Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tennis Baseball

'Tis the season for the other little ball, so why not incorporate some baseball into your tennis activities? I get a goodly number of students who play baseball also. I do use some baseball analogies for Do's

  • Doesn't matter if you're swinging a racquet or a bat - follow through!

as well as Don'ts

  • Hitting home runs - in tennis when you hit one over the fence, it's the other guy's point. Once I point this out, there is universal agreement no one wants this.
My Tennis Baseball activity is pretty simple. I throw down four spots in a more or less diamond shape, one for each 'base'. If you are looking across the net, Home base is where the singles line intersects with the service line on the ad side of the court (to your right). First base is midway up the middle service line, closer to the net. Second base is directly opposite Home on the deuce side of the court (to your left), and third base is back at the baseline hashmark. This way, since most players are righties, they are moving right to left in front of you, hitting forehands. Lefties can just hit from the other side of the 'plate'.

Players take turn hitting fed balls from each of the four 'bases' in order: Home, First, Second Third. First base must hit a volley; all others bounce first. Balls must be hit across net into playable area. Player advances one base after each successful hit. If the ball does not land in playable area, player stays at that base until a good ball is hit. Score is kept like baseball - one point each time a player completes the circuit and arrives back at Home base. 

You can play for a specific time period, or until the hopper is empty, or until one player scores X amount of points, say, first to seven. Peanuts and Cracker Jacks optional.

Variations 
  • Repeat using only backhands, making everyone a switch-hitter. 
  • Add points for depth of ball hit. In front of service line: 1 point; behind service line: 2 points, etc. Add a small target area anywhere you choose. If hit, this is a home run.