The Beginning Lessons of Tennis

Ever wondered what your children are learning in their tennis lessons? If so, here are a few of the analogies and pneumonic learning tips that I use for the beginners I teach. I typically teach kids as young as three and a half and as old as eight years old. By using analogies and pneumonic learning, the children can relate to tennis terms as opposed to learning the technical jargon that we (tennis pros) all use. Here are some of the main analogies beginner tennis players are learning with me:

Introducing the Racquet

When introducing the racquet, I try to stress the importance of where the racket head and where the racquet butt are. This is helpful for when beginners are turning to hit a forehand or a backhand. The head is up, the butt is down, and the head goes down low and comes back up high.

High Low High Tribe of Swinging

I tell the kids that there are many Native American tribes and they’re going to be a member of a new one called the High Low Highs. They will say the High Low Highs? I tell them, “Yes, when you turn your racket to swing, you will go High, Low, High.” Therefore, they are learning the beginning motion needed for even advanced players.

Clock Analogy

I find this particularly useful for 7-10 year old students. If the kids can picture a clock as a circular item, I ask them if they can tell time. If they say yes, which most of them will, I ask them what number is at the top. Someone will invariably say 12 o’clock. Therefore, I can tell them when they swing, they should go high low high and point to 12 o’clock with their forehand or backhand then go over their shoulder.

Lift the Ball

When teaching kids how to lift the ball, I use rhyme. In our lessons, we first do something that rhymes with burn… turn! Then, we to do something that rhymes with pop…drop! Finally, we to do something that rhymes with swift…lift! Therefore, when learning the swing all beginners have to do is turn, drop, lift in addition to the high, low, high method and the high, low swing method (clock analogy) above.

Follow Through

When teaching follow through, I ask children what three things should be visible. First, the racket butt over the shoulder. Secondly, the lead elbow should be visible. Finally, the smelly armpit. We (Narberth and Gulph Mills Tennis Pros) are taught through Coach Steve Smith and The Great Base Initiative to air the armpit. Therefore, at the end of their swing, each player learns that three things should be visible: butt, elbow, and armpit.

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Narberth Tennis Club

612 Montgomery Ave.
Narberth, PA 19072

Tel: 610.664.2696




Gulph Mills Tennis Club

610 S. Henderson Rd
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Tel: 610.265.3677



Club Hours

The club is open 7 days a week. From 6:30am to 8pm.

Summer hours may vary

Call for availability.

The club requires 24 hour notice of cancellation or full payment is due. Clinic groups and matches are formed according to ability and age. We ask that you please respect the pro’s evaluation in matching you with other players. Proper tennis attire is required on court. Shoes must have non-marking soles. The club reserves the right to dismiss without refund anyone whose conduct is detrimental to the enjoyment of the other players. There is one make-up clinic allowed per session. There are no carryovers to the next season.


Liability Waiver: By signing the club agreement, you acknowledge that you or your child are physically fit to participate in any program and further agrees that all exercise and use of all facilities shall be undertaken by his or her sole risk. You agree that JKST, Inc. shall not be liable for claims, demands, injuries, damages or suits of any nature for injuries or his or her property arising out of resulting from use of the services and/or facilities of JKST, Inc.


Loss Waiver: I agree that the Club is not responsible for damage to or loss of my or my child’s personal property while at the Club premises or damage to or loss of my motor vehicle while parked on Club’s lot.