With the urging of several comments from my past entries and videos, I tried practicing versus a wall. Just like you can in Ping Pong, I simply hit a ball against a wall, and then tried to continue the volley as I ran back and forth to keep up.
Though I’ve never tried tennis, it reminded me a lot of playing that sport, especially since I was using a tennis ball instead of a sliotar, the ball used in hurling.
It was a good exercise because it tested my reactions and my foot coordination as I scrambled from one spot to the next, which you can see in this video:
Edit: I have since learned I did the wall exercise incorrectly. See comments!
To be honest, I was actually surprised when I managed to get the hang of it after a few tries. I even was able to keep a volley going for five or six returns.
That was the easy part.
What was the hard part? Well, that was just finding a wall to use in the first place.
The problem is that there are have several criteria for the perfect wall ball practice session:
- First, it had to be brick, concrete or similar hard building material.
- Second, it had to have a decent open area next to it — whether it was a parking lot or field.
- Third, the wall has to be pretty high. A lot of hurling involves launching the ball way high. This I learned the hard way because I actually shot one ball too hard and high and lost it on a roof.
- Fourth, no windows. I didn’t want to break one in an effort to learn this strange sport.
- Finally, it had to be a public (or unoccupied) building because I didn’t want to get in any trouble for abusing someone else’s property. These requirements were pretty difficult to fill, but I eventually found such a building at a local municipal park.
Granted, I won’t be able to use it on weekday evenings when the parking lot will be full, but it was a dream to use on Sunday.
This just further proves the point that these practice walls are hard to come by.
In Ireland, they’ve actually solved the problem by constructing hurling walls (a video of which you can see below). These practice facilities are easy to build and quite popular to use in the development of basic fielding skills, as you can see in this video.
Unfortunately, I can’t imagine that such a facility will appear in the U.S. any time soon. Until then, I’ll keep hunting for the perfect place to practice my wall ball.
(Camogie, by the way, is essentially hurling for females.)Read More