Get Inspired: How to get into tennis

How to get into tennis

How do I start?

  • There are over 20,000 tennis courts in the United Kingdom. Thousands of clubs and park courts will also provide racquets and balls if you don't have your own.
  • If you are looking for a singles game, find a Local Tennis League near you. There are more than 150 leagues and over 15,000 players of all levels and abilities across the UK.

What is it?

  • Serve, volley, backhand, forehand, deuce, 40-love, advantage - so many terms in tennis that may confuse those of you who have never played. But the aim of the game is pretty simple, hit a tennis ball over the net with your stringed racquet and inside the designated lines.
  • If your opponent fails to return the ball back over the net to you, you win the point. You can play with two people (one-on-one), or with four (two-on-two) on different surfaces including grass and clay.

Is it for me?

  • The simple pleasures of whacking a yellow ball over a net are not to be underestimated. It's an addictive and fun way to get fit and there are so many different options for people of all ages and abilities to take part.

What to expect when I start?

  • Tennis will give you an all-round workout and help you stay fit, building your leg muscles as you run around the court.
  • You will also improve your hand-eye co-ordination skills and work your arm and shoulder muscles as you hit and return the ball.
  • The British weather isn't the most reliable, but there are many options to play indoors.
  • The Lawn Tennis Association have a number of different schemes such as Go Hit It, Tennis Tuesdays and Advantage tennis training, to help you improve.
  • Touchtennis is a good place to start for adults. It takes place on a smaller court, with 21-inch racquets, foam balls and can be played on any flat space, indoors or outside.
  • Cardio tennis is a sociable fitness class where you get to hit tennis balls whilst listening to music.
  • For children aged four to 11, Tennis for Kids offers a six-week course and racquet, balls and personalised t-shirt for £25.
  • There is also LTA Minis Tennis for children aged between three and 10-years-old, with smaller courts, smaller nets, smaller racquets and lower-bouncing balls.
  • Wheelchair tennis can be played on any regular tennis court, with no modifications to racquets or balls and there are many different options for those with other disabilities to play tennis. The Tennis Foundation cater for and champion wheelchair tennis, and also offer subsidised camps featuring learning disability, deaf, and visually-impaired tennis.
  • Great British Tennis Weekend on 21-22 July sees clubs and venues open their doors to enable anyone to try tennis for free! Simply find your nearest venue and book onto a session here.

To get you in the mood ...

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'Tennis saved my life'

Are you inspired to try tennis? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visiting us on Facebook or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

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