Tennis for Beginners

Taking part in tennis is a great way to stay active and healthy whilst having a good time. A group of friends can enjoy a game of doubles tennis, or you can play singles. Anyone can play, which makes it the perfect game for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your motivation or ability is, anyone can pick up a racquet and start playing.

Tennis can seem a bit intimidating at first, as it requires a lot of skill, but here are some tennis for beginners tips to get you started.

What equipment do I need to play tennis?


Beginners won’t need to spend much on expensive tennis racquets. It is possible to find cheap tennis racquets online or even in a charity shop if you are willing to look for a second-hand one.

It’s always possible to splash out on a brand-new tennis racquet when you feel more confident with your playing skills.

Tennis balls

You don’t have to spend much money on tennis balls either. You could get some second-hand ones whilst you are getting the feel of the game.

Top Tip: Get a lot of balls. You’ll be hitting plenty, and you don’t really want to keep picking up the same one over and over again. Having a few balls spare means you can keep the game going without too much delay.

What should I wear when playing tennis?

If you wanted to look really professional, you could wear all white like the pros at Wimbledon. But to be honest, comfort is key when playing tennis.

You’ll be doing lots of running around, so you will need flexible and loose clothing like shorts, leggings, and t-shirts. You can get some tennis shoes, but the important thing is to wear comfortable supportive shoes to minimise injury.

But basically, there are no set rules about what to wear. Just wear whatever feels comfortable and doesn’t affect your game!

Where can I play tennis?

If you are looking for a place to practise tennis, a tennis court is obviously the best place to use. If you are in the area, Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa has four tennis courts available to book!

Practising on a tennis court is definitely the best way to practice, but if you can’t get to one, don’t worry! There are some easy ways you can still practise your game.

You could practise your service in your garden or out in an open space. If you have a dog they could even be your very own ballboy… or balldog in this case!

If you have a large wall in your garden or maybe there might be one in a park, you could always practise your return by hitting a tennis ball against it. Take a few steps back so there’s enough space between you and the wall and get practising. You might not need a tennis court for practise after all!

But of course, you’ll want to hit the real thing eventually. So, when that time comes, get in touch with Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa and you can put all that practice to the test!

What are the different types of tennis strokes?

You’ll want to know the names and types of tennis strokes to give you an idea of what to practice:


This is the first stroke of the game. You throw the ball up in the air and hit it overhead so the ball lands in the opponent’s diagonal square over the net.

If you hit the net or the ball lands outside the opponent’s box, you get another go. But if it happens again, your opponent gets a point.


The forehand shot is when you hit the ball with your racquet with your palm facing the net.


The backhand is the reverse of the forehand, so the back of your hand is facing the net, rather than your palm.


The lob shot is used to hit the ball high in the air to get deep into your opponent’s area. You should use this if they are close to the net.


A volley is used when you are close to the net to push the ball just over it. This is a good shot if your opponent isn’t near the net.


The overhead is much like the serving shot, only played mid-game. If the ball bounces and is in the air, this is the perfect time to use the overhead. But be careful, they can be difficult to control!

Don’t put pressure on yourself

Like starting anything new, you won’t be a master of the craft immediately. Getting proficient at tennis takes time and practice. So, don’t beat yourself up if you keep missing the ball or over hitting, that’s all part of it.

Just keep on playing and soon enough you’ll have the skills needed to possibly take on a certain Andy Murray!

Also, don’t worry too much about the tennis scoring system or rules to begin with, just have some fun, get used to your racquet and develop your tennis skills. Once you feel more confident, you can start incorporating the rules and start playing for real.

Watch some tennis

If you are wanting to start playing tennis, we can assume you have watched plenty of tennis in your time. But now you have your tennis hat on (so to speak), next time you watch a tennis match you can focus on the players’ form, the rules, and what strokes are used.

Watching tennis with a new perspective will hopefully give you some tips and even open up the sport in a whole new way!

Tennis at Bicester Hotel Spa

Bicester Hotel and Spa has four tennis courts available for residents of the hotel, as well as members and non-members of the Bicester Gym. Our courts have floodlights, so you could carry on playing even when the sun goes down.

Booking is essential so contact 01869 229007 and speak to a member of our friendly team to book your court for one hour.

If you are looking for tennis lessons, you can contact tennis coach, Rosie Clarke at 07774 524780, or you could visit her website at Rosieclarktenniscoaching.co.uk. She can offer one-on-one coaching to help you improve your game.

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