Understanding tennis can be confusing because of the different words used to describe its elements. While mastering the vocabulary won’t give you a better serve or help you win games, it will help you understand the game. As you take to the court, you will be able to talk about the game effectively. Understanding the game is the first step to mastering it. Get started with these 5 essential terms.

5 Essential Tennis Terms for Beginners

There are many more terms to learn, but these 5 are a good place to start. Whether you’re playing youth tennis or adult tennis, before you pick up your racquet, become familiar with the following terms:

1) Stroke

Anytime you strike the ball with a racquet it’s a stroke. Strokes are categorized into different types. The three most common are: forehand, backhand, and serves.

2) Ground Stroke

When you strike a ball after it has bounced, it’s known as a ground stroke. It could be either a forehand or a backhand stroke.

3) Baseline

The very back line of the court that runs parallel to the net and meets the sidelines at 90 degree angles is the baseline. Balls hit behind the baseline are out of bounds.

4) Serve (short for Service)

The stroke that puts the ball into play for each point. The server must serve from behind the baseline anywhere between the right sideline and the center mark. The ball is tossed in the air and struck with the racquet before it bounces.

5) Spin

Spin is simply the rotation of the ball. The ball can spin forward, backward, and horizontally. Spin is used to control the direction of the ball once it hits the ground.

Learn the Terms, Practice Your Game

Memorizing tennis terms helps you understand the game. You’ll be able to listen to and understand conversation about tennis, and talk about it yourself. However, there’s no substitute for practice. Learn the terms and practice your game. Work hard, but don’t forget to have fun. For more information on tennis basics or for tennis lessons, Contact Us.