I love it when students hit off the wall. Why? Because the wall can teach tennis skills that coaches and opponents cannot.

As tennis gets faster and faster, players need to have compact strokes that they can unleash quickly. Monica Seles was as good at this as anyone I’ve ever seen. It didn’t matter how hard you hit the ball to Seles, she would get her racquet back in position and make good contact.

Practicing against the wall can help you improve this aspect of your game. Start out a good distance from the wall, and as you get more comfortable, move closer. Now the ball will be on top of you in an instant, right after you finish your follow through. That’s faster than any opponent can return the ball to you.

This will quicken your backswing and force you to read the ball earlier and hit it on the rise, essential skills for every modern player.

Hall of Fame coach Nick Bollettieri has joined Tennis Channel and is taking your tennis questions at #AskNick. Click here to learn more and start the conversation!

Advertising

In 1978 Bollettieri founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, now known as IMG Academy, the first full-time tennis boarding school. He has coached 10 World No. 1 players, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Venus and Serena Williams, Boris Becker and Maria Sharapova. Along with his success as a coach, he has received countless honors, among them induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, United States Olympic Committee National Coach of the Year award and the ITF Lifetime Achievement Award. Bollettieri is widely considered to be one of the most influential people in the sport’s history.

Nick Bollettieri: Want Monica Seles' compact strokes? Use the wall

Nick Bollettieri: Want Monica Seles' compact strokes? Use the wall