How To Start Playing Tennis

What equipment do I need?

Ultimately tennis requires two pieces of equipment (as long as we are ignoring the court and the net!): rackets and balls.

Tennis rackets can range in cost from a few pounds to hundreds, depending on both the frame and the strings. Initially, you may not want to spend too much money on a fancy racket whilst you see if the sport is right for you.

You can always invest in something more expensive later on when you know more about your playing style, which will influence your choice (for example, some racket head shapes and string layouts favour spin, others help generate more power).

Don’t worry too much about what you are wearing to start with – shorts and T-shirts are fine, or tracksuits etc. As long as you are comfortable. As with rackets, you can invest in more expensive/technical trainers when you have decided that tennis is for you.

Tennis rackets with junior tennis balls

When joining a club, it is worth asking them if they have any rackets which you could use initially. You may be able to try out the sport without the need to by any equipment at all. At Bubwith we have a range of rackets in different sizes for adults and juniors to use.

As for tennis balls, again the club may be able to provide a few for you to use (usually used match balls). But even decent balls are not prohibitively expensive – but do spend a little money on them rather than going for the super cheap ones which may not bounce well or last long.

For juniors, there are various different ball types depending on the players age, which are softer and, in some cases, larger than those which older juniors and adults will use. Members at Bubwith have access to various types of balls which can be borrowed at no additional cost.

How do I choose which tennis club to join?

There are a number of clubs of all sizes across the country so it is likely that you will find one within a few miles of you. Initially you will want to consider a few which are the most convenient for where you live or work.

Ideally, you will want a club which is affiliated with the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) which will provide the assurance that the club is well run, with both safeguarding and insurance in place. To find LTA affiliated clubs near you, simply visit the “find a tennis court” section on LTA’s website, put in your postcode and you will be given a list of your closest tennis clubs.

From there you will be able to see what each club offers, how many courts they have, what playing surface(s) they have and if coaching is available. You may also want to check how much it costs to become a member as it can vary substantially from one club to another. There are often family memberships which offer great value for money, In some clubs, such as at Bubwith, there can be free membership options for young children and their parents/guardians.

In terms of playing surface, there is no reason to worry too much when you are beginning. There are three main surfaces used in the UK: hard courts, astroturf/artificial grass and grass. All have their pros and cons. With grass, ensure that the courts are well maintained. Some grass courts can give an uneven bounce which may be problematic when learning.

If you are hoping to play tennis throughout the year, you will need a club with indoor courts or with floodlights on outdoor courts. The other thing to consider is court availability – there may be a lot of courts, but if there is also a lot of members, will there usually be a court available at the times you want to play?

Most clubs will be happy to show you around before you join, so don’t be scared to ask.

Tennis coaching for beginners

For beginner’s tennis coaching, you may want to start with group coaching sessions. Whilst it can feel a little more intimidating, you will be with others who are starting out too and you will learn together. Having others who are in the same situation will help you to enjoy it more and can act as motivation as you all strive to improve together. Group sessions are also cheaper than private sessions – though private sessions may be worthwhile later to perfect specific elements as your game develops over time.

There are usually specific sessions for new players, or players who have not picked up a racket for a while – often referred to as Rusty Rackets – so you won’t be thrown into the deep end.

Whilst many clubs would require you to be a member to attend coaching (and there is likely to be an additional cost for lessons), many will be happy for you to attend a few sessions before joining to see what you think and get a feel for the club. It is important that you feel happy with the coach and that they have the right personality type to help you make those first tentative steps into tennis.

Young players receive help at the 24 hour tennis marathon 2021

Away from coaching, many clubs will offer social sessions and club nights. These typically are open sessions when any member can turn up and everyone plays with/against everyone, irrespective of standard. They are a great way to develop your game and enjoy tennis. Plus, you get to meet more people which will help you feel more a part of club and make it a social experience.

These sessions can help you to decide if this is the right club for you; if the members aren’t particularly welcoming, you may want to give somewhere else a go, even if it is a little further away.

Get playing tennis at Bubwith Tennis Club

If you are ready to look into tennis a little more, we’d be more than happy to welcome you to Bubwith Tennis Club. Get in touch via our contact page or through messenger and we can arrange to show you the club and put you in touch with our coach should you want to.

Wherever you decide on playing tennis, we hope that you enjoy learning how to play and go on to enjoy the sport for many years to come.

Jug & Bottle, Bubwith
The White Swan, Bubwith

Bubwith Tennis Club is kindly sponsored by The Jug & Bottle at Bubwith and The White Swan at Bubwith.