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antonkra
04-01-2004, 10:31 AM
Hello,

I need an advice on how to use the backboard. Are there any specific exercises/drills you use?
Iím approximately 3.5-4 player with fairly balanced all court game, I want to improve my stokes and specifically net play.
I searched this board and did not find much on the subject.

What drills do you use or would recommend here?

Printer099
04-01-2004, 11:44 AM
for net play spend $500 and get a ball machine

Bungalo Bill
04-01-2004, 04:33 PM
Your goal should be to hit at least 20 balls above the net line with a good decent stroke. Dont over power the ball and get all bent out of shape and feel like you need to slam the ball against the wall - that is bad practice. If I saw you do that, you would get down and give me 50 and run 3 miles. That is how bad that is for practice. Use the backwall to build your technique not your power - so slow it down.

You can practice down the line, or crosscourt, but make sure you hit it twenty times. Remember it is not power, just develop your stroke and your consistency.

Let the ball bounce twice for groundstrokes. Keep in mind, when you hit against a wall, the ball goes down more then it does on the court in real play (unless your playing with the curved backboards). So let it bounce twice to try and get it as close to simulated play as possible. You also might want to play with a flatter ball just to maintain a rally and get a workout.

You can practice your serves, overheads by bouncing the ball so it hits the wall and goes up for overhead practice. You can work on things like toss location.

I think the best thing the wall is for is practicing your volleys. Practice keeping the ball up and not touching the ground. You will get a great forearm workout - which is great for volleys. You will also get a good reflex workout. Try to keep the volley going for 50 balls in a row.

brijoel
04-01-2004, 05:24 PM
i absolutely LOVE using the wall to build on and/or adjust technique.

if you learn to feed the balls correctly you can practice pretty much any shot imaginable. for anyone interested in a good drill, my favorite is a serve and volley style drill. purposefully kick the serve to where the ball will be moving away from you (to either ad or deuce, doesnt matter) to simulate an attempted up the line passing shot. move in as hard and quickly as you can. this will also teach you to pick up low shots as the spin from the serve will most certainly keep the ball low after it comes off the wall. after you get the pickup shot, try to keep the simulated point going while still moving the ball back and forth to keep you moving.
like bungalobill said, volleying is one of the greatest things you can practice on a wall. it will GREATLY increase your reaction time and your ability to setup when it comes time to actually come in during a match.

antonkra
04-01-2004, 05:38 PM
Bill,

Thank you very much, great post.

I do not have much problem with hitting 20 or more balls in the row. But I always tried to hit a ball after one bounce and it usually lead to several things:
1. I start hitting harder then I have too. Now I know how bad it is and Iíll stop doing this.
2. I stand too close to the backboard, so the strokes get somewhat shorter then in the real game.
3. I cheat and hit a little bit higher Ė ball bounce OK but in real play it may go long.

So, on 2 bounces, how far from the backboard should I stand? In real play it is 1-2 feet behind the baseline. Should I try to keep the same distance in the drill?
The same question for volleys. Usually there is no problem for me to keep ball in play as long as I want if I stay close. However if Iím in the middle of the court and try to volley not letting the ball to hit the ground I can not do that because I have to hit hard and it is bad (I know now) and not consistent. So, the second question, what do you think, how far from the backboard for volleys practice?

Thanks,
Anton

Bungalo Bill
04-01-2004, 05:49 PM
The only problem with hitting hard against a backboard is your inability to judge whether the ball was in or not. That leads to a false sense of judgement which can transfer to the court.

sinoslav
04-01-2004, 08:22 PM
I practice volleys against a backboard. You can stand right up against the wall and practice touch volleys and you can stand as far back as the service line to practice approach volleys. Anything in between is fair game too--standing about half-way between the service line and the net is a nice intermediate range for solid volleys.

Bungalo Bill
04-02-2004, 08:58 AM
Bill,

Thank you very much, great post.

I do not have much problem with hitting 20 or more balls in the row. But I always tried to hit a ball after one bounce and it usually lead to several things:
1. I start hitting harder then I have too. Now I know how bad it is and Iíll stop doing this.
2. I stand too close to the backboard, so the strokes get somewhat shorter then in the real game.
3. I cheat and hit a little bit higher Ė ball bounce OK but in real play it may go long.

So, on 2 bounces, how far from the backboard should I stand? In real play it is 1-2 feet behind the baseline. Should I try to keep the same distance in the drill?
The same question for volleys. Usually there is no problem for me to keep ball in play as long as I want if I stay close. However if Iím in the middle of the court and try to volley not letting the ball to hit the ground I can not do that because I have to hit hard and it is bad (I know now) and not consistent. So, the second question, what do you think, how far from the backboard for volleys practice?

Thanks,
Anton


Yes, try and mimic your court position on groundstrokes. Remeber though it is not about power it is about technique.

joe sch
04-02-2004, 05:22 PM
I also enjoy working my strokes against the wall. Just like starting with mini-tennis is good for the beginning of a tennis workout, I like to start with short volleys against the wall. As BB suggests, 20 is a good goal for each stroke and I like to do that for FH & BH volleys, close then about 10 feet back, then half volleys FH & BH and alternating, then baseline distance stroke groving. For serves and overheads, concentrate on form, not placement on the wall. Overheads take some practice, they require hitting at the ground near the wall so they popup just right for your next overhead, once you get the motion down, you should be able to do 10..20. I dont understand why BB recommended double bounces since I believe this is never a good idea when practicing tennis and its always a good challenge to try to dig up short ones. Enjoy the wall since you will never win a ralley :wink:

Mahboob Khan
04-02-2004, 06:32 PM
Great responses as usual. Here are some drills which you wanted:

D1: Hit BH down the lines only;

D2: Hit BH cross court only;

D3: Hit BH down the line and cross court (your practice partner can return all the balls to your backhand corner allowing you to hit down the line and corss courts).

D3: BH down the line, FH cross court (your partner alternates to your BH and FH; you return everything to his FH corner).

D4: FH down the line, BH cross court (your partner alternates to your FH and BH, you return everything to his BH corner).

D5: Establish a BH to BH cross court rally, on easier ball hit a BH winner down the line and play out the point.

D6: Establish a BH to FH down the line rally, on easier ball hit a BH winner cross court and play out the point.

D7: Establish a BH to BH cross-court rally, on easier/short/low ball execute a slice approach shot down the line, close in for volley, and play out the point.

Practice the above on daily basis and you will feel rapid improvements not only in your BH stroke mechanics but also your tactical awareness involving BH wing will improve!

PS: Whilst practicing backhand, also involve forehand so that you are able to change directions on the ball and develop mastery over grip change.

Let me know if the above works for you.

antonkra
04-05-2004, 08:44 AM
Thanks a lot everyone, great responces. It defenetely gives me a lot of ideas for practice.

Mahboob Khan
04-05-2004, 08:04 PM
I am so sorry. You meant Backboard drills. I read it "Backhand Drills". My drills listed above are for on-court with a practice partner! After you are done with backboard practice as suggested by BB and others, then follow my exercises on-court with a practice partner. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise that I gave you a wrong answer! Sorry, mate.

antonkra
04-07-2004, 11:55 AM
Hey, I was a little surprised by your proposal of backboard practice with the partner as well as hitting ďwinnersĒ against the backboard. :-) But actually I have to say all those drills you described may work for the backboard if you have a partner to help. Thanks for the clarification, now your drills make much more sense for me

chess9
02-09-2006, 03:30 PM
This is a great thread with awesome responses by two of the best posters here.
After a very very long layoff from tennis, the first thing I did was hit the backboard and do almost exactly what BB suggested above. I also added in half-volleys because I love hitting that shot (it makes you get low). I agree with BB about the two bounces. I find that if I take the ball on the first hop I must hit a really slow high ball to re-position myself in the backboard cage. The beauty of the backboard for me is that it wonderfully focuses your stroke in a small area and builds rhythm and consistency if used properly.

For volleys I also will stand back, almost to the service line, and hit harder volleys so that I have to maintain hard AND long volleys for as long as I can do so. I've made 10 of those once or twice!

Anyway, after about two weeks of those drills I was ready for the ball machine. One month of ball machine and I was ready to give mixed doubles a try. :) Now, I'm playing singles and come Summer I'll be asking the Wimbledon Committee to give me a wild card....to the cheap seats! LOL

Later, guys,
-Robert
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