Learning to practice tennis alone is a great way to step up your tennis game. There are many advantages in and ways to do solo tennis drills. With a whole lot of commitment, a dash of creativity, and some tips from this article, you can come up with a solo tennis practice plan that works for you!
How To Practice Alone – 5 Simple Ways
Anyone who’s told you that you can’t practice tennis alone merely is not exercising their creativity enough. We’re here to tell you that you most definitely can go solo during your tennis training. Here are five tennis drills you can start doing all on your own to improve your strokes, work on your footwork, and get the leg up on your game.
1. Work on You Ace Serve
Serving is a tennis skill you can readily practice on your own. It’s one of the essential skills you need to master since every game starts with the perfect serve.
Get yourself a bucket of tennis balls and head over to your local tennis court. Come up with a scoring system for every time your first or second serve makes it into the service box.
Once you’re consistently landing your serves in the service box, you can make your serving aim more challenging by putting pylons or cones around the service box.
Tip: When you’re working on your serve, try video recording yourself using a camera. After each session, you can review your form and adjust your stance accordingly.
2. Play Against a Tennis Ball Machine
Most of the time, the only swing you can work on when you’re training solo is your serve. This isn’t bad, but playing tennis isn’t just about serving the ball.
One of the best ways to develop your forehand, backhand, and overhead swing is to play against a tennis ball machine. You can even practice your swinging volley technique by approaching the net as the machine pitches you a ball.
When shopping for a tennis ball machine, look for one with these adjustable features:
- throw angle
- throw timing
- throw speed
- throw strength
- throw spin
- feed rate
The best kind of ball machine even lets you alternate between different settings to simulate playing against an actual person.
Tip: While having a tennis ball machine of your own is a great way to practice tennis alone, the device itself can be quite expensive. A way around this is to rent one from a tennis shop. If you can’t borrow one, try going to a tennis club that has one.
3. Wall or Backboard on your Garage
Another way you can practice tennis by yourself at home is to hit a ball against a wall or a backboard that you can install right in your garage. All you need is a tennis racquet, a tennis ball and a wall.
By installing a backboard tight in your backyard, you can practice tennis alone right in the comfort of your home. This is especially great for when you live far away from a tennis court.
When you practice serving and returning balls with a tennis backboard, you must aim for consistency. Your goal is to be able to hit the same spot on the wall every time.
Make a target on the tennis backboard using painter’s tape. You can outline a large target area with the tape when you’re starting. After a week of practicing, make the target area smaller to improve your accuracy.
Tip: A suitable alternative to buying and installing a tennis backboard in your backyard is to go to your local park, recreation center, or gym and look for a concrete wall to practice. Also, if you are looking to change or upgrading your racquet, please visit our Best Tennis Racquet Guide & Best Racquets for Beginners.
4. Hit Tennis Balls off a Bounce
Here’s another way to practice solo: you can work on your strokes by hitting a tennis ball on a bounce. You can target a specific area on the court or wall to hit with every swing.
Every time the ball comes off a bounce, shift your racquet grip and decide how to hit the ball to produce a specific type of shot. With enough practice, you’ll be able to master the eight basic tennis shots:
- half volley
- drop shot
5. Develop Your Stamina and Footwork Skills
Tennis isn’t just about mastering your ace serve and powering-up your backhand stroke. The game also requires you to be in tip-top shape and quick on your feet.
Do overall body conditioning exercises by adding running drills to your solo tennis training regimen. Other activities to get your heart pumping are the following:
- jumping jacks
- jogging in place
- high knees
- squat jumps
Improving your footwork will also help you move faster and easier during matches. Consistently doing single runs, double runs, and sidesteps up and down an agility ladder can help you improve your footwork execution in the long term.
Tip: Agility ladders are widely available in sports supplies stores. However, if you don’t want to commit to buying one just yet, you can draw an agility ladder using a piece of water-soluble sidewalk chalk.
Benefits of Practicing Tennis Alone
While it is common to go through tennis training with a partner, there are some instances when nobody is available for you to practice with. It highlights the primary benefit of learning how to practice tennis alone.
When you know how to practice tennis alone, you also don’t have to worry about lagging in your training regimen, especially when your partner or coach is unavailable.
Once you’re comfortable with the idea of practicing tennis alone, you get to set your own pace in terms of what skills you want to learn and how soon you want to master them.
While improving your tennis game sometimes requires you to push beyond your body’s limits, it’s essential not to overdo it because you could end up hurting yourself. As the saying goes, you should always learn how to walk before you run.
Getting used to solo tennis practice also helps you fine-tune your training regimen. For example, you can remove drills from your regimen that you feel doesn’t work. You can even double-up the reps on the exercise that do work on a whim.
Disadvantages of Practicing Tennis Alone
One of the most significant disadvantages of depending on solo tennis training is the lack of an opponent. You might not be able to accurately assess your tennis skills because you’re only playing against yourself.
Competition plays a vital role in the world of sports. Being exposed to healthy competitions is a great way to elevate your tennis game.
Unfortunately, when you often practice alone, you might lose this sense of competition. As such, you must balance your solo and paired training sessions.
When done right, solo tennis training can help you improve your strokes and even elevate your tennis game. Installing a backboard in your garage or having a tennis ball machine and working on your stamina and footwork are things you can easily add to your tennis training regimen.
Just make sure to assign the same number of solo sessions with partner sessions. This way, you’re able to maximize the way you practice tennis alone every time.
What drills do you do when you practice tennis alone? Share them with us in the comments section below!