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Beginners and Rusty Racquet Players

If you are a new member  welcome!

We have new members joining on a regular basis. So you are not alone! Some new members have played tennis for years, and others are just picking up a racket for the first time or after a very long time. But all MLTC members have one thing in common- we were all new members once upon a time.

Getting Started – Induction

All new members should go through the Induction class at the Club. You’ll learn about MLTC, rules and etiquette of tennis,  and be assigned a rating by the coaches.

Depending on your rating and feedback from coaches you might already play an experienced level, and will learn about how members can mix in with a variety of club session activities.

If you are a new player or haven’t played in a long time. you will need some help to develop the fundamentals so that you can join in with general club session activities.

Three goals for new members to aim for at MLTC

1) Ability

You need to have some fundamental tennis strokes mastered to play tennis at a reasonable level including:

  • serve and have the ball land in the service box reasonably consistently.
  • sustain a rally with your forehand stroke for a few shots, and
  • sustain a rally with your backhand stroke for a few shots.

To help develop fundamentals, MLTC offers  a new player course called rusty rackets, coaching, and through practicing what you learning in coaching on a court with friends, coaches, or a ball machine. You can practice tennis strokes anywhere you can take a step and swing a racket- even without a ball or a court. You can watch youtube tennis instruction videos, you can read internet based guides on improving your game. There are many resources that MLTC wants to point our members towards- but how quickly you develop your ability is very much up to you.

2) Positive Attitude and Confidence

You should do your best to maintain a positive confident attitude as a new player if you want to improve as quickly as possible.

Everyone agrees that your best tennis is played when you are relaxed and comfortable on the court, and  have a good idea of what to expect around you during the points and between the points. This means that taking time to learn and understand the rules of tennis and the etiquette around the court before you go onto court will help to increase your confidence on court. Thats something every new member can easily do when not on the court.

Most new players’ confidence improves as their ability improves, so ability and confidence are linked.  But it it also true that cultivating a positive attitude at all times actually improves how well you play too, which in turn will increase your confidence.

So when on court, practise a positive attitude of clearing away all thoughts except what you want to do with the next ball- on every point.  Here’s why – you can never do anything more on a point that has been played except learn and adjust if necessary, but you can do an infinite number of things with the next point.  Later on, you’ll run into countless situations on the court where your concentration will be tested – whether its ball called out when it was clearly in, or a distracting activity on the next court, a thoughtless remark by another player, or a self-critical thought in your head.

This is extremely hard to do as a new player,  so takes your conscious effort from the beginning. You’re not alone though- the difference between the winners and almost winners of most tennis tournaments were not necessarily the ones with best ability, but the ones that didn’t dwell on mistakes or distractions, but gave their all to the next point to be played.

So every social play opportunity is an opportunity for you to practice clearing your mind of distractions, think about what you want to do with each shot, and not beating yourself up over every missed shot, and just encouraging yourself to do your very best on the next play.

3) Meet New Tennis Partners

There are lots of members at the club who are reasonably similar level to you, and might really want to be able to arrange some practise sessions as much as you do, or “share” a coaching session with you. You’ll definitely meet them at Induction, Rusty Racquets and other activities and events at the club. MLTC will also be doing a few things to help make this happen to.

MLTC New Member Development Resources to Explore

Rusty Racquet Course

MLTC  has “rusty racquet” (click here) sessions now that covers the fundamentals of tennis strokes and moving around the court to help beginners and players who need to brush up on their tennis strokes before going into general club session play. This course helps players develop (or remember) sufficient ability to serve and rally on the forehand and backhand.


Arranging coaching one to one, or with your friends is an important step to improve your tennis generally. Sometimes its fundamentals and sometimes its a specific area of your tennis game that might hold you back.

You will improve when you  get out on the court and just hit the ball with others.  It is great to see new members who come to Induction and Rusty Racquets and then arrange to meet other new members to hit with.

Ball Machine

A ball machine is available at the club by prior arrangement with the Administrator. Its best to use the ball machine initially with an experienced club member or coach who can show you how to operate it and use it to practise effectively.

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