Improving your footwork on the tennis court is essential to becoming a fast and agile player. Good footwork and positioning abilities will help a player dramatically with their game and allow them to develop on court skills such as court awareness, footwork timing, deceleration speed and reaction speed which are all absolutely essential to becoming a great tennis player.
To help players work on their footwork skills we’ve made a list of seven extremely effective tennis footwork skills that will help both new and old players alike to dramatically improve on their footwork.
THE BACKWARDS SKIP
The backwards skip is designed to improve your muscles for both jumping and backpedal movements and is performed by simply jogging forwards and then backwards again without turning around (so jogging backwards). Repeat this drill until you begin to tire and then move onto the next one.
THE BACKWARDS SNAKE
The backwards snake is a variation on the backwards skip and is a good tennis footwork drill for developing muscles that will help you to perform the backpedal movement on an angle. To perform the backwards snake just do the same motion as the backwards skip except instead of jogging straight ahead do so in an S (or snake) pattern. Once again be sure to repeat this process several times over before moving onto the next drill.
THE CARIOCA DRILL
This tennis football drill will help players to work on their sidestepping and coordination ability and works by stepping sideways whilst crossing one foot over the other on each step. Do several steps to one side and the several steps back and then repeat the process a few times over before moving onto the next drill.
THE BACKWARDS SLANT
The backwards slant is kind of a like a cross between the backwards skip and the backwards snake and involves take several steps backwards just like in the backwards skip drill except doing it along the lines of a zigzag shape moving from right to left as you work your ways forwards and backwards.
Heel kicks is one of the best tennis footwork drills out there for working on a players ability to spring their legs and it also helps to develop a variety of other leg movements. It’s performed by simply jumping and then whilst the air bending their feet to touch their hands. The players left foot should touch their left and their right foot should touch their right hand.
THE WEDEL DRILL
The wedel drill is similar to the heel kicks drill except that you must jump whilst moving forward at the same time. Regularly performing this footwork drill will help you to move forward and sideways with speed whilst on the court which is particularly useful when the ball lands on the other side of the court.
SPLIT & SPRINT
The seventh and final drill for improving your footwork skills is the split and sprint and it’s performed by taking a split step with your feet apart and then proceeding to sprint as far as possible. Repeat this simple drill often and it will help you to develop some serious speed on the court.