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Last Updated: Tuesday June 17 2003 11:05 GMT

Ten top tips from tennis coach Stuart

Tennis coach Stuart
Stuart Silvester is a professional tennis coach and even "double-egged" Tim Henman when he was at school! That means he beat him 6-0 6-0.

He's taken time out of his busy schedule to give CBBC Newsround's website 10 top tennis tips.

  • Getting a racquet
    There are loads to choose from. You can get a kid's racquet for about 10. It's important that you get a racquet to match your hand and body size. Ask for advice from the sales assistant.

  • Warm-up
    Make sure you warm up before you play. Jog around the court a few times and do some stretches - focusing on your arms and legs.

  • Skill exercises
    Do some co-ordination exercises. Try bouncing the ball on your racquet, or against the floor. Walk around with the ball on your racquet.

  • Playing
    Now you're ready to play! Make sure you turn sideways when receiving shots - then you can move your hips to do both forehands and backhands.

  • Hitting the ball
    Aim to hit the ball at waist height. Once the ball has bounced, it's easier to hit the ball when it's falling - that's when it's going down after it's reached the highest point in the air.

  • Serving
    The action of the serve is the same as doing an overarm throw - it's just that you've got a racquet instead of ball! When throwing the ball up for a serve, keep your arm straight. Keep pointing at the ball once you've released it.

  • Move around!
    Tennis players need to move around the court quickly. Skipping with a rope can improve your footwork and co-ordination. Also try hopping across the lines on the court.

  • Stay refreshed
    Make sure you drink plenty of water when you're playing - especially in warm weather. If you're feeling peckish, eat a banana or an orange.

  • Warm-down
    Do a warm-down at the end of your tennis session. Jog slowly around the court and finish off with some stretches.

  • Frying pans!
    Remember! You don't need a tennis court or even a racquet to practise your tennis. Practise your serve action by throwing a ball and strengthen your arms by swinging a frying pan.

    I thought it was a joke when someone told me to do that - but it helps your balance and co-ordination!

    Just make sure there's nothing or no one in the way!

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