One great thing about tennis? You just need one other person in order to play.
But sometimes, especially if you’re a tennis addict looking to improve your game quickly, you’ll be looking for ways to spend extra time developing.
We’re here to help. Below, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list on the best ways to practice tennis by yourself.
By practicing alone, even sometimes without a court, you can get a leg up on your future opponents.
But remember, the base and foundation of your practice regimen must be playing with live opponents. These techniques should only complement your current play schedule.
Here are the best additional practice techniques you can add to your regimen:
A tennis ball machine is one of our favorite tennis training aids. They provide several benefits normal hitting does not. Since you’re receiving the same ball every time, it’s much easier to develop your consistency and to work on small particular parts of your game. You also don’t have to worry about missing making it easier to try new things in a stress free environment.
Since this is not a cheap way to practice by yourself, check out our article on cheap tennis ball machines to find cost effective tennis practice equipment.
This is the best method to practice tennis by yourself.
Many players are looking for ways to improve their game without a tennis court. Building your fitness and stamina is the best way to accomplish this goal.
For intense programs, check out P90x or Insanity. If you decide to go with one of these programs, do not push yourself too hard. The videos pump you up, but keep safety a top priority and listen to your body.
Cross-Training is the technique of playing sports other than your primary one to improve your overall fitness. While some of these sports won’t count as practice by yourself, they will still give you an opportunity for game development when your tennis friends are unavailable.
We recommend focusing on sports that focus on building explosive speed (try basketball, American football, sprinting), hand-eye coordination (try baseball, hockey, and table tennis), and endurance (try soccer, ultimate frisbee, and cycling).
The serve is possibly the most important part of a player’s game. Unfortunately, it is all too often overlooked.
In college, I had a teammate, Mike, who had a horrible serve his freshman year. Just atrocious. But once a week, every week, for four years, he served one basket of 150 balls. He methodically practiced placing his serve, increasing power, and developing a strong kick for his 2nd.
By the time we reached our senior year, he was the best server on the team averaging 8 – 10 aces per match.
He achieved all of this alone with a bucket of balls and some simple tennis practice equipment like target cones.
BE LIKE MIKE.
The wall is the opponent you can never beat.
Use this strategy to practice tennis by yourself in moderation. It’s great to work on hand eye coordination and consistency. But don’t do more than a hour a week against a wall. The style of play is too different and when you switch back to a live opponent, you will struggle.
Instead of a wall, you can also try a rebound tennis net. These are a bit more lightweight and allow for additional portability. We review a product of this nature in our article on the top portable tennis nets.
One of my favorite tactics for practicing your tennis game at home. Intersperse every tennis match or hitting sessions with a viewing of 2-3 high quality YouTube videos.
Pick a particular stroke you want to develop and write down three specific things to work on.
For example, if I chose to work on my backhand this week, I might write:
Continue your practice at home by developing your mental game.
Try reading one tennis book a month. There is a massive collection of tennis strategy books out there. I recommend starting with Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert.
With that, we send you on your way. Remember that while working on your game off the court is important, the best way to improve your game is to play with live opponents.
The different ways to practice tennis by yourself should be used to complement your training regimen. Not as your sole form of practice.
Stay dedicated and happy hitting!