How to improve foot work?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by DarkTennis, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. DarkTennis

    DarkTennis Rookie

    Oct 5, 2006
    Since now the game of tennis is so fast, foot work somtimes seem inadequate or extremely important depending on situation but how do you improve foot work? Or more specifically how do you apply footwork in there right poistion as fast and at ease as possible when have the chance to charge swing back and attempt to hit a winner?
    Im currently having many problems to prepare because it seem like my feet dunno where to go but my arm has recieved the rythem of the balls and wants to bash it back somtimes its hard and other times its just like any other ball or go short or long and not what i want it to be...
    any advice?
  2. AznHylite

    AznHylite Semi-Pro

    Jul 25, 2007
    Vancouver BC
    Well, first try Split Stepping. It's just basically "hopping" on your toes and not letting the heel touch the ground. Once you see where the ball is going, you "hop" to where the ball is. With this, your speed should increase tenfold.
  3. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

    Aug 2, 2005
    It's about practice and technique. I've always used a neutral/closed stance so I don't have to think too much about where to move my feet. They just move by themselves into the correct position and pretty fast at the same time. But if I use an open and try to be deliberate about my footwork and think about it, I move slow and my feet are positioned wrong. So my point is practice correctly, and it's about muscle memory.
  4. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

    Dec 11, 2005
  5. jck01

    jck01 Semi-Pro

    Mar 12, 2004
    I agree with AznHylite. I always try to keep my feet moving and that helps a lot. A good example will be to look at some of Steffi Graf's old video - you'll see that she's always moving her feet.
  6. babolatpdtp

    babolatpdtp New User

    Jul 7, 2007
    One exercise I know is this (bare with me, it's hard to type out):
    1. stand with your legs apart, about shoulder length
    2. take your left leg and CROSS it OVER the right leg
    3. then take your right leg and uncross it so your legs are back like they were in step 1
    4. take your left leg and CROSS it BEHIND the right leg
    5. uncross legs so its like step 1

    *Note* While doing this, you should be rotating your body at your abs 90 degrees one way, then 90 degrees the other way. Like I said, hard to explain

    Also, on the tennis channel they showed that Tommy Haas likes to play basketball. It does help foot work (just be careful not to roll your ankle).
  7. AceofBase

    AceofBase Rookie

    Jul 11, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Best way is to stay on your toe all the time cause its keep you balance and stable, so you can set up into position or set yourself for the run.
  8. Thomas Bird-Itch

    Thomas Bird-Itch Semi-Pro

    Feb 27, 2007
    I'm struggling with this now too. I used to bike a lot, but my quads were always tight and it took up a lot of time. I'm considering running a few miles a day. It'd be better than what I'm doing now, which is just playing/hitting.
  9. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Jun 22, 2007
    I'd say the easiest thing for a beginner to practice is the split step. The split step is a very small hop onto your toes in the ready position with your feet apart and wider than your shoulders, prepping you to move quickly in many directions.

    On every serve return, try to time your split step such that you are landing on the balls of your feet as your opponent makes contact with the ball. Also, try to get to a split step almost every time someone hits a ball to you in practice or a game. The split step isn't all there is to footwork, but it can make a huge difference for someone that has the habit of standing flatfooted waiting for a return.
  10. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

    Apr 21, 2005
    My coach gets me to imagine i'm standing on hot coals. It works!
  11. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

    Aug 24, 2006
    ^^^^ lol sounds interesting.

    My coach says if you don't move your feet, do 30 pushups.
  12. ps60

    ps60 Professional

    Feb 27, 2007
    my trick is to play with yr other hand.
    since that hand is not used to adjusted for positioning of the ball and stunts that allow u to skip yr f/w, U must move to the very good position to hit a clean shot. That's a good way to push your lazy feet.
  13. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Oct 29, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
  14. badmice2

    badmice2 Rookie

    Jun 23, 2004
    272 a search in google and you'll find tons of reference. Plyometric helps develpe explosive footwork and quickness. I did it as a junior for 4 yrs.

    Also run lines - it sounds borning, but it really does help. you can also do some research and see different types of footwork drills that are tennis specific.

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