Backboards are a great way for tennis players to practice and improve their game. Players can practice their serve and return through this. One of the main advantages of these backboards is that they are extremely affordable. They can be made at home. They can be placed in any open space according to the player’s comfort.
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How to Make a Tennis Backboard
We have found you the best tutorial for making a tennis backboard. Owner of New England Tennis Center and Nike Tennis Camp Director, Kevin Curley has made a tutorial on how to make a tennis backboard at home.
We have explained the video and also provided the link so you can make one for yourself. For making a tennis backboard we will need:
1. Plywood. The measurement of plywood should be 11/32’’.
2. Next, we need support. The measurement for:
- Quantity – 4 is 2×4 – 8 feet
- Quantity – 2 is 2×3 – 8 feet
- Quantity – 2 is 2×4 – 2 feet
3. The screws should be Deckmate wood screws. They should be 2 inches 1lb and 3 inches 1lb.
4. Then we need tapes, drills, levels.
5. 1-quart paint.
We have mentioned the various recommended sizes. For 3 panels, the minimum backboard size is 8’ high by 12’ wide. Two tennis court fences can be attached at a distance of 10’.
For 5 panels, the minimum backboard size is 16’ high by 20’ wide. They will expose more hardware. The 8’ high by 16’ wide backboard is more elegant.
If you have a backboard at home, you know it’s a great way to ensure training. You can train every day at your home especially considering the present circumstances where it’s not always safe to go outside.
Moreover, it is not possible to go to court every day. With a backboard at home, you can train every day in the comfort of your home.
How to Play Tennis Alone?
Playing in a backboard improves the player’s control, form, and consistency. It improves the overall game of the player. We have put together a few drills from Peter Freeman from Crunch Time Tennis, Simon Konov from Top Tennis Training, Nikola Aracic from Intuitive Tennis.
These drills will get you to improve your game by proper use of the backboard. Don’t just hit the backboard. Take control and don’t hit hard. Make sure to play with proper concentration.
Hit – Catch
This technique is recommended by Peter Freeman. It is a simple technique. This technique demands drills that will improve the consistency and precision of the player. For practicing this technique, hit the ball at a mid-level speed. This way the ball will come to you directly and you can catch it.
Keep doing it and then slowly move to two balls in a single row. Move to practice with one ball at one time. Then move to more numbers. Start over when you fail to catch the ball. According to Freeman –
“If you can do that up to 10, you’re going to feel that when you play your matches, you’re controlling the ball much better.”
Two – Touch Volleys
This technique is recommended by Simon Konov. When you throw a ball against the wall, it comes back very quickly. This makes it an excellent place to shot. You must be always ready for the backboard’s response.
It will make you keep your racquet in a stable position. It will teach you to go for control instead of power. This two-touch volley drill will improve the player’s touch around the net.
“This is a great way to develop the feel on your volleys and also to get rid of the excessive backswings. Because if I have a big backswing, the ball is going to fly on that first touch.”
First, hit one volley against the wall then proceed to hit the next one to yourself. Make sure to tap it gently before hitting. Volley the ball in the wall when it comes down. Keep repeating this two-step process.
Crosscourt to Inside Out
This technique is also suggested by Simon Konov. According to Konov, one can use the blackboard to improve drills and target certain tactics and shots. One should not just keep hitting the wall over and over again.
There are many other tactics to use the backboard. One of the tactics that Konov suggests is altering between the inside-out forehands and crosscourt.
“This is a great drill to improve your movement around your forehand’’
Hit 10 in one row and bounce. Give yourself time to get towards the ball and then get all way around. Hit the high shot at a medium pace and always keep your focus in the mid-wall. This technique includes adjustment steps, backpedaling for hitting the ball inside out.
It will be easier to play against the player behind the baseline if you can play with all these techniques against a wall.
Hand (top) Drill
This is for players who are with the two-handed backhand. This technique focuses on strengthening the top hand which is less utilized. With this technique, you can lead the shot with the top of your hand. For strengthening the top hand, you need to hit with a two-handed.
Take the bottom of your hand in the next ball. Take your right hand, swing the racquet, make sure to swing with the top of the hand. Make a full stroke with the similar grip that you use in your backhand. Keep alternating between two shots. According to Konov –
“This is a great way for you to really develop that top hand and to make you feel that it is really leading the shot—that it’s the boss on the two-handed backhand.”
This technique is recommended by Nikola Aracic. According to Aracic –
“One of my all-time favorite drills is the overhead drill on the wall. If you can master this drill, you can definitely master the overhead on the court.”
For practicing this technique, toss the ball up and hit it in the ground in front of the wall at a medium pace. A steady wall is the most consistent when it comes to putting lobs in the air. The ball will go up and you can hit it overhead.
You can hit overhead in any direction – ground, back to the wall. Keep doing that as a warm-up. Increase the pace from there. It makes sure the feet are always in motion. It’s like practicing in a real match where you have to anticipate the ball coming and get there as quickly you can.
Forehand and Backhand Drills
For this, start on hitting forehands. You don’t have to do any counting – just as many as you can in a single row. Start by hitting at a middle pace. Continue the drill-up as the exercise continues. You will slowly improve your ball control.
For these forehand drills, put your focus on the shorter backswings. As you have time, you will be able to give yourself a good margin by hitting with a good topspin and height. For the backhand drills, hit as many backhands as you can in one row.
The pace will be similar to the forehand drill. Start with mid-pace and then slowly build up. Set yourself up behind the ball by moving your feet in the right position. The goal is to reach rallies of 20 – 25 strokes in one row. With continuous practice, you will get there.
This technique is for improving your net game. You will need to focus on the net strategy since you will be playing the real game on a court. For improving your net game, start by hitting half volleys. Use the continental grip that you use for serving.
Aim for 10 – 20 half volleys in one row. Then slowly move to normal volleys. Then go for 20 – 30 balls in a row. Focus on the overhead smash. It will not be an easy drill so try to keep 1 – 2 smashes. This will be followed by stropping the ball and then feeding again.
A backboard is a great way for tennis players to improve their game. It is not always possible to find a player or to go to a tennis court to practice. In such times, a backboard comes really handy. By practicing in a backboard, players can develop high-quality stroke repetition.
One can develop muscle memory through this. Backboards are quite affordable too. You can make them in your home according to your backyard or lawn size. We have mentioned different sizes and measurements in the first part of our article.
Backboards will help improving consistency, footwork, and control of the player. One can practice any stroke. Though there are limitations attached to the backboard, they are easy to set up and need no maintenance.
You can practice in a backboard without a partner or court. If you are a beginner, you can always start by practicing on the backboard.