Tennis for beginners explained

15 Apr 2019 | 10 mins read

In this article, I will consider the various important elements that play a role in the tennis sport. Tennis is a sport for young and old and is practiced by beginners to professionals, and everything in between. After soccer, tennis is the most popular and practiced sport in the Netherlands. Tennis is even in the top 5 of the most popular sports in the world at number four.

Tennis for beginners Top 4 most practiced sports in the world: Soccer - Cricket - Field Hockey - Tennis

Tennis is good for body and soul

Tennis players live longer. In any case, it appears from a published study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. So you can say that tennis is a healthy sport to play. It gives you good endurance and you have a smaller risk of cardiovascular disease, for example. Exercise is good for you anyway and it also ensures that your bones and muscles stay in shape.

Tennis is multitasking

With tennis you create excellent hand-eye coordination. But besides that, you also use your legs at the same time as your hands and your eyes. In other words, you use almost all major muscles at the same time. You also train your small muscles and in this way you ensure that everything works well together and that your body listens to you properly.

Tennis is food for the psychologists

In addition to a physical sport, tennis is also a mental sport. Nowadays, it is no longer strange that a professional tennis player, in addition to a manager, trainer and physical therapist, also simply has the help of a mental coach. Pay attention next time when watching a tennis match, tennis players sometimes look like they are schizophrenic because it is one of the few truly individual sports where the athletes talk to themselves aloud on the court. All joking aside, tennis certainly has a positive influence on the mental and emotional state of your body. For example, it relieves symptoms of stress, and research also shows that tennis players also have a good self-image of themselves compared to other sports.

Tennis | The game rules

Tennis is a club sport, so you almost always have to become a member of an association to be able to use the tennis facilities. Some locations also allow you to rent a court for a short time to play tennis. You play tennis with at least two people (this type of play is called a single) or with four people. If you play with two against two of the same gender, we call this a men's or a women's double. If you play 2 on 2 but mixed then we call this a mixed double. In a match context, as an amateur, you almost always play the "best of three" form of competition. This means that the tennis player who first wins 2 sets is also the winner. A set consists of 6 games with always two games difference. If it is 6-6 then you play a tiebreaker. A tiebreaker is a kind of shortened set in which the first person to have seven points wins the tiebreaker, so also that set, again with 2 points difference.

A game has the same structure worldwide. You have a serving and a receiving party. And below the points in brief:

  • 15-0 (serving party wins the first point)
  • 15-15 (serving party loses the second point)
  • 30-15 (serving party wins the third point)
  • 40-15 (serving party wins the fourth point)
  • 40-30 (serving party loses the fifth point)
  • Game (serving party wins sixth and final point of the game)

Different outcomes are therefore possible in playing a game. The exception is 40-40 (we call this Deuce). Now it is even in the game and you still play points until a tennis player wins 2 points in a row and thus takes the game. If the serving party wins the first point, the advantage is (for the serving party). If the server now loses the point again, it is Deuce again. And if the receiving party now wins another point, the advantage is (for the receiving party). If the receiving party now wins another point, then the game is won by him.

Only with the men do we in some cases also have a "best of five". This only occurs in men’s tennis and only in certain tournaments for professionals, such as a grand slam tournament.

Grand slams

Every year four Grand Slam tournaments are played worldwide in professional tennis for men and women. These are:

  • The Australian Open in Melbourne
  • Roland Garros in Paris
  • Wimbledon in London
  • US Open in New York

The different types of tennis courts

This immediately brings me to the various types of tennis courts that are available and where you can play tennis. This varies enormously per association but even per region / country. In very hot countries, people often play on hard courts (sort of concrete courts) or gravel (these are the red grains that are then on the courts, often with a hard clay-like or gravel / concrete surface below). It is said that when tennis was first played it was on grass, the most well-known club that still plays tennis on grass is the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in the London district of Wimbledon, to which this Grandslam is therefore given its name. A type of court developed to look like real grass is what we call artificial grass.

Nowadays you can see many other court types becoming more and more popular. These are various types of tennis courts with the ability to continue playing for as long as possible, regardless of whether it is raining or getting colder. The duration of the tennis season is then extended with these types of courts. Where in the Netherlands, for example, a tennis season can be played outside from April to October, it can therefore be extended with these tennis court types. And if the weather is really bad then you can always rent an indoor court with your tennis buddies.

Tennis and social contacts

Where in tennis you often go on the court alone and face your opponent, outside the court it is much more social. Provided you naturally feel like it. As I mentioned earlier, tennis is often part of an association and so you can easily come into contact with other tennis enthusiasts. Because of this, you quickly become part of the club life if, for example, you play in a competition, or you register for group lessons with the tennis trainer or because you participate in a tournament at the club. In addition, in the past, you were often encouraged to become a member of a certain committee of the tennis club. This would be good on your C.V. These days this will apply less, but of course it helps your own social contacts and skills as well as your network. However, the most important reason is that most associations depend on the voluntary work of the members who keep the club lively and active.

Tennis is for everyone

It does not matter whether you are young or old and whether you have a talent or not. Everyone can learn this great sport at any time. Often at a club in your area you can often taste the sport once by booking a trial lesson with the tennis trainer. If you like it, it is useful to take lessons with the tennis trainer to learn all the tricks of the sport before you really get involved in the sport. You almost always play tennis against tennis players at your own level, regardless of your age. However, once you have chosen to play tennis, it is handy that you purchase good equipment.

Tennis rackets and supplies

The most important elements to participate in the sport are the following:

Tennis balls: without tennis balls no tennis. Tennis balls come in different types but they are predominantly yellow with a diameter of about 6.5 centimeters.

Shoes: there are also tennis shoes from different brands and with different profiles on the sole of the shoe. Get good advice on the right shoe for you based on the shape of your foot and the type of tennis court on which you will mainly play tennis. This way you prevent injuries.

Clothing: there is enough tennis / sportswear to find that you can use on the tennis court.

Rackets: the most important part of your outfit is your tennis racket. Do not look at how beautiful the racket looks, although I understand that this does play a role. But pay special attention to the type of racket and the size and stiffness of the racket. In terms of the length of the racket, the general rule is that if you hold the racket and hold it next to your body when you stand up, then the racket should come close to your ankle. Much longer is not good and much shorter either. A larger racket blade with a somewhat thicker frame is often better suited for a starting tennis player. The weight of a racket says a lot about the stiffness of a racket. These rackets are often suitable for the good tournament tennis player up to the professionals. These players often hit the ball well in the middle of the racket (also called the sweet spot) and can thus give a lot of power to the ball. These rackets are much less forgiving. However, if you do not hit the ball well, you will feel it right away in your arm or shoulder. Therefore get good advice from a tennis expert to prevent injuries. Have you found your racket, or are you still in doubt, with most sellers you can often test a racket before you make a purchase. Because you yourself can often experience best on which racket feels best for you.

Strings: now you have found a nice racket, but it doesn't stop there. Because now it comes down to which strings you want to put in your racket. There are many types of strings and every racket or type of player fits a different string. And strings are strung to a certain weight in your racket. Here too it is wise to seek advice from an expert, for example from your tennis trainer or a tennis tuner. One of the best tennis tuners in the Netherlands can be found on our platform. Timo has been an official stringer at many international tournaments, including Grandslams. In addition to advising and stringing rackets, tennis tuners also help to bring every custom racket in balance by adding extra weight in certain places in the form of lead strips. To make the perfect racket for the player in question. As you understand, this is often only done by really good tennis players who know what they want.

Conclusion: get advice from experts

Tennis is a really fun sport to play and anyone can play it at their own level. Just try it out and visit a club in your area and see if you can book a trial lesson there. One thing is really important if you definitely want to continue with this great sport. Let an expert advise you, especially on your racket. Because the more you play and the better you get, the tennis racket will become a natural extension of your body.

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