Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Center Field

photo from here
Thanks to George Estes for this drill. George is a fellow teaching pro at Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center. His students are mostly adults, but this drill will work for junior advanced beginners and up when working on lobs and doubles. Perfect for when you have five or six players but don't want anyone standing idle.

Four players take regular doubles position on court. Fifth/sixth players stand behind baseline. These baseline players' only job is to play any lobs or feed lobs to start point.  If you only have five, coach is sixth player behind baseline, starting each point with a lob. If six, one of the two lob/baseline players starts the point with a lob.

Scoring strategy of your choice. First to X, best two out of three works well for most court drills.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Bouncy balls cheap at the dollar stores this time of year
photo from coolsciencedad.blogspot.com
Rollerball is a fun warm-up lifted as-is from the CoachYouthTennis site. You will need a large-ish ball such as a rubber, dodge, soccer, or basketball. If you want to see a video of this activity, take the coaching course at CYT and it will appear in lesson 5.

Two players, or two coaches, stand at net posts. They roll the large ball on the ground between them. Meanwhile, all other players are at the baseline, rolling regular tennis balls on the ground toward the net. Object is to hit the larger ball.

When I did this recently, I had six red ball players on court. Two were rolling the large ball; the other four were at the baseline. I gave them 30 second timed periods and had them keep track of how many times they were able to hit the larger ball. We rotated pairs in to roll the large ball. Player at the end of the three rounds with the most hits was our winner.

Make sure your players:

  • stay behind the baseline to roll the tennis balls toward the net
  • keep the tennis balls on the ground
  • roll with a good quality underhand motion, stepping with opposite foot, hand releasing toward target, very similar to bowling which many of them have done thanks to Wii.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Progression Infinity

There's a fairly new website called CoachYouthTennis. It has lots of great info for coaches of all
I use the heck outta my spots
levels. Great for parents, too, who are new to tennis and want some perspective on what they may be seeing during their player's lessons.

As per my usual, I will be mining the info there and testing it on court. Today's post is a complete lesson plan as opposed to a single standalone activity. It has been battle tested recently and I am very pleased with the results. My students enjoyed it thoroughly. I used it in a private lesson as well as in a group lesson with 9 red ballers and also 6 orange ballers (two different clinics, natch). Worked great all times. You will need some spots or some way to mark the court.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

ROGY Shirts

The ROGY shirts are in! Show your support of the Red-Orange-Green-Yellow tennis progression instruction method.

  • $15 each while supplies last - adult and junior sizes available
  • Special discounts for current students - contact me for details

Monday, March 31, 2014

Kittens and Mittens

Another mash-up today. Title contributed from one of my students - thanks, Zeb! Super flexible, fun for any age and ability. You will need some extra equipment: cones, spots, and some random way of generating low numbers such as dice or playing cards.

Players will hit from yellow cones.
Coach will feed from near/target side.
Set up two cones anywhere you want the players to hit from (yellow cones in photo). At net for working on volleys, at service line for approach shots, baseline for groundies, etc. Cones should be 4-6 feet apart forming a 'goal'.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Winner Take All

Winner Take All is a mash-up of several different games. I am sure you will recognize a few of them. I got the inspiration for it one morning while brushing my teeth. That 2 minute timer on the electric toothbrush sometimes seems like an eternity!