You wouldn’t try to learn to play hockey without first knowing how to skate. It just doesn’t make sense to try and learn the technical components of a pass, shot, slapshot, etc. if you don’t know how to stand up.
In tennis, since you’re not on ice and won’t fall face first into the ground for errors in footwork (thankfully), people automatically assume they know how to properly move on the court. In reality, there are efficient ways to move on the court such that you glide effortlessly from one position to another, and allow yourself maximum time to execute your shots. Federer is good -not because he is so technically superior to everyone else, but rather his footwork is fantastic.
Start with learning to skate, then learn the shots. Look into the movement and footwork lessons I’ve posted to pick up the basics, and practice the movements until they are natural. The first and last 20 minutes of every practice should be footwork.
Check out my Practice > Drills > Footwork and Movement videos for tips on how to get pro-level footwork.
People look left, look right, even up to the skies – but nobody thinks to look at their feet when trying to figure out why their tennis game sucks, or won’t level-up. In practically any sport, footwork is key. Yet in tennis, 99% of people are so engrossed with looking at the racquet and the swing, that they don’t think at all of their feet.
All club players stand around flat footed. This is why they will all be forever terrible. Your footwork affects the whole foundation from which the rest of your game is based. If you have good footwork, you will have a strong foundation to generate power consistently. If your footwork is bad, you will be off-balance at all times, feel rushed, reaching, and generally terrible. Your court positioning will be bad, you physically will not be able to generate the body movements necessary for good swings. AND you will get tired quicker than were you to be on your toes with a nice wide base and good splitstep.
If most people were to just spend 10 minutes every time they played doing some basic footwork drills during the warmup or cool-down, they would improve their game by 50-100%.