Here are 3 ways to instantly improve your footwork on the tennis court!
1.) Get wider!
This means wider in your stroke stances, your split step, recovery movements, and width after you strike the ball.
Getting wider will lower your centre of mass, which leads to better balance. Getting wider will increase your stability and strength. And getting wider will tactically allow you to move more rapidly in multiple directions and hence cover more of the court. Getting wider is definitely a great way to instantly improve your movement and footwork on the court.
2.) Train with good intensity!
A sure-fire way to improve your footwork and movement is through training with more effort at a higher intensity. A wise coach once told me – movement and mentality are linked, it doesn’t matter how explosive you are if you don’t have the mentality to use it on the court. So if you wish to improve your footwork and movement, train like you mean it! Be light on your toes, chase hard for that ball out of reach and maintain a good level of effort when training and over time you will see the benefits!
3.) Practise your footwork and movement regularly
It can be easy to hit tennis balls without purpose. Make movement and footwork your purpose at least once per week. Focus only on what you are trying to do with your body, rather than your stroke mechanics or tactics. This can be as simple as ensuring you split-step every time in a warm-up. You may pick a pattern of movement you wish to work on and place your focus on your feet, your hips, your physicality without being distracted by the other elements of tennis. Sometimes the best process is too simple shadow movement. If you direct focus on this area then you will improve it!
This is an example of footwork shadow training – We had no courts this training day so went out on the fields to work on footwork fitness. It’s a great way to focus on movement and build some fitness too! These 3 ladies – Kim Birrell, Lizette Cabrera, and Priscilla Hon have since gone on to break the top 200WTA!