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The Ready Position: Why adult players can’t ignore the ready position in tennis

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The ready position in tennis

Are you taking the ready position seriously on-court? If you’re reading this, you’re not just dipping your toes into tennis; you’re ready to dive in headfirst.

And let me tell you, you’re in the right place. I’ve been directing adult tennis camps and holidays across Europe since 2012, and I’ve seen players like you grow into real opponents on the court.

Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty of serves and fancy footwork, let’s talk about something super foundational – the ready position. It’s not just a relaxed stance; it’s a power move that communicates to your opponent, “I mean business out here!”

In the world of adult tennis, seeing the ball early is everything. Timing is your secret weapon. And the ready position, my friend, is the key to unlocking that timing.

It’s not just a formality; it’s the starting point for every core tennis stroke. Whether you’re in the middle of a rally or starting a point, being in the ready position primes your nervous system to spot and respond to that incoming ball with lightning speed.

Think of it as the ABCs of tennis – your fundamental building block. If you’re considering picking up a racket for the first time, I’ve put together a beginner online course that covers everything from the basics of tennis strokes to choosing the right racket for beginners and understanding how to keep score. And guess what? The ready position is where it all begins.

Tennis isn’t just a sport; it’s a social experience. You’ll make new friends, learn together, and experience the excitement of rallying balls, all while breaking a sweat and feeling fantastic. Trust me, this game is addictive, in the best way possible.

And here’s my promise to you: no technical jargon. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, I believe in connecting through simple language. Because let’s face it, we play better when we keep it real.

The Ready Position Mistakes: What NOT to do on the tennis court

In the dynamic world of tennis, your body language speaks volumes. Picture this: you’re on the court, and whether you’re genuinely aware or just faking it, your readiness should exude strength. One cardinal sin? The dreaded lazy ready position. (see image above ⤴️)

Your ready position is not a time for relaxation—it’s your moment to shine with awareness and power. Imagine this: tennis racket poised, feet confidently shoulder-width apart, a slight bend in your knees, and, above all, balanced. Always balanced. This stance isn’t just for show; it’s your power stance to recognize that incoming ball early & launch into action.

Let’s talk about what we don’t want to see: the nonchalant ready position. It’s a red flag to your opponent, signaling unpreparedness even laziness. In tennis, perception is reality, and a lackadaisical stance tells them, “I’m an easy target.”

So, what’s the takeaway? It boils down to simple yet powerful body language.

In tennis, your stance speaks louder than words. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, having the right ready position is your key to projecting confidence, regardless of what’s happening around you. It’s time to show the court your strength and let your body language do the talking.

the ready position all tennis strokes

Breakdown for each tennis stroke

Forehand Ready Position:

When you’re gearing up for that powerful forehand shot, your ready position is widely important. Your opponent should see you with racket in front of you, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and eyes on the ball. It’s like getting ready to crush it, and your balanced stance sets you up for a big, prepared, killer forehand swing.

Backhand Ready Position:

Now, switch gears to the backhand. It’s the same as the forehand only you don’t know a backhand is coming. Keep your grip in the forehand position just in case you get a forehand. All thewhile being “ready” allows you to turn your grip on a moments notice to the backhand grip!

Keep the racket dead set in the middle. Knees still slightly bent, and feet maintaining that shoulder-width distance. The key? Stay balanced. Your backhand is about finesse, and a solid ready position is your ticket to mastering it.

Volley Ready Position:

Time for volleys, those quick shots at the net. The ones where the balls don’t touch the ground and you don’t take your racket back!

In the volley ready position, bring that racket above the net to the center of your body. Remember you don’t know whether you’re getting a forehand or backhand volley. So you must be ready for either and with very little backswing and time to react.

Keep your knees bent for agility, and stay light on your feet. Being ready to pounce gives you the edge in controlling the net and catching your opponent off guard.

Overhead Ready Position:

The overhead shot, like you own the joint! When you’re expecting that high-flying ball, adjust your ready position. Racket up, feet set a bit wider for stability, and get ready to smash it overhead. It’s all about positioning and power – the perfect combo for a winning overhead shot.

Please remember! Your overhead is hit over your head not under. You can let the ball bounce which will give you another high bounce to take the ball easier and with more calm. But it still is meant to be hit over your head and not as a forehand at the net.

Return of Serve Ready Position:

Facing an incoming serve? Time for the return of serve stance. Stand a bit farther back, racket ready, and keep those knees prepared to launch in either direction. You’re anticipating a fast-paced serve, or one that bounces and kicks off into an awkward position. The right ready position ensures you’re quick on your feet, ready to send it back with confidence.

Remember, the magic is in the details of your ready position. Each stroke has its own flavor, but the fundamentals remain: balance, readiness, and a touch of personal command.

So, get out there, practice those positions, and own your tennis game with serious grace!



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