How to Practice Tennis Alone

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So your tennis partner bailed out on you? Again? I know that feeling, but I am here to tell you that this is not a reason to skip your training. All you need is to learn how to practice tennis alone or maybe find a new tennis partner.

Some of the best tennis stars in the world have mastered their skills and talents by playing tennis alone.  If they did it, so can you!

Having a tennis partner that shows up consistently in the field for the training sessions is a luxury only a few might have. Therefore, you can not rely on your physical preparation only on those days when your buddy decides to show up. Instead, you should rely on your motivation, consistency, and hard work. 

In this guide, I will teach you the best ways to play tennis by yourself. Read on for some great tips, and with a lot of practice, you can master your skill to another level.

tennis practice plan alone

Hit Against The Wall or Backboard

This is the simplest, easiest way to get your tennis drills in, yet the most underestimated one. It is such a shame because practicing your hits against the wall or a backboard will help you with your cardio, footwork, and reflexes. 

It’s safe to say that the wall will never miss a training session; you have no excuse for not being consistent. You need to find a windowless wall with a hard concrete floor. Another good alternative is a backboard in the court you play tennis in or a gym with wooden floors. 

how to practice tennis alone by hiting against the wall

Since the wall never misses, it’s quite easy to find the rhythm, and in the end, you will feel the burn, thanks to the high-intensity training. There is a lot of stationary footwork involved, so it’s an effective workout for the legs. 

Solo tennis drills are perfect to practice forehanded or backhanded slices by hitting as many shots in a row as you can. I would strongly recommend that more advanced players practice overhead drills on the wall, so you’ll be able to master and elevate your skills on the court.

The wall solo tennis practice is great for mastering your serves and, most importantly, volleys. Listen! If you don’t practice your volleys in the wall, there is no way you’ll be volleying at a competitive level, in a court. 

Even a 30 minutes session is a great workout, and soon you’ll feel the gains. Make sure to put all your efforts into every shot, don’t let the ball bounce twice in the ground, and move your feet as much you can. 

Practice using Ball Machine or Training Aid

Another great alternative to practice tennis alone is using a ball machine or a training aid device. It will dramatically improve your skills, and it will help you master all your techniques. 

Having the correct fundamentals for stroke production is the most important skill for a player, whether you are a beginner or a star athlete. There is no point in trying to elevate your game style if you aren’t doing your strokes right. So how to practice tennis alone in this case?

how to practice tennis alone by using ball machine

Stroke mechanics are a great way to do it. After a while of using it, you’ll have corrected your stroke technique, and you’ll know because in case you have to work out constantly, you’ll be able to generate a lot of topspin. 

I strongly recommend Topspin Pro, which is perfect for both beginners and intermediate players. It has helped me tremendously in my beginnings to build muscle memory, improve my forehand and backhand drills, and, most importantly, master my topspin. 

Shadow swings are also an option to master your stroke fundamentals when playing tennis by yourself. It’s not as effective as having a stroke mechanics device, but if you aren’t ready to invest yet, it will do the work. All you need to do is to set up a mirror, even in your bedroom, and start swinging at full speed. This will help you to practice groundstrokes and volleys. 

How to practice tennis alone using a tennis ball machine? Tennis ball machines are probably the best way for solo tennis practice. Even though they don’t come cheap, it will be one of the best investments you’ll do, regarding your tennis practices, in the long run. It will help you improve your skills in about every aspect of the game.

A tennis ball machine allows you to adjust speed, angle, and timing, so remember to check these features when purchasing one. If you are looking for one right now, you might want to check the SCIFANTA Portable Tennis Ball Tosser. It’s one of the best I have ever tried; it has a wide range of shooting distances, is easy and practical to use, and is fit for players of all ages and skill levels. 

Work On Your Serve

If you are a regular tennis fan, there is no need to explain to you how much a player can weaponize the serves on the court. That’s why it is crucial to learn and master the proper technique, or else you’ll be missing out a lot. 

First and foremost, you should learn how to build a step-by-step progression for your service from the ground up. Start by mastering your flat serve, then eventually, you can move on to learn other serve drills.

The good thing about serves practice is that an opponent is not necessary at all. You can even keep score during the training session by tracking the scores that you make or miss. Consider a serve-in as a point for you and a double fault as a point against you.

And if you really want to challenge yourself, then for every double fault, deduct two or even more points against yourself. You can’t beat the enemy without if you can’t beat the enemy within, right? 

If you have cones at your disposal, use them as a target to hit within an intended distance. Start slow and stay consistent; it’s very important to build up your serve technique by learning the proper form, or else you’ll never go far in the game of tennis. 

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I know learning new techniques and practicing tennis alone can be overwhelming, and sometimes you feel like you have no idea what you are doing. It’s okay; it happens to the best of us. Play Your Court website can be such a great opportunity for you to learn from their professional video training, find other tennis players you can train or match with, or even book a local coach. 

Improve Your Serve Toss

The serve toss is one of the most common problems for recreation-level players when it comes to serves. You’ll be surprised that even well-known professional players still struggle with it. Even if you have a perfect form of the mechanical serve motion if your ball toss goes everywhere, that is an annoying problem to have.

Serve Toss is the most important element in the entire service, so you’ll better work on it to improve your tennis skills. And yes, you can improve by practicing tennis by yourself. 

If you are a beginner, you can start practicing with your hitting arm and the ball without even needing the racket. It’s the simplest exercise yet so effective. Throw the ball up (in one o’clock position) and then catch it with the other hand. Do this at least ten times in a row until you get consistent at it. It will help you to be more coordinated and have better reflexes. 

mario imporving serve toss

For the next exercise, you are going to practice toss location, and for that, you need your tennis racket and a garbage bin. Yeap, you read that right, a garbage bin or something alike, to practice your diagonal toss arm technique.

Position your body as you would do for a service, and practice throwing your tennis ball up at the 12 o’clock position. The garbage bin will help you practice throwing the ball in front of the baseline. Just put the bin right in front of your foot, and practice the same exact move while making the ball fall inside the bin. Repeat this at least 20 times in a row. Not only’ll you have a target, but the solo practice will be more fun. 

Having sufficient height on your toss is a great way to take maximum benefits from your toss. To practice this, get a ladder, and place the garbage bin on top of it. Practice the execution of your services, and try to get the ball into the bin.

When you are done mastering these drills, it’s better to start practicing with full-body motion. When the whole body is moving, the toss can be a bit off because you are transferring the weight, and that does influence the toss in different ways. 

To learn how to control it, start practicing by doing your whole service motions without actually hitting the ball. Find your rhythm, whatever that is, and replicate the serve, but don’t hit it. I know it feels and looks awkward, freezing right before the moment of contact with the ball, but this practice will help you since it is the most realistic contest of the service. 

Practice these tennis drills daily for 10 – 15 minutes, and I promise you’ll hit your serve toss a lot more consistently on the tennis court. 

Develop Your Stamina and Footwork

Nowadays, tennis is becoming more and more competitive. To have a good performance or even a career in professional tennis is imperative to be in the best shape possible. It requires a lot of strength, flexibility, stamina, and endurance. In other words, you have to put in the work and be consistent with it. 

mario running on the court

Working on your footwork can be a great way to boost your stamina since it requires a lot of cardio and strength training. You can do this independently by using come cons and practicing footwork drills.

To boost your stamina, you should always remember the fundamentals:

  • The warm-up before training or the game
  • Get into strength training to build up muscle
  • Perform speed drills
  • Run intervals 
  • Get rest days

Fitness Training

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that being fit is such an advantage in tennis. Your performance in the court will be greatly affected by your physical shape. 

HIIT workouts that combine strength exercise and cardio are great for any tennis player. Start by mixing up different exercises, such as lunges, squats, jumping ropes, mountain climbers, etc. Make your fitness training a priority if you want to improve and excel on the tennis court. 


Learning how to practice tennis by yourself has never been easy. I hope you’ll find these simple tips and tricks useful to make your solo tennis training more effective. Be patient, and keep showing up on your practice; you will notice the difference.  Hard work always pays off! 

play your court program
Play Your Court Program
Best tennis community & program

Video lessons

Find local coaches

Find local players

Join local leagues


Working out and practicing alone can be quite a struggle, but you can still find the support and guidance you need at the Play Your Court website. Check it out now, and thank me later.

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I am Mario, a tennis player passionate about encouraging others to join the sport.

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