Not sure if tennis is right for you? Or have you decided you want to play, but don't know how to begin? Whatever step you're on, here's all the information you need to start your tennis journey!

Tennis is Fun

As an individual sport, you only need one other person to play. The idea of whacking a ball as a way to have some laughs is certainly true. Finding someone else who is looking to try it out is not hard to do. Sure, at first getting the ball over the net and hitting it back and forth will take some effort, but having some laughs at trying something new is part of the game.

Tennis Courts are Everywhere

Playing outdoors is easy. Most schools and parks have a court or two. If the court has a net and some lines you are good to go. Here is the best part: they are free for everyone. You don’t need a reservation or appointment. Just walk on and start hitting. Many tennis courts have a wall with a line painted at net height for individuals who simply want to bang it around for practice

If you belong to a golf or swim club, normally their members are not charged for the tennis courts. Check with your club for your specific rules. Indoor courts are usually part of clubs that charge for court time. But sometimes colleges have indoor courts the public can use for free if students are not using the facilities.

Tennis is Great Exercise

Of course it's always good to get out into the fresh air. But there are specific health benefits (see your doctor) from tennis including:

    • Cardio - moving around the court elevates the heart rate.

    • Strength training - while a racquet is not heavy, the many reps increases strength in the shoulder, arm, back, and legs.

    • Interval training - moving quickly to get to the ball followed by brief pauses between points is classic interval work.

    • Cross training - if you are a runner or a gym focused weight trainer, tennis is a great way to work muscles in a whole different way.

    • Lower body exercise - hitting the ball works not only the arm, but also legs and back. Moving forward and backward and side to side works your entire lower body.

    • Upper body exercise - whichever hand is your natural side will get more work than the other side, but the rotation of the racquet will strengthen the upper body.

    • Off-season workouts - if you are a skier or winter sport enthusiast, tennis will keep you in shape over the summer.

Your Tennis Racquet

There are a few things you should think about when purchasing your first tennis racquet:

  • Consider buying a lighter weight beginner racquet (under 9.5 oz.).

    Starting at around $25 for a kid’s racquet, beginners can pay as much as $150 (but most cost considerably less). They come in two categories:

    Pre-strung -
    if purchased from a high quality store like, a pre-strung racquet is likely all you need. It will save you money and get you playing right away. After playing with it for a while, you can get it re-strung. This will increase your ability to make different shots.

    Unstrung -
    for a bit more money you can buy one without strings and have strings installed lasting you for an entire season.

  • Get the right grip size.

    Getting this right will save wear and tear on your elbow, arm and shoulder. Follow our advice on How to Measure Tennis Racquet Grip Size. Call us if you aren’t sure.

  • Pay attention to heady size/length.

    If you are making a bigger investment in equipment, some racquets are made with bigger head sizes and/or longer lengths making it easier to make contact and return the ball. These racquets also have bigger sweet spots making it easier to hit good shots.

These are great starting points in purchasing your first racquet. For more detailed guides, you may wish to visit our Tennis Racquet Buying Guide or Kids Tennis Racquet Buying Guide.

Tennis Balls

Our Tennis Ball Buying Guide will tell you all you need to know. But here are a couple of quick tips:

  • For your first couple of times on the court, buy the red or orange practice balls. They are made for you! With a slightly larger size and lower pressure, they are easier to hit and control. No need to try hitting from the baseline (farthest back line). Just get on the court with your partner and hit comfortably.

  • Once you can hit the ball easily over the net several times, you are ready for the regular duty greenish balls. With these balls, you will be able to hit from all over the court.

Learning the Game of Tennis

Many people benefit from taking lessons. Many communities have free or low priced programs for beginners. Take advantage of free clinics. Tell a friend who is an experienced player of your interest. She/he will be happy to get out and hit with you. Sometimes, tennis clubs will have introductory programs to encourage new players to get in the game. Generally, you don’t have to be a member and costs are reasonable. There are jillions of videos on-line giving you incredible amounts of detail if that is what you want. There are also great tips and clinics on the Tennis Channel which can be seen on cable or by streaming. But the best way to learn is to grab a racquet and go out and hit.

Meeting Other Tennis Players

If you don’t know anyone who plays, there are plenty of options for you. Clubs are great for matching up players of similar skills. Various on-line sites exist to connect players. There are even dating sites dedicated to singles looking for tennis partners and who are trying to expand their social circle.Your friends at are here to get you all set up with racquets, balls, shoes and any gear you need. Our Learning Center is packed with great information and advice for you to check out. The most important part is to have fun! Why not get out there and give it a try today?

Still not sure? Check out our Learning Center for all you need to know about Tennis, Pickleball, Racquetball, and more!