Rally exercises for two?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Lautrec, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Lautrec

    Lautrec New User

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    I hope I worded the title correctly. What I'm looking for are exercises or 'games' for two players where neither acts as a coach for the other and both try to win. It shouldn't involve a serve as I'm looking to fit in maximum amount of rally balls per time invested. It should differ from normal hitting in that it has some form of goal, and it shouldn't just be normal sets with underarm serves as there would hardly be any point in that.

    One exercise I came up with (not the first I'm sure) involves only getting points for winners. If you hit a clean winner you get 1 point, first to 10 points wins. If the other guy makes an error you get 0 points. Play is started by either guy putting a ball in play and the counting begins when it has cleared the net 3 times.

    What do you think, got any others?
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Rally serve, ball goes over the net twice, groundie point now starts.
    Games to 11 and 21 are most common.
    Common courtesy is to NOT hit the 3rd ball for a winner, but to gradually increase the distance away from the partner.
     
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  3. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    The "X" or w/e it's called when one player hits DTL and the other CC. Co-operative done, generally speaking.
    Then they switch.

    Try and see how you like it?
    Disclaimer: if one is out of shape or a flat hitter, he/she may not like it at firts lol
     
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  4. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    As LeeD said. You can also increase the value for winners as opposed to errors if you want to work on more aggressive hitting.
     
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  5. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Yup, I love doing this. You can sometimes get as many good extended rallies in one quick game of points to 11 as you can in a whole set.
     
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  6. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    What is the purpose of playing games without serving? Just to get longer rallies in or not to get tired serving?
     
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  7. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    There is one called "21" where you both hit 2 cross courts and then 1 dtl and so on....so it would go like this:

    cross, cross, cross, cross, dtl.
    cross, cross, cross, cross, dtl.
    repeat as long as u can.

    It's not easy to do and tires you out quickly.
     
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  8. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    we play a game that works on shot depth. The game is played by hitting balls cross court (work on both FH and BH sides) must hit cross court. There is an imaginary line down the center of the court. All balls hit must land beyond the service line and between the sideline and imaginary center line and before the service line, anything outside this square you lose the point.

    We play: hit 5 cross court FH and on 5th ball switch to 5 cross court BH, whoever misses losses the point
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    JackB1....
    Purpose? I was just answering OP's question, not extolling the virtues of rally practice from the baseline.
    Me, I like to hit a serve, then end the point within 3 shots.
    I like to return a serve, then end the point within 3 shots.
     
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  10. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I have seen people play games like this and was just wondering what the benefits were? I would guess to work more on grounstrokes. When you play regular games, often times they are just serve, return and then 1 or 2 shots.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'm with you.
    I play in practice like I play in matches, exactly as you describe.
    I can only stare in wide eyed wonder when the points lasts 25+ shots, and wonder ....WHY?
    I can hit well harder than my actual level of play.
    I can also run well under my level of play.
    And fitness? I'm fit for windsurfing.
     
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  12. counterfeit25

    counterfeit25 Rookie

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    I don't like the games where you only get points for hitting a winner, or games you are awarded more for hitting winners. It encourages bad habits when you are on defense, and it's unrealistic as well when you're practicing offense.

    For example, someone I used to hit with played a game where winners count for 5 points, and winning the point otherwise gives you only 1 point (something along those lines, it's been a while).

    So, when I am trying to construct a point, and pull him out of position into a defensive position, he tries to go for a super aggressive shot. Because, if he makes an unforced error like that, he only gives me 1 point. But, if he plays good defense and tries to hit a neutral ball and make me hit another shot, he risks popping it a little short and giving me the chance to hit a clean winner, which gives me 5 points.

    I, on the other hand, when I see him go for broke when he's out of position, get frustrated because good defenders in a "real" tennis game do not do that!
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You bud is creating an artificial tennis reward system.
    A point is worth a point. Errors or winners, it don't matter.
    I figure, if I can't hit a winner within 4 shots, I don't belong on the court with my opponent.
     
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  14. counterfeit25

    counterfeit25 Rookie

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    Yup, that's right. I don't play that game anymore, it's too unrealistic. I was referring to the OP's exercise he mentioned, I think it's not a good idea.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I know a handful of guys, who rally (against each other) like they are 4.5 or even 5.0, but when a set starts where someone actually keeps score, they play like erratic 3.5's trying to overhit.
     
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  16. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    I try to make my games focus on "hitting with depth" and "consistency" which in my opinion will when you more games than going all out for winners with every shot!!!
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Most winners attempts need depth, placement, and consistency.
     
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  18. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    I often play:

    Points to 10 (regular scoring).

    Points to 21 - 2 points for a clean winner, 3 for a volley. 'Clean' means your opponent didn't get a racquet on the ball, and it didn't hit the net. It encourages more attacking play to score points, plus defence to save them - you'll find yourself running down balls you have no real chance of returning just to concede one point rather than two. Very useful if you're trying to teach someone it's worth running for every ball.

    Connect 4 (a game of my own creation) - play until someone wins four points in a row. It's supposed to build the pressure around important points, and it's no coincidence that you also need to win four points to get a game in match play (I put some thought into this ;-)). Sometimes it can be over very quickly, other times it can go on for ages. My favourite dynamic is that if you win three in a row and then mess up the fourth, your opponent is one-up and you have to re-focus very quickly or else find yourself in trouble.


    The main benefit of not serving is the amount of balls you hit. This comes on two levels - there are no service winners, and a lot less time between points. As either player can feed the ball, the tempo is much higher.

    Because of this, I find it much easier to get into a rhythm. If I only have an hour to play, I'm far more likely to drill and play 'games' like these - maybe some tie-breaks. If I have longer, I'll either play a couple of sets or drill and play games for an hour, then follow it with a set. The latter is when I find tennis most enjoyable - if my hitting partner and I are both 'dialled in' after an hour, we tend to make more returns and it makes for a much higher quality set.

    As with anything, you need to mix it up to get the best results.
     
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  19. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    I also play a game similar to this, but we don't tend to bother scoring it. We'll pick a side and hit cross court, aiming to get over the service line. When a ball lands short, the opponent can choose whether to continue back cross court (in which case you effectively keep going as if the short ball never happened), or make the point 'live' by going down the line, after which we play out the point as normal.

    Mostly though, we drill the consistency by hitting deep cross court or down the line before playing any games.
     
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  20. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I like this idea! Do u serve like normal or do a "rally serve"? Also do u alternate who starts the point?
     
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  21. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I find playing points very beneficial. You can hit far more balls than in match play, but there is some reason for it besides just hitting. You can practice your serve with a bucket of balls at any time.

    I only have time to play twice per week...when I was going through a phase of playing one match per week and playing points for one hour in my other session, I was a much better player than now when I'm played 2 or even 3 times per week with no points playing session in between. My strokes were much more groved, I rarely missed put away shots, and I had better endurance.

    You'll probably come back and say the same would be had with just a regular hitting session...but just "hitting" to me is boring, and drills are ...drills. Points are still competitive and fun.
     
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  22. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    When I play, we just feed it in, with a successful feed and return required for the point to start. If I was serving with it, I'd probably try alternating the serve as you would in a tie-break; that way, to get the four in a row you'd need to win two on your serve and two on return. Could be an interesting alternative to a regular tie-break, actually. I might try that soon.
     
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  23. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    A rallying game that I quite enjoy playing is called 'Spanish Bull Fighter'. It is a rallying game which is meant to build rallying confidence and consistency, which supposedly an important training game on the clay courts of the Spanish tennis academies back when Nadal, Ferrer, Almagro, etc... were learning to play.

    You feed the ball and rally back and forth for four shots to get the rally going. On the fifth shot competitive play starts and you can try to win the point however you want.

    You need to count the number of shots in the rally, and for every rally above 4 shots the player who wins the point gets the same number of points as the length of the rally. This goes on until a player reaches 100, switching ends every time the highest scoring player hits a multiple of 25.

    An example game
    :

    Azarenka and Sharapova start a game of Spanish Bull fighter.

    The first rally ends with Azarenka missing the 26th shot, this means Sharapova gets 26 points, and there must be a change of ends as Sharapova passed 25 points.

    The second rally ends with Sharapova missing on the 3rd shot,
    so the rally was not long enough for anyone to gain points.

    The third rally ends with Azarenka hitting a winner on the 33rd shot, so she gains 33 points. The score is 33-26 to Azarenka, although Azarenka passed 25 points after the last rally there is no change of ends as Sharapova already triggered the 25 point boundary.

    The fourth rally ends with Sharapova winning a 75 shot rally, leading to Sharapova winning the match 101-33.

    The match will usually last 15-30 mins depending on the number of mis-start rallies and the time between points.
     
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  24. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Some interesting games
     
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  25. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    I often play rotating serves, you serve until you lose the point then the serve rotates over. I find this helps me practice several things together, footwork, serve, return of serve & point construction.
     
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  26. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I tried this with someont this weekend and it worked pretty well, but sometimes its just too easy to blast that 3rd ball (the one that counts), so we made another rule where the 3rd ball must be hit crosscourt and must stay on that half of the court...after that, anything goes.

    So it would be like this: crosscourt feed, crosscourt return, crosscourt shot anywhere and as hard as you like, as long as it stays on that half of the court, then anything goes.
     
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