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Best Tennis Tips for Beginner-Intermediate Level Players

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best tennis tips beginner-intermediate adult players

Hey there, players! If you’ve been around the tennis court as long as I have, you know that helping adult players improve your level is about spotting & correcting recurring mistakes, we call bad habits. What I’ve come to understand is that these foundational mishaps at the beginner – intermediate level are lost on players completely.

Here are some of my best tips for foundational levels on the forehand, backhand & court geography.

I believe this to be a coaching problem – not a player problem. If we’re not calling these issues out when they come up, the player doesn’t know and without seeing themselves they certainly can’t improve. Players need solid coaching corrections to move forwards. It’s our job to do the work so they can play the game well.

Today we’re diving into the three biggest blunders I see from beginner – intermediate players. Fix these, or become aware of these tips and you’ll see some serious improvement in your tennis game.

The Forehand Collapse

Ah, the forehand collapse. When your swing breaks breaks at the elbow and collapses or finishes across your chest instead of up high. This is super common and a real help when you fix it.

Here’s the deal, you need to swing through the shot from low to high with a fluid motion. The finish should be up high on the opposite shoulder. The butt of your racket at the end of the stroke should be facing your opponent.

Sure, modern tennis has some flashier techniques, but for foundational learning, this old-school approach will get you quickly to the next level. It’ll also help keep the ball over the net instead of in it.

At this foundational forehand level, you’re aiming for consistent, deep balls with real net clearance. You can’t do that without a full swing. Trust me on this one. I’m watching players on repeat break too early without that fluid long swing gasp in fear and pull back in the middle of the swing. There’s no confidence behind the technique and they wind up almost stopping right in the middle of what could be a real masterpiece.

The contact point on this enormously popular and used shot is always out in front of you and not on the side of your body. When you miss the ball out in front by your non-dominant opposite hand you’ll usually collapse the elbow early and finish across the chest. If you keep doing this swing pattern on repeat and it’ll quickly be hard to break.

Misunderstanding the Court

Many players don’t fully understand the tennis court itself. Too often, I see players move forward to retrieve a ball inside the baseline. Problem is they forget to recover back out behind the baseline for the next shot. There really couldn’t be a worse place to call your home base than standing inside the middle area of the court. Because it’s where the balls bounce.

Too many times I see players planted in no-mans land start to swing at balls out of the air in sheer panic because well they find a ball back in their direction but they have no space to let it bounce – so they start swinging.

Once you finish with a shot make sure to recover for your next groundstroke back behind the baseline. Your psyche will thank you for this one! So will your best contact points that are able to be hit out in front from this position. Remember! Groundstrokes are balls that bounce and that you hit from a ball that bounces on the ground – not out of the air.

This is a critical error. If you’re going to the net because the ball fell short then commit to it and GO to the net!

Remember, your recovery is part of your game. It happens after every shot.

One-Handed Backhand Blues

The one-handed backhand is a beautiful shot, no doubt! But for beginners and many intermediate players, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth.

Without proper coordination, you won’t feel stable or get power on the ball, leading to shots that push you backwards. In tennis, you want to move through the ball – forwards, always! Not away from it or backwards.

The two-handed backhand might not offer the same leverage, freedom or beauty but it provides better stability, consistency and power which are crucial at this stage.

The one handed backhand is also a different playing grip than the 2 – hander. It’s a different contact point and it’s a harder shot overall. Sure, Federer made it look easy but there’s an easier way to gain ground on court and keep your game moving forwards at the beginning levels of the game.

Final Thoughts

One last piece of advice, don’t overdo it.

I’ve seen weekend warriors burn out by mid-week on a tennis holiday because they went too hard too soon.

Rest is just as important as practice because it helps solidify those new skills into your subconscious.

Enjoy the game, stay patient, and let each step of your learning journey build on the last.

New players are bringing fantastic energy to the game, and I love it.

But remember, don’t skip the foundational steps. Take your time, enjoy the process, and you’ll see the improvements you’re working towards. Tennis is a game for life, and we want adults in it for the long haul, improving & enjoying its lifestyle, every step of the way.

Here’s a free foundations video coaching course that can help you see & hear everything you should be learning in your lessons at home.

With love from Mallorca~

Rhonda

Rhonda

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