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Best advice for beginning tennis players

September 9th, 2022 | 4 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

Tennis has become more and more popular over the years with the success of greats from Billie Jean King to John McEnroe and Andre Agassi to the Williams sisters.

According to the Physical Activity Council’s Participation (PAC), over 21.64 million people play tennis in the US alone, including kids, teens, adults, and seniors. 

Tennis is a sport that helps people stay fit because it requires strength, speed, agility, balance, and hand-eye coordination. Tennis is also a mental game that requires strategizing, quick thinking, and problem-solving. 

Maybe it is the grace or the raw power that the pros exhibit (though it could be the cool skirts or the stylish tennis shoes) that many people who want to learn to play tennis. 

But learning rules, techniques, and the appropriate attire for any new sport can be confusing, if not overwhelming. 

The Paseo Club has taught tennis to people of all ages, experience levels, and abilities for almost twenty years.

In this article, we are here to give you our very best advice about how to get started playing tennis (even without a cool lululemon skirt). We will cover what you need to know to begin, what equipment to buy, how to master essential skills, and much more.

Where does a person who wants to learn tennis begin?

Starter programs are a great way to start playing tennis. Starter programs are specifically designed to teach the fundamentals of tennis to beginners.

You’ll meet a pro or two and some other players who often become your new built-in practice partners to play with!  

By taking time to have a pro teach you the foundations of the game, you will learn agility, balance, and coordination on the court and weed out any bad habits before they become problems or injuries.


Are private lessons recommended?


If you find you aren’t picking up the skills as quickly as you would like, take a private lesson. One-on-one time with an instructor is always a great way to explain exactly what you struggle with and learn the psychology behind playing tennis.


What equipment is needed to play tennis?

While tennis is often viewed as an expensive sport, all you really need is a racket, some tennis balls, and some court shoes to get going

The right tennis shoes will help you to move laterally to cover the court and be more stable for the required movements. 

Rackets come in a variety of weights, balances, and sizes. The pro shop or the court pros can help you determine what kind of racket is best suited to your game.


Can a person start a game? Or do they need to practice drills first?

If you haven’t mastered some hitting and feeding skills, then walking out to practice with someone is tough. 

But with just a little practice, you can begin hitting with others. Alternately, use your newfound knowledge of your shots to play against the ball machine.  

The ball machine is the best opponent to practice against because it won’t get upset if you miss — and it’s more consistent than any player.


Is singles or doubles tennis better to learn first?


Singles are fun because it’s just you on one side of the court — and it’s easier to find another opponent to play against. 

Doubles are great because you play with a friend and have more social interaction compared to singles. Plus, having four on the court means less running around. 


Should people join a league?

Joining a league once you are ready to play is a great way to extend your tennis network. You can travel to other clubs to play matches and meet all sorts of other opponents. 

Before joining a league, make sure you are comfortable with keeping score, playing sets, and knowing your positioning so you can be confident in your play.  


Is watching tennis matches helpful in understanding the game and developing skills?


Watching the pros battle on TV is a great way to understand court positioning and when to attack a shot. It is also helpful because it can give you insight into your own strengths and weaknesses.


Are there online resources that could help?

Watching videos on YouTube and matches online to see how the pros cover the court and swing through the ball is a great way to expand your tennis knowledge base.  

But nothing helps more than being out on the court yourself.  


What physical fitness can a person do off of the courts to improve their game?

Complimenting your tennis with functional fitness helps extend your power and endurance on the court and also helps to stave off injury.  

  • Yoga and Pilates help to mobilize muscles that can get tight from playing tennis, and can aid in building more balance and core strength.  
  • Weight training can help provide more strength to your game, getting you that extra pop of power in your strokes.  
  • Cardio and HIIT will help teach your heart muscle to adapt to sprints and long points on the court to recover faster and endure tough matches. 


Is there a certain age that is best for starting tennis?

Tennis is a sport for a lifetime, and every age is the right age to start! There are players as young as 3 and as old as 83! Many people pick up tennis in their forties, fifties, and sixties as a way to get fit.



Final advice to beginning tennis players

Just do it, and enjoy the process.  

Giving yourself the time to learn the skills required to play tennis will carry into other aspects of life. You will learn how to navigate challenging situations alone, respond well when under pressure, and prepare for success by planning in advance. 

In this article, we gathered the best advice for beginning tennis players. You learned how to get started playing tennis, what equipment you need, and what to watch to develop a greater understanding of the game.

Paseo Club offers a tennis starter program, group and private lessons, a junior tennis program, and many tennis-related events. 

Looking to learn more about tennis shoes? Read this informative article about fitness vs court shoes. (Spoiler alert — you really do need a pair for each activity).

Do you already have the basics down? Check out more advanced advice about improving your tennis game. You can also find out where the best courts are in LA County. 

Paseo isn’t just a tennis club. We’ve got pickleball, fitness facilities, a junior-Olympic pool, a cafe, and a spa. You can train, play, eat, and relax all in one place. Check it out for yourself with a tour of the Paseo Club

Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a person of many talents. She is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!