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kctennis1005
07-24-2008, 11:51 PM
This is what the Yale men's tennis coach. Alex Dorato, says about his tennis practices with his team. Thought maybe some people would be interested or have comments. Looks like he's doing a really good job and I like his practice format.

Running an effective practice is critical to enabling your players to reach their potential each day and in the long run. As college coaches, we have a limited amount of time for our practices, usually about two hours a day, and making the best use of that time is essential to our team’s success. Below, we have outlined the structure and the principles that we have incorporated into the organization of our team’s practices.

Structure Of Practice In General.

We structure a practice session to go from high volume (hitting a lot of balls), to high intensity (match play). The high volume of balls hit at the beginning of practice allows our players to get grooved so that when they play points at the end of practice they are at their best
.
Pre-hitting Warm-up (10 min) Our warm-up can be something as simple as jogging around the court to break a sweat followed by 5 minutes of stretching.

Warm-up (20 min) Once we are loosened-up we take 20 minutes to warm-up our strokes; 10 minutes of hitting ground-strokes followed by each player taking 4 minutes of volleys and 1 minute of overheads.

Drills (40 min) We break our drills down into 2 groups; pattern drills and point play drills.

Pattern drills (20 min) Any drill in which the players know where the ball is coming, and where they will hit the ball is a pattern drill. There are 2 types of pattern drills; pattern drills without movement and pattern drills with movement.
Without movement This includes drills such as hitting crosscourt forehands, or keeping a rally down-the-line in the alley.
With movement Pattern drills with movement include drills such as Figure Eights (one player hits crosscourt while the other hits down-the-line), and 4-Corners (one player hits all shots to the deuce court while the other player hits to alternating corners).

Point play drills (20 min) These are drills in which players can chose their shots. For instance, a ground-stroke game to 11 points would be a point play drill. There is any number of variations to a ground-stroke game – we could have them each hit an inside-out forehand to start the point, or we could have them hit 6 crosscourt backhands to start the point.

Serve & Return (20 min) During this part of practice we might work on 2nd serves one day, 1st serves another, or a combination of both.

Match play (30 min) This time can be used to play singles sets, doubles sets, or tie-breakers. We sometimes keep score in different ways – have the server start each game down love-thirty so that they learn to battle from behind, or we might limit each player to one serve to work on our second serves.

Principles of an Effective Practice

The principles listed below help us to maximize our time on the court:

Set goals for the day and goals for each drill: At the beginning of practice we go over what we will be working on that day. Examples of our daily goals include: hitting with more depth, eliminating unforced errors, developing a weapon, hitting high percentage shots, attacking short balls, finishing points at the net, etc.
We also set a specific goal for each drill. For any drill (for example, simply hitting crosscourt back and forth), we modify the parameters in any number of ways to help us achieve our specific goal for the drill. If we want our players to improve their net clearance then we might have them do 5 push-ups for a net error. If we are working on depth then we might have them aim at targets placed deep in the court. If we are working on consistency then we might have them keep track of their longest rally. There are endless ways of altering the parameters of a drill to achieve the goal of the drill.

Have fun while working hard:

Having fun makes our players look forward to being on the court and enables them to maximize their potential to learn. Working hard instills in them a sense of confidence and accomplishment.
Keep everyone busy: We design all of our drills to keep our players busy. This in turn makes practice fun and keeps them focused from the first ball they hit to the last.

Structure drills to compete:

The more often our players compete in practice the better they will compete in matches. To this end, no matter what drill they are doing, we have them competing. The winners might get a reward; they can get a drink of water while the losers pick up balls, or we give them praise in front of the whole team for a job well done. At other times the losers might be punished; they might do push-ups for an unforced error, or they can bring the winners a cup of water. Other times we there will be neither a reward nor punishment (other than the intrinsic reward or punishment of winning or losing).

Keep focus high:

Usually we change drills every ten to fifteen minutes. In this way the players never get bored and they can maintain maximum concentration. Competing and goal setting for each drill also keeps focus at a maximum. We even set a specific goal for the warm-up (such as fewest unforced net errors wins) so that our players are focused from the first ball that they hit.

Our players perform best with structure and discipline. Keep your explanations and goals specific and simple! Make every shot count; make every drill matter; make your players work hard and extend their concentration and fitness in every practice. If you mentally and physically prepare a great practice every day, your players will reap tremendous dividends.

A good practice helps your players get better; an organized, intense, and competitive practice best prepares your players for competition. Through careful planning and encouragement, your players will be confident and ready to perform at their highest level when “match time” rolls around.

cmb
07-25-2008, 04:30 AM
thing I did not like about college tennis practices is there was too much changing/rotating courts. Everytime I was starting to get a feel for the drill, it was off to a new drill. Totaly f'ed my timing up for real matches.

Its all good stuff in theory, but u have to look at each players timing, its a hard job for college coaches though.

JLyon
07-25-2008, 05:43 AM
well when you only have 20hrs of official practice/training a week due to NCAA Regulations then a coach is forced to get in as much as possible.
At the D1 level expecially for the men the players already have big games, the coaches responsibility is to build on the existing game teach the players better strategy.

WBF
07-25-2008, 06:08 AM
Yale is D1 isn't it? Sounds nearly identical to our practices at a D3 school. I'm assuming they continue with lifting or other conditioning following these practices?

jmv7743
07-25-2008, 06:31 AM
yale is ivy league

MTChong
07-25-2008, 08:45 AM
yale is ivy league

Right, but it's still a D1 school to answer the poster who asked the question.

Fedace
07-25-2008, 08:48 AM
That is nice and all. but he needs to do a better job of recruting. Harvard is kicking his butt every year. he needs to recruit new young juniors that are in top 10.

Joeyg
07-25-2008, 09:41 AM
Another in a long line of moronic posts, Dr. Fedace. Yale is primarily an academic school. They recruit, but the chances of them getting a top 10 junior are pretty low considering they don't give academic scholarships.

I guess you being a Stanford grad and all, should have know this.

jaggy
07-25-2008, 10:05 AM
Another in a long line of moronic posts, Dr. Fedace. Yale is primarily an academic school. They recruit, but the chances of them getting a top 10 junior are pretty low considering they don't give academic scholarships.

I guess you being a Stanford grad and all, should have know this.

I would argue that their chances of getting a Top 10 player are only low due to the top juniors not having the grades to get in, nothing to do with scholarships. Ivy schools often give close to 100% scholarships for academics so you get the $, only from a different source.

Fedace
07-25-2008, 10:08 AM
I would argue that their chances of getting a Top 10 player are only low due to the top juniors not having the grades to get in, nothing to do with scholarships. Ivy schools often give close to 100% scholarships for academics so you get the $, only from a different source.

Harvard seem to get some nice or sometimes top players time to time. and they always compete very close at the ITA events and send their players to NCAA championships. HUmmmmmm, i wonder how they do it.....:):shock:

kctennis1005
07-25-2008, 10:42 AM
I would argue that their chances of getting a Top 10 player are only low due to the top juniors not having the grades to get in, nothing to do with scholarships. Ivy schools often give close to 100% scholarships for academics so you get the $, only from a different source.

ivies dont give academic scholarships either. its all based on need-based financial aid and generally they will be pretty generous to the athletes. also, i think yale doesnt get the players harvard does is because yale is very strict about its players almost being able to get in on their own. harvard is a little less strict academic wise with their players.

Fedace
07-25-2008, 10:55 AM
ivies dont give academic scholarships either. its all based on need-based financial aid and generally they will be pretty generous to the athletes. also, i think yale doesnt get the players harvard does is because yale is very strict about its players almost being able to get in on their own. harvard is a little less strict academic wise with their players.

Agree with this. They cut you more slack so to speak. I really wonder what type of grades James Blake had when he was in high school?? I am sure he is a smart guy and did well but i wonder if he could have gotten in on his own ???:confused:

chrisplchs
07-25-2008, 05:07 PM
i'm pretty sure it isn't 20 hours of practice but 8 hours of practice that you are limited to. 20 hours of practice is 3 hours a day, everyday of the week which is a lot, even if you have weight training

JLyon
07-25-2008, 05:14 PM
i'm pretty sure it isn't 20 hours of practice but 8 hours of practice that you are limited to. 20 hours of practice is 3 hours a day, everyday of the week which is a lot, even if you have weight training

It is 20 hrs a week and you are not allowed to play matches/practice/official training more than 6 days in a row or that was rule back when I was in college.

duso
07-26-2008, 06:19 PM
yes, its 20 hrs. per week. So far as athletes and standards being reduced, it depends on the sport. Hockey seemed to get people in who were marginal academically. However, its the Ivy League, money seems to be available through a number of sources. I am not in a position to question financial rewards, BUT, players who needed it always seemed to get some sort of source. Hey, its fairly big time tennis. The athletic department wants to win. And lets face it, traditionally tennis was a "Ivy League, rich kid sort of sport." Some of that remains. Take a trip to any of the Ivy schools, and the facilities will support that.

MegacedU
08-02-2008, 10:01 PM
Similar to our practices too. However in addition to this we had the pleasure of getting up at 5:30 am to work out with our trainers in the gym 3 days a week.

Dedans Penthouse
08-08-2008, 12:56 PM
Did you say "getting up" or "getting in" at 5:30 a.m., Meg? :razz:

MegacedU
08-10-2008, 08:06 PM
The former. The bars close soooo early in providence. :(

Dedans Penthouse
08-11-2008, 07:34 AM
I know what you mean; the "early bird" closings in New England were a surprise for me when I first encountered them "hey!..we're just gettin' started!"

I mean, who arrives "unfashionably EARLY" before 11:30 p.m. anyway? A "hello, how are you?" and the next thing ya know, they're flickin' the lights for "last call." What the hell happened to a good, old-fashioned 4:00 a.m. "last call?" :neutral: lol

MegacedU
08-11-2008, 07:45 PM
Oh how I miss the 4 am last calls and then sleeping in my car before work at 7. aww

Wondertoy
09-05-2008, 09:11 AM
For some reason Yale's tennis teams are never competitive against the other Ivys.

OleNole
09-05-2008, 02:00 PM
http://tennisrecruiting.net/conference.asp?id=16

Here's the players who've signed with Ivy League schools over the last 5 years; it looks like recruiting is not the reason Yale has been at or near the bottom.

TennisProdigy
09-05-2008, 02:39 PM
The best and fastest way to improve is to play players of similar level or higher than yours. Drills where you wait in line are junk same with running. If you're not holding a racquet in your hand and hitting the ball you aren't making the most out of your practice.

Pusher
09-08-2008, 02:52 AM
well when you only have 20hrs of official practice/training a week due to NCAA Regulations then a coach is forced to get in as much as possible.
At the D1 level expecially for the men the players already have big games, the coaches responsibility is to build on the existing game teach the players better strategy.

"Official" practice time is the operative word. My son is a freshman at a D-1 program and they practice 7 days a week in addition to weight training 5 days a week and running 3 days a week. Some of the practices are "unofficial" where the coach is not in attendance and the practice is run by the team captain. That seems to be the loophole in the NCAA regs.