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How To Practice Tennis Alone

How To Practice Tennis Alone
Sometimes finding a tennis partner can be tough, and a doubles foursome even harder. Don’t let that stop you from working on your tennis game. There’s plenty to be gained from solo tennis practice, and it doesn’t have to be boring! Here’s some ideas to help get you started on how to practice tennis alone.

Benefits Of Practicing Tennis Alone

There are many pros to playing tennis alone. The first is how often you get to actually get to play tennis. As adults, we tend to have busy lives so fitting in regular practice or a tennis match is hard.

Scheduling in tennis alone allows you to flexible around your everyday life without relying on other people's availability. So this ultimately equals more tennis balls hit. It's a win-win situation.

Practicing tennis alone also enables you to focus entirely on your own game with no distractions. You can select the tennis skills to practice in your training sessions and then put them to the test when you are back playing with your friends.

If you are not sure of how to practice tennis solo then here are some ideas:

Ways To Practice:

1. Tennis Ball Machine

Tennis ball machines are a wonderful way to practice tennis alone.

There are plenty of tennis drills you can set up using a ball machine. You can even add in some shadow swings and footwork in between hits. There are some important things to remember when using a ball machine.

The most important is to set it up in positions you would likely receive the tennis ball from in a real game. Many people place it in the center of the baseline but you won't get many shots from there in a real tennis match.

Imagine as many scenarios as possible. Practice volleys, return of serve, short balls, wide balls, overheads, and not just baseline groundstrokes.

Keep it exciting!

The second is to set the ball machine at a tempo that would be similar to your regular game style. There's no point firing tennis balls at yourself at 80 miles an hour because it's fun but then when you get to a real game the ball is coming at 30 miles an hour and loopy.

OK, maybe try a few fast ones just for pure enjoyment, but get as much realistic practice as possible!

Tips For The Tennis Ball Machine

Here are some ideas from toptennistraining.com for drills you can use on the ball machine.

2. Tennis Wall

Many tennis courts have a practice wall.

If you are lucky enough to have access, make the most of it. The tennis wall doesn't lie and it never makes a mistake!

So in theory is the best-hitting partner in the world! It's such a good way to practice tennis alone. You can create a variety of solo tennis drills. You can keep it simple and get as many ball hits as possible.

Or you can use it as a time to work on certain things like the correct fundamentals, contact point, early preparation, getting the ball after only one bounce, or an extra fitness training session.

The world is your oyster with a practice partner like the wall!

Tips For Tennis Wall Hitting

Structure your session or plan ahead so you know what tennis skills to work on.

The average tennis player will simply start rallying and then get bored. Create some tennis drills that will keep you occupied for longer.

Start with a good warm-up. You can begin closer to the wall like you are rallying from the service line and controlling into the service box.

Practice hitting with good stroke mechanics and try to keep some shoulder rotation on your groundstrokes. The wall can make you a little pushy if you are not careful because it comes back so quickly.

3. At Home

Just because you are at home doesn't mean you can't get extra tennis practice.

Shadow strokes are one of the best methods for building muscle memory. If you are working on new technique your level will improve much faster if you incorporate some shadow strokes.

Repetition is the key!

One of my favorite ways to reinforce tennis technique is to use shadow swings in front of a mirror. Sometimes how it looks vs how it feels can be very different. Seeing yourself in action can give you excellent visual feedback on your technique.

You can also get the same great benefit from filming yourself on a smartphone and watching it back.

Tips For At Home Practice

Keep it interesting so you are more likely to want to train when there are other distractions.

Try practicing serve toss, shadow swings (all shot types), tennis footwork drills, and ball skills (build up your arm endurance, coordination, and timing using various skills...you can even try learning something fun and new like the video below), training aid (see below).

4. Training Aid

Of course here at TopspinPro we would love you to be a fan of using a tennis training aid! But, all jokes aside, it really is a great way to get some solo tennis practice.

There are obviously a number of tennis devices out there, but anything that allows you to get good quality repetitions and build up your muscle memory will be advantageous. The TopspinPro allows you to practice your topspin groundstrokes as well as serve and slice. You can find out more here.

We are also big fans of the Serve Master which you can find here.

Tips For Using A Training Aid

Just like with practicing at home it's crucial to keep it interesting or you can quickly get bored.

Make up some solo drills to use with your tennis aid.

One of the most fun ways to practice with the TopspinPro is to hit along in tempo to a live tennis match on the tv.

Image: topspinpro.com

5. On Court

Most tennis players have some local courts near them.

We often find the key to adhering to a practice regime is to make it as easy to access as possible. If your regular tennis courts/club where you play with friends is further away, find some closer ones for your solo practice.

That way you are more likely to actually find yourself there!

There are many things you can practice on the tennis court, not just your serve or ball toss. Here with the court, you can incorporate a little of everything.

If you have your own basket and tennis balls that will open up many extra options too. You can also bring your tennis device with you to mix things up.

Tips For On The Tennis Court

Footwork drills (try running line drills), self feed balls (drop feed forehand and backhands, toss feed for volleys), serve and serve toss, targets and direction practice for all shots, racket feed high balls for smash or high groundstrokes and short attacking balls,

6. Tennis Footwork and Fitness

You don't have to be at home or on the tennis court to work on your tennis game.

You can go to the local gym or park for your solo training session. Not all tennis practice has to be with a racket and ball. Incorporating some strength training, footwork drills, flexibility and cardio can do wonders for your game.

Especially as we get older and more susceptible to injuries, adding this into your routine will really help sustain you on the court. It will also up your footwork game and give you an advantage going forward into matches.

Tips For Tennis Footwork And Fitness

Try to make it tennis specific. Even though it's great for cardio and your overall health to use a treadmill, a rowing machine, or similar, it's not specific to the type of movement you will be using on a tennis court.

Tennis requires fast explosive changes in direction. Incorporate training that will help with this.

Summary

Test out some of these solo practice styles to see which one works for you.

Most players have a favorite type that is easier to schedule into their lifestyle.

You can head to the TopspinPro YouTube channel for some solo tennis drills plus some bonus coaching tips. Let us know in the comments below if you try any of these forms of practice and which ones you like best.

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