Do you find playing against the wall boring?
One of our subscribers asked me how to make the best of wall practice – get a good workout while improving his tennis skills.
So here’s the advice I gave him, and a few drills to consider:
“If I had a wall to work with only, I would focus on conditioning, accuracy, and ball feel. That means hitting a lot of balls (pick a number that you consider challenging), without making a mistake, aiming them at a certain spot assigned on the wall.
Every time I practice against the wall, I draw a circle/square on it (if there wasn’t one already) and try hitting a certain number of balls into that area (I usually go for 15, 20, or 25).
A Word of Caution:
Do not stay too close to the wall because the ball comes back sooner than you would if you were rallying with someone over a net – that means your strokes technique will be rushed, your arm will become tense, and your follow-through/finish will be shortened.
Instead, stay further back and, if you want, let the ball bounce twice so that you have more time to relax your arm on every shot.
Another aspect you can practice is footwork and conditioning (see the first drill below).
Here are a few drills that you can do against the wall:
1) Hit the ball straight ahead and move your position side to side, alternating one forehand and then one backhand. Your legs will soon be tired and you’ll get excellent cardio.
2) Practice the transition from the imaginary baseline to the net – hit 3-4 groundstrokes, then move up to take the ball right off the bounce (half-volley) and advance closer to the wall where you take the ball in the air (volleys).
3) Serve, then move up to take the next ball as a half-volley, and continue towards the wall where you will practice volleys (practice serve-and-volley).
You can be creative with your wall workout, but keep in mind to NOT stay too close to the wall because you’ll become tense and rush your technique.”
Do YOU have any suggestions to get the best out of the tennis wall practice? Share it with us in the comment box below.
Certified Tennis Coach
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