by David Heath
is a sport which allows a lot of solo practice and this is an
important part of improving your game at any level.
practice is a time to groove your strokes, add new ones and practice
different ways of hitting the ball. Try put different grip positions
and watch the effect on the ball eg. An open racquet face will
give backspin, while a closed face will provide top-spin.
are a few different practices you might like to try:
Vary the power and height of the balls you hit. Try to concentrate
on playing balls which will be difficult for your opponent to
take early on the volley. With an attacking length the ball should
be dying on the second bounce at the back wall nick. A more defensive
length should bounce onto the back wall after the first bounce.
Practice low shots into the front corners from the middle area
of the court. Open the racquet face and take the ball on the top
of the bounce.
Like above, take the ball early, open the racquet face and take
the pace off the ball.
RACQUET SPEED PRACTICE
Stand on the short line, hit the ball just above the tin over
and over, practicing the speed of racquet preparation. Repeat
for other side.
Stand close to the front wall and volley the ball back to yourself.
Move backwards until your confidence is high enough to stand at
the back of the ser-vice box and play continuous volleys (both
sides). Figure of 8 volleys: Stand on the "T" and volley off the
front wall and side wall so the ball comes back to you. If your
control is good you should be able to play forehand, then backhand
volleys without moving too much from the "T". Volley drops: Stand
in the middle of the court, set the ball up and play a volley
drop into the corner. Volley kills, straight and cross, can also
be practiced like this.
You might like to practice deceptive shots, using the wrist to
disguise your intentions. Flick the wrist through quickly in the
direction you wish the ball to go. A little pause before you strike
the ball is helpful here. Crosscourt flicks and trickle boasts
are shots you might like to try.