It is incredible to watch as players run down balls that seem impossible to get to. It’s not just speed that gets them to the ball, but having good footwork can make all the difference.
The better your footwork the better tennis player you can be. With good footwork, you have the ability to cover a lot more of the court without being extremely fast, recover quicker after shots and help you prepare for the next shot.
Have you ever noticed that tennis players bounce on their toes before a point starts? That is where good footwear begins. If you start a point flat footed, you are already set to be a step behind. Being on your toes prepares you to move.
Two crucial steps a player needs to be able to do to have good footwork are the split step and the side shuffle step.
The split step is the first reaction to every shot. Players split step by jumping up in the air about inch or two by pressing your toes towards as they see their opponent is about to hit a shot. The split step in usually used you are returning serves, ground strokes, and approaching the net to play a volley.
The side shuffle step is used to move around the court. Between every shot players typically move back to the middle of the court. Rather than turn around and run back, they side shuffle. This allows players to be focused on their opponent while he or she hits the shot back to their side. The side shuffle also allows a player to move in any direction to play the next shot.
So if you are looking to take your game to the next level, be ready to work on some fancy footwork!