Image of woman's lower section getting ready to serve a tennis ball

One of the best aspects of tennis is that there is always something to learn, techniques to improve, and skills to strengthen. In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the tennis essentials that every player should focus on. At Gorin Tennis Academy, we offer tennis lessons designed to enhance your game and take your abilities to the next level.

We have a number of locations throughout the Bay Area, including Granite Bay, Napa Valley, San Jose/Evergreen, Sunnyvale, Walnut Creek, Novato, and Saratoga. If you live in Washington, then you’ll be excited to know that we have a brand new location in Bellevue! Contact us today to learn more about the tennis lessons we offer, and discover the Gorin difference!

1. Physical Essentials

Physical fitness is essential to any sport, and tennis is no different. Underneath the umbrella of physical essentials are four categories that we’ll dive into in order to make sure we have a clear understanding of what is needed.

General Ability

One of the most basic essentials of tennis is general athletic ability. It’s not enough to be able to hit the ball when it comes to you — you need to be able to get to the ball! If you are generally athletic, then your skills should transfer relatively easily from one sport to another. For example, a good soccer player will likely navigate the tennis court with ease due to the hours of footwork completed in soccer practice. Someone who has played baseball or softball may excel at hand-eye coordination and perform well when it comes to making contact with the ball. In fact, it’s a good idea to consider engaging in another sport during the off-season to further enhance the skills you’ll need to improve your tennis performance.


One of the factors that makes tennis players stand out from their opponents is their explosiveness. Explosiveness refers to your body’s ability to generate high-action velocity, which is attained through exercises that focus on speed strength. Sprinting is a crucial skill to have if you want to continue to improve your game. The faster that you can move and respond to the ball and your opponent, the more powerful you will become as a player. You don’t need to be a natural sprinter — you can develop explosiveness with tennis lessons at Gorin Tennis Academy.


If you’ve ever watched a tennis match, then you know how quickly players must be able to reverse their direction and still hold their balance in order to return a powerful hit. It’s relatively easy to maintain your balance when returning a ball that is directed to you, but keeping your balance when you are in a difficult situation is another matter. At Gorin Tennis Academy, our tennis lessons include drills that are specifically designed to help each athlete improve their ability to balance in any situation.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Unlike baseball and softball, where you swing towards a ball that is directed towards you, tennis requires you to coordinate your entire body so that every movement is geared towards making solid contact with the ball. Sometimes, this means stretching your body out to its full length or reaching your arm straight up and back to grab hold of a ball that is flying high. While some people definitely appear to have natural hand-eye coordination, this is one skill that can be learned and improved upon with tennis lessons at Gorin Tennis Academy.

Ball Judgement

Ball judgement refers to the ability to gauge the speed and spin of your opponent’s ball. This is another tennis essential, as it helps you determine the best way to return the ball. A misjudgement about the speed or spin of the ball could result in a wild return that costs you a point. The good news is that the more you play, the more naturally you will be able to read the ball and respond with the right return. CTA banner

2. Mental Essentials

Like most other sports, tennis has mental components that need to be developed as much as the physical components. When you’re on the court and not playing your best, or you’re struggling to remember what you need to do, the mental essentials of tennis will be the pieces that help you turn your game around.


Motivation is the key to success in almost every aspect of life. There is only so much that a coach can teach you if you are not motivated. Motivation refers to the decision to continue to push forward to find the answers no matter what hurdles may be in the way. Motivation means that even on the toughest days, you have decided that you’re going to find a way to improve, even if that means simply finishing the day’s practice. Intrinsic motivation is a key component to improving your tennis game.


Concentration on the tennis court means that you give yourself over to the process of practicing certain skills until you have mastered them. For example, if you need to work on your backhand, then you will practice the correct swing hundreds of times until the motion feels almost second-nature. Players who concentrate on improving a particular skill should not be distracted by anything else happening around them. The more you enjoy playing tennis, the easier it will be for you to concentrate during your tennis lessons.


The thrill of competition is what drives all great athletes. Unlike team sports, tennis is a one-on-one sport where you are on the court by yourself. Your coach is not allowed to coach you. You don’t have teammates to encourage you. You have to drive yourself. A strong competitive drive will serve you well on the court, push you to win, and challenge you to continually improve your skills.


During tennis practice, you can focus on improving your strokes, footwork, speed, and more. Once you are in a tennis match, however, your focus needs to be on problem-solving. You will need to walk onto the court ready to determine the best way to beat your opponent using the skills you have at that time. Unless you’ve played your opponent before, you will have to take a little bit of time in the beginning of the match to observe them so that you can determine their strengths and weaknesses and decide the best way to beat them.

At Gorin Tennis Academy, we know that there are many important things that all tennis players need to learn to improve their skills and abilities. Our tennis lessons are designed to meet your needs, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player. With locations throughout the Bay Area and Washington, be sure to select the one that is most convenient for you. Contact Gorin Tennis Academy today to schedule a tour of our facilities and learn more about what we have to offer.