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Tennis Training for the Loner
When you don't have anyone else to play tennis with, but you want to improve your strength and hitting ability, the SKLZ PowerBase Tennis Trainer may be for you.
I say "may be" because there are a few considerations and drawbacks that you should take a look at first.
I did come across 5 videos that are produced by SKLZ that I wish I had seen before trying it. I posted them below, so you might want to look at them first and then come back to this list of considerations.
1. You have to hit the ball upward to get it to bounce back at a good height. Perhaps as I got stronger, I could swing more horizontally as I like to do when actually playing.
2. You have to hit it harder than you would a regular ball because of the weight of the elastic line attached to it. I found that I was developing some shoulder discomfort from hitting it harder, so it would be wise to start for short periods of time until you get stronger.
3. The base stays in place very well, but I found it a little distracting. I was worrying about tripping on it while trying to watch the ball come back to me.
4. If you already are a strong hitter, this would be a great workout for you.
5. It is great for teaching you to keep your eye on the ball and developing eye-hand coordination.
6. It is definitely not good for children to learn on because of the strength it takes and angle at which you have to hit it. I think it would develop some poor swing patterns.
7. The SKLZ was reasonably priced and is ready to go. There are cheaper versions from other companies, but the bases have to be filled with sand or water and tend not to stay put like this one does.
If I didn't already own one and was considering buying it, I probably still would, especially now that I have seen the videos that demonstrate the Trainer.
Now that I have had it for a year, I am enjoying it much more. It comes in very handy when I'm traveling and stay at RV parks.
After driving all day, it feels good to hit a few balls and loosen up. It works best, though, where there are paved roads in the park. Gravel and dirt roads aren't recommended.
Power Base Trainer Videos
The following videos are produced by SKLZ and give a good overview of how to use the trainer to improve your skills.
There are two things I noticed from the videos that I was doing wrong. The one person always hit the ball on the second bounce. I was in front of the unit trying to hit it on one bounce. I also noticed that they stayed well behind the unit. That way I wouldn't be so worried about tripping on it or stepping on the elastic line.
Now as I see it in use by other people, I can see how it will be a valuable part of my training program. Be sure to take a look at the videos.
This first one shows you about the unit and then demonstrates some of the different strokes you can practice.
I've been trying to develop a slice so this is the perfect way to practice.
I noticed in this second one, that he doesn't worry if it bounces twice or not. He just hits it.
I think that was one of my mistakes when I first got it. I was trying to always hit it on one bounce.
WOW! This is an impressive one.
Here they are demonstrating how to do a volley drill.
I think I have to build up a lot more strength before I could get the ball to come back without a bounce.
This one demonstrates how you can practice and improve your lateral movements.
I picked up a few tips from watching that I now use in my game.
After the Serve
Good tips and practice of a readiness drill after you serve.
It makes you respond more quickly to repositioning yourself after you serve.