Recovery Footwork 101

January 26, 2022

While stroke technique gets a lot of attention, strong footwork is vital to being a great tennis player. It’s especially important when it comes to recovering back to the center of the court quickly and efficiently.

Solid recovery steps are key to better defense, and have a positive ripple effect on your entire performance, ensuring that you’re balanced when you strike the ball.

Ready to move like Federer on the court? CA tennis coach Danny Ahn breaks down the basics of those recovery movements — the side step, crossover step and crossback step — to help you take your footwork to the next level!


Side step

Side steps are exactly what they sound like — a way to stay active as you move laterally. An effective side step helps you keep your rhythm, recover quickly and return to the center of the court. This is one of the most common recovery movements, and one that makes for an easy transition into the split step.

Here’s a side step demo:

Crossover step

The crossover step is an efficient way to set yourself up for a side step, keeping your chest facing the net. This one is helpful for covering more ground; for instance, it comes in handy when you’re pushed out wide on the court and need to recover quickly.

Here’s a crossover step demo:

Crossback step

In the crossback step, you take your outside foot backwards to recover. This movement is perfect for when you’re inside the court and your recovery point is behind you.

Here’s a crossback demo:

Come play tennis at CA

CA has 37 available courts across five tennis clubs, open to members and non-members. We also offer programs and classes for tennis players of all ages and experience levels, including adult beginners. We’d love to see you on the court!

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