Tennis Lessons

Ana Ivanovic hits a forehand.

Welcome to the tennis lessons section of FuzzyYellowBalls.com! Here you’ll find the meat-and-potatoes of our website — video tennis lessons. If this is your first time visiting us, you’ll notice that our lessons are unique. We use a greenscreen — the thing the weatherman stands in front of — to teach tennis. Also, as of December 2008 all of our new videos are in high definition.

To watch the 100+ FREE video tennis lessons in this section all we ask is that you sign up for our newsletter. If you haven’t signed up already, you’ll see a form that prompts you to do so in place of a video. Once you’ve subscribed, a cookie will be placed on your computer. This tells our website to display the appropriate video instead of the sign-up form. If you’ve cleared your browsers of cookies lately, you’ll probably have to re-enter your information to watch videos.

OK now on to the important stuff — our tennis lessons. Below is a list of sections. Each section will have a list of subsections you can surf through. For example, under the forehand you’ll find the following subsections — fundamentals, progressions, advanced, and windshield wiper. This will give you an easy way to find the appropriate technique video you’re looking for.

Once you have a firm grasp of what’s necessary to hit these shots, head over to our pro tennis player stroke library and see how despite the fact that no two pros’ shots look exactly alike, they’re still doing many things the same.

GRIPS
A grip is how you hold the tennis racket in your hand. For any shot in tennis there are a number of grips you can use. In these lessons we explain how to find a grip and how to select one for each of the various shots.

FOREHAND
When you hit the tennis ball on the dominant side of your body you are hitting a forehand. For example, if you are right handed and the ball is on the right side of your body you’ll be hitting a forehand. Forehands tend to be a player’s favorite shot and his or her weapon. If you watch a lot of pro tennis, you’ve probably noticed that most pros do their damage — hit winners and force errors — with their forehands.

BACKHAND
When you hit the tennis ball on your non-dominant side, you are hitting a backhand. You can hit a backhand two ways: with one hand or with two. Early on in your development as a player you have to choose one way or the other. There’s also the slice backhand, which is almost always hit with one hand, that’s used less often but is still an important shot to master.

SERVE
The serve is arguably the most difficult shot in tennis to learn because there are so many moving parts of the body that must act together. A serve is the first shot that’s hit in any point played during a match. For high-level player, the serve is almost always a weapon. As you progress, you should win most of your service games — called holding serve.

RETURN OF SERVE
The return of serve, as you may have guessed, is the receiver’s first shot in any point. For some strange reason it’s rarely practiced despite being extremely important. The key to this shot lies in the specialized footwork you need and (typically) abbreviated groundstroke mechanics.

FOOTWORK
Footwork is one of the most important parts of the game. Moving to the ball and recovering after each shot correctly is absolutely critical — great forehand or backhand technique means nothing if you can’t get to the ball. Great footwork is a skill shared by all of the top pros on tour.

NET PLAY
This section encompasses the shots you hit when at net. Specifically, the volleys and overheads. These shots are important because they allow you to end points quickly. Unlike groundstroke rallies, which can be long exchanges, when you come to net you are looking to keep points short.

TRANSITIONAL GAME
The transitional game allows you to move to net from the baseline. It’s often an overlooked ability. There are a number of ways to get to net and the tactics and shots you select depend on a number of factors. The ability to transition from the baseline to the net is incredibly important because it adds significant offensive capabilities to one’s game.

PRO MATCH ANALYSIS
The videos in this section provide a detailed breakdown of some of the biggest professional tennis matches this past year. This includes analysis of the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open finals.

STRATEGY QUIZZES
The quizzes are comprised of two videos. The first video poses a question and asks you to respond in the comments below. The video provides our answer.