Tennis Coaching Tip – 25+ Drills for improving concentration

The following drills can all be played in points situations E.g. up to 11 rotating every 2nd point.

*These drills will be shown in upcoming videos on Rob Cherry Tennis

When in a rally situation:

  1. Players hit their groundstrokes to certain areas of the court depending on what your opponent / coach calls out. E.g. “Short”, “Deep”, “Angled”, “Crosscourt”, “Down the line”, “Tramlines”.
  2. Players call “Short” if the ball lands in their service box and approach the net. Players would call “Deep” if the ball lands past the service line (or a drop down line further back) and hit a rally shot.
  3. Use a rope tied approx. 3ft over the net. If the ball goes under the rope, the player says “Low” if the ball goes over the rope, the player says “High”.
  4. Call out what spin is on your opponent’s shot before it lands on your side of the court such as “Topspin”, “Backspin”, “Sidespin”.
  5. Before a player hits the ball, he/she must say what spin they are going to put on the ball.
  6. Players hit the ball back and forth softly without missing trying to achieve a goal of 20 shots in a row, then gradually hit the ball harder and see if they can get still get 20 shots in a row.
  7. Players Call “Bounce” when the ball bounces on his/her side of the court and “Hit” when making contact with the ball. Can also do the same by calling out “Bounce” when your ball lands on your opponent’s side and “Hit” when your opponent hits the ball.
  8. Call “Split” when your opponent is about to make contact with the ball and perform a split step.
  9. Players call a longer version of “Breathe” E.g. “Breeeeathe” when contacting the ball to learn to breath out at contact
  10. The coach throws / feeds different coloured balls to the players. Depending on the colour of the ball, the player has to do a certain shot. E.g. orange ball -> crosscourt, green ball -> down the line. Or the player has to do different spins depending on the colour of the ball.
  11. Call out what footwork stance you are going to use by the time the ball has bounced on your side of the court. E.g. “Straight” stance or “Open” stance

When serving:

  1. Once a player has released the ball from their hand during the ball toss, they point straight up to the ball with their index finger for 2 seconds.
  2. After a player has made contact with the ball they call “1 & 2” and have to keep their eyes looking up at where they made contact.
  3. Just after the ball has left your opponent’s hand when serving, call “Flat” or “Slice” and they have to do the type of serve called out.
  4. Divide the service box into 3 areas. “Wide”, “Body” and “T”. Same as above except the opponent calls out “Wide”, “Body” or “T” and the player has 2 chances to get the ball into the area called out.
  5. Players only have 1 serve. This helps the player really focus on getting their serve into the service box.
  6. Players attempt to start the point with a serve but this time with their eyes closed on the 1st serve. If they miss the 1st serve then they do the 2nd serve as normal.

When returning:

  1. Playing returning calls what spin is on the server’s ball before the ball lands on their side of the court. E.g. “Topspin”, “Slice” or “Flat”.
  2. When returning players call where they are going to hit their return to e.g. “Down the line”, “Down the Middle”, “Crosscourt”
  3. Players returning have to stop the ball (without swinging) with the grip of the racquet to really focus on watching the ball
  4. Player returning calls out “Chip” or “Drive” just after the server has made contact with the ball. A “Chip” return would be chipping / blocking the ball back with backspin, a “Drive” return would be a normal return.
  5. Players call out “Split” when their opponent is about to make contact with the ball when serving

When Volleying:

  1. One player is behind the baseline and one player is at the net in a rally situation. The player volleying calls out “Low” “Medium” or “High” at contact.
  2. Similar to above but now when playing points, the player volleying just calls “Low” or “High”. If they call “Low” then their volley must go past the service line, if they call “High” then they must move forward and attack the volley.
  3. After a player has made contact with their volley they must look at where they contacted the ball for 2 seconds, calling out “1 & 2”.
  4. The player volleying, stands just inside the service box. He/she calls out “Left” or “Right” before contacting the ball to indicate what foot they are going to step forward with.
  5. One player feeds in from 3/4 court and opponent is behind the baseline. Player feeds in and approaches the net. As their opponent is about to make contact with the ball they call “Split” and play out the point.
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