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Cindysphinx
03-17-2007, 07:43 AM
I went to a try-out/drill class last night, and we ran a drill that I thought was very effective. My 3.0 team doesn't have a coach running practices, so we're always looking for drills that will work at our level that don't require a teaching pro. So if anyone has a drill that others might find helpful, please describe it.

OK. This drill requires players to play singles on half of the court (center line to outside doubles sideline). It requires players to work in pairs, keeping score. I will describe how two people would do the drill.

Both players begin at the baseline. One player feeds the ball in any manner to the other player. The players play out the point on half the court and can come to net, lob, whatever. The player who wins the point is then entitled to begin the next point at the net while the losing player must begin at the baseline. The baseliner feeds a ball to the net player, and they play out the point.

If the net player loses the point, the baseliner then can become the net player and the net player must begin at the baseline.

Players only score points when they started the point at the net. So if the baseliner wins the point, the baseliner does not get a point. The reward is the baseliner starts the next point at the net and has the opportunity to score points.

The baseliner may feed in any manner desired but cannot hit a feed winner (a ball the net player can't touch). So a topspin lob would not be a fair feed. A ripped topspin groundstroke at the body is a fair feed. If the baseliner misses with the feed, the baseliner grabs another ball and feeds again. But if the baseliner misses the feed three times, the baseliner loses a point.

After five minutes, winners rotate to the left, losers rotate to the right. (Or rotate in whatever manner you like).

This drill was excellent in many ways. Those who can volley deep or drop volley do well. Those with good passing strokes do well. Those who try to volley an inch from the net get lobbed, so smart net players start in an appropriate volley position.

AR15
03-17-2007, 10:28 AM
Sounds interesting.

Did you have any problems with players next to you running in to each other or getting in each other's way?

At 3.0 level, do you have many rallies or were most points rather short?

Lindros13
03-17-2007, 10:39 AM
Sounds interesting.

Did you have any problems with players next to you running in to each other or getting in each other's way?


I was wondering the same thing. Also, were most players hitting the initial ball at the netman extremely hard? I would imagine they could just blast it at the netman, low to the net, but even so, it sounds interesting!

Cruzer
03-17-2007, 11:02 AM
I was wondering the same thing. Also, were most players hitting the initial ball at the netman extremely hard? I would imagine they could just blast it at the netman, low to the net, but even so, it sounds interesting!

I have done a similar drill. The idea is to control your shots rather than see how hard you can hit the ball.

Swissv2
03-17-2007, 11:10 AM
I know plenty of drills, but they may be too advanced.

J011yroger
03-17-2007, 12:24 PM
You can only hit to 1/2 the court, and the feed cannot be a winner? I can't imagine the baseline player winning too many points at higher levels.

What about consistency drills like having 4 players on the court, the two players on one side only hit down the line, the two on the other only hit crosscourt. The ball goes round and round to all four players, and they all hit the same shot. Then when you get good with one ball, you feed in another and another and another.

So the balls go like this (Top Row hits Xcourt, bottom hits DTL)

1 3

----------

4 2

Or play games where you only get a point if one player is standing in front of the service line when the point ends.

Play games where you only get one serve.

Play games where you get three serves.

Play games where the server must get the serve in but the returner gets two chances to return it.

Play games where winners are not counted.

Endless variations of king/queen of the court.

Play games where you must come in on any ball short of the service line.

Play games where you can only hit forehands.

Play games where your opponent has to call out the type and location of the serve that you are to hit, and if you don't hit that type of serve in that location you lose the point.

Play games where the server only gets one serve, and the returner must hit a winner, or force an error to win a point. (If the serve is out the returner gets a point, if the serve is not returned for a winner or error the server gets the point.)

You don't need a coach to play a lot of the games that coaches run, just get a hopper, and keep it full of gently used balls. (at the 3.0 level it isn't like you are wearing out balls in an hour so they should be abundant) have one person feed, then rotate who feeds after every game.

The important thing is to have some reason for doing a drill that will help you in playing situations. Don't do something just to have fun, or do something different, play practice games that will allow you to work on some aspect of your game.


J

J011yroger
03-17-2007, 12:26 PM
I know plenty of drills, but they may be too advanced.

Post some of your favorites, just because the OP is a 3.0 there are others that might be able to benefit.

And just because someone is a lower level doesn't mean they cannot benefit from advanced drills anyway. They may struggle with execution, but the object is to challange yourself and get better.

J

Raiden.Kaminari
03-17-2007, 02:00 PM
Post some of your favorites, just because the OP is a 3.0 there are others that might be able to benefit.

And just because someone is a lower level doesn't mean they cannot benefit from advanced drills anyway. They may struggle with execution, but the object is to challange yourself and get better.

J

I have to agree. Even though the 3.0 players may not be consistent enough, if they do the drills properly, they surely will improve.

Modification for Jollyroger's consistency drill :
1. All players start at the center of the court, and must return to the center of the court after hitting the ball (ie. down the line, crosscourt). Make sure to rotate positions after at least 20 continuous hits.
2. Move up and change the drill to a volley drill.
3. Have one set of players hit lobs, the other set of players hit regular strokes
4. (endless possibilities with the same basic framework).

Additional consistency drill

1. Only hit within the singles lines.
2. All players hit crosscourt.
3. After everyone is warmed up, make it a race to see who can reach 20 hits with the same ball (single bounce). Losing pairs have to run a lap around the court.
4. Control Modification: All players now hit down the line within the alley. Again, after everyone has warmed up, losing pairs have to run a lap around the court. Based on the challenge and modification, this can be a 5.0+ level drill (ie. 20 hits consecutively within the alley, x number of misses requires players to run or do push ups, etc.)

There are a lot more that I can think of, but I have to go now that you can do without a tennis instructor (I hate calling most teaching "pros" because they usually do worse drills than me).

Cindysphinx
03-17-2007, 02:25 PM
Sounds interesting.

Did you have any problems with players next to you running in to each other or getting in each other's way?

At 3.0 level, do you have many rallies or were most points rather short?

No, it doesn't pay to hit big angles in this drill, so I was rarely aware of the other pair sharing the court.

It was a 3.5 tryout, so the players were 3.5 or 3.0.

Blasting the feed wasn't necessarily the best way to win and earn yourself a place at the net if you were at the baseline. I found a dipper shot to the body most effective. Also, high to the backhand was pretty lucrative. Excess pace on the feed often got you a screamer reply; taking off pace and adding spin often drew an error.

In one game I played, the end score was 2-2, as the net player kept missing wide or getting lobbed. In another game I played, I won something like 11-2 because the other player lacked a good passing shot.