So, you just started to play tennis, and you’re, probably, wondering how can you speed up your learning process. As a tennis player, I know that, sometimes, tennis can be a challenging sport to learn, especially at the beginning. Therefore, today, I’ll like to share a list of ten tennis training aids that can really help you improve your tennis game!
This is a list of ten of the best tennis training aids for beginners:
- Billie Jean King’s Eye Coach
- TopSpin Pro
- The wall
- Tennis Rebounders
- Foam balls
- Tennis Trainer Rebound ball
- Low-compression balls
- StartRite Tennis Grip Trainer
- Tennis Ball Machines
Continue reading to find out more on how each of these training aids can make your tennis journey easier!
1. Billie Jean King’s Eye Coach
As its name implies, this aid can help you with your visual skill, as well as, to improve your contact point. According to their website, five hours of using the eye coach can help enhance your sweet spot shots by around 40%.
The Tennis Eye coach can be an excellent complementary tool to your tennis game. As a beginner, this aid can help you improve your muscle memory and technique. Unlike shadowing, when you practice with the Eye Coach, you can get a feel of the ball, which makes it more realistic when working on your strokes. I believe this helps your brain become more familiarize with hitting a tennis ball while doing the correct form and technique.
Using the Eye Coach for 30 minutes is equivalent to hitting on the court for approximately 6 hours. As a result, you can work on accurate repetitions, which is essential to develop proper muscle memory.
Work on 17 different shots
Furthermore, you can work on up 17 different tennis strokes, which, pretty much, covers all the strokes you’ll need on the court. Below is a video on the many different ways you can practice with the eye coach.
Convenient & portable
With this device you can practice almost all your tennis strokes anywhere you want, it can easily fit on the back of your car. Being able to use this aid in the comfort of your home, make it super convenient; and the best part is that there is no ball picking up to do.
If you think the price tag is too high, please read the following article “How to Save Up to $80 on a Tennis Eye Coach!“
2. TopSpin Pro
The need for Topspin
As you develop your game and continue to get better, you’ll find the need to hit your strokes with more topspin. Nowadays, hitting with enough topspin in essential to engage in fast pace rallies. The TopSpin Pro is a useful aid to take your game to the next level.
Muscle Memory & Technique
As you practice your topspin, you’ll also make progress on your stroke technique, as well as, on developing your muscle memory. Since the ball is stationary, it allows to only focus on hitting with proper form and technique and not to get distracted by the flight or bounce of the ball.
An effective way to practice
A very effective way to use this aid is by practicing your topspin strokes on it and right after, hit some balls on the court. You can self-drop balls so you can get a more realistic topspin feeling. Then, you can go back to the Topspin pro for a few more minutes, and then go back to hitting regulars ball.
Also, another way to complement this aid is by rallying using low-compressure balls or foam balls that will slow things down so you can focus in working on your topspin while the ball is in motion.
As well as the eye coach, this aid is very convenient because it can be set up anywhere, enabling to get extra practices off the court, which is essential to speed up your learning process.
3. The Wall
Many great tennis players have spent spend countless hours hitting on the wall; it never misses and always hits the ball back. As a result, practicing against the wall is a great way to develop your strokes and improve your game off the court, especially as a beginner.
Control & Consistency
One of the main challenges beginner players face is in developing control and consistency during rallies. Working the wall will help you enhance your sense of timing and spacing, allowing you to have a better contact point, as well as, more consistency and more control of the ball.
Affordable & convenient
Practicing on the wall is very convenient because you don’t need to rely on a hitting partner and on finding a court. Also, you can practice your tennis game at your own pace. Besides, hitting against the wall is free; for example, you can use the side wall of a house or building.
Repetition and muscle memory
Hitting on the wall allows you to work on proper stroke repetition, which is essential to develop appropriate muscle memory for your game. Since you are practicing by yourself, you can slow things down and really focus on the correct technique and form. It’s recommended to let the ball bounce twice before hitting it, so you have enough time to set up.
Practice every stroke
Every stroke can be practice on the wall, from volleys to overheads; you need to be creative. Therefore, you can work on specific strokes for the time you see necessary.
Below, I’ll share a video from “Top Tennis Training” on how can you practice against the wall.
If you’ll like to find out more about hitting on the wall, check the following post “Advantages & Disadvantages of Practicing Against a Tennis Wall”.
4. Tennis Rebounders
An alternative to the wall
A tennis rebounder is an excellent alternative to hitting against the wall; It offers the same kind of practice, but it can be more convenient, giving that is portable. Also, this tennis rebounders usually come with added features, making the training more realistic. For example, some net rebounders offer the option to tilt the screen net, so players can get either slow and high bounces or fast and low bounces.
Practice at home
A tennis rebounder allows you to practice your strokes in the comfort of your home. However, before you buy one of these tennis rebounders, make sure that you have enough space to use it. You can place it on your driveway, garage, or backyard.
Recommended tennis rebounders
These are two of the tennis rebounders that you can use:
Tourna Rally Pro Adjustable Tilt Rebounder
I got this tennis rebounder about 3 months ago; so far so good. You can adjust the screen net so you can get a higher or lower bounce. Keep in mind that to use this rebounder, you need to have quite some space. To give you an idea, when I use it, I placed it in the middle of the service box, and I stand on the baseline. So, if you have enough room, this aid should help you improve your game and get that extra practice.
Below is a video, from Tennis Warehouse Australia, on the Tourna Rebounder.
XK Sports Tennis Rebounder
Although I don’t own it, I’ve seen videos, as well as, read reviews on this rebounder, and it seems pretty solid. An advantage over the net rebounder is that you can practice in small areas, unlike the Tourna rebounder, where you need much more space. Also, you can set it up on the grass, and put a board, so the ball bounces on it. One common complaint is on how difficult it’s to assemble.
Below is a video on the XK Sports Tennis Rebounder.
5. Foam Balls
These lightweight foam balls are usually used with little kids, so they can engage in longer rallies. However, these balls are great for most beginner players, who are still developing their eye-hand coordination and technique because it gives them more time to prepare and hit the ball. Since the foam balls travel slower, it allows players to have better control and hit the ball back and forth consistently.
Two types of foam balls
With the smaller foam balls, the Zsig, you can literally play against any wall where there is enough space around to swing a racquet and move around. This can help beginner players get extra practices off the court and work on developing proper muscle memory when the ball is in motion.
The following post might be of your interest “How to Practice Tennis Without a Court”.
In addition, you can use these foam balls to practice, on the court, your rallying skills while at the same time work on the right technique for your groundstrokes. As a tennis coach, I’ve seen how important is for players to develop proper technique from the very beginning so they can have a solid foundation to build their game from.
If you’ll like to read more on how using foam balls help your tennis game, check the following article “Practicing Tennis with Foam Balls”
6. Tennis Trainer Rebound Balls
A ball, a string, and a base
This aid is actually straightforward yet, useful if used correctly. Since the ball is attached to a string, every time you hit the ball, it’ll come back, creating a genuine sense of rallying. For beginner players, this aid can be useful in working on proper form, as well as, to develop faster eye-hand coordination.
Convenient & affordable
This is probably one of the most convenient of aids, giving its size and portability. You can literally practice anywhere there is enough space to hit the ball and move around. Besides that, it’s also affordable, making it very attractive to people who are just getting started on tennis.
Practice the proper way
Although this aid can be beneficial for your game, I’ve seen many beginner players using in ways that are detrimental for their game. When practicing with this trainer focus in working on proper form and technique, instead of just hitting the ball in any way possible.
Below, I’ll share a video that will give you a better idea on how to use this trainer properly.
Make your own tennis trainer
Although they are many versions of the tennis trainer rebound balls, there are many complaints about the durability and quality of these products. Therefore, I’ll suggest you make your own, it’s simple, affordable, and won’t take you too much time. Below. I’m sharing a tutorial video from “Make it or Break it” on how you can make a tennis trainer rebound ball for under $10.
Serve, a difficult stroke to learn
For beginners, serves can be the most difficult shot to learn, especially when trying to use a continental grip. The serve is a very complex shot that requires a lot of coordination to be successful at it. Players need to maintain the proper grip, have the right form, toss the ball accurately and, finally, hit and place the ball. For beginners, all this process can take many hours of practice, and even then still struggle with the serve.
A serving tennis aid
The ServeMaster is a tennis aid that can speed up your learning process on your serve. This tool can help you get the right serving motion of the while maintaining a continental grip. It, also, allows you to get a feel of the proper form, as well as, to keep continuous coordination throughout the serve. Giving that it doesn’t require you to focus on the ball, this aid allows you to concentrate on getting the correct serving motion.
Three types of ServeMaster
There’re three versions of the ServeMaster; they differ on the weight each has.
- 1-ball ServeMaster: Recommended for 10&U kids (Weight 9 oz & Length 23 inches)
- 2-balls Servemaster: Recommended for junior players (Weight 12 oz & Length 25 inches)
- 3-ball ServeMaster: Recommended for adults (Weight 15 oz & Length 27 inches)
Besides using it for your serve, the ServeMaster can be used to practice your forehands, backhands, and overheads
Below is a video from Lisa Dodson, the creator of the Serve Master.
8. Low-Compression Balls
From regular balls to low-compression balls
Back in the day, kids will learn tennis with regular balls, however, nowadays, tennis organizations have adopted a ball progression pathway that adapts to different ages and skills. As a result, this promotes younger, as well as, beginner players to start learning the game with low-compression balls
Slows things down
This low compression balls bounce slower, as well as, lower, making rallying easier. This allows beginner and young players to hit the ball well without having to worry about the speed of the ball and/or hitting the ball late.
Three different types
There are three different types of low-compression ball: red, orange and green dotted balls.
- Red balls are 75% slower than regular balls (suitable for 5-8-year-olds)
- Orange balls are 50% slower than regular balls (suitable for 8-10-year-olds)
- Green dotted balls are 25% slower than regular balls (suitable for 9-10-year-olds)
Although these low compression balls are meant to be used by kids, I believe every beginner player, regardless of their age, should use it to practice. As a tennis coach, I use this balls, especially the green-dotted balls, with all my students because the ball travels slower, which gives them more time to set up and focus on proper form.
Rallying with low-compression balls
If you have taken tennis lessons before, you know that when the coach feeds the balls, it’s easy to hit them with proper technique. However, when you try to rally, all that technique disappears due to the fast pace of the ball. So, instead of rallying with regular balls, use low-compression balls to rally and, at the same time, work on the correct technique. You can take a progressive approach where you start with red balls and work all your way up to regular balls.
9. Start Rite Tennis Grip Trainer
Keeping the appropriate grip
In tennis, it’s essential to have the correct grip when hitting the ball. The Start Rite tennis grip trainer helps beginners players to develop the habit of using and maintaining the proper grip, whether it’s continental, eastern and/or semi-western grip. Using the proper grip is one of the main issues beginner players have to deal with.
With this grip trainer, you’ll be able to focus more on the form and technical aspects of your swings, instead of worrying about whether you’re holding the racquet the proper way.
This aid is especially useful for learning how to keep a continental grip during the serves and volleys. As a tennis coach, I’ve seen how beginner players struggle to maintain a continental grip while serving and volleys, which are probably two of the most diffcult shots to learn.
In addition, there is a guide that shows you how to place the grip trainer so you can practice all the grips, from continetal to semi-western.
A simpler and faster way to learn the grips
This grip trainer can speed up your learning process considerable, as well as, help you improve your strokes consistency, giving that you’ll learn to maitain the proper grips. In different occasions, I’ve seen tennis coaches going as far as to mark their students’ grips so they can remember to hold the racquet properly. However, this grip trainer is by far a better alternative than putting marks on the grips.
This tennis aid can be very beneficial for your game, especially if you’re serious about learning tennis.
10. Tennis Ball Machines
How does it sound to have your own coach feed you tennis balls whenever you want? Although a tennis ball machine is far from replacing your tennis coach, it can feed balls as good or better than them. Probably one of the best tennis training aids, tennis ball machines provide a realistic and useful way to practice and improve your tennis game by yourself.
Repetition & Muscle memory
These machines allow players to work on specific strokes for the time they see necessary. As a result, they can develop better muscle memory, through correct repetition. Since these machines are able to deliver the same exact shot continually, it allows players to work on the proper technique and form without having to worry about adjusting to different ball heights or speeds.
Most tennis ball machines’ prices make them a no go for beginner players. As a tennis rookie, you’re, reasonably, ready to invest some money on your tennis game, however, for most of us, paying around $1,000 for a ball machine is way too much money. So, let’s see what your options are…
An affordable tennis ball machine
The Baseliner Slam is one of the most affordable tennis ball machines in the market. With a price tag of around $400, it’s definitely not as expensive as the other ones, but, it can still help you improve your game the same way a regular tennis ball machine will.
Besides, this ball machine can be used on and off the court, making it convenient when you can’t find open courts.
Check the following clip to see it for yourself!
Although these tennis training aids will not replace the need of practicing with an instructor, they can definitely help speed up your learning process. If you have any other ideas on training aids for beginner players, please share them with us on the comment section.
Thanks for reading & good luck on your tennis journey!