Five Tips for Learning How to Play Tennis for the First Time

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As Wimbledon enters its final week, many people across the world have tennis fever right now. Mid summer is a chance for more people to hit the tennis courts, whether they be seasoned, novice or anywhere else in between.

If you’re a club pro, or as experienced as one, then this article is not for you. What follows is for the beginner who is just learning the ropes of tennis. Here are five things you need to know as you first become familiar with the game.

Get the right Racket, Learn How to Grip It

There are numerous rackets out there, and you want one that you feel very comfortable with. Remember that tennis is a game of controlled power and managed aggression. This isn’t baseball, where every time you take a swing you’re trying to crush the ball. It’s not football where you’re seeking to overpower your opponent on every play.

A good craftsman always understands both the power and the limitations of his/her tools.

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Tennis is a game where you need the right racket in order to develop the correct stroke. Before you even swing it, you must first learn all the different grips, and when to use them.

Study up on the Court Regulations

Before you start playing, you have to learn about the court first. Become familiar with the various types of surfaces that you can play on, as well as the pros and cons for each one. Know the dimensions and the boundaries, for both singles and doubles. Brush up on how to play balls near the net, and understand how the service box works. This is critical to learning how/where/when to place your shots.

Watch the Pros, and Take Notes

Watch some televised tennis and see if there’s a player you admire. Try to copy some of his/her methods and habits. Even if it’s just small things here and there, see if you can emulate their routine. It’s a good way to develop winning habits over time. Try to pick a role model who is similar to size and stature to yourself.

Dress for Success, Prepare for the Conditions

Referring back to point two- know what the surface conditions are like and have the proper shoes. Also, if you’re going to be playing outdoors, prepare for the elements. Watch the weather forecast and dress in accordance. Additionally, you should bear in mind that every type of tennis court surface reacts differently to the elements.

Take caution with precipitation, as playing on a slick surface can be perilous.

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Don’t Expect Too Much Progress Too Soon

Like anything, you won’t become an expert right off the bat. As you would with most other activities, focus on improvement. Don’t compare yourself to others, just compare yourself to where you were previously. Even the greatest tennis players of all time, had to start somewhere. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Most of all, have fun. Remember this isn’t a Grand Slam event, where you’re competing for money. It’s an enjoyable physical activity for which the rewards are many.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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