7-Minute Cross Drill to Improve Your Footwork

Ivan Lendl once said "it doesn't matter how good your shots are if you can't get to the ball."

His court training routines helped make him one of the greatest tennis players at that time. 

More: 7 Exercises for Fitter Feet

Lendl understood great footwork improves your timing, power and accuracy and cuts down on your unforced error count.

Footwork is the secret weapon that improves all of your game regardless of your age, gender or playing standard without you having to change a single shot.

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Look at the top players right now, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray and you'll find four great movers around the court. It's no accident these professional tennis players are at the top of the rankings.

Here's a 7-minute cross drill to improve your footwork.

Set the cones up as shown in the diagram below with cones 1,2,3 and 4 about 3 meters from the home cone named H.

You will always start and finish a movement at cone H (apart from drill 7). The movements to the other cones are as follows.

  • Home to cone 1 and back to cone H are with side shuffles.
  • Home to cone 2 and back to cone H are with side shuffles.
  • Home to cone 3 and back to cone H are with a run forwards to cone 3 and backwards to cone H so you are always facing the net;
  • Home to cone 4 and back to cone H are with a backwards side shuffle to cone 4 and a run forwards back to cone H.

Follow the schedule for a killer tennis footwork session that will only take about 7 minutes to complete.

More: Move Like Federer With This 5-Step Footwork Drill

It will quickly improve the way you get to your basic shots (forehand, backhand, volley and smash) and impact the way you hit those shots in a positive way.

Schedule (take a 20-second break between each drill)

1. H1H (Home/Cone 1/Home), H2H, H3H, H4H

2. H1H, H3H, H2H, H4H

3. H2H, H1H, H4H, H3H

4. H2H, H3H, H1H, H4H

5. H4H, H3H, H1H, H2H

6. H3H, H4H, H2H, H1H

7. H1234H

Footwork cross drill

An alternative to the drill is to grab your racquet and shadow a shot when you get to the cones.

For a right-hander at cone 1 you would shadow a backhand, at cone 2 a forehand, at cone a 3 volley and at cone 4 an overhead/smash.

More: Kickass Pre-Match Warmup

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About the Author

Paul Gold

Paul Gold has been involved in enhancing the performance of tennis players of all levels from beginners to touring professionals for more than 20 years.. For Paul's free mini-course footwork video, visit footwork4tennis.com.

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