How to Train for Tennis: The Ultimate Guide

Get better at tennis with this how-to guide that covers everything from finding the right racket to mastering different strokes.


Tennis is a sport that requires a lot of physical and mental stamina, agility, and strength. If you want to be a competitive tennis player, you need to train hard and smart. This guide will show you how to train for tennis so that you can improve your game and take your playing to the next level.

There are several things to keep in mind when you are training for tennis. First, you need to make sure that you are getting enough rest and recovery time. It is important to give your body time to heal after a tough workout or match. Secondly, you need to focus on developing your aerobic and anaerobic endurance so that you can sustain your energy levels during long matches. Finally, you need to work on your specific tennis skills such as serving, groundstrokes, volleys, and overheads.

If you want to learn how to train for tennis the right way, then this guide is for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to train for this demanding sport.

The Basics of Tennis Training

Learning how to train for tennis can be difficult if you’re not sure where to start. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started, including the different types of training, how to structure your training, and what to focus on.


An important part of tennis training is cardio. This helps to improve your stamina and endurance so you can last longer on the court. There are a few different ways to do cardio for tennis, such as:

-Running: This is perhaps the most common form of cardio. You can do this either on a treadmill or outside. If you choose to run outside, make sure you have a good pair of running shoes.

-Interval training: This type of cardio involves alternating between periods of high intensity and low intensity. For example, you might sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 1 minute. This type of training is great for improving your speed and explosiveness.

-Swimming: This is a great option if you want low-impact cardio. Swimming is also a great way to cross-train and work different muscles than those used in tennis.

Whichever type of cardio you choose, make sure you warm up before starting and cool down afterwards. Also, be sure to listen to your body – if you’re feeling pain or fatigue, stop and rest.

Strength Training

One of the most important aspects of training for tennis is strength training. Strong muscles will help you generate more power on your strokes, and help you stay injury-free. There are two main types of strength training:

Bodyweight exercises: These exercises use your own body weight as resistance, and can be done anywhere. Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and lunges are all great examples of bodyweight exercises that can be beneficial for tennis players.

Weightlifting: This type of strength training involves lifting weights in a gym. Free weights, weight machines, and resistance bands are all common ways to add weightlifting to your tennis training regimen. When starting a weightlifting program, it’s important to work with a certified trainer or coach to make sure you are using proper form and technique.

Flexibility and Mobility Training

Flexibility and mobility training are important for all tennis players, regardless of age or skill level. Unfortunately, many players neglect this type of training in favor of more “sexy” forms of training like strength work or speed and agility drills.

The benefits of a good flexibility and mobility program are numerous, however. Improved flexibility can lead to increased range of motion in your joints, which can lead to improved performance and reduced risk of injury. Good mobility can also help you move more efficiently on the court and improve your coordination.

There are many different ways to improve flexibility and mobility, but some of the most effective methods include:

-Static stretching: This is the most common form of stretching, and involves holding a position for 30 seconds or more. Static stretching is best done after a workout, when your muscles are already warm.
-Dynamic stretching: This type of stretching involves moving your body through a full range of motion repeatedly. Dynamic stretches are best done before a workout, as they can help increase blood flow to your muscles and improve coordination.
-Foam rolling: This self-massage technique can help improve blood flow and release knots and tightness in your muscles. Foam rolling is best done after a workout, when your muscles are already warm.
-Yoga: Yoga is an ancient practice that can help improve flexibility, mobility, and coordination. Yoga classes are typically offered at gyms and yoga studios.

Tennis-Specific Training

Footwork Drills

Assuming you have the basic footwork skills down, the next step is to start working on more specific tennis footwork drills. This will help you move quicker and better on the court so that you can dominate your opponents.

Here are some great tennis footwork drills to try:

-One-foot Hops: Start by standing on one foot in the ready position. From there, hop forward and backward as quickly as possible while maintaining your balance. Be sure to switch feet after a minute or so.

-Side-to-Side Hops: This drill is similar to the one above, but instead of hopping forward and back, you will be hopping from side to side. Again, maintain your balance and switch feet after a minute or so.

-Jump Squats: Start in a low squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. From there, jump up as high as you can and land back in the squat position. Be sure to use your arms to help generate momentum. Repeat this drill for 30 seconds or so.

Ball-Striking Drills

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, improving your ball-striking is essential to playing your best tennis. But what specific drills can you do to improve this all-important skill?

Here are some ideas:

-Forehand and backhand strokes: One of the most basic things you can do is practice your forehand and backhand strokes. Start with a slow, controlled ball and gradually increase your speed as you get more comfortable. Make sure you’re using the proper grip and stand in the correct stance for each stroke.

-Footwork drills: Proper footwork is essential for any tennis player. You need to be able to move quickly and efficiently around the court, so practicing your footwork is a must. There are many different footwork drills you can do, so talk to your coach about which ones would be most beneficial for you.

-Serve practice: A good serve can be a real weapon in tennis, so it’s important to spend some time honing this skill. Again, there are many different ways to practice your serve, so ask your coach for guidance. You might also want to try different types of serves (e.g., flat, spin) to see which ones work best for you.

-Drilling with a partner: Drilling with a partner is a great way to improve your ball-striking skills. You can work on specific shots and strokes, and get feedback from your partner on what you need to work on. This is also a great opportunity to practice your footwork and movement around the court.

Mental Training

A big part of training for tennis is mental training. You need to be able to think quickly and make split-second decisions on the court. You also need to be able to control your emotions, stay calm under pressure, and maintain your focus throughout a match.

There are a few different ways you can train your mind for tennis. One is by practicing visualization exercises. This involves picturing yourself in various game situations and picturing yourself succeeding. For example, you might visualize yourself winning a key point in a match.

Another way to train your mind for tennis is by doing mental Toughness exercises. This involves things like learning how to control your breathing, how to deal with negative thoughts, and how to stay calm under pressure.

You can also do some specific mental training drills on the court. For example, you can practice serving while someone is yelling at you or playing music loudly nearby. This will help you get used to dealing with distractions on the court.

If you want to improve your mental game, it’s important to work on all of these things regularly. Mental training is something that you should do every day, just like physical training.

The Tennis Training Diet

Eating healthy is a key part of any fitness routine, but it’s especially important if you’re trying to improve your game on the court. Eating the right foods will help improve your stamina, recovery time, and focus. Here are some of the best foods to eat when you’re training for tennis.


To understand how to fuel your body for tennis, you need to understand macronutrients. Macronutrients are the three broad categories of nutrients that contain calories and provide energy: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All three are essential for health and performance, but the percentage of each that you need depends on your goals.

Most people need to consume more carbohydrates than anything else because they are the body’s preferred fuel source during tennis. Carbohydrates should make up 50-60% of your total caloric intake if you’re trying to improve your tennis performance.

Proteins are important for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, so most people need to consume more protein than fat. Protein should make up 20-30% of your total caloric intake if you’re trying to improve your tennis performance.

Fats are essential for hormone production, energy storage, and cell membranes. Fat should make up 20-30% of your total caloric intake if you’re trying to improve your tennis performance.


Micronutrients are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to function properly. Although they are needed in small amounts, they play a big role in maintaining your health. The micronutrients that are most important for athletes are vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins are organic micronutrients that your body needs for growth, repair and maintenance. There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are stored in your body’s fatty tissue and can be used when needed. Water-soluble vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin C) are not stored in your body and need to be consumed daily.

Minerals are inorganic micronutrients that your body needs for a variety of functions, including bone health, blood pressure regulation and electrolyte balance. The minerals that are most important for athletes are sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

The best way to get the micronutrients you need is through a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products. If you have specific dietary needs or restrictions, you may need to take a supplement to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.

Tennis Training Programs

Tennis training programs are designed to improve your skills and stamina so you can compete at your best. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned player, there’s a training program that’s right for you. In this guide, we’ll cover the different types of programs available and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Beginner Tennis Training Programs

If you’re new to tennis, or if you’re returning to the game after a long break, it’s important to start off slowly and gradually build up your strength and stamina. Fortunately, there are a number of beginner tennis training programs that can help you get started on the right foot.

One of the most popular beginner tennis training programs is the 10 and Under Tennis program developed by the United States Tennis Association (USTA). This program is designed specifically for young players aged 10 and under, and it uses smaller courts, lower nets, and softer balls to make the game more accessible and fun for young beginners.

Another great beginner tennis training program is Cardio Tennis. This program combines elements of tennis with cardio exercises to give you a full-body workout that’s both fun and effective. Cardio Tennis classes are typically offered at most tennis clubs and can be a great way to meet other beginner players.

Once you’ve gotten a taste of tennis with one of these beginner programs, you can start progressing to more advanced training programs that will help you improve your skills even further.

Intermediate Tennis Training Programs

If you are beyond the beginner level, but not yet advanced, you fall into the intermediate category. You have probably been playing tennis for a few years and have a basic understanding of all the strokes. You can rally and keep score and are familiar with all the rules. At this stage, you are ready to start working on improving your strokes and adding some new skills to your game.

Most importantly, you need to focus on improving your footwork. This will make you quicker around the court so you can get to the ball more easily. You should also work on improving your swings so you can hit the ball harder and with more accuracy. And finally, you need to start adding some power to your serve so you can win more points outright.

Here are some specific intermediate tennis training drills that will help you improve in all these areas:

Footwork Drills:
-Quick feet: Place four cones in a square around the service line. Start at one cone and jump to the next as quickly as possible. Repeat until you have gone around all four cones. Then do it again backwards. Do three sets of 10 repetitions in each direction.
-Side shuffles: Place two cones 10 feet apart along the baseline. Shuffle quickly from side to side while keeping your feet close to the ground (think of an NHL goalie making a save). Do three sets of 10 repetitions in each direction

Advanced Tennis Training Programs

Advanced tennis training programs are designed for experienced players who are looking to take their game to the next level. These programs typically involve more intense drills and exercises, and may even include weight training. If you’re not sure whether an advanced program is right for you, talk to your coach or a certified tennis professional. They can help you assess your skills and determine which type of program would benefit you the most.


Thank you for taking the time to read this tennis training guide! I hope that you found it informative and helpful in getting you started on your journey to becoming a great tennis player.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to training for tennis. Every player is different and will require a unique approach to their training. However, by following the tips and advice laid out in this guide, you will be well on your way to reaching your full potential as a tennis player.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or would like help designing a training program specifically for you. Good luck and have fun!

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