One of the most important aspects of your tennis stroke is foot movement. Every shot you hit will suffer if you fail to get into proper position. How do you get into position? Move those feet! There are two types of foot movement:
- Moving to the ball- obviously you have to get to the ball
- Adjusting to the ball- small adjustment steps to help track the ball
Unfortunately, foot movement is one of the first things to go when you are playing badly or tentatively. I’m sure you’ve had this feeling during a match….You can’t react fast enough to get to the ball or the ball gets to you too fast for you to hit the shot properly. That’s because your footwork has stopped.
To keep those feet moving, focus on the ball like a dog does. Have you ever seen a dog waiting for it’s master to throw the ball? They can’t wait! And they are totally focused on the ball. If you could hear what they were thinking, I’m sure it would be ball!, ball!, ball!
Adopt that mindset and active waiting style. Bounce on the balls of your feet, focus on the ball and be ready to go after and adjust to it as soon as it comes off your opponent’s racket. This mindset will give you the fast start to get to the ball.
Once you get to the ball, channel that same anticipation to your feet as small adjustment steps. This will keep you balanced and allow you to adjust your hitting position up until the ball arrives.