Wall hitting. Over or under rated.

socalmd123

Semi-Pro
During covid lockdown did a lot of wall hitting and really helped a lot. Any opinions or wall hitting drill recs?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Best hitting walls are parabolic. Or a flat wall tilted at 15° (or a bit more). Unfortunately, these walls are nowhere as common as the flat vertical walls.

A few times I used an old-style garage door that was partially opened to provide me with a tilted surface. But mom usually screamed at us for making so much noise hitting against the garage door
 
Last edited:

Fintft

Legend
It's been posted that it is better to do 1, or 1.5 full strokes at the wall, then mini strokes...Ask @Dragy and @Sir Weed, they know more.
The later (at least) has such fast feet, that I can never emulate his wall practice with full strokes to boot.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
When wall-hitting, I will often use a ball that's lost a bit of its internal pressure. A Green Dot (Stage 1) training ball can even be used. One or two bounces are okay with these.

Sometimes I'll stand closer and use large Stage 3 foam balls. Have seen a few ppl using an Orange Stage 2 ball for wall hitting
 

Slicehand

Professional
i dont know but it gets boring pretty fast, i guess you can use it for cardio but you dont get many references to the depth of the ball, i would like a ball machine but my head just doesnt allow me to spend that much on it, its just a robbery
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Overrated and misleading. At my local courts I see countless "wall pros" who look like they have mastered the techniques, but they can't translate their success to hitting against a person on a real court. There are too many things that work with the wall but not in real life. It's a big adjustment each time, and most of what you gained in wall practice will be lost in the adjustment to real play, so what good is it? I suppose it can be a good tool for absolute beginners to learn a few things, but not beyond that level.
 

Kralingen

Legend
Beginning tennis - 6-7/10 value
Regular player of matches - 4.5/10 value
Working on new stroke mechanics - 9/10 value
Volleying, slice practice - 8/10 value
Getting back into tennis after a break - 10/10 value

I had surgery this summer and the wall has seriously been a godsend. Gets your tennis cardio to a great place, low risk way to tune your strokes and timing, and it’s just fun in a way that can reinvigorate your love for the game.

If I was playing regular matches I probably would only play the wall as last resort if no one was there to hit with. If I was trying to improve as a player though, in an off season or something, the wall is great.

Echo what is said above about it not transferring well to depth perception and shot tolerance - every ball you get back is flat and it doesn’t lend itself to actual tennis patterns: I.e. if you hit as hard as you can it comes back much faster than it would in reality. But still, it’s helpful.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
I don’t rally against wall. I hit then catch the ball. Sounds easy but I am aiming for a perfect stroke for each hit. I’ve always said if you can’t hit a perfect shot against the wall then you will not be able to hit a perfect shot on the court.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
I'm a huge fan, and think it's way underrated. It helps with the most important thing, which is footwork. I'd look at some of the drills here:

It's excellent doing that if you already have established strokes. If not established then must hit off wall rebound ball. Then catch.
 

socallefty

Legend
Better than not playing. Better than doing drills with a low-level player who can’t give a consistent, well-struck ball. Worser than doing drills with an advanced 4.5+ ball who hits a good ball. If you have the third option (free or by paying for it), that is better than a wall.

That’s why most 4.5+ players don’t do it much as they usually have equal-level buddies to hit with. At lower levels, your options might be limited to find a good hitting partner that can help you improve.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
It's excellent doing that if you already have established strokes. If not established then must hit off wall rebound ball. Then catch.
The wall is a self-correcting activity with respect to accuracy, just like juggling. If you can’t maintain a wall rally under controlled conditions, you will be even worse against a live person. The more you use the wall, the more accurate your shots get, which translates to more winning.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
There is only one way to learn/get better at tennis - reps. Anyway you can get them counts in the plus column.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
The wall is a self-correcting activity with respect to accuracy, just like juggling. If you can’t maintain a wall rally under controlled conditions, you will be even worse against a live person. The more you use the wall, the more accurate your shots get, which translates to more winning.
Very different unless if you are talking about 5.5 and up. You get so much more time to prepare to hit the ball when playing tennis on the court compared to hitting against the wall at say the 4.5 level.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Very different unless if you are talking about 5.5 and up. You get so much more time to prepare to hit the ball when playing tennis on the court compared to hitting against the wall at say the 4.5 level.
Not true. It only feels hard playing against the wall because you are under-developed at the skill.
 

mrmarble

Rookie
Not true. It only feels hard playing against the wall because you are under-developed at the skill.
Ball comes back much more quickly making it harder to get ready for the next shot
So its all about footwork
Hence it can have negative impact on stroke form unless your teknique is fully developed- due to rushing
 
Last edited:

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Ball comes back much more quickly to get ready for the next shot
So its all about footwork
Hence it can have negative impact on stroke form unless your teknique is fully developed- due to rushing
Maybe that’s why my technique sucks, but I never feel rushed during matches?
 

Dragy

Legend
It's been posted that it is better to do 1, or 1.5 full strokes at the wall, then mini strokes...Ask @Dragy and @Sir Weed, they know more.
The later (at least) has such fast feet, that I can never emulate his wall practice with full strokes to boot.
Yeah I’ve been hitting the wall a ton. It can be effective for different things, but one needs to keep on-court memories and always keep in mind - wall is to improve aspects of tennis, not a complete discipline to maser.

Some people stuck with maintaining wall rallies as long as possible, which makes them alter shots to achieve that particular goal. Some smack the ball at the wall as hard as they can - the way it will float way out on actual court… wall gives them back.

If speaking about groundstrokes, I’d alter the following drills/focuses:
- rushing early prep, it might feel like broken rhythm, but you need it, other way late prep (connected back-and-forth swing) gets ingrained;
- playing of second bounce - this matches the rhythm of on-court rallying rather close;
- playing “mildly cross-court” and altering full drive with full follow-through with blocky slice from the other side - allows you to play full drives without typical wall rush.

Overall you can use anything on the wall like drop feed, hit, catch the ball. Most people try to develop and show wall-jitsu by maintaining long rallies, but that’s absolutely not an ultimate way to practice.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Kralingen
The wall is a self-correcting activity with respect to accuracy, just like juggling. If you can’t maintain a wall rally under controlled conditions, you will be even worse against a live person. The more you use the wall, the more accurate your shots get, which translates to more winning.
I'm definitely with @zill on this one.

I generally discourage novice & low intermediate players from wall-hitting. I have seen far too many reinforce bad habits with wall-hitting. Instead of self-correcting, it tends to do just the opposite -- lower level players tend to hit a high % of rebounds, out of position, with horrendous form / mechanics. They do get some benefit from developing hand-eye and RT (reflexes). But this benefit is more than offset from the harm I've seen done wrt mechanics and proper positioning.

I have often suggested to these players that they should not try to rally against the wall. I recommend that, if they want to hit against the wall, they should only hit one shot against the wall, with good form, and then catch the ball -- rather than attempting to hit it the second time. Once they have mastered this, I might suggest a 2-ball rally. However if they cannot hit both shots, balanced, with good form, they should go back to the one-hit sequence.

However, this often does not work out. The vast majority will ignore my instructions and attempt to rally against the wall instead. Usually, with disastrous results. If I see or hear about this happening, I will then ask them not to hit against the wall at all. Not until they demonstrate to me that they can hit most of their shots, on the court, balanced & with good form
 
Last edited:

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@travlerajm @zill @mrmarble

For novice players & low intermediate players, I recommend hitting against a tennis court fence instead of hitting against the wall. This tends to discourage them from trying to rally before they are really ready to do so.

Fence hitting is also a great opportunity to work on keeping the head during the contact phase -- or during the latter part of the forward swing, before & immediately after contact. I have them set up about 5 to 6 meters (20 ft) away from the fence. They should drop hit the ball while focusing on the contact point (or a point in space a bit forward of the contact point). They are not allowed to look up, to follow the ball, until they hear the ball hit the fence. If they actually see the ball hit the fence, they have looked up too early
 

Fintft

Legend
@travlerajm @zill @mrmarble

For novice players & low intermediate players, I recommend hitting against a tennis court fence instead of hitting against the wall. This tends to discourage them from trying to rally before they are really ready to do so.

Fence hitting is also a great opportunity to work on keeping the head during the contact phase -- or during the latter part of the forward swing, before & immediately after contact. I have them set up about 5 to 6 meters (20 ft) away from the fence. They should drop hit the ball while focusing on the contact point (or a point in space a bit forward of the contact point). They are not allowed to look up, to follow the ball, until they hear the ball hit the fence. If they actually see the ball hit the fence, they have looked up too early
I say this in regards to the net.
 
Top