Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tennis Ball Sandwich

An oldie but goodie - the Tennis Ball Sandwich. This is another activity that has bonus benefits. The obvious benefits are improved agility and coordination. The bonus is the teamwork component.

In its simplest form, two players pair up. One places a ball on his/her strings and the other covers the top of the ball, forming said sandwich. They carry the ball together to some destination, say, baseline to net and back. First team there wins. Any drops and the team must go back to the starting point, reset the sandwich, and start over. Super easy to make this into a relay activity if you have a large group.

Variations

  • Add layers to your sandwich by having three, four, five or more teammates carrying with balls layered between multiple racquets. For example let's say the object is to move from the baseline to the net and back. Once this has been accomplished, a third player on the team adds a ball sandwiched by his/her racquet. So now your sandwich consists of two balls and three racquets. This new team travels up to net and back; then add a third ball and a fourth player etc. until entire team has moved up to net and back without dropping. This could take a while!
  • You don't have to use a racquet. You can sandwich a ball between the knees and compete individually or as a relay team.
  • Or compete as a pair but sandwich the ball between your shoulders.
  • Rather than returning to the starting point, when you get to the net or other side of court or wherever your route takes you, deposit ball in empty tennis ball can or other container without using your hands. If you are doing the racquet sandwich, you must drop it in using the racquets. If you are using your knees or shoulders, ditto - maneuver yourself over the container and let the ball drop. No cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eaters! If you do this container version, you can add a timing component to the activity - whichever team gets the most balls in their container within, say, three minutes or so, wins.
  • Up the ante by turning a straight line course into an obstacle course using cones or other items to break up the route.