Fundamentals Review: Introduction

This blog introduces a new series of blogs that will cover the fundamentals we all need to review as we grow as tennis players.


In Okinawan Karate when an individual passes the test for “Shodan” they receive their first degree black belt. What’s interesting about the word “Shodan”, is that it means beginning. That’s quite an interesting term to use, Shodan. After 5 to 10 years of hard training, in Okinawan Karate, they believe your training is just beginning. Here at Blackbelt Tennis we believe the same: Never stop learning, never stop improving, start at the beginning, master the fundamentals.

With October already on us, and the start of the fall tennis season, there is no better time to start going back to the beginning, building upon that foundation of solid fundamentals. In the upcoming months, we at Blackbelt Tennis will begin a series on what we feel are the fundamentals to all of the specific strokes in the tennis game. We will be laying out the basic principles of each stroke and the essential parts to master.

There is a common denominator of top athletes, and that common denominator is they have learned to master the fundamentals of their sport. Recently I watched a documentary on the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He was working with a movement coach on his throwing mechanics, breaking down each specific element of his throwing motion to make it more effective and efficient. He was working the fundamentals. He spent 30 minutes just learning to rotate his hip properly. Amazing! Arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time, at 40 years old, still wanting to master the fundamentals. SHODAN!

So get prepared, be a student of the game, master the fundamentals, and once you feel you’ve mastered them, start over again. It’s a journey, never stop learning. Blackbelt Tennis is here to help, so stay tuned. SHODAN!