tennis footwork

A proposal of exercises for the tennis footwork in training

July 27, 2018

Everyone knows the importance of a good physical condition to face the tough tennis competitions with guarantees. But not only a good general physical condition but a good physical condition is necessary. Therefore, it is legitimate to think that the preparation of the various factors will be adjusted within the training process. Among which physicists will excel, depending on the specific characteristics of each sport. Such as tennis footwork.

Tennis footwork instruction

tennis footwork

The magnitude and effectiveness of the improvements during the exercise to obtain certain achievements is directly proportional to the specialization and similarity of the activities carried out with the desired activities”. Keep reading: Tennis basic rules you must know before playing

  1. Theoretical justification

tennis footwork

    The goal is to ensure that all the specific factors on which a sports test or competition depends are worked on in the training.

    So with a good base, we will make the most of this specific footwork, to improve and optimize the trips in tennis. But why is footwork so important in the sport of tennis?

    Currently in many sports, without excluding tennis, we could say that the trips should be made as quickly as possible. So in tennis one of the characteristics and increasingly, by the applied force that athletes are acquiring, is the current time deficit in each of the hits of this sport. At the speed at which the ball moves and at which it will move, more and more specific displacements will be more important, in order to reach the ball in time, in the best possible conditions (good base of support, good balance … ).

The ability to assume and sustain any position of the body against the law of gravity. It can also be defined as the ability to maintain control of the body in difficult circumstances. So that the execution of a blow is adequate, a good balance is essential.

  1. Types of balance

tennis footwork

2.1. From a tennis point of view

Balance during movement.

Balance in a certain position.

Recovery of balance in one position, after having been in the air.

2.2. Development of balance

Changes in the size of the base of support. The greater the base of support, the more balance. Changes in the speed and rhythm of movements imply new challenges for balance mechanisms.

Duration of the position adopted. When maintaining a certain position, there will always be more balance at the beginning than when we spend more time in that position.

For a better development and training, we must take into account the fundamental principles of balance:

  • Alternate as often as possible the periods of effort with those of both muscular and nervous relaxation.
  • Recovery and rectification of the balance to avoid falling.
  • Search the independence of movements.
  • Never attempt a movement or an attitude change without being in complete balance.
  1. Terminological approach to specific trips in tennis

    Like all sports, tennis also has a series of characteristics, with regard to the physical aspect and more specifically to specific movements. So, first of all, we are going to make a terminological approximation to the basic concepts within the specific displacements in tennis:

    We will define first what is meant by tennis footwork:

    The foot game corresponds to the displacements, placements and returns of the tennis player on the ground. It is one of the essential factors of its effectiveness, as perfect as most of the other determinants of performance.

It is not only important to know and train these specific trips on the track to recover the position as quickly as possible but also so that the energy expenditure is the lowest possible.

  1. 47% of the total time of a match the displacements are forward
  2. 48% of the total time of a match the displacements are to lateral.
  3. 5% of the total time of a match the displacements are backwards.

    Even this small percentage in which the displacements are given backwards we propose to make displacements in double rhythm and not backwards in a high percentage of this 5%.

    With all this we can say that we need the realization of specific activities to guide the adaptations to the desired physical requirements.

    After this broad theoretical justification on the importance of specificity within sports training and more specifically on the techniques of footwork in the specific displacements on the track, we will focus our work on the recovery after the impact, considered by some trainers and teachers of size world as an equally important phase or perhaps more than the displacement phase towards the ball.

    Keep in mind, the most important aspects that influence the recovery after the impact:

  • Decision making
  • anticipation
  • pre-indexes
  • height of the ball
  • effect
  • placement of the adversary
  • Placement of the opponent


Distance to travel (spatial position on the track)

tennis footwork

Rule of the triangle (position of the d.g: outside the base of sustentation): It consists of placing the trunk in prolongation of the leg in 45º with respect to the ground.

Side steps. It consists of a lateral displacement of the foot in the direction in which the displacement is made. Having a beating of both feet

Separate step (track background). It is a step that takes place as the reading jump (RPT) consisting of an upward jump that allows recruiting elastic energy for a later displacement in any position. (SLIPT STEP)

Crossed steps. It consists of a lateral displacement in which one leg is passed in front of or behind the other.

Double rhythm / double support / floating step. It consists of a lateral displacement similar to the lateral steps but in which the frequency dominates against the amplitude. The difference with respect to the lateral ones is that in these supports they never get to hit. Adjustment steps for tennis footwork: Consists of the last supports that are made before the ball hits. You may also like: