How To Practice Tennis By Yourself

If you want to play tennis, you need to develop an effective training regimen and stick with it until you see significant results. Learning how to practice tennis by yourself can level up your skills and build self-discipline. Here are 5 necessary drills to incorporate in your solo tennis training.

1. Find a Good Wall

An effective way to improve playing tennis without a practice partner is by using a wall or tennis backboard. You can practice serving and returning balls at your own pace and comfort. 

On the wall, use athletic tape or duck tape to create a target. Aim at that point when returning the ball to increase precision and consistency. Practice hitting forehand and backhand shots.

Another way is to go to a tennis court, gym, recreation park, local park, or use any concrete wall. Perhaps you can also make use of your garage at home.

2. Use a Ball Machine

One way to practice tennis is by using tennis ball machines to help develop your backhand, forehand, and overhand swing. 

A ball machine helps you to improve on your swinging volley technique. 

However, this can be an expensive investment. Another option is to rent out one from a tennis shop or facility. You may also borrow from another tennis player. 

When purchasing a tennis ball machine, choose one with the following adjustable features: feed rate, throw timing, throw angle, throw speed, throw spin, and throw strength. 

tennis ball machine

It’s best to go with a tennis ball machine that allows you to alternate between various settings to develop your mental and physical flexibility of the sport.

3. Work On Your Serve

Serve is a fundamental skill, which you can readily practice on your own. A powerful and consistent serve can help you gain aces in a tennis game. It would be much convenient to practice your serves with a tennis basket and plenty of spare balls. 

There are different types of serves, including flat, kick, underhand, and slice. While practicing these serves, make sure your hits are always within the service box. 

You can put cones or pylons around the service box to enhance your precision and consistency in landing a shot. You can practice your tennis volley drills and serve toss even without using a court. 

Video recording yourself while doing serves and then reviewing the videos is a great way to assess your stance and form accuracy. You can track your progress easily and correct mistakes accordingly.

4. Hit Balls Off A Bounce

Another drill to work on your tennis skills is hitting a tennis ball on a bounce. It’s better to target a specific spot on a wall or court to hit with every swing. 

When you practice consistently, you will be able to develop the following basic skills: forehand, backhand, serve, volley, half volley, drop shot, lob, and overhead. It can be a bit overwhelming to do all of these in one session, so just one at a time. 

Practice shifting your tennis racket grip each time you attempt to return a shot and decide how to hit the ball to produce your best comeback. It’s a great way to step up your game and play tennis well.

hit ball

5. Develop Your Footwork

Tennis is a vigorous sport requiring tremendous agility, speed, coordination, and physical endurance. It’s a movement game, so you need to work on your footwork. 

No matter how good you are with executing all the types of shots but if you can’t hit overheads or return the ball as you weren’t quick enough to hit it with your tennis racquet, you’re still bound to lose any tennis game, especially when there are pushers around. 

Develop your tennis workout plan and incorporate the following exercises into your tennis practice regimen: jogging in place, burpees, squat jumps, jumping jacks, high knees, push-ups, plank, and fast feet. You can do all of these at home.

What are the Advantages?

advantages
  • It helps fine-tune your tennis training regimen. You can choose the kind of beginner drills and body conditioning exercises that you need to work on. Having your regimen can improve skills related to decision-making, timing, strength, and precision. We encourage you to learn more about how to play tennis as a beginner
  • Solo playing is cost-efficient. You don’t need to pay for a game coach and a gym instructor for strength training. If you can’t pay the membership for a tennis court, you can practice some of the drills at home or in your garage or in a local park for free. 
  • There are minimal or no distractions. You can focus and concentrate on enhancing your strokes. You don’t feel embarrassed when you make mistakes because no one is watching. 
  • It improves muscle memory of tennis skills. It would help if you had a lot of time to master each of the basic skills. Practicing habituates an action and develops reflexes. 
  • It gives you an opportunity for self-assessment. Practicing alone gives you space and time alone to reflect on your strategies. You get to analyze your moves, spot and correct errors, and continually become better.

What are the Disadvantages?

advantages
  • Solo tennis training can potentially develop bad habits. If you practice tennis alone without considering proper forms and techniques, you can inevitably develop counterproductive habits. 
  • It impedes the development of coordination. Without another person to play against, there’s only a minimal chance to develop your response coordination in conjunction with proper footwork and flexibility. 
  • There’s no opponent to simulate the actual game if you practice tennis alone. Tennis is a competitive sport. You need to develop the skill to anticipate your opponent’s moves so you can return their shots effectively and outsmart their tactics. 
  • There’s little feedback. Without a coach or a partner to spectate and guide you, you lost the chance of getting proper instructions or advice. One of the best ways to learn is to have a qualified person to give you honest and accurate assessments of your performance.
  • It can be boring. Even though solo playing is an effective way to practice tennis, there will be times when you just feel bored without a companion. Also, it can be difficult to sustain motivation in practicing tennis when you’re alone, and there isn’t someone to psych you up.

Final Words on Practicing Tennis By Yourself

Solo tennis training is a great idea to improve your strokes, save time and money, and work on your stamina. You can play tennis even without a court. You can make use of a concrete wall.

There are pros and cons if you practice tennis alone, so make sure to allow a substantial amount of time practicing with a partner or coach. Becoming a part of a tennis team can also help you meet people you can simulate the sport together. 

Remember that professional tennis players spend time practicing tennis alone, and they do all the drills we listed above.

References:

  1. https://shapeamerica.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640414.2018.1483699

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