How to train yourself

Sometimes, you really want to train, but you don’t have anyone to train with you…

by Federico Coppini
How to train yourself
© tennisworld

Sometimes, you really want to train, but you don’t have anyone to train with you… Does this ever happen to you?

Becoming the best player possible comes with repetition and hard work.

That’s why I wanted to share with you three ways that you can progress on your own.

#1: Practice your serve

It’s one of the most important shots in the game. That’s how you start the point and set the tone!

Good news: it’s the easiest to practice on your own, but not many practice it enough.

Here’s how you can make hitting serves on your own a part of your training routine in a fun way:

Take at least 10 balls with you and set a goal.

This could be to hit 6 out of 10 first serves on each round. It could be to hit the back fence with the second bounce on a kick serve, or the side fence on a slice serve (a certain amount of times), to knock down a target or to hit a zone in the service box.

There are endless ways to make your serving session more fun and purposeful.

When practicing your serve, it is important that you don’t hit, land and stop. When playing for real, you need to be ready for the next ball.

Practice landing and moving for a split step before shadowing a forehand or backhand.

I like to use video when practicing my serve. By recording myself hitting, I can check that I’m getting into the right positions. This is ideal if you are working on something technical!

No court? No problem!

#2: Play on the wall

Playing against a wall can be a great way to get a good workout… it never misses!

If you have access to a wall, with a large flat surface in front of it (in a safe place) then you can practice most of your strokes and footwork patterns.

Make sure you always have a plan (it might be to hit only forehands, to hit a certain spot on the wall or to work on your early preparation).

Using a wall is ideal for developing footwork and accuracy.

If you only have a small space, you can stay close and practice your volley, touch and reactions.

This style of session can also be done on a tennis court if you have access to a ball machine.

I like to use the Slinger Bag* with my players to re-create certain situations and practice on repeat.

#3: Training footwork

Your footwork is one of the biggest components of your game.

How often do you train your footwork?

Here’s one way you can do it on your own:

Set your timer to 30 second intervals.

You’ll do 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Pick 5 exercises and go through each one 3 times to create an intense 15 minute workout.

For example:

  1. Move out, shadow forehand, recover.
  2. Move out, shadow backhand, recover.
  3. Alternate forehands and backhands with split steps in between.
  4. Volley to overhead - Forwards to volley, recover, backwards to overhead, recover.
  5. All together - Forehand, backhand, volley, overhead, repeat!

Here you go! Now you have no more excuses not to train, even if you don’t want anyone to train with!