Taking tennis lessons is one of the most important factors for any player first trying to learn the game.
A good tennis coach can give you an invaluable foundation on which to base your game upon, he will teach you the fundamentals of technique and the basics in tactics. However there are things that a student can do to help himself, playing regularly is one and practicing drills is another.
You don’t need expensive equipment to help you train, and in this blog we look at the simple backboard and how it can really help your game. A proper backboard is not even necessary, all you really need is a wall and a surface where the ball gets a decent bounce.
Developing Tennis Skills
To get really good at tennis requires you to hit many ball, as many as you can for that matter. There is no alternative if you want to improve your technique, and a backboard allows you to do this without having a partner.
In tennis you need to learn to judge the speed of the ball and its spin, you can then coordinate your strokes accordingly.
Also hand-eye coordination is vital in tennis and hitting against a backboard is perfect for this.
Working On Technique
The backboard is great for working on your technique, the balls come back in a predictable way, which is important in developing technique.
To start, working on your forehand, simply drop the ball out of your hand, catch it once it comes back and do that over again. Once you get better you start hitting without catching the ball in-between but at a slow place. Once you make improvements, build up to a fast place and vary between the forehand and backhand.
Working On Consistency
On most backboards there is a line that represents the net, you can utilise this line to work on consistency. Practice drills of hitting a number of shots in a row over the net before you can stop. Increase the number as you get more consistent.
The backboard is great for target practice, simply place some targets on the board and hit them over and over again. Make the targets bigger or smaller depending on your level of play and hit them over and over again.
Footwork / Endurance
A backboard is also good for footwork and building endurance. Hitting against a backboard the ball normally comes back fast and you will not have much time for your next shot. This forces you to keep your feet moving and to get into position quickly.
The backboard never relents or tires, so this sort of training can be exhausting. This is why it is great help in building your endurance.
When your endurance builds up, other physical aspects become more important. As you progress in your game, points become shorter, but with high intensity. The maximum rest period in tennis is 20 seconds. Therefore it makes a lot of common sense to work on your conditioning the same way.
When using the backboard try simulating a tough rally where you hit anywhere from 5 to 20 shots. The important thing is that you push yourself hard during these shots and practice with high intensity. Rest for twenty seconds and repeat.
Using the backboard is a simple but effective way for practicing on technique and endurance without even having a partner to help.