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Practice Drills

This is an excerpt from Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Handbook-2nd Edition by Nick J. Bollettieri.

Following are illustrations of several drills of each type discussed previously.


Fed-Ball Drills


Warm-Up Drill



Objectives

  • Establish an all-business mind-set for a productive practice session.
  • Establish early preparation and timing for the contact point.
  • Warm up the foundation and focus on good technique repetition.
  • Hit to targets with high net clearance to promote depth.

Procedure

  • The feeder hits two balls from the service line to alternating sides of the court.
  • The student hits both balls down the line to the target area.
  • The student rotates to the back of the line.
  • All students move their feet.

Variations

  • Add more balls to each rotation.
  • Hit four, pick up four - the student hits four balls, then picks up four balls.
  • Change direction to crosscourt patterns and short angles.
  • Move students in to hit approach shots and volleys.

Windshield-Wiper Drill



Objectives

  • Bring the group together to establish discipline, focus, and teamwork.
  • Work groups of 8 to 12 students, all gaining benefit at once.
  • Students warm up and focus on good technique repetition.
  • Students hit to targets with high net clearance to promote depth.

Procedure

  • The feeder hits two balls from the service line to alternating sides of the court.
  • Students form one line at the baseline (curl the line around if there is not room behind the court).
  • Students hit down the line to the target area and shadow on the other side.
  • Students pick up balls, observe safety procedures, and rotate to the back of the line.
  • All students shadow in time with the front two hitters.

Variations

  • Add more balls to each rotation.
  • Change direction to crosscourt patterns.
  • Move students in to hit approach shots and volleys.
  • When students hit from in the court, lines can go straight back.

Run-Around Forehand Drill



Objectives

  • Develop the mind-set of using a weapon.
  • Learn aggressive positioning in the court to take advantage of a big forehand.
  • Learn to control the point through aggressive positioning.
  • Hit to the target with power and accuracy.

Procedure

  • The feeder hits one ball from the service line to the student’s backhand side.
  • The student is to run around the backhand and hit an inside-out forehand to the target.
  • The student rotates to the back of the line.
  • The feeder must build the confidence and willingness of students to "just hit the ball."

Variations

  • Add a forehand down the line and then position yourself for an inside-out forehand.
  • Change direction to an inside-in forehand (down the line).
  • Approach the shot and finish with a volley to the other corner.

Run-Around Forehand and Short-Ball Drill





Objectives

  • Develop a mind-set of returning every ball.
  • Develop shot combinations around the inside-out forehand.
  • Learn to close in and continue to attack the short ball.
  • Hit to targets with power and accuracy.

Procedure

  • The feeder hits the first ball from the service line to the student’s backhand side.
  • The student runs around the backhand and hits an inside-out forehand (see figure a).
  • The feeder hits the second ball from the service line to the student’s forehand side short.
  • The student closes in and hits the approach down the line to finish the point (see figure b).
  • The feeder must build confidence and willingness of students to "just hit the ball."

Variations

  • Add a volley or overhead to the combination.
  • Change direction to inside-in forehand (down the line).
  • Students play out the point after the approach.

Learn more about Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Handbook, 2nd Ed.