Sharp footwork is essential to gain a competitive edge in tennis. Foreverfit shares 4 different drills that can help a tennis player build footwork skills.
Tennis requires agility and endurance. The quality of footwork determines the gap between winning and losing a match. Tennis footwork is essential for both professional players and those who play for pleasure, an integral part of training.
Bad footwork decreases the amount of time available to perform, leading to missing of shots because of wrong positioning. Often, players don’t understand its importance, and primarily focus on improving their strokes.
Drills to improve footwork
Improving this aspect of your game is possible through a variety of common drills. Bear in mind that any drill should be initiated slowly, and minus a racquet initially.
Program your brain to be flexible, and understand the various positions and movements you need to score in the game. Follow a pattern and slowly increase the speed, so that your body gets accustomed to the movements, and recalls these easily.
#1 Speed Ladder Drills
This drill is very important for improving speed, coordination, and agility. It gives better results when done immediately after a warm up. This drill is less exerting and hence will not render you completely exhausted.
There are different forms of speed ladder drills, the most common being the hopscotch drill. The other forms that can help you improve your footwork are the Lateral feet drill, Tango Drill, Five Count Drill, and In-Out Drill.
#2 The Hurdles Drill
This drill helps to improve your stability and your movement in the court. Set up obstacles 50 cm apart, and position yourself at the left side of the hurdle.
Drive the left knee and land on the first hurdle. Follow the same with the right leg and repeat the pattern. There are many variations for this drill and you can increase the complexity when you get comfortable with one pattern.
This is a very common drill, which improves your tennis footwork to a great extent. Skipping helps you to time your movements, and also improves your agility and speed. In addition, this enables you to decrease your reflex time, and ensure that you are able to predict and move simultaneously, and with ease.
#4 Cone Drills
This is an interesting and fun drill to practice. Like the other drills, this has many variations which you can try to improve your footwork.
These cone drills essentially require positioning cones in different angles and practicing acceleration, deceleration, sprinting, and speed alterations at a very high pace, to improve agility on the court.