If the ball is relatively close to you on either side, forehand or backhand, it’s a fairly simple matter to get sideways and skip into position with your racquet back. But on a wide hit ball, you actually have to run to the ball. So you may have little time to position yourself and hit smoothly. To make the best shot possible, take big running strides to get close to the ball, then, smaller, rapid, stutter steps to get into final position. Your racquet should be going back as you run and your last step should be toward the oncoming ball with your forward foot. If you can help it, you should not be running as you hit the ball because your body weight will be going sideways and you’ll keep on going after you’ve made contact. So try to get to the ball with time to spare, enough for you to pause before you begin swinging. Doing this will enable you to recover and get back into good position for your next shot.
This lesson and illustration is an excerpt from Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids