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Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación Física y del Deporte Departamento de Deportes. Degree in Sports Science Course: Tennis Lesson-8: Basics of Tennis Technique . Professor: Ph.D. José Antonio Aparicio Asenjo. Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique . 1- GRIPS

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Degree in sports science course tennis lesson 8 basics of tennis technique

Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación Física y del Deporte

Departamento de Deportes

Degree in Sports Science Course: TennisLesson-8: Basics of Tennis Technique

Professor: Ph.D. José Antonio Aparicio Asenjo

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique


  • When we talk about grip we mean the way we hold the racket and create different strokes with it while we are playing tennis.

  • In order to obtain a better inertia and reach, racket is held by the extreme of the handle.

  • Due to the many factors that affect the execution, we’ll try to give some simple biomechanical tips to better understand it.

  • Usually, in every shot, the wrist position (which is the last articular link of the movement chain), will be behind the racket at the moment of the impact in order to achieve higher effectiveness and comfort.

  • It´s important to know that there is a wide range of circumstances while a point is being played, and thus we must describe tennis like a game where “emergencies” are quite abundant.

  • When we try to analyze which is the best wrist position in other strokes, we must observe the mechanical and temporary needs.

  • Because of that, in the volley shots, for example, reaction time is clearly shorter; this means that we must adapt to the new situation. We must solve this problem making a faster execution of the whole movement (grip, movement and hit).

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique1
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique


  • On this matter – the grip- we must take the time needed to change the wrist position according to the hitting point. This means then, that we won’t change it and we will use the same grip in all of them.

  • This way of holding the racket is called “hammer”, or also “continental grip”. The name hammer is quite graphic for us, as the wrist is placed on the racket as if we were holding a hammer. This means a neutral position, valid for hitting the ball both forehand or backhand. Nevertheless, the player hitting a ball near the net, will use –almost for sure- a more efficient grip.

  • Hammer grip allows a bigger articular movement both in the prono-supination and in the adduction and abduction. This requires a bigger pressure effort of the holding fingers.

  • The different types of grips are driven by learning factors; when are they being learned, the relationship with different courts, and, as said before, the characteristics of the player.

  • For example, if a player begins to practice at a young age (still with a short height) the contact point with the ball is above his/her hip. As this is the perfect height to learn because we hit the ball from top, the efficiency is lower than with a conventional forehand grip, therefore the player changes it looking for a natural way of hitting the ball.

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique2
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique


  • When we talk about displacements we mean all those transfer movements, meaning changes of position in space.

  • This technical grounding refers to the sport gesture needed to locate in the best place and distance to produce the shots

  • All the displacements any sportsman makes are unavoidably made because of a voluntary loss of balance, which at the same time causes a re-balance action. If this happens again, there will be a change of position in space. The more this happens, and the bigger the re-balance is, the larger the displacement will be

  • Due to their variety, they can be classified in many different ways, such as:

  • Intensity: Light, medium, high, different combination of them.

  • Distance: Long (+ 4 m), medium (2-4 m), short (0-2 m)

  • Direction: Forward, backward, sideways, oblique, different combination of them.

  • According to feet displacement structure: Double steps, steps, running, different combination of them.

  • According to tactic intention: Offensive, defensive, continuity

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique3
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique


  • The “ready position” should be mentioned, which is the position the returner must adopt when waiting for the opponent to serve. This position has a lot in common with other sports.

  • Is in this position, which we could consider a pre-dynamic attitude, the readiness for action is total. To be prepared, the center of gravity has to be a little forward without leaving the limits of the support base. However, the closer the line of center of gravity is from the space that defines the support base, the more the player will tend to be unbalanced and therefore will tend to move

  • Nevertheless, before the return, the player makes a little jump to proceed with a first support with the opposite leg of the shooting arm; this can be considered a change of direction in two times, where the final support is closer in time to the perception of the ball’s direction

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique4
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique


  • Center of Gravity: Imaginary point at which the body weight concentrates regarding the gravity force acting over it.

  • In order to become familiar with it and to initiate the students into the displacement exercises, our task is to focus in making the students to get used to displacement’s variety: jumps, turns, runs, stops, starts, and all combinations of these movements. This all will allow them to learn the specific technical aspects.

  • So, to sum up, general displacements – which allow us to discover and develop distances and trajectories, and so on – will allow the sportsman to achieve of more specific tennis tasks

  • The beginning of displacements in tennis takes place when:

    • Serving

    • Returning

  • In both cases, the displacement begins in a static position. Then, hitting and producing a displacement happens according to the classification in previous slides.

  • It is important to make the most of the unbalance produced and to use body’s weight and direct the displacement towards the best direction according to the intention of continuity

  • In the return, the unbalanced movement occurs after a change of direction in two steps: first stepping with the opposite foot of the shot (this means right foot for backhand and left foot for forehand), and in second place we try to look for the forward contact, obviously having it under control.

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique5
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique


  • We talk about strokes and shots referring to the different techniques to return the ball, following the rules

  • Conventionally, and in order to structure and classify the different strokes, these are divided depending on the part of the body where they are executed: if they are made on the right side, they are called Forehand Strokes, if they are made on the left, we will call them Backhand Strokes

  • Another essential feature for the analysis is to divide the movement in phases:

    • Preparation

    • Contact point

    • Follow-through

  • Groundstrokes and volleys

    • It is also necessary to make a distinction between the strokes from deep in the court, after ball’s bounce (groundstrokes), and near the net, before the ball bounces (volleys).

    • We can also make another category of strokes: Those which are made over the head, such as service and smash.

    • As groundstrokes from deep in the court give the player more time for preparing the stroke, the trajectory of arm-racket, will be longer than those strokes next to the net.

    • On the other hand, with volleys we have a short trajectory.

    • It is also important to mention the evident evolution from the rectilinear movement of beginners to more curvilinear movements.

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique6
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique




      • Analysis of opponent’s execution

      • Perceive in advance and decide according to data or background knowledge

      • Perception


      • Forehand, backhand, volley, etc.

      • Adapting the grip.

      • Estimate speed and ball’s approaching trajectory.

      • Displacement to contact point (this might be the beginning of preparing the phase of the stroke execution).


      • Preparation

      • Contact point

      • Follow-through


      • Displacement for recovery, depending on the particular situation.

      • Analysis of opponent’s actions.

  • The process begins...

Lesson 8 basics of tennis technique7
Lesson-8 Basics of Tennis Technique


  • The most important aspects of modern tennis technique and how to develop them – ITF Tennis iCoach.

  • Biomechanics of the for improving tennis stroke technique using biomechanical principles - ITF Tennis iCoach

  • Ph.D. Helmut Hauer. Variable Availability.

  • Ph.D. Ulrike Benko, Ph.D. Stefan Lindinger (University of Salzburg, Austria). Differential Coordination and Speed Training for Tennis Footwork. Introduction: Tennis Federation.

  • eLearning Modules: M. Reid, Elastic Energy in Tennis. B. Elliott, Inertia in Tennis; Key Mechanical Features of the Forehand

  • Paul A. Tipler Física para la ciencia y la tecnología (2 volumes). (2.000) Barcelona. Reverté

  • R. Borges, J. García. Manual Formador de Tenis Base. (1.998) Federación Madrileña de Tenis

  • Coaching Tennis, Technical and Tactical Skills – American Sport Education Program with Kirk Anderson

  • T. Hoskins. The Tennis Drill Book