practice technique - wall or play?
i as well as a friend are just starting out in tennis (we are actually enrolled in a college tennis class come march).
for the last week or so we have been just playing rounds every so often to try and get the feel for accuracy, control, and so on, pretty much staying away from using a wall all together
my question is, are we going in the wrong direction in just playing to figure things out, or should we be utilizing the wall more? or should we be doing a little bit of both?
i looked around for a little bit on the forums and saw a few references to using a wall to practice, and found a few videos of how to properly use a wall to practice, but wondered what everyone`s general opinions were.
basically i am asking, how do we practice better? (we have access to basic tennis facilities, but no access to machines if that was to be someones suggestion)
The benefit of the wall is that it's repeatable practice. YOU control how the ball comes back at you. This allows you to weave out kinks in coordination, technique, consistency, etc. When things go wrong in my mechanics, I go to the wall to work out those problems. It's awesome for backhand drills (just you try to find a player to give you consistent feeds. Most don't even have a backhand themselves.)
The wall has its purpose in tennis training: developing consistency through predictable repetition.
I agree with the above if you're a beginner or trying out a new technique. Like said above, you control where the ball goes which makes it easier to work on technique. Naturally you will tend to make the ball bounce back into your strike zone, the area near your body where you're most comfortable making contact with the ball. The problem is when you play actual tennis with someone, the ball will not be in your strike zone very often and you will have a hard time adjusting to that if you only practice against the wall.
Short story short, practice a little against the wall to become comfortable with a stroke, then get out on the court and work out the kinks.
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