Guruvi Tennis

Practice: Drills or Matches?

Many of us don’t get an opportunity to practice on a regular basis. Life is busy with work, school, family, etc. So when you do get out on the courts, whether it’s a few times a week or once a month, how do you maximize the practice session to make sure your game is improving?

The majority of recreational tennis players get together with friends and teammates and practice by playing pickup matches after a quick warm-up. Although practice matches are important, they are not the best way to improve your game. Unlike practice matches, drills can place emphasis on a specific weakness or an area that you are trying to improve and thus allow for maximum improvement. During practice matches, you may also be inclined to hide your weaknesses or play more conservatively in order to win and therefore not practice the skills that you need to develop the most.

Let’s say you want to improve your serve and volley game for doubles. Repetition makes us better, so hitting a basket of serves to your partner and following the serve with a first volley gives you more serve and volley reps than a doubles match where you only serve one out of every four games and may be inclined to stay back at the baseline after a weak serve.

What’s the perfect split between drills and practice matches? As a general rule, spend at least 33% of your practice time on drills. Uncover your weaknesses using the Guruvi Tennis App, and then improve those weaknesses with a healthy dose of drills.