In today’s video/blog we’re going to talk about how to practice by yourself.
If you’re on the court alone or you just don’t have anyone to hit with we’re going to show you a few things today that you can do on your own.
These are things you can do to really improve your game.
For all practice scenarios make sure you practice both the forehand and the backhand from the even side as well as the odd side.
The first thing that we’re going to talk about is how you can improve by using drop feeding.
Drop feeding is a really good thing that you can do especially if you have access to a lot of balls or a basket of balls.
The first thing that we’re going to start off with is doing some static drop feeds with me not really having to move to the ball just dropping right in front of me.
The next thing that we’re going to do after that is some dynamic drop feeds where I kind of toss the ball a little bit so that I can make myself move to the ball and then hit.
Let’s start with the static drop feeds first.
Drop Feeds From the Baseline – Drives
I have a basket of balls here in the corner and I’m right here at the baseline.
What I’m going to do is work on my forehand first.
This is really good for working on form, repetition by repetition, if you’re trying to correct one or many things.
Also, by using static drop feeds, you’re dropping right to your strike zone so you don’t have to move. It’s a really easy thing that you can do.
I’m going to start out by hitting some forehand drives on the even side.
I really want to focus on getting that contact point out in front and swinging low to high with a nice relaxed stroke.
Like I said, this is something that you can do by yourself and really adjust and work on your technique.
I want to go down the line first and then after that I’m going to hit some cross court drives and then after that I’m going to hit some to the middle.
I notice that not all my drives are going deep. On returning and on hitting my returns, I want to make sure I get those deep.
But, if I’m hitting a ground stroke from the baseline and my opponents are at the net it’s really vital and important that I try to keep that ball low to the net.
So, if I can work on hitting a topspin drive getting that ball to dip down and forcing my opponent at the net to kind of contact the ball at a lower point, then my balls aren’t going to be landing deep.
So i’m actually working on topspin and bringing that ball down forcing my opponent at the net to hit with a low contact point.
Now let’s go to the odd side, I’m going to do the same thing on my backhand side. Whether you have a one-handed or a two-handed backhand drive this is a great thing to really work on your technique.
For me, on my backhand side, since I have a two-handed drive, I really want to make sure I get low and I have my weight transfer going forward and I’m hitting through the ball having a nice contact out in front.
*The image below is hit on a forehand rather than a backhand but give you and idea of where your contact point should be*
Just like the even side, I’m going to start hitting some down the line, then I’ll go cross-court, then I’ll hit some to the middle.
Now, let’s move into some dynamic feeds.
Instead of dropping the ball right in front of me I’m going to start in the middle of the baseline and I’m going to toss the ball to my right or to my left or even in front of me so that I can work on my movement to the ball, striking the ball with good balance, good positioning, and hitting that ball out in front.
We’ll start with the forehand and then I’ll show you some on the backhand. (See video at top of post for live examples)
So, those are some ways that you can work on your drive from the baseline.
Drop Feeding At The Non Volley Zone
Now let’s go to the non-volley zone.
There’s many times where your opponents hit that third shot drop and maybe it sits a little high, or maybe it doesn’t even sit up a little high, and your opponents are not all the way up at the net. This happens very often.
I have set up these paddles kind of in the middle of that transition zone (on the opposite side of the court).
In a game situation, as my opponents are making their way up to the net, they’re going to be somewhere in that area.
This is a good shot, on my fourth shot, that I’m not hitting really hard but I’m just just trying to roll it at their feet and keep that ball down trying to make them contact down at their feet.
You can use drop feeds. I’m going to work on hitting some to the sideline and also going towards the middle.
Anywhere that I can get it kind of on that line then that’s kind of where I’m aiming because in this scenario here my opponents just hit the third shot and they’re making their way up and I really want to keep that ball down.
Now I’m on the odd side and I’m going to practice rolling this shot at my opponent’s feet in the transition zone with my backhand side.
Whether you do this with two hands or one this is a good shot that you can practice for a situation where your opponents are making their way up to the net.
Remember this shot is not a winner, this is kind of a setup shot trying to catch your opponent in transition.
Like I said, the paddles are in a good spot, probably around where your opponents will be after their third shot.
Now let’s jump to the last thing that you can practice by yourself.
I know we’ve heard it time and time again, one thing that you really could work on by yourself is your serve.
The serve is so vital and it’s actually something that I’ve been really trying to be more aggressive with in my game.
You’ll see as your serve gets better it will pay dividends in your game. You’ll get shorter returns and you’ll have a lot more attacking opportunities.
Here I only have a couple paddles, I don’t have cones. You can easily put some items out there. I have them set up to the backhand side.
You don’t have to serve to the backhand side, you can serve it anywhere on the court. I’m just trying my best to get as much pace and top spin as I can, as deep as I can.
Today, I have two targets towards a right-handed player’s backhand side. However, you can place your targets wherever you would like.
That concludes the last portion of what you can do by yourself if you’re on a court and you have a bucket or basket of balls.
I really hope you enjoyed this video.
These are things that you really can do to really dial in your technique as well as being fluid with your strokes and focusing on your footwork and your contact point.
It can really improve a lot of parts and aspects of your game.