As we all know, tennis can’t be played alone because you need an opponent for that. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t train tennis alone. In fact, there are some great ways to train tennis alone, and with these methods, you can improve all the skills needed for tennis.
But what are the methods I can use for practicing tennis alone?
You can train tennis alone by using a tennis ball machine to generate drills or target a specific skill you want to improve. Also, you can find a wall and use that to rebound your strikes so you can practice consistently. In addition, you can practice serves alone, work on your footwork and fitness level.
You can do many things to contribute to your tennis learning, and some of them are amazing for your technical capabilities. In contrast, other methods are more towards your physical skills.
Now, I want to walk you through each step in-depth, so you can really understand how you can get started today!
1. Tennis ball machine
The most expensive method but the most effective is using a tennis ball machine. Now, this doesn’t mean that you must buy one of your own because many tennis clubs have ball machines that you can use! However, if you take tennis seriously and find yourself often alone when you want to train tennis, investing in a tennis ball machine is worth it.
There are different kinds of ball machines where some of which are meant for big table tennis clubs with all the features you could think of, and some of the machines are made for individuals that come at a lesser cost and a more compact size.
With a tennis ball machine, you can generate different drills by adjusting the power and speed of the ball, selecting the feed rate, adjusting the height and direction of the ball, and much more.
The best thing is that you don’t need anyone else for this, and the machines are often controlled via a phone app or a remote controller so you can change the drills from across the field!
My favorite ball machine: Spinshot-player is a great tennis ball machine for nearly every use. It is a battery-used machine with both vertical and horizontal oscillations, which makes the drill options limitless. Another thing that I like about it is that it’s effortless to transport with big wheels and a handle. It’s also phone app-controlled and has a 120-ball capacity, so you don’t need to run between the court and the machine at all times.
2. Practise serves alone
Another great way to practice one of the most important skills in tennis is to practice serves alone. For this, you need a load of tennis balls and preferably a court, so you have a net and the court’s borderlines. However, you can train in your back yard, in a park, or anywhere you can have the space and a little bit of privacy.
I recommend practicing on a court because if you do it in your backyard, you don’t have the net and borderlines, so you could really see whether your serve was successful. You can train your serves power and accuracy tho which will benefit your serve on a real court.
3. Use a wall, backboard, or a rebound net
This method is my favorite alongside tennis ball machines, and there are many reasons for that.
First of all, this can be done free in most cases because most outside courts have a backboard where you can strike the ball. Second, this is fast-paced training, and it makes you think and work out, so it’s a great mental stimulation, even if it is more physical. This can take a toll on you if you continue the striking long enough, making you stronger, faster, and a better striker on the court.
If you can’t find a wall in your area, don’t worry because great alternatives will solve that problem. You can get a tennis rebound net of your own for your home that works just like a wall or a backboard. This is great because you can train in your home if you have the space without leaving anywhere or without relying on anybody.
Check out the video below and learn the different tennis wall exercises (and the benefits) you can do!
4. Strike tennis balls from a bounce
You can also self-feed balls and strike them from a bounce. This is a great method where you can practice all of your strokes. I recommend that you select a target from the field, such as a deep corner, middle line, bottom line, etc., so you can confirm whether you are improving and whether your stroke was successful.
You should train both your backhand and forehand strokes to mix things up and make the training versatile. I like to train my stroke that I’m the least skilled at, so I really get the training I need.
5. Increase your fitness level
This method isn’t training tennis exactly, but it is for tennis! Improving and maintaining your aerobic and muscular fitness is extremely important in tennis.
If you lack aerobic capacity, you will get fatigued fast, and that will make keeping up with the game really hard.
On the other hand, if you lack strength, your speed and stroke power won’t be powerful enough to make it hard for the opponent. So let’s check what you can do about them.
Endurance exercise ideas
- Rope jumping
- Tennis shadow play (Strike air with your racket and imagine hitting the ball)
Strenght training ideas for tennis
- Bench pressing (Chest, shoulders, tricpes)
- Resistance band training for shoulders (Shoulders & rotator cuffs)
- Squats (Legs, abs, calves)
- Lateral lunges (Glutes, quads)
- Box jumping (Explosive speed)
- Plank or other ab training (Abs & core)
In addition to endurance and strength training, tennis requires good flexibility, so that is important to do at some point in your day. I prefer doing a quick full-body stretch (5min) before my training and a longer stretching session (10-15min) when I finish my training, especially after strength training.
Below you can find a great video about stretches focused on tennis needs. However, any stretching routine that has key stretches will do just fine.
6. Train your footwork
I needed to make a separate section for footwork because it is so important in tennis. If you have good footwork, you can cover more court faster, which immediately makes you a better player. Also, you get to strike the ball earlier so you can prepare and strike it with more power.
You lose the awkwardness on hard strikes that you couldn’t previously get to without flexing your body, but when you have good footwork skills, you gain more confidence and become a better tennis player.
There are many footwork drills that you can do, so but the video below has some amazing ones that will train your footwork the right way so you will be fast at the court. Check it out!
7. Watch live or tv tennis
Last but not least, watching! Various studies have proven that observational learning can be used to learn physical activities such as tennis! You need to be careful because you need to observe tennis from those doing it well so that you don’t get the idea that something is done in a certain way that can cause injurious by the wrong form etc.
For observational learning, you should watch professional tennis games and tournaments either live or from tv. Tv is certainly the easier way, but live tennis is really exciting, so I highly recommend that you go to a tournament if you haven’t already when and if you have a chance.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.