It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or a professional tennis player. Someone who just started playing or a Grand Slam champion. Everyone needs a partner of some form to actually play tennis. Practice is necessary to improve and for that, you need someone to train with. But how do you find the perfect partner? Is it going to be a friend, a ball machine, a sparring partner, a coach, or just a wall?
There are various ways to find the right tennis partner. You can play with a friend, get a coach, hire a professional hitting partner, buy a ball machine, or play against a wall. Just like with almost everything else, nowadays there are also apps where you can find someone to play with.
Why Is It Important to Have a Hitting Partner?
For starters, you need a hitting partner to practice as without practice there is no chance you will ever improve your game. With a hitting partner, no matter what type of partner it is, it’s all just about hitting the ball and getting some rhythm. You can train exactly what you need to work on without the pressure of losing points or a match. The setting is much more relaxing and you can get instant feedback without any repercussions.
Joining a Tennis Club or a League
Joining a local tennis club is one of the best ways to find a hitting partner, whether you hire a pro or just let them know you are available to hit with another club member.
Even if you choose not to join the club, many times, they will let you post your information on an internal board to let others know you are looking and maybe you can join as a guest.
If it’s within your budget you can also take a few lessons or hitting sessions with a local pro, who can then set you up with other players. Maybe you’ll even meet friends with whom you can split semi-private lessons going forward.
Joining a league, team or even contacting them will ensure you find partners and teammates at your same level. They offer tournaments, lessons, clubs, clinics, camps, trips and travel and so much more for tennis players, as their job is to grow the sport. Joining your local league is a great way to find tennis partners.
Using Tennis Apps
Using tennis apps is a very convenient way to find a tennis partner. Nowadays there are various options to choose from. One example is Tennis Buddy, where users can connect with fellow tennis players in the nearby area who are looking for hitting partners or match opponents at any given moment.
It’s a location-based app and is established in more than ten cities. It has features like the ability to filter by different criteria such as distance, age, gender, and skill level. Users can also check out all local player profiles and view feedback ratings they have received from other Tennis Buddy players. You can also just post a broadcast that will be instantly received by all tennis players in the area.
Other app options are also TennisPAL, Play Your Court, or Swing Vision.
Hiring a Tennis Partner
This is a great way to train and play exactly what you want to work on. It will improve your endurance and footwork because the rallies will be much longer than in a regular match. Because of this, players will realize how important good footwork is and that it’s the basis of any tennis success.
Without the pressure of winning, players can stay more relaxed and can even smile during the rallies. They can even celebrate the partners’ shots as well as their own. Players can realize their true potential because they feel much looser in a hitting session.
The point of rallies isn’t to win the point but about how both players focus on each shot that they hit and each rally that they are playing. Because there aren’t any rewards or consequences players learn to deal with their misses before they start the next rally.
This option can be quite pricey depending on where you are, but it might still be cheaper than joining a country club or league. We have written a guide on the cost of tennis lessons, and you can check it out here – How Much Do Tennis Lessons Cost?
The Best Partners: Walls and Ball Machines
If you happen to not have a training partner but are still interested in getting as much practice in as possible, then there are several options you can choose from. The two most common ways to practice alone are against a wall and with a tennis ball machine.
Both the tennis ball machine and the wall are excellent ways to practice tennis alone. You can work on your footing, placement, and technique on both. However, a tennis ball machine is better in offering a more realistic ball movement and feel for the tennis court compared to a wall. A ball machine can be used to make the same shot over and over again.
With a wall, you lack the depth of the court. This is an important part of tennis as depth control and placement are some of the most fundamental skills you need to work on.
Finding the right training partner can be difficult and is unique to each person. It depends on how much time, or money someone has. If you are just an amateur or a player that is serious about becoming a pro player. But with all the hitting partners mentioned above, it’s about hitting the ball moving around, not keeping score, and just playing tennis for the fun of it or to improve certain aspects of your game.
It is about keeping a healthy perspective on tennis and to enjoy the sport even more. The technical and strategic elements of tennis are imperative, but they are useless when a player can’t fully relax and doesn’t completely trust their body when out on the court. So, make time sometimes to forget about all the pressures of what you can be in tennis, and just go out a have a good time for a few hours!