Our Tips for Learning to Play Tennis – and Free Tuition at Moonfleet Manor Hotel
If you’ve been inspired by Wimbledon to learn to play tennis or up your game, head to Moonfleet Manor overlooking Chesil Beach in Dorset, where we’re hosting free coaching sessions run by the Weymouth Tennis Club every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 1pm throughout the school holidays. Alternatively, you can book a court at any time at Moonfleet or at its sister hotels The Ickworth in Suffolk or The Polurrian Bay in Cornwall.
Whether you’re looking to learn to play yourself or thinking of organising tennis lessons for the kids, we’ve rounded up our top tips for beginners.
• The best news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on specialist clothing – any comfortable trainers and sporty clothes will do, at least when you set out. On the other hand, racquets must have the right frame and grip size for the player.
• To check the frame, hold the racquet down to the ground – it should reach to just above the ground when your arm is straight. To check the grip size, make sure there’s a 1cm gap between your thumb and index finger when you hold the handle (slip the index finger of your other hand between the tips of your fingers and thumb to measure). Children’s rackets have a limited range of grip sizes but they can be enlarged slightly with an overgrip.
• When buying racquets, expect to pay from £30 for a graphite version – the middle-of-the-range option between aluminium and carbon-fibre composite models. If you buy secondhand, be wary of signs of wear on any one area of the frame, or frayed strings.
Learning to Play
• Tennis is relatively easy to pick up without any tuition at all, but learning the basics means you’ll get more out of your game – even if you only want to play socially or in the park with the kids.
• The same goes for regular practice – the LTA website has a handy page listing free venues to play tennis by area as well as venues hosting free coaching during Great British Tennis Weekends. See also Tennis for Free.
• Group lessons ensure you have different partners to practise against. They’re a particularly good option for kids, who love the sociable aspect of playing with others around their own age. But all ages make more progress with private lessons with LTA-licensed coaches.
• Expect to pay around £30 for an hour’s private tuition, and from about £3 for children’s group tuition.
Find out about our special offers on summer holidays and breaks.