Mitch Hedberg once joked that no matter how good he got at tennis, he’d “never be as good as a wall.” In some ways he was right, but in others he was terribly wrong!
We can learn from his comment however. Let’s consider why he believed that a wall was so good at tennis:
A wall never misses
A wall never tires
A wall can hit a ball as hard (or as soft) as you can
A wall cannot move to run down a sharp angle
A wall cannot decide how hard (or how soft) to hit the ball
A wall cannot change it’s gameplan!
In this case, a wall just may be the most consistent hitting partner a tennis player could ever ask to have. I remember as a kid, driving my parents absolutely bonkers hitting a tennis ball against the garage door.
I really don’t understand how (or why) they put up with it but they did. And I am thankful for their patience. I learned consistency, focus, patience and even a bit of humility as I knew there was no other option except that I miss a shot before the wall did. The wall was simply relentless!
The harder I hit the ball, the harder it came back. When I displayed some ‘touch,’ the wall would respond in kind. The wall was patient enough to play with me when I was only 4 years old, and is still good enough (barely) to handle me now.
Therefore, whether you are a “weekend warrior” type of adult player, a tournament level junior player or even a 4 year old with a knack for repetition, the wall might just be the most consistent hitting partner any tennis player could ever ask to have!
Good luck, and remind your child of Rule #1 for Ankle Biters Tennis:
Never try to hit the ball with your face!