Tennis Basics: Master The Split Step

This post is part of our Player Development Program.

Post Audience: All age levels

One of the most important, and yet simplest, movement in tennis is the Split Step.

It’s the first thing that should be taught to a tennis player, even before they hit their first ball. Unfortunately, it’s something that is often overlooked. I’ve met 12 year old kids, playing tennis for over 2 or 3 years, who have never heard of the term. Some take the term a bit too literally, splitting their legs and stepping forward.

As you can see from the image above, the split step happens as and when you are getting ready to return the ball. Be it while receiving a serve, during a rally or even right after your own service. It helps you balance your body and create a rhythm during play, which will be one of the key components of your game as your level increases.

Below is a video with 6 drills that will help you make this very important movement a part of your game. Even if you are a 37 year old veteran these drills will help you stay agile on your feet, so do not think that it’s not necessary for you to do them. If a pro does these before they get on for a Grand Slam match, then it’s good enough for you as well.

You can do these exercises 3 times a week, preferably before you start your training session. Once you have a good handle on your split step doing them once a week will help you maintain your rhythm.

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