We’ve all heard someone say, “It’s too late, I’m too old,” when it comes to tackling something new. It’s not uncommon to fear feeling like an amateur or dancing outside your comfort zone. Even if you’re guilty of this kind of thinking, we have some great news if you are thinking about taking up tennis as an adult. Read on!

Tennis is a sport you can learn to play at any age. We promise. All it takes is the courage to pick up a racquet. Again, we promise. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions on how to painlessly introduce the game to that voice in your head that’s been holding you back.

1. Watch a few how-to videos

What better way to get acquainted with the basics than with some good ol’ fashioned how-to videos? YouTube is a fantastic resource when it comes to finding step-by-step instruction on how to achieve certain shots. As a bonus, these video guides will give you a sense of body movement and form even before picking up a racquet. If you reading is more your speed, check out some articles that break down all of the various components of the sport. If nothing else, you’ll feel more confident your first time on-court if you’re using the right lingo. You can fake it until you make it by starting here.

2. Take a private lesson

Playing in front of others your first time out is intimidating, and there’s no shame in wanting to get started without an audience. Contact your local club and schedule a private lesson with the club’s pro. Even if you only commit to one class, you’re sure to be more inclined to say yes the next time a friend asks if you want to play!

3. Ask a friend

Have a friend that plays tennis? Pick up the phone. Your friends are your friends for a reason — they won’t judge your need for a little improvement. So, if you have a friend that has played before, call them and move your next friend date to a local court. No harm in playing catch-up while casually hitting a ball back-and-forth.

4. Join a club

No friends that play tennis? No problem. Tennis clubs are packed with people of all skill levels — for real! Head down, mingle, and get a sense of the club’s adult programs for beginners. Who knows? You may come out of the experience with a stronger forehand and a new friend!

5. Hit A wall – in a good way

Learning a new skill set isn’t a total walk in the park and it will take a little practice. Don’t be discouraged, you are definitely not alone. For those times that you are alone and feel like a taking a break from your everyday, find a wall and pick up a racquet. You’ll be surprised how relaxing it is to just knock a ball around. Even better, that wall will likely be your stiffest competition, so rest assured after a few games with that old thing, playing with people will feel like a breeze.

Ready to get started? Use our courtfinder to find a court or club near you.