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View Full Version : Best speed and footwork drills: Calling BungaloBill


Mansewerz
07-24-2009, 04:54 PM
Hey BB, i remember you telling me that the best way to work on footwork was to do heavy drilling where I would be sweating and ready to kill the feeder.

Different drills such as cross court, sampras drill, chang drill, overheads, etc.

What other drills do you recommend?


Also, I need to do speed drills as well. Which ones would you recommend?

Bungalo Bill
07-24-2009, 05:11 PM
Hey BB, i remember you telling me that the best way to work on footwork was to do heavy drilling where I would be sweating and ready to kill the feeder.

Different drills such as cross court, sampras drill, chang drill, overheads, etc.

What other drills do you recommend?


Also, I need to do speed drills as well. Which ones would you recommend?

You can be as creative as you want. The goal is to stress your hitting, movement, footwork patterns, footwork quickness and speed, mental strength, and conditioning to stay in the drill.

You can do overhead drills, mix up groundstrokes with runaround forehand, come to net field three volleys, then go get an overhead while hitting all of your shots to certain spots either preplanned or called out.

Such as placing cones on the court and naming them #1, #2, #3, and so on. Driller hits the ball and calls the cone #1. You try to hit more and more balls in sequence so you are working on things. You will perform your split-steps, shuffle steps, recovery positions, everything, while hitting balls.

You can also do the drill that I mentioned that has your partner staying on one side of the court, while you have to field balls all over the court. Your partner is not allowed to hit winners but is suppose to keep the ball in play, keep you guessing and give you balls that are reachable but you would still have to move to get to them. You have to hit the ball right back to your partner so he can place the next ball. He can bring you to net, hit over you, bring you back to net, hit over you again, and then hit crosscourt to begin another rally. Your goal is to hit 50 balls.

While doing these drills, work on your technique, dont overhit, your footwork patterns to help you get to balls with less steps and more effciently, etc...

Otehr drills involve using the lines of the court such as suicides, etc...

Speed drills are:

1. Hexagon

2. Sprints

3. Butt Kicks

4. Suicides

5. Lateral movement drills that are timed.

6. Drills where you pick up a ball and place it at another position on the court such as the T. Then getting another ball and bringing back to the T from a different corner of the court. You need to time those things.

The object of all of these is to move your butt while executing good footwork patterns not losing your technique and building up your endurance, stamina, and mental strength.

Here is a weak demonstration but it gives you an idea of other drills.

http://www.ehow.com/video_2356857_tips-tennis-footwork-drills.html The issue I had with this lady doing these is many times she was bending at the waist. She needs to bend at the knees to pick up those balls or touch the lines. This is reinforcing good tennis technique and it works the quads more.

Ultra2HolyGrail
07-24-2009, 05:30 PM
the best way to work on footwork is try to imitate a pro and watch his feet, movement, if all you are after is advice on the internet and not hands on lessons. Watch videos of connors.

Mansewerz
07-24-2009, 05:34 PM
You can be as creative as you want. The goal is to stress your hitting, movement, footwork patterns, footwork quickness and speed, mental strength, and conditioning to stay in the drill.

You can do overhead drills, mix up groundstrokes with runaround forehand, come to net field three volleys, then go get an overhead while hitting all of your shots to certain spots either preplanned or called out.

Such as placing cones on the court and naming them #1, #2, #3, and so on. Driller hits the ball and calls the cone #1. You try to hit more and more balls in sequence so you are working on things. You will perform your split-steps, shuffle steps, recovery positions, everything, while hitting balls.

You can also do the drill that I mentioned that has your partner staying on one side of the court, while you have to field balls all over the court. Your partner is not allowed to hit winners but is suppose to keep the ball in play, keep you guessing and give you balls that are reachable but you would still have to move to get to them. You have to hit the ball right back to your partner so he can place the next ball. He can bring you to net, hit over you, bring you back to net, hit over you again, and then hit crosscourt to begin another rally. Your goal is to hit 50 balls.

While doing these drills, work on your technique, dont overhit, your footwork patterns to help you get to balls with less steps and more effciently, etc...

Otehr drills involve using the lines of the court such as suicides, etc...

Speed drills are:

1. Hexagon

2. Sprints

3. Butt Kicks

4. Suicides

5. Lateral movement drills that are timed.

6. Drills where you pick up a ball and place it at another position on the court such as the T. Then getting another ball and bringing back to the T from a different corner of the court. You need to time those things.

The object of all of these is to move your butt while executing good footwork patterns not losing your technique and building up your endurance, stamina, and mental strength.

Here is a weak demonstration but it gives you an idea of other drills.

http://www.ehow.com/video_2356857_tips-tennis-footwork-drills.html The issue I had with this lady doing these is many times she was bending at the waist. She needs to bend at the knees to pick up those balls or touch the lines. This is reinforcing good tennis technique and it works the quads more.

Wow! Thank You BB!

I have another question: Will the split step come inherently as I do these drills more and more, or will I consciously have to do it at the beginning until it becomes a habit?

mikeler
07-24-2009, 06:36 PM
I had to think/practice using a split step at first, but then it became 2nd nature.

Mansewerz
07-24-2009, 08:02 PM
I had to think/practice using a split step at first, but then it became 2nd nature.

Sweet! Thanks!

Also BB, what is the hexagon, and how would one do buttkicks? From sideline to sideline? Diamond, around the court, etc?

Bungalo Bill
07-25-2009, 05:30 AM
Wow! Thank You BB!

I have another question: Will the split step come inherently as I do these drills more and more, or will I consciously have to do it at the beginning until it becomes a habit?

You need to practice the split-step because it is a timing footwork pattern. In other words, by itself, the split-step is easy to do. However, it becomes more difficult to perform when you need to do it at a certain time because chances are you are moving and need to split-step at a precise moment.

Split-stepping too early and you sink and lose its spontaneous directon chenge. Split-step too late and, well, you get the picture.

You need to practice footwork patterns individually and within a drill mixing in other patterns. Rhythm is important as well as timing. Spli-steps also need to be practiced for service returns. Many people can push-off better after a split-step on one side of their body vs. the other. Strengthen both.

The hexagon drill is where you put both your feet together and move then out and then back into the middle together. You go out and then back to the center. As you move out, you are outlining a Hexagon.

Butt kicks are great to help improve leg speed. You exaggerate the the leg going back as you jog down a track or court. When your leg goes back, you allow it to go up and hit your butt. Someone shoed Federers footwork training recently in another post, Federer was doing butt kicks in there.

Also, I forgot a very important one - jump rope. Do it a lot.

Note: I think I misunderstood you. Butt kicks are normally performed in a straight line. Usually, well, when I played more, would head to a track and perform this exercise on one of the straight parts of the track. I would do stair climbs too, sprints, sideline to sideline sprints.

For example (and this can be a killer workout) when I used to play football and tennis back in the day, we would run suicides using a football fields sidelines and hash marks.

So, out to a hash mark and back. Out to about the middle of the field and back. Out to the far hash mark and back. Out to the other side line and back. Out the other sideline, back to the other sideline, and then back to the other sideline. This kept going and going until you fell down and puked. :)

sgrv
07-25-2009, 09:34 AM
How to make split-step 2nd nature or bake it into muscle memory? Currently, I have to conciously remember to split step, it does take away a few brain cycles from preparing for the next shot. Often I am not able to remember to split step when the rally is moving quickly.

Bungalo Bill
07-25-2009, 12:03 PM
How to make split-step 2nd nature or bake it into muscle memory? Currently, I have to conciously remember to split step, it does take away a few brain cycles from preparing for the next shot. Often I am not able to remember to split step when the rally is moving quickly.

And this is exactly why you want to tax your brain/physical conditioning during a drill. It does not have time to think and then execute. You have to execute and think nearly at the same time or you will fail. At first, you will fail a lot because your trying to make things automatic so you can concentrate on only getting to the ball but your brain wont let you because it is still thinking in sequence. "1st this, then this, then this."

The brain has to get to the point where it thinks "This and this and this and this nearly at the same time or at least anticipates next moves in a split-second because it is aware and senses things. It has to be drilled to be second nature. It is sort of like breathing while moving. You just dont think about breathing because it is automated.

wihamilton
07-25-2009, 12:20 PM
I hope everyone realizes how lucky we are to have BB on these boards.

Great thread / great advice.

Mansewerz
07-25-2009, 04:10 PM
Bill, i'm a little bit confused when you say footwork patterns.

What exactly is a pattern on its own? For example, a serve and volley pattern? A baseline hugging pattern? Transition pattern?

Bungalo Bill
07-25-2009, 07:47 PM
Bill, i'm a little bit confused when you say footwork patterns.

What exactly is a pattern on its own? For example, a serve and volley pattern? A baseline hugging pattern? Transition pattern?

A pattern is the way your feet move.

Performing shuffles steps is a pattern. You shuffle to position by moving your feet a certain way - a pattern.

A split-step is a pattern. You perform the split-step by executing a small hop to unweight the feet and then pushing off a particular foot to move in a certain direction.

Performing a gravity step is a pattern that leads into another pattern.

Footspeed is how fast you can move your feet while performing a footwork pattern. Getting to the ball, making adjustment steps, planting, balancing, and then stepping into your shot can be considered a footwork pattern. It is the way you move your feet.

If you use good footwork patterns, you can reduce the amount of steps it takes to get to the ball. This is called improving your efficiency. Also, you can improve your court coverage by improving your use of patterns and foot speed which gets into the area of how effective your footwork is as you move throughout the court.

Foot patterns, foot speed, foot quickness, all fall into what is known as footwork.

Mansewerz
07-25-2009, 07:51 PM
A pattern is the way your feet move.

Performing shuffles steps area a pattern. You shuffle to position by moving yoru feet a certain way.

A split-step is a pattern. You perform the split-step by executing a small hop to unweight the feet and then pushing off a particular foot to move in a certain direction.

Performing a gravity step is a pattern that leads into another pattern.

Footspeed is how fast you can move your feet while performing a footwork pattern. Getting to the ball, making adjustment steps, planting, balancing, and then stepping into your shot can be considered a footwork pattern. It is the way you move your feet.

If you use good footwork patterns, you can reduce the amount of steps it takes to get to the ball. This is called improving your efficiency. Also, you can improve your court coverage by improving your use of patterns and foot speed which gets into the area of how effective your footwork is as you move throughout the court.

Foot patterns, foot speed, foot quickness, all fall into what is known as footwork.

Ah, that makes plenty of sense. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Also, my coach mentioned the volleying against a wall that I know you've mentioned plenty of times.

He said when he was younger, they needed to get 1000 on a brick wall :shock:

Bungalo Bill
07-25-2009, 08:02 PM
Ah, that makes plenty of sense. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Also, my coach mentioned the volleying against a wall that I know you've mentioned plenty of times.

He said when he was younger, they needed to get 1000 on a brick wall :shock:

Yes, I had to do similar things. When you get better at it, it actually makes practicing against a wall much more fun and challenging instead of mindlessly hitting it back and forth.

Volleying against the wall does several things:

1. It builds hand-eye-foot coordination.

2. It builds volley control and racquet head control.

3. It strengthens the forearm and hand.

4. It provides you a good workout.

I still highly recommened it. In fact, for me, when I practice my volleys against a wall before a match, I noticed an immediate transfer to the court. One of the few things I have observed that transfers immediately.

Mansewerz
07-26-2009, 10:38 AM
Yeah, it really gives a workout.

One thing though: I noticed that if I tried a flat, penetrating volley, I would have no time to react. I had to resort to a little more scooping action (still punching), but with less stick and higher trajectory. Is that normal?

tennisnut16
07-26-2009, 04:23 PM
Different drills such as cross court, sampras drill, chang drill, overheads, etc.


What are the sampras and chang drills?

Bungalo Bill
07-27-2009, 08:00 AM
Yeah, it really gives a workout.

One thing though: I noticed that if I tried a flat, penetrating volley, I would have no time to react. I had to resort to a little more scooping action (still punching), but with less stick and higher trajectory. Is that normal?

Yes, that is the racquet head control I am talking about. You can't punch through the volley or you will have no time to setup and the ball will come blasting back to you. I stand about six feet away and perform the drill.