If you find yourself screaming at the TV every Wimbledon season – giving Andy Murray tips on his second serve – why not pick up a racket and give it a go yourself? You don’t have to hire a professional trainer to get your tennis game up, there’s plenty of ways to get involved in the game without spending a fortune – just follow our step-by-step guide to get started.
Step 1: Read up on the rules
From years of watching tennis, you may feel like you know the rules off by heart. But there’s no harm in refreshing your memory so flip through the official rule book here. It’s quite extensive so don’t feel that you have to read it cover to cover, a quick skim read will be enough to make sure that you’ve not forgotten anything.
Step 2: Look the part
If nothing else, you should at least look the part when you take your first steps out onto the court, so you’ll need to invest in a racket if you don’t already have one. When browsing the stores don’t go for anything too advanced if you’re likely to stop playing after a couple of weeks! A racket like this for £9.99 from Decathlon would be a great one to start with and you should be able to pick up a pack of four tennis balls for about a tenner.
Once you’ve got your racket sorted, you need to make sure that you look the part! Grab some old tops out of your wardrobe and invest in some shorts (no, they don’t have to be white), or a skort for the ladies – if they’re good enough for the Williams sisters, they’re good enough for you!
Step 3: Find somewhere to practise
Whether it’s in the garden at home or at a tennis court, the next step is to start practising. A quick Google should point you in the right direction of the nearest public tennis courts in your area, so go and check these out.
You’ll need someone to play against, so try to rope in a friend or family member, preferably one who’s been playing the game for a while. Although you’re likely to face a lot of defeats in the early days, just seeing how the other person plays could be helpful.
Alternatively, if you have a little one that loves the sport just as much as you do, you could take them along to a session run by Tennis for Free. There are beginners’ classes available and you could have a lot of fun learning alongside your child. All of the classes run by the charity – if you haven’t guessed already – are free, so there’s no harm in taking yourself along to one.
Step 4: Keeping going
Once you’ve been bitten by the tennis bug, the only way to improve your skills is to keep practising. If you’ve got a busy lifestyle, you don’t have to spend loads of time on the tennis court to improve your game – just an hour or two every week should be enough. If you keep practising, who knows, in just a few years you could be the one giving the likes of Roger Federer and Andy Murray a run for their money!