The Benefits of Tennis Wall Drills
There are a number of reasons why wall practice is so great for you. Here are some of the main ones:
You don’t need to find a partner and it’s easier to fit into a busy schedule, especially if you have a wall at home you can use. Wall practice doesn’t require the booking of courts or matching up schedules. It’s an easy and fast way to pack in some extra reps.
The ball will always come back so force you to improve your consistency to keep the rallies going!
The wall never misses but it’s very easy for you to miss. Hitting over the top of the wall or hitting too hard to control the ball is very common. You quickly have to learn to set a steady tempo and to focus on controlling the ball at the right height to be able to keep the rally sustained.
Extended rallies against a wall can be physically demanding, helping improve your stamina and footwork.
Without a partner, wall practice allows you to focus on yourself. This is a great opportunity to refine your technique.
Tennis Wall Drills
Here are some example wall drills for you to try next time you head to practice:
Using the wall is a great way to warm up before a match or on-court training session.
Here’s an example warm up you can use:
As tennis players we often gravitate to the fun, hard-hitting types of tennis practice. But, the best players have both power and incredible touch and control. This ball control drill is an easy one to do anywhere, you don’t need much space for it:
Try standing close to the wall and hitting volley to volley. Start further away and with only forehands to start with. Once you build up your reflexes you can add in backhand and then mix up from shot to shot. As you improve test yourself by standing as close as possible.
To practice groundstrokes you can either isolate one shot or mix around. You can even create specific sequences such as 3 x forehands and then a backhand and repeat. Here's an example bump drill you can do to improve your contact point:
Try hitting deep balls followed by short ones or creating a sequence. This helps you control the depth of your shots, an essential skill in matches.
Serves and Returns
Try serving the wall to yourself and recovering fast enough to return it. This is great practice for your reflexes.
The wall is great practice for both forehand and backhand slice. If you find it hard to continuously hit slice, try mixing in slice with your regular groundstrokes. Here’s a backhand slice example video:
You can put all of the above practice together in some mock match points. Start with a serve and put together a sequence of shots.
Tips for Effective Wall Practice
Before you start plan your practice. It could be a certain number of consistent hits, a duration of time, or practicing a particular stroke.
Mark the Net
If you are not using a proper tennis wall, mark out the net height using painter's tape etc. This gives you a more realistic practice and a solid visual. You can even add in the tape where the baseline and service line would be so you can gauge the distance correctly.
Vary Your Pace
Don’t just hit at one speed. Mix it up, from slow-paced shots to faster, more aggressive ones.
Move your feet as you would in a real match. Try to stay active the whole time.
The wall, which is often overlooked by players, remains an incredible tool for technique refinement and physical conditioning. It's always ready to rally, and never tires. Try adding in a wall session or two per week and watch your game improve!
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