Move Like Federer: A Guide on How to Improve Your Tennis Footwork
Roger Federer is a household name.
He’s thirty-nine years old — and he’s won 103 titles and counting. Throughout his career, he’s hit 11,344 aces, and he’s won 89% of his 18,630 service games played. Even now, he’s ranked number five in overall ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) standings.
And while he’s obviously one of the greatest players to ever compete in the sport, the key to his success has often boiled down to an unrivaled mastery of tennis fundamentals — namely, footwork.
Want to win like Federer? You’ve got to move like Federer.
Tennis footwork is one of the foundations you’ll have to strengthen if you want to improve your game. So, keep reading below to learn how to propel your tennis footwork with this simple guide!
Footwork and Fortitude
Better footwork begins with your brain. If you’re not starting from the right state of mind, you’ll likely have a lot of trouble seeing any true and lasting success. So, to start, let’s address a few of the most common misconceptions and subconscious thoughts most players might have before they hit the court.
First, let’s talk about speed. Have you ever noticed how graceful Federer looks on the court? It’s like a smooth ballroom dance that happens to have the power to smash a serve at an average of 129 miles per hour. What looks slow on the surface actually has incredible power.
Second, let’s talk about movement. Part of Federer’s grace has to do with the intentionality of his tennis footwork. You don’t see him adding steps and body motion where it doesn’t need to be. He doesn’t waste energy or time and, as a result, he gains both.
So, when heading to the court for a match, be sure to remember “slow down.” It’s not about rushing. It’s about calm, strong, intentional steps and motions that ultimately deliver a beautiful display of power and athleticism.
In a word, it’s “control” — both mental and physical.
Footwork and Fitness
Once you’ve got your thinking in the right place, it’s important also to make sure your fitness is up to par. Now, we’re not saying you have to be an Olympic athlete (or even a tennis pro!), but we do know that with specific tennis exercises, you’re more likely to see stronger, quicker tennis footwork.
For conditioning, we recommend jump rope workouts for increased agility as well as core, leg, and foot strength. We also recommend court sprints and shuffles to help train your body for both explosive speed and quick stops alike. And, if you own or manage a court, we’d love to show how you can schedule pros and instructors easier to help your patrons improve their tennis footwork.
Footwork and Faithfulness
Brains and brawns (aka fortitude and fitness) lay the groundwork for improved tennis footwork and performance. They’re what help you survive on the court. But it takes faithful and diligent practice and drilling to thrive on the court.
So, as a final and important step to improving your tennis footwork, consider implementing the following drills as part of your regular training regimen:
- Prep Step — Practice this small shuffle to better position your body before each swing
- Split Step — Practice this jump movement to master your set up for each return volley
- First Step — Practice this first crucial movement towards the ball to generate quickness
- Crossover Step — Practice these crossbody shuffling motions to improve your side-to-side movements
With consistent practice comes success. Apply these drills (and more) as often as you can, and, in time, you’re sure to see improvement in your tennis footwork and overall game.
Want to Move Like Federer? Improve Your Tennis Footwork
With fortitude, fitness, and faithfulness, you will be dancing across the court with fancy tennis footwork in no time! Want to win like Federer? Move like Federer!
Head to the courts, have fun, and get started today! To learn more about our services, be sure to contact us today.