Get in Top Playing Shape with These Cardio Tennis Drills

STACK Expert Steve Green recommends three cardio tennis drills to keep you in top shape and improve your skills on the court.

Cardio Tennis Drills

Cardio tennis drills are important for every athlete who hits the court. Conditioning is often the difference between a win and a loss. No one wants to lose because they're out of shape.

Cardio Tennis Drills

Below are three cardio tennis drills that will challenge even the fittest player.

Mirror Drill

This drill does not require a racquet or tennis balls, only a partner.

  • Stand opposite your partner at the middle "T" of the court.
  • Your partner shouts a direction and moves to that side.
  • Move in the opposite direction from your partner until your partner shouts a change.
  • Keep changing directions long enough to simulate the duration of an average volley.

Not only will you improve your cardio, you will also work on your reaction speed.

Ball Chases

  • Stand at the middle of the baseline and have a partner toss tennis balls anywhere on the court.
  • As soon as a ball is in the air, take off and catch it on the first bounce, much like you would hit a ball during a match.
  • After regular ball chases, switch to ball chases with your racquet.
  • Have your partner hit approach shots to various places on the court.
  • Sprint to the ball and focus on hitting a clean shot back over the net.

During this drill, think of Rafael Nadal charging across the court and hitting a winner from beyond the sideline. In addition to working your cardio, you'll also practice hitting shots. Perform chases both with and without your racquet for three to five rounds each, using as many balls as available.

Ground Stroke/Volley Drill

This drill is a slight variation of Ball Chases, emphasizing only ground strokes and volleys.

  • Stand at the baseline and have a partner feed you a ground stroke.
  • Your return shot should be a ground stroke as well (for an added challenge, focus your returns at a specific spot on the court).
  • Immediately following your ground stroke, run up the court and take the next shot out of the air as a volley.
  • Sprint back to the baseline and take another ground stroke.
  • Repeat this back-and-forth until your partner hits an entire basket of balls your way.
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