A Comprehensive Guide to the 6 Basic Strokes in Tennis

The 6 basic strokes in tennis are forehand, backhand, volley, serve, overhead smash, and drop shot. These strokes are fundamental in a tennis player’s arsenal and are used to control the ball during a match.

Mastering these strokes requires practice, technique, and coordination. Whether it’s the powerful forehand or the delicate drop shot, each stroke has its own purpose and requires specific skills.

We will explore each stroke in detail, discussing its key characteristics and offering tips on how to improve your technique.

By understanding the basics of these strokes, you can enhance your performance on the tennis court and become a more well-rounded player.

Forehand Stroke

The forehand stroke in tennis requires proper grip and hand positioning for optimal performance. It is essential to have a solid swing technique and follow-through to achieve accurate shots and generate power.

To improve accuracy and power, consider a few helpful tips.

Focus on your footwork and stance, as this will greatly affect your shot placement. Practice hitting the ball at different heights and speeds to develop versatility.

Additionally, maintaining a relaxed grip and a loose wrist will allow for better racquet control.

Remember to keep your eye on the ball and maintain good body rotation throughout your swing.

By following these guidelines and dedicating time to practice, you can master the forehand stroke and enhance your overall tennis game.

Backhand Stroke

The backhand stroke in tennis can be executed with either one hand or two hands on the racket handle. To perform this stroke effectively, correct footwork and body positioning are crucial.

Players can choose to hit the backhand with topspin or slice for different shot variations.

The backhand stroke is an essential part of a player’s technique and can greatly impact their game.

By mastering the different grips and techniques associated with the backhand stroke, players can enhance their overall performance on the court. Whether opting for a one-handed or a two-handed backhand, developing a solid foundation is vital for success in tennis.


A powerful serve in tennis relies on mastering the technique by developing consistent toss and strategic placement. The serve is one of the basic strokes in tennis that requires precision and power.

A good toss sets the foundation for a strong serve, ensuring accuracy and control.

It is essential to practice and refine the toss to achieve consistency. Additionally, understanding the strategy behind placement and spin can enhance the effectiveness of your serve.

Placement involves strategically aiming the ball in specific areas of the court to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses or gain an advantage.

Spin, on the other hand, adds deception and unpredictability to your serve. By combining these elements, you can improve your serve and gain an edge in tennis matches.


Volley is an essential stroke in tennis that requires proper grip and hand positioning. It involves quick footwork and positioning at the net to intercept the ball.

Mastering volleys can give players a competitive advantage by allowing them to control the pace and direction of the game.

Many players struggle with volleys, but with practice and focus on the fundamentals, it is possible to improve this stroke. The grip should be firm yet relaxed, allowing for quick adjustments.

Hand positioning is crucial for stability and control. Staying light on the feet and being ready to move in any direction is important when playing volleys.

By consistently working on these aspects, players can enhance their volley skills and become more confident at the net. So, let’s get started and have some solid volleys in your tennis game!

Overhead Smash

The overhead smash in tennis requires perfect timing and optimal positioning for optimal contact. This stroke combines power and accuracy to execute a powerful shot.

Players often utilize the overhead smash during matches to gain an advantage over their opponents.

It is a formidable weapon that can be used to control the game and score important points. Whether executed with a forehand or backhand grip, the overhead smash is a fundamental skill that every tennis player should master.

Practice and repetition are key to perfecting this stroke and adding it to your arsenal of tennis techniques.

So, get out on the court and start practicing your overhead smash today!


The lob stroke is an essential defensive technique in tennis. To execute a successful lob shot, players should focus on a few key techniques.

Firstly, maintain a firm grip on the racket and use an open-faced angle to create height.

Secondly, provide a strong upward swing motion while making contact with the ball.

Lastly, aim to land the lob shot deep in the opponent’s court to reduce their chances of attacking. Knowing when and how to use the lob stroke is crucial.

It can be particularly effective when your opponent is near the net or when you find yourself in a defensive position.

By mastering the lob stroke, players can add more versatility and strategy to their game. Practice and experimentation are key to perfecting this essential tennis stroke.


To master the game of tennis, it is essential to become proficient in the six basic strokes. These strokes are the foundation of your game and mastering them will significantly improve your performance on the court.

With practice and dedication, you can develop strong forehands and backhands, powerful serves, accurate volleys, and effective overhead shots.

Understanding the proper technique and executing the strokes with precision is crucial for success in any tennis match.

By incorporating these strokes into your training regimen, you can enhance your overall game and gain a competitive edge against opponents.

So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, make sure to focus on improving your skills in these basic strokes.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and the more you work on these strokes, the better you will become on the tennis court.

Moaz Bin Saiful is the lead writer of Surprise Sports, who covers all the tennis-related news. He is fond of sports, and he also has his own blog where he writes about different tactics on how to play tennis better.