Tennis Footwork – Start the Momentum With The Pivot

To develop proper tennis footwork, you need to understand the main principles of the game.

Tennis is not a matter of hard-hitting or brute strength. On the other hand, tennis is not a game of dinking the ball over the net.

With our knowledge of strokes and footwork, which we achieve accuracy with, we must add the knowledge that lends us speed, so that we are able to not only place the ball where it will be most inconvenient for our opponent to reach it, but to make it travels so that he will not be able to get into position quickly enough to return it.

Speed is again not by the force with which you hit the ball, but by the weight of your body thrown into the stroke.

This throwing the weight of the body into the stroke is achieved by the pivot. The pivot is simply the turning of the hips as of stroke is made and is the beginning of the footwork in tennis.

Tennis footwork - open stance

For the forehand stroke, shift the weight of the body from the right foot to the left (if you are right-handed) by turning the hips at the moment of making the stroke.

For the backhand, applied the reverse — shift the weight from the left foot to the right.

To learn how to do this firs part of the tennis footwork, and to prove its value for yourself, we will place you on a little stool on the tennis court. You’re feet rest on the ground.

Stand the racket and swing it back and forth from left to right, not holding your arm rigid but permitting the weight of your body to go into the swing. You turn your hips with the stroke. This is the pivot.

It is not the force with which you make the stroke, but the weight of your body coming into the stroke that creates the force. Your body does the work for you, not just your arm. The racket follows through easily with out jerk or pull.

This enables you to keep an easy and even grip on your racket without necessitating the tightening and forcing of the muscles of the arm. The speed or force of your stroke is controlled by the weight of your body. But he use with which you make your strokes comes through your ability to pivot smoothly.

Practice this at home. Make the strokes of forehand and backhand, fast and slow, so that you get used to the transference of your weight from a sitting position.

Golfers can get great distance by using the pivot. No good boxer stands flat footed and hits just with the arm. He edits the weight of his body into each blow whereby he gains force.

If you are a dancer, you will discover that unconsciously, perhaps, you use the same pivot. Try it for your self. As the orchestra strikes up use way to the rhythm of the dance.

You do not dance just with your legs. You pivot from the hips, shifting your weight from one foot to the other. Go more smoothly and rhythmically and could it, the better you dance.

The more smoothly you pivot, the better your footwork in tennis and the better you’ll play. You coordinate the weight of your body to the swing of the arm.

Thereby you add speed to accuracy.

If you get really good at the pivot, you’ll find you won’t have to swing at the ball at all to make a forceful shot and that your footwork will develop more naturally.

Put your weight into the stroke.