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Hitting Against the Wall
By:  Scott Baker | Tennis4you  | Tennis Forum  | E-mail

Have you ever found a hitting partner that always hits the ball back 100% of the time and never misses? I have. This partner is close to 12 feet tall, about 40 feet wide and has abs like a concrete block wall. Oh wait, it is concrete block wall!

Whenever I want to get some tennis in and cannot find a hitting partner, I go to a university that has a nice block wall for a backboard on their tennis courts. Hitting against the wall is some of the best practice you can get to simply work on your strokes. You can hit the ball to whatever side you would like to work on, (forehand or backhand) and also control the speed in which the ball will be returned. Even if you hit too low or too high the ball still comes back. It's plain and simple, the wall never misses.

Hitting against a wall will never be able to simulate a real match point, but it can give you the practice you need in terms of consistency and placement. When hitting against the wall I like to practice my volleys, ground strokes and even drop shots. The wall is not for you to go see how hard you can hit the ball and try and look cool, use it for more than that. Practice your spins, your placement, your depth, your power and your consistency.

I must admit, the wall is not very exciting to hit against. In about 30 minutes I am bored out of my mind and ready to go home. However, in those 30 minutes you can hit more balls than you would of in a regular 2 or 3 set match.

Here is what I favor in a tennis backboard. I prefer the concrete block walls. First of all they are quieter than wood! However, I have only ever seen a few concrete block walls on a tennis court. Wood backboards are fine, but a lot of them are old and when the ball hits the wall it does not come back with much speed, the wooden backboards absorbs a lot of the impact. This is where a concrete block wall is perfect, it does not budge when the ball hits the wall, so it comes back a faster. Second I prefer that there is a line painted on the wall representing the height of the net. If there is no line, find a way to create one. Bring a piece of chalk, string or tape. Just make sure you have something to help your height and depth perception. I also like to bring some tape and create a few 1 foot wide squares on the backboard. This gives me points to aim for rather than just having a 12 foot tall 40 foot wide target.

I would recommend a real person any day over hitting against a wall, but if you cannot find a hitting partner there is no better substitute than the wall.

Good Luck on the Court!
Scott Baker