Originally Posted by HughJars
I play with my mate twice a week. We have long 5 set games, and Id have to say the wins are well and truly in his favour. Hes a massive pusher, but starting to develop an attacking game. He also has a strong return of serve game. Basically he plays a war of attrition, waiting for the unforced error.
The problem is, I ask him if he's keen to just have a hit around and work on some key errors, like second serves which Im struggling in, and his non existant one handed backhand. But he just wants to play games.
I feel its kind of becoming detrimental to both of our development. While we're both making some good improvements, bad habits and recurring mistakes frequently pop up.
I just want to practice!!!! But dont want to lose my hitting partner...I dont really know anyone else who would want a hit very often. My goal is to start playing pennants tennis soon but there is only so much a wall or an empty court can give help me with some areas of my game!
1. Warm up longer before play. Say you are not happy starting yet without more backhand/volley/serve/overhead practice. Getting even 5 more minutes practice in each of these areas before starting play may make your subsequent match play more productive.
2. Stay for 15 minutes after a match to hit backhand/volleyoverheads/returns. (You can practice your own serve on your own.)
3. Come at least one other day after work to practice serves. "You are only as good as your second serve."
4. You have got to be clever enough to find someone else who just wants to hit.
If you haven't found that person yet, hit off the wall and see if there is someone else who shows up without a partner, get in a hitting session on the court, and if the two of you are of similar level, set up another night/day of practice.
Also note that some who come down "just to serve" are like you and would also like to get some hitting in, in addition to serving. Ask.
5. Make better use of the wall: Practise Wall Training http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNiXrgAtjxc
6. Is there a ball machine you can use? Ball machines will let you practice placement - can't do that nearly as well on the wall.