A Better Wall

Warming up for a singles match at the Longboat Key USTA tournament, I stopped over at Sarasota’s Payne Park to hit on their wall before my first match; and was pleasantly surprised.

What had been a “nice, big wall” was now an even better warm-up (or practice) facility. Why? They had added:

• A correct-height net line,
• A 3 ft x 3 ft target box,
• A new fence behind the hitter,
• And it was big enough to have service box and court lines on the pavement.

Some people don’t believe in the value of hitting on a wall (Ernie from Ellington being one of them); but I really enjoy doing it. You can work on groundstrokes, serves, volleys, and even over-heads.

More to come another time on this subject.

7 thoughts on “A Better Wall

  1. George – I essentially taught myself tennis and using a wall was definitely a major tool. I hit on it for hours at a time, developing routines such as hitting an overhead in front to provide a lob for another overhead. I would repeat this drill (or others) until I could do 50 in a row (or 100) without missing & I would not allow myself to go home to eat dinner until I made my goal(I know it looks like I musta been pretty good at it!). I know this drill taught me accuracy on my overhead. We have a wall at the Sanibel Rec Center & I always recommend to my students to utilize it & demonstrate some of my drills for them to use.

  2. My martial arts teacher always taught me the following;
    Practice does NOT make perfect….PERFECT practice makes perfect..

    The wall is very usefull, but ONLY if you practice correctly. It’s too easy to re-inforce bad habits when praticing against the wall. So pay attention.
    Just another side to it I wanted to share 🙂


  3. As a teenager, Bjorn Borg spent countless hours hitting off his garage doors. It seemed to help him

  4. I learned against a wall and believe it to be the most under utilized tool for developing ones game out there. Can’t say enough about backboard practice.

  5. I grew up hitting against a backboard, and still hit against a wall near work twice
    a week for about 30-40 minutes. Great for footwork and consistency.

  6. By the way George, I forgot to mention that there is a non-profit group, called “Project Tennis Backboard”, with a page on Facebook, posting all sorts of interesting anecdotes related to the benefits of hitting against a backboard. They recently had a photo and quote from Roger Federer, visiting the wall near his childhood home in Switzerland, where he spent countless hours hitting tennis balls.

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