Practicing Against A Wall – Find A Way

posted on: April 8, 2020
author: Brian Lomax

Tennis player

Yes, that’s me. Playing at 11 years old. Like the socks?

In 1974, I started playing tennis.  I was 6, and tennis was booming in the US.  It was so popular, that it was difficult to get a court at our swim and tennis club.  Fortunately, there was a backboard.  It was always available.

Over the next few years, that wooden backboard became my most reliable partner.  Practicing against a wall shaped my career as a player.

As a result of that solitary practice, I became more focused and very consistent.  I also became very imaginative.  I would play matches against my favorite players of the day like Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl.  These imagined matches helped me to become good at visualization later in my junior career.

Practicing against a wall

Wherever you are, it is probable that you aren’t able to play tennis.  Indoor clubs are closed.  Outdoor courts are locked.  The USTA has advised its membership not to play.  Unfortunately, that leaves you in a bind.  How do you practice?  You may be asking yourself, “What will happen to my game if I can’t practice?”

But here’s the thing.  You have to find a way.  You need to practice, and you want to practice.

Fortunately, there may be a solution.  A wall.  Can you find a wall to hit against?  Preferably, the wall will be in an isolated location. I’m lucky.  I happen to live near a school that has a wall with no windows, and it’s deserted.  Try to find a wall in a place like that.

Structuring your practice

In the video below, I provide some ideas on how to structure a training session when practicing against a wall.  All it takes is a little bit of planning, and some focus.  With those two ingredients, you can continue to train your tennis skills.  And you can get a good workout in 20 to 25 minutes.

As you get better at this, you’ll start to think of other ideas for these sessions.  That’s great.  It will keep things fresh, and you won’t get bored.

Several ATP and WTA tour players have been posting videos from their training sessions against a wall, and it might be fun for you to do the same.

Check out the video below and feel free to leave a comment or question.  If you have experience practicing against a wall, send me some of your favorite drills.  Perhaps I can do a follow up with your ideas.

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About the Author

Brian Lomax founded PerformanceXtra™ in 2009 with a mission of helping athletes achieve their goals and their top performances more consistently through a progression of mental skills that enables them to focus on what is truly important.

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