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Break the Love
Break the Love
Pitfalls When Getting Started with Tennis

I think we can all agree that anyone’s first time playing tennis was no walk in the park. It can be difficult and frustrating because of all of the hand-eye coordination and specific footwork involved. However, we learned that through practice and repetition things would begin to turn around. On that note, we will be discussing the different pitfalls that can be encountered when playing tennis for the first time.

Hand-eye coordination

Yes, it is difficult for us to handle two separate movements at once. Let alone trying to do it in a coordinated manner. This is one of the most common pitfalls when starting the sport and one that usually gets people to give up on the sport. The fact of the matter is that eye coordination in tennis is something that needs to be practiced and that can only be done by putting in the extra work. Tennis is one of those sports that depends heavily on how much you practice a specific motion and the patience you have to overcome those obstacles that might arise. Hand-eye coordination is one of the first obstacles but, the most important one to overcome because without it we just wouldn’t be able to play and get that ball over the net.


Having good footwork is something that a lot of beginner players seem to have difficulty with. They just don’t seem to understand how in tennis you have to move in a specific direction every time. You can’t hit the balls in the same position all the time since you are constantly adapting to every bounce because in tennis there is no such thing as a perfect bounce. Every single bounce is different unless you are being drilled by your coach then that is controlled and the coach will make sure that the ball is positioned in a way you can strike the ball effortlessly. However, when you start rallying or competing it is a different story since you have to be very quick on your feet to position yourself the best way possible. With practice, this can be accomplished and a good way of doing so is by doing shadows. Doing the same movement you would be doing with a live ball but the only difference is you are doing it without it. The purpose of this exercise is to train your brain to get assimilated with the movements that need to be executed on every shot.

Changing grips for every shot

One thing you might notice when you begin to play tennis for the first time is that there is a different grip for each shot. There is a grip for the forehand, backhand, volley, and serve. You are constantly switching between the forehand and backhand when you are preparing to hit those specific shots. This is a skill that takes time to master because you are doing multiple movements at once. You are trying to focus on the ball, the footwork to position yourself, and the grip for the shot that you will be executing. A bit overwhelming we know! However, as we mentioned the more you practice at home and on the tennis court. The easier it will be for you to do all of these different movements at once. The goal is to get you to a point where you are not overthinking but just reacting. To a point where it is all muscle memory and you just have to focus on where you want to direct the ball.

Ball bounce

As a beginner tennis player observing the ball is a very difficult task since there is a tendency to focus on the player who is moving. The focus should always be on the ball. There is no need to watch the player because the ball should always be your point of focus. Of course, this does not mean that once the shot leaves your strike zone you won’t observe it, You must because then you won’t know where the player will attack you or if they give you an easy ball to finish. Every player has their own rhythm and that is something we want you to accomplish when you begin playing tennis. We want you to enjoy it and get a good workout. So now is your time to give it a try regardless of the pitfalls. Remember, it does not matter how you start. It only matters the way you end. Now is your time to give a kick at it and see yourself get challenged every day through Break the Loves Rallies events.

By: Ana G Canahuate - Break the Love Coach

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