The 8 Big Mistakes that Tennis Beginners Make – How to Fix!

By Lin
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tennis beginner common mistakes

When starting out in tennis, it’s not uncommon to make mistakes. Whether you’ve played a few times or want to dive into the sport as a newbie, common mistakes among tennis beginners are a part of the game. Luckily, there are ways to combat these errors and get better at tennis faster.

Regarding the most common tennis mistakes beginners make, there are three that especially stand out. These include:

  • Hitting the ball too low
  • Not keeping your eye on the ball
  • Neglecting your footwork and agility

Of course, we’ll cover many more “common” mistakes in this post, but beginner tennis players should be especially cautious of these.

Are you curious about which mistakes new tennis players often make? Well, this list of common errors and ways to prevent them will be perfect for you! Let’s dive in.

Most Common Mistakes Made By Tennis Beginners

When it comes to starting tennis with little to no experience, this can be intimidating for many. Even professional tennis players run into some of these common errors during matches and practices, so no one is immune to a mess up. Here are some mistakes to keep in mind.

1. Hitting The Ball Too Low

One of the most common mistakes made by beginner tennis players is hitting the ball too low. During a match or practice, you may find yourself hitting the top or front of the net: leading to lost points.

How To Fix

You want to focus on hitting your ball higher and following through from bottom to top. By doing this, you move in a way to project the tennis ball over and across the net, rather than hitting the top of the net or not connecting with your opponent’s side of the court.

2. Not Keeping Your Eye On The Ball

Another common mistake beginner tennis players make is not keeping their eye on the ball throughout a match. This might be challenging at first, but it’s crucial to lock eye contact with the ball between serves and returns by your opponent: so you can hit it.

How To Fix

We recommend using a tennis ball machine to practice maintaining eye contact with the ball—Focus on determining where the ball may go while moving quickly to that area of your court.

Our article on practicing tennis alone is also a good reference point.

3. Neglecting Your Footwork and Agility

The next beginner’s mistake is neglecting their footwork and overall agility. This can be because you aren’t in shape to run from side to side and have weaker hand-eye coordination.

How To Fix

It’s best to begin training before tennis matches, doing sprints, upper and lower body workouts, and using a tennis ball machine for hand-eye coordination.

4. Not Using Your Body Power

Another common mistake that beginners often make in tennis is not using their body’s strength when serving, returning, and hitting the ball. Both using your body’s power and moving your arms are important. But, be careful not to rely too much on just your arm strength because that might lead to tennis elbow, which is a kind of pain. It’s also a good idea to learn about the 5 most common tennis injuries and figure out how to stop them right from the start.

How To Fix

Practice your swing and technique before, during, and after hitting the ball. You shouldn’t be swinging your arms willy-nilly but in a concise, short manner. Add some weight to your swing, focusing on your entire body: not just elbows and shoulders.

5. Using Too Much Or Too Little Power

Another common mistake among newer tennis players is swinging too hard or soft at the ball. Typically, this is a sign of poor technique, with an athlete trying to make up for that with a violent swing.

How To Fix

The best way to fix an uncontrolled swing is to focus on making contact with your ball and following through. Most often, tennis players hit a ball too early or too late, adding too much/little force. Focus on hitting the ball the second it touches your racket.

6. Not Moving Your Feet

One of the most common issues among new tennis players is not moving their feet. When you do this, the ball could enter your court near the net or away from your current position, leading to a lost point.

How To Fix

Building stamina is the best way to fix this problem. First, we’d recommend footwork drills, jogging, getting on the treadmill, or even heading to a court and running from front to back and side to side. Getting yourself comfortable moving on the tennis court will make you a better player.

7. Getting Easily Worked Up

A common mistake tennis players make, new and experienced, is getting overly emotional or frustrated on the court. Allowing these emotions to build up and explode during a practice or match can affect your game negatively and lead to more mistakes.

How To Fix

An easy way to combat negative thoughts on and off the tennis court would be to work on stress-relieving things, like meditation. For example, when you’re making a mistake during a match, focus on how to get better and do some breathing exercises.

Here is one from YouTube we love:

8. Playing While Injured

One of the more severe mistakes beginner tennis players often make is playing a game while injured. Whether it’s your upper or lower body, going onto the court and playing a match or practicing heavily can lead to further pain.

How To Fix

Resting is the best thing to do while injured as a tennis player. Especially if you’ve torn a muscle or broken a bone, playing with these ailments can lead to permanent damage and could force you into an early retirement altogether. Your health is not worth a match.

What’s Next

This article covered the top eight common mistakes beginner tennis players make and provided ways to fix them. Some of the more common tennis errors fall onto poor hand-eye coordination, lack of stamina, and improper racket swing: so keep these in your mind the next time you’re on the court.

This article on tips and common tennis questions for beginner players is another excellent read we recommend.

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Editor of All Points Tennis and a huge Roger Federer fan, I've spent countless hours studying his moves, especially his forehand and one-handed backhand. I also love writing about all the technical stuff like rackets and strings. I'm super pumped to share my insights with fellow tennis lovers here.