Do you know your adult tennis level, for real? After two decades of coaching adult tennis classes and wrapping up a fantastic Summer 2023 season of adult tennis camps in Mallorca, and I’ve learned a lot. We’ve got a fresh wave of post-COVID players, a bunch of 30-somethings hungry to hit the court. Some players have drifted off to try pickleball in the US or padel tennis in Europe. A mixed bag of news I know. But if you know me at all, you know I’m transparent to a fault.
The good news? Adult tennis is alive and kickin‘. Adult playing levels have shifted a bit. Naturally, with all these new players just starting out. Thanks to the flexibility of remote work, players are now able to squeeze in camps, lessons and practice time, easier. Whether it’s with a partner or banging away at a wall on their own.
Here’s what’s got my attention – most players don’t have a clear sense of their skill level. And guess what? Your location on the globe makes a difference. When we host adult tennis camps, it’s a international camp – players from all over the world come together on court. Sure some ladies & mens teams or private groups arrive for training together from their home clubs, but our international adult camps lure adult players from all countries. Learning the different playing styles around the world is both fascinating & inspiring.
Your tennis progress depends on how committed you are to your game. How often you can get out to play. And how committed your coach at home is to your game. The path to improvement isn’t the same for everyone, and it isn’t linear. You’ll need a coach who’s actually correcting you on both your good & bad shots! Your coach should make sure you’ve got the necessary elements you’ll need for a lifetime of improving & playing this dynamic & terrific game.
Adult tennis levels are all about understanding where you stand in the game. Whether you’re just starting out, already a solid intermediate player, or pushing towards the advanced level, it’s crucial to know your skill level. This knowledge helps you set the right goals, choose suitable partners, and pick the best programs or camps to improve your game.
The essentials to learning how to play tennis for a lifetime
Let’s talk tennis essentials for the recreational adult player eager to get the best workout or join a league. You’ll need two grips – the forehand grip and that trusty continental (hammer/chopper) grip for pretty much everything else.
Of course, you’ve got to serve to start a point, keep score and know where to stand within a point. These are just the basics. Next you’ve got to master enough ball control & some power to keep those rallies going deep in the court to give yourself a good workout and break a sweat. Because being able to rally a live ball is where the fun’s at! Talk about addictive!!🤩
Here’s the twist – wherever you are in the world, the way you talk about your skill level might sound a bit different. That’s why we’ve crafted our own adult tennis level standard or analysis. It’s broad enough for any adult to figure out where they stand in their current game.
One essential for any adult tennis class or adult tennis camp you join is to make sure the court ratios are low. Meaning there’s 1 coach to no more than 4 players on a court. If there’s more than 4 players than you’re not getting enough attention or hitting enough balls to make a difference. If there are less than 4 players on-court – it’s a golden opportunity.
Keep in mind, most international adult players who aren’t total beginners fall somewhere in the intermediate category. Some are better than they realize, others might need a little more work, but you’ll find that our adult camps cater to this mixed bag of intermediate abilities because this is where the majority of adult players who travel for tennis will fall.
Adult tennis level: Beginner – intermediate / Improver
You’re no longer a beginner player, you’ve entered the category of intermediate play. And the intermediate world of adult tennis is very dense. If you’re thinking about joining our adult tennis camp, let me break it down for you, especially if you’ve got some experience on the court.
We’re talking about beginner-intermediate / “improver” level here. That means you’re getting a grip on that tennis ball. You can rally a bit in the service boxes or deeper in the court and you’re not completely lost.
You’re fine-tuning your technique to get those groundstrokes consistent and deeper in the court. But at this level you’re certainly able to clear the net.
As the course goes on, you’ll work your way to the back of the court and start rallying there with some success. You know the basics like how to keep score, and you’re not a one-trick pony – you’ve got different grips for your forehand and backhand.
You can keep a rally going for at least 6 hits, but don’t expect aces or pinpoint accuracy yet. You’re all about rallying & keeping a ball in play at this stage.
You’re not just standing still. You’ve got some movement and control in your game, and you’re dipping your toes into competitive play. That means basic serving, returning, and rallying on the whole court. You’re not smashing it every time – of course not, your control isn’t there yet, but your strokes are coming along nicely.
You can also read where that ball’s headed, and you can keep a slow-paced rally going. So, you’re on the right track, and we’ll help you level up even more at our camp!
Adult tennis level: Intermediate
Alright, for you intermediate adult players out there, you’re in a pretty good place with your game, but we’ll get into the nitty-gritty.
You’re pretty consistent when it comes to those medium-paced shots, but not everything is a walk in the park. Some strokes still need work, and you don’t feel like a pro yet in terms of controlling depth, direction, and power.
You’ve got dependable ground-strokes and a decent first serve, and that’s not too shabby. In doubles, you’re a team player who can hold your own. And in singles, you can go toe-to-toe in a rally and get a nice workout out of it. You’re packing some decent power and a bit of spin in your shots.
When you’re up at the net, you’re not clueless hitting volleys in a forehand grip. You may not love the continental grip yet (hammer/chopper grip) but you’re using it. And because of this continental grip, you can put some underspin on the ball.
Your serve is pretty reliable – you can get it in the box consistently. Maybe you’re still working on cranking up the power or moving the ball around within the service box. But you certainly know how to keep score and call your own score out 1st as the server. An etiquette peeve of mine is that you know as the server that you carry 2 balls with you when it’s your time to serve.
You’re in that intermediate zone, my friend, and there’s room to grow from here. In one of our intermediate adult camps we’ll take your game to a deeper – stronger level!
Adult tennis level: Intermediate – Advanced
Alright, for all you adult intermediate advanced players, you’re really starting to kick things up a notch. Your net game has some bite, and you understand that the net is meant to finish points.
You’re using the geometry of the court to cover it like a pro, and you’re firing up some strategies for competitive play. You understand high vs. low percentage shots. Your ground-strokes are rock-solid, and maybe your first serve is a weapon.
In doubles, you’re a force to be reckoned with – you know where to position yourself, you communicate with your partner and you’re dialed into pattern plays.
At the net, you’ve got deep volleys and can put the ball away with confidence. Overheads, no sweat – you can snatch ’em out of the air or give ’em a wallop when they bounce high enough to put away over your head.
You’re a solid master of power & spin now, both topspin and underspin. Your footwork is on point, and you can adapt your game to open or neutral stance situations as needed.
You’re not just hitting balls for fun; you’re out there playing matches at your local club, diving into league play, and even dipping your toes into adult tournaments.
Now, understand, the intermediate adult level is a bit of a mix – it includes players from the solid intermediate to the almost-advanced level. That likely means you.
You adult players can rally it out on the full court and handle those basic serves with ease. You’re in that sweet spot between intermediate and advanced, and we’re here to fine-tune your game so you can take the most of the game for a lifetime!
And, while you’re at a Costa del Tennis adult camp, we’ll wrap Fridays up with a video analysis. It’s a fantastic way to see your playing level personally. See through the eyes of your coaches, why they’re calling out certain verbal cues. It can be a game-changer for you, believe me.
See you on court 🙂