Some of my 3.5 teammates and I have been doing practice/drills in advance of our spring season. I am really stoked about this. I think many of us have been hindered by playing too many matches and too little practice, which has caused us to do the same things in matches over and over and never improve/develop new skills. So I'm happy to have found a group that is willing to practice. One drill we do is we have two at net volleying and two at the baseline hitting passing shots. A difference of opinion has arisen. I thought it made sense for the two at net to volley deep and back to the deep people, and the deep people to hit either directly to the net people or attempt to pass, but not lob. The idea is that the volleyers should learn to volley deep and with pace rather than simply block balls back, and the ball can stay in play longer if the volleyers aren't hitting short angles. Another lady thought it was a bad idea to ask the volleyers to hit deep to the baseliners because you'd never do this in a real match. Volleying back to the deep players is a sin. Instead, the volleyers should hit short angles or drop volleys. I responded that the volleyers shouldn't be close enough to net to hit short angles unless they have earned the right to be there, which they haven't done if the baseliners are not permitted to lob. Plus, many of us have crummy volley technique and so can block a ball short but we can't volley deep, so we need to work on this. So, uh. What's the deal with player-run drills? Are you supposed to try to duplicate what happens in matches (hit winners like short angles and drop volleys), or are you supposed to keep the drill alive (demonstrating control but doing something you likely wouldn't do in a match)? Cindy -- who saw the Brian Brothers volley deep to the baseline a lot in Davis Cup the other day, but then again, maybe that's why they lost . . .