With the open stance becoming more and more important as technology helps to increase the power and speed of a ball, the step out becomes an essential footwork pattern for the tennis player. In todays tennis it is becoming more important to NOT close off the hips. And with tennis science maturing more and more studies are being performed that makes old methods of footwork obsolete. So what is the step out all about and why is it important for tennis players to develop this very important first step towards the ball. The first step towards the ball in every case should be made with the foot closest to the ball. The right foot would move first at an angle (45 degree angle) to propel the body to cut off the ball while hitting on the right side of the body, and the left foot would move first at an angle (45 degree angle) to cut off the ball when hitting on the left side of the body. The reason why this is important is because it allows the player the ability to load his power on the outside leg and hip so that a circular rotation and hip action could be made for power. Leverage for all strokes comes from the outside foot and the rotation of the hips into the ball. If you make the traditional crossover step first instead of this step-out method, the hips get locked out and power has the potential to be smothered. Then, only the arm is left to supply limited power and produce a weak shot. This step out method is important for all shots from return of serves to volleying. Step-outs can be just what the Doctor ordered for big improvement in your timing and balance in all your shots. What step-out training will do for you is to allow your legs, trunk and body to be the motor or power of the stroke while the hands act as the steering wheel to provide the direction, spin and placement of the ball. A way to train is to hit balls from one fence to the other fence. Once you can do this constantly, it is a matter of teaching the hands and touch to gradually control the ball and place it on the court while still retaining the same power on the ball. Two things that will help you in this learning journey. the head should be kept down and both feet should remain on the ground. The outside foot closest to the ball should be used to load the power. Keeping the head down allows good control over the entire body. If the head comes up, so will the arms, legs and the rest of the body, thereby preventing optimal balance, leverage and weight transfer through the ball. The step-out is critical for maintaining leverage.