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How to Practice Tennis by Yourself

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Tennis is a beautiful game played between 2 people (or 4 if you’re playing doubles). But what happens when you don’t have an opponent to play? How do you practice tennis by yourself? In this post we’re going to go over some fun, simple, and creative ways on how to practice tennis alone.

Warm-up by Building Your Stamina and Agility

Whether you play tennis professionally, casually, or just for a hobby, you stand to gain a lot of benefits by working on your stamina and agility. Tennis is a sport that requires a lot of these two fitness components. This is one of the best things you can do to prepare and work on improving your tennis game when you are alone.

Look into high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routines as these really work up your cardio, as well as engaging your entire body. Remember, the principle of HIIT is to do something at high intensity for 20-30 seconds followed by a 10-20 second rest to recover, then repeat for several sets. 

Here’s a quick sample routine you can do:

  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds lunges
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds burpees
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds high knees
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds squats
  • 10 seconds rest

With a Practice Wall

Most tennis clinics and practice courts have a dedicated practice wall or backboard that anyone can use to practice tennis drills alone. This is a great way to get better at tennis by working on your strokes and in building muscle memory. 

You can also do this at home if you have a wall tall enough and have a space big enough where you can work on tennis drills hitting the ball nearer or farther from the wall.

With A Ball Machine

Practicing with a ball machine is perhaps the most effective way to practice tennis alone. Tennis ball machines like from Spinshot are great companions on the practice court. Most ball machines have angle and timing settings where you can productively work on your forehands, backhands, ground strokes, and overhead shots. 

While getting a ball machine is expensive, it is definitely worth it. There are also some clinics and courts where you can rent out a tennis ball machine you can practice with. 

Practice Serves

Services are one aspect of tennis you can practice on your own. As previously mentioned, a good tennis player has built muscle memory, and if you work on your serves, that could spell service ace points for you in an actual tennis match. 

The key tip on how to get better at tennis is practice and repetition. Do some service drills like hitting either side of the opposing court, or by placing targets and hitting them. This is also a great opportunity to learn and practice different serves like flat serves, slice serves, kick or topspin serves, and even underhand serves. You can even do shadow swings and practice your service strokes without a racket.

Ball Tossing

Ball tossing is another great drill to practice tennis by yourself. These drills usually involve practicing how you toss a ball in preparation of a serve. While others would think this is a no-brainer move, this actually requires a lot of repetition so you get used to how you toss for your serves, and definitely a skill you need to improve so you can avoid service faults. 

Work on Your Footwork

Footwork can make or break your game on the tennis court. How well you’ve mastered your footwork can actually dictate how well you can go around the court and chase and return the balls to your opponent. There are proper methods in executing footwork on the court so you can move around efficiently and avoid injury. 

This is not only a great thing to work on when you are alone, but also a great way to exercise with tennis drills. You won’t need any extra equipment as you can use water bottles, or even ball containers. You can even do some drills along the lines of the boundary lines of the court. 

Footwork Drills

There are several drills to have better footwork on the court. Here’s a video of sample routines and drills you can do and practice on your own:

Practice Your Swings By Self-feeding

Similar to practicing your service, you can work on your shots by self-feeding and practicing your strokes. This would also be the perfect opportunity to practice different strokes in repetition while also focusing on hitting the ball and targeting where it goes, like the deep corners, bottom or middle lines, and the likes. 

Have The Right Tools and Equipment

Aside from the ball machine, there are other tennis court companions you can use to help you get better at tennis alone. Chasing around and picking balls can be quite a chore when you’re alone and you want to make sure you spend more time actually working on improving aspects of your game instead of breaking your back bending over to collect balls. 

Ball hoppers are great at serving you the purpose of helping pick up balls effortlessly while also doubling as a training basket for when you’re self-feeding for your serves and swings. Ball hoppers from Gamma, Tourna, and Wilson are great options to help you practice on the court. 

Ball mowers are also helpful in picking up a larger number of balls and like the hopper, also functions to hold the balls for when you’re self-feeding. OnCourt OffCourt offers the best value while Playmate and the Tomohopper ball hoppers are great premium and budget options respectively.

Look for a Tennis Community

While there are ways you can practice and play tennis on your own, the fact is tennis is not an individual sport. It’s always best played when you have a partner or even community to play and practice with.

PlayYourCourt is a great platform where you can find individuals and groups near your area you can play and practice tennis with. 

There are great features within PlayYourCourt that not only hooks you up to other tennis players, but also really help you in bettering your game with their tailored videos on what you need to focus on. 


Tennis as a sport is meant to be played by multiple people, but practicing and playing on your own means there is an opportunity to work on what you need to improve on an individual level. Don’t feel weird practicing tennis by yourself. Focus on getting your moves and swings right so you’re more ready when you can have the chance to play with a partner. 

Post last updated on October 11, 2021

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