you find yourself often messing up your shots or mis-hitting them? This could be because you are moving or lifting your head too much as you play your stroke and inadvertently causing you to take your eye off the ball. To help with this, follow the ball with your racket while keeping your head still. Not only will this better improve your balance, but it will also provide consistency to your swing and in turn, your overall game.

A group of friends play a tennis match together



For many people who are just starting out, getting the ball toss down for your serve can be a struggle. Serving is an incredibly important aspect of tennis, as it can truly make or break your game. Tossing it too high or too low could end up being disastrous and result in lack of control on your serve. 

To improve on this area, start by first just getting the ball consistently where you want it without hitting it. Typically, the ball should go straight up and come back down about 18 inches in front of your leading foot. Once you have the ball consistently making the mark, add in your swing. Make adjustments or tweaks as needed. Though be sure to bring a bucket of balls with you to the court – you’ll want to practice this over and over in order to get it down!



Tennis is not an easy sport to master. Just look at the pros! Even during matches such as those held during Wimbledon and the Olympics you will find plenty of hot tempers and broken rackets. While it can be frustrating, it is important to remember that you are learning and making improvements with each practice. The more important thing you can do is to take note of your mistakes and walk yourself through how to improve upon them. Be kind to yourself when you mess up and strive to correct it next time. 

This is also important to note during competition. Sometimes during a match, things won’t go as smoothly as they might have during practice. Pressure and nervousness make for quite a lethal combination, so it’s important to be cognizant of that. During a real game, be sure to take a deep breath and try to calm down a little if you find yourself getting frustrated. After all, this frustration can compound which only leads to even more mistakes. 



If you are struggling with a technique or concept, or simply want a little professional feedback, it’s okay to ask for help! In fact, here at our Kansas City wellness center, one of our amazing tennis professionals would be happy to help you improve your game. Each staff member has extensive experience with playing tennis across different levels of competition. They all specialize in helping with different areas of the game as well. Though no matter who you choose to sign up with, we know that you will see results after just a few sessions!



If you aren’t yet a member of Woodside, now is the time to sign up! With your membership to our Kansas City wellness center, you will have access to our expansive tennis facilities as well as the opportunity to sign up for clinics and lessons. As a matter of fact, all new members get a complimentary tennis hit! When you join, our Director of Tennis will reach out to help get you started. 

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