Saturday, April 7, 2012

Son of Caterpillar

Bean bags - very handy for young beginners
The other drill I have seen also called Caterpillar is one of those that looks great on paper and even in video but I have had little success with it. The idea is to have the students stand in a line shoulder to shoulder. Place a ball on the racquet of the player at one end of the line. Player passes ball to racquet of adjacent player, then runs behind players and becomes last player in line. So ideally the line is inching along, growing longer at one end. Play continues until you run out room. If they are younger players and are having trouble passing the ball without drops, use a bean bag instead. Click here to see the activity (aka Inchworm) in a USTA video.

This is a simple activity designed for very young players. The problem I have always had with this drill is that they are very confused about where they should go after they pass the ball/beanbag. They either stand their too long, or run in front of others, or think they are done after they pass the ball. It devolves into me yelling instructions about where to go and what to do, then the other kids get distracted and confused. It is always a disaster and I have just stopped using it.