When practicing with a wall.....

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SourStraws, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. SourStraws

    SourStraws Rookie

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    I dont have a consistent hitting partner until the season starts..... So any advice when practicing with a wall?? (i.e. How hard to hit, how far to stand back) etc.....

    Thanks for the tips


    S.S.
     
    #1
  2. RestockingTues

    RestockingTues Banned

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    Draw a square on wall and keep hitting it to the square. When you can consistently do this, draw two squares to represent cross court and down the line shots.

    Hitting hard against the wall is a waste of time; you'll just have to pick the ball up.
     
    #2
  3. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Try to stay towards the center of the wall and hit as many as possible. Focus on control and consistency with a decent amount of pace.
     
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  4. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    mastering consistency with the wall is the key.
     
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  5. Spatula

    Spatula Semi-Pro

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    Use a foam practice ball...you can take full cut swings and it won't rocket back at you. Yet provide a consistent return. Try it, you'll be amazed!
     
    #5
  6. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I hit against the wall religiously. I use it to focus on form and for making clean contact with the ball.

    It depends on the type of wall and how hard you're hitting as how far you stand back. I stand back as far as it takes to have time to prep for the shot and hit cleanly. If you're too close the ball will come back too fast, which you don't usually want. Being close is great for working on half volleys though and someone hitting to your feet.

    I sometimes hit nice and easy and other times hit as hard as I can, depending on what I'm trying to work on.

    But its a very useful tool for grooving the strokes when you don't have a partner, thats for sure.
     
    #6
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I almost never hit the wall.
    BUT, I know it's good practice for grooving strokes, attaining more pace, controlling height above the net, and general getting in shape.
    Even serve practice is good, as you stand normally for a serve, and hit the ball into the exact area you're aiming for. That's a wall with the lines of course.
    It's good for volley reaction practice, it's good for brushing upside the back of the ball, and the only thing better is practicing with a better partner who's willling to practice with you!
     
    #7
  8. Cnote

    Cnote Rookie

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    Spatula is correct, the "best" wall practice is w/ a foam ball so you can focus on technique and placement without the ball rocketing back at you. :)
     
    #8
  9. 1st Seed

    1st Seed Semi-Pro

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    Draw a huge line 3' high stand back.
    Remember one thing! The ball will always come back.the wall is the true G.O.A.T.
     
    #9
  10. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Who in here can stay as far from the wall as the net to baseline and rally 10+ shots, one bounce of course? It's exhausting.
     
    #10
  11. RestockingTues

    RestockingTues Banned

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    Okay :roll:
    Cause Chuck Norris can't beat a wall at tennis
     
    #11
  12. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Agreed!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
    #12
  13. Element54

    Element54 Semi-Pro

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    I spent many hours battling that wall - I never win.
     
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  14. S H O W S T O P P E R !

    S H O W S T O P P E R ! Hall of Fame

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    Chuck Norris beats the wall, and therefore he is the GOAT.
     
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  15. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    If you can get the ball to RETURN to you in the same place, then hit with extreme power. By the time you finish bending your elbow on the forehand stroke, the ball is already coming back to you. I find this great practice because it speeds up my reflexes to repeat the same stroke over and over with consistency and power. This kinda simulates playing a powerful opponent because they'll always be rushing you (just like a wall) But otherwise don't hit too hard.
     
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  16. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    The ball comes back more quickly hitting against a wall than when hitting against a sparring partner on a court. Therefore you should let the ball bounce twice, otherwise you cut short your follow-through and you won't develop a fluid stroke.
     
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  17. StumpyDaMooseGod

    StumpyDaMooseGod Rookie

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    Lob over the wall or hit it hard enough so that the rebound goes out. :)
     
    #17
  18. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I'll disagree totally with that post. NEVER let the ball bounce twice, don't become a wall hack.

    The key to using the wall is to make it into an artificial opponent. Play every ball as if it was a real point.

    Draw a target or targets on the wall like hitting circles on the wall where you'll like to hit to and practice hitting the target circles.

    I draw 3 2 foot wide circles above the net line one at the center and another 2 further away nearer to the singles line.

    Practice hitting the circles as often as possible then when you improve you could challenge yourself by first hitting the single line circle then hit a cross court and then hit the other circle at the other single line, repeat.

    Practice your back swing by moving nearer or further from the wall to see what works best.

    Merely hitting against the wall with no objective in mind is just wrong.

    Use balls of different hardness or bounce to play comfortably.

    I try to serve into the wall and play out a point always, but of course I don't try out wide serves.

    mawashi
     
    #18
  19. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    If you let the ball bounce twice, then it will be at your knees every time you hit it. I've never let the ball bounce twice for this reason. I still use the wall as my primary practice method and have been seeing great results despite its shortcomings.
     
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  20. Element54

    Element54 Semi-Pro

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    A light at the end of the tunnel! That wall will get its comeuppance...
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I already stated I seldom use the wall...
    But you can stand normal groundie distance from the wall, hit your normal topspin groundstroke 6' higher than net height, and the ball one bounces back to you.
    Not that I often do it, but it's good for adding pace and height control to your strokes, while taking away some spin.
    But you still need a mark on the wall for netheight, and the distance marked from the wall to reference the baseline.
    First serve practice might be the most accurate wall hitting simulation technique, as you just mark the height of the net, hit it flat 2' above consistently for practice.
     
    #21
  22. treo

    treo Rookie

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    I leaned some solid doors against my wall and the angle gives a real playing trajectory compared with a vertical wall. What also is fun is a 3-4 story tall brick industrial building wall.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Actually, I like the 17 story office building walls:):)
    But seriously, it's nice to have the regular court marking lines on the practice walls as well as new lines on the playing courts.
    Better still, it's really nice to have practice partners ready and waiting with new balls, a clean empty court, no wind, no glaring sun, and a ready attitude.
     
    #23
  24. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Chuck Norris stares at the wall and reaches for his racquet ... and the wall comes crumbling down.
     
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  25. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    You must be really out of shape. There is nothing special about being able to do this.

    When I practise on the wall, one of the things I do are 30 up the line forehands. Then 30 up the line backhands.
     
    #25
  26. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Maybe. I find it a challenge to stand at the baseline length from the wall, try not to close in, and hit the ball cleared within 4 ft of the net line. I always have to slowly close in. Oh wait maybe because I always use old balls that no longer bounce as well. :)
     
    #26
  27. itisgregory

    itisgregory Rookie

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    For the short term the wall is better than nothing. However, if you are REALLY serious about either increasing your NTRP rating or winning more matches then buy a ball machine. There is nothing better to quickly develop confident strokes. The only better thing is a VERY good coach or college/pro player who can spend the time necessary. Over the long haul, this option will be much more expensive.

    I have a machine by Sports Tutor. I have used it at least once a week for two years and have only been playing tennis for three years. I am now a 4.0. I have NOT had one minute of coaching but I have read lots of tennis books, pick up tips from watching the pros on TV and read Tennis magazine.

    Take a casual survey of how many guys are 4.0 after only playing for 3 years. You will be hard pressed to find any unless they have had some extensive coaching either in high school or college or private OR had a ball machine.

    Playmate is also an excellent ball machine. You should get that one instead of Sports Tutor. The prices are almost equivalent. Playmate is constructed better and has other features that I like.
     
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  28. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    So you'll become a good wall player, but will you get to be a good tennis player?
     
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  29. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Then bend your knees. Sometimes you'll have opponents who will slice low balls to you. If you ever want to win tournament you have to be able to handle these shots, you can't say, "I don't play people who hit low shots." Besides, when playing a wall, not all the shots will be low, it depends on how high you hit it, and the surface. But really, you want to practice your stroke, the kind of footwork you do to chase down balls on the first bounce doesn't transfer well to playing on a real court. Good players hardly ever look hurried.
     
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  30. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Wall allowed me to learn and develop proper stroke mechanics, which no casual, recreational or otherwise players allowed me to. Then, I took it into games, matches against humans and picked up experience -- different speeds, dealing strange shots, reading opponents, etc -- and go from there. I like wall.
     
    #30
  31. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    If you want the ball to bounce high on the second bounce, then you have to hit it high every time.

    I spend most of my time hitting in a racquetball court, so I don't have the option anyways because the ball will hit the back wall behind me before the second bounce anyways. There is just barely enough room for me to hit my normal groundies in there.
     
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  32. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I have no idea where your idea came from but how clueless you sound, it looks like you're an arm chair tennis player.

    The term wall hack was used by Nick Bollettieri in his one of his video on how best to use a wall to practice.

    If you are going to critique at least have some minimal knowledge to back up your words.

    Letting a ball double bounce LOL! Why not let a ball double bounce when you are playing too since, you are too lazy to get to it anyway.

    If you can't even differentiate between wall practice and actual play and don't understand how a wall can will help in actual games you're just a hack.

    mawashi
     
    #32
  33. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    What exactly is a wall hack? I'm not a fan of the double bounce, but what about it makes one a wall hack?
     
    #33
  34. ssjkyle31

    ssjkyle31 Semi-Pro

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    I can. That how I improved, but it no substitute for match play.
     
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  35. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    A hack simply is a person who's just doing something without any sense of purpose.

    A wall hack is someone just hitting balls against a wall without any target or focus.

    The purpose of practice is to improve and have an objective in mind like if you wanted to improve your backhand the just focus on hitting a circle target on the wall with your backhand strokes only. Any mistakes and you restart or try hitting another target.

    You want to reduce your back swing move closer etc. There'a a lot to be gained from simple practice if you are willing to improve.

    A wall is a tool that can be used to great effect if you know how.

    mawashi
     
    #35
  36. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I comes from the book, "Use Your Head in Tennis" by Bob Harmon. It's considered a classic. He says that practicing against a backboard is only good for a beginner because it does teach them how to get the racquet on the ball. But for someone who's gotten past that level it isn't good practice because the ball comes back too soon and they'll stop their follow-thru short.

    Haven't seen Bollettieri's video. I'd like to.
    I do have some minimal knowledge, see above. Also, ask a certified teaching pro.

    Sometimes when rallying it is a good idea to let it bounce twice while trying to find your rythm from the baseline.

    Maybe. But with all due respect, the conventional view is that it's the other way around. Beginners can benefit from hitting against a wall, but soon they'll outgrow that and need a rally partner or at least a ball machine. But if playing the wall is giving you good practice, don't let us (the people on this board stop you). Everyone finds their own way. Good luck.
     
    #36
  37. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    First off, things have change quite a bit from the classics, second if you can't get ready when the ball returns you aren't ready period.

    I regularly hit 20 or more shot rallies with the wall and that's going all out with regular balls. For even longer rallies or when I want to practice timing I'll use dead balls so I have no fear of too fast a return.

    I have a personal certified tennis coach so I don't have far to ask for this kind of advice and I buy quite a bit of training materials too.

    I never let that happen cus personally that's a bad habit. During a match no one will LET you get into a rythm.

    I'll disagree again as even the pros use the wall to learn things that a training partner can't impart. Learning to reduce you back swing for one, learning to tame your power and focus on control.

    The fact is you have your point of view and I have mine. I've seen enough bad habits that could be eliminated by going back to basics. The fact the wall will always return you a shot just makes it the perfect thing to practice consistency.

    Good luck to you too as everyone must find what works best for them.

    mawashi
     
    #37
  38. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I agree about needing to hit with a partner on the court, but at what level would you say hitting against a wall is useless or even counterproductive? The reason I ask is because often that is all that is available. For me in the winter time, hitting against the wall or not can mean the difference between hitting 1-2 hours a week or hitting 8-10 hours a week. So its the wall or nothing most of the time. The way I see it, if I can't hit the ball cleanly on every shot against the wall, then there is something yet to be gained from the wall.
     
    #38
  39. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure it's better than nothing. Even Bjorn Borg practiced a great deal when he was a teenager by hitting against garage door walls in Sweden.
     
    #39
  40. jmjmkim

    jmjmkim Semi-Pro

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    Call it a wall hack or a loner, but personally I dislike hitting against walls. I'd rather hand around the park courts lurking around for a guy practicing his serves, and ask him if he wants to rally. It's awkward and I don't particularly like "pick up" games, but at my age (45), there aren't too many enthusiastic partners. They are all into golf these days.

    Since this forum seems to have videos of everything, I got bored and shot a video of a typical "aimless" wall session. I had to con my daughter into taking a video of me. "Come on, daddy will watch Hannah Montana with you when we come back!"

    http://www.furges.abcusd.k12.ca.us/backboard/
     
    #40
  41. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

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    The just lob the damn ball if you guys wanna win against the wall so much.
     
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  42. Element54

    Element54 Semi-Pro

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    What if the wall is in a enclosed space? The wall wins again....
     
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  43. Captain Tezuka

    Captain Tezuka Rookie

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    I've used the wall it is very fun but I had a partner and we didn't have tennis courts nearby so it was even more fun. :lol:

    But I disagree with the double bounce a wall should provide a artificial opponent and if you can play normal tennis with it then don't play against the wall at all. Move back and forth depending on the bounce and crouching low or jumping to simulate a real game.
     
    #43
  44. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    Personally, I'm the other way. I'll go to town on a wall. I love hitting on the wall. You have to put some oomph in your shots and actually break a sweat!! Then it will be fun!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
    #44

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