Monday, June 4, 2012

Capture the Net

I can think of at least two American
players who have a good net game . . .
There's a lot of chatter these days about the state of American professional tennis. People who follow tennis think there should be more Americans in the top 10, heck in the top 20. Why this is not so is endlessly debated online, in the media, and I am guessing at your local club. One reason that bobs up frequently is the evolution of the American style of play.  Simply put, players don't learn an all-around game anymore. They are trained to stay back at the baseline, hit with power and topspin, and outlast or out-hit their opponents. Their net game, in a word, stinks. Whaddaya say we try to fix that? Here's a fun drill to encourage your players to come to the net. It also emphasizes consistency.

Place five balls at the net on each side of the court. Two players play out a singles point from the baseline (first ball fed is in addition to the ten balls sitting on court). Winning player comes to net, feeds one ball from the five on his/her side, and plays out the next point from the advantageous position at the net. Losing player stays at baseline. Repeat until one player has fed all five balls on their side and is declared winner.

Attention JTT coaches: this game is easily converted to a team competition.