Most people will probably glance over this post because the title is boring, or they figure ‘hey what do I need footwork for, I already know how to walk and run!’
But the only way to play decent tennis is to master these two simple movements. These two footwork movements are the absolute core for playing next-level tennis. You should do so many shuffle steps and karaoke steps that you don’t have to think about it. Shuffle all the way around the court 2 or 3 times before each practice, then repeat with the karaoke step. Do it after each practice as well. Do it when you’re waiting to get onto the court. If you are out going for a jog, mix in some shuffle steps and karaoke steps.
If it were up to me, before teaching any student how to hit the ball with the racquet, I’d spend full lessons doing nothing but shuffle steps and karoke steps until they were blue in the face. Until you are comfortable with shuffle steps and karaoke steps, you’re going to get squished like a grape.
So learn these movements early and you will learn everything else much quicker later on.