Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quicksand (until we come up with a better name)

Hate the name
Love the picture!
This activity has a lot going for it, with one big drawback which I will get to in a minute. It's flexible with a great (and easy!) visual to reinforce and motivate.

You can use this rally ball activity for singles, doubles, individuals, or team play. To begin, determine how many rallies you want the players to achieve. Let's say you decide on three. Place three balls on the ground at the net. Players must achieve a 3 ball rally. Once they rally successfully 3 times, another ball is added to those sitting at the net,which would now be 4 balls. This indicates they are now going for a 4 ball rally. As they increase their number of successful rallies, they keep adding balls.

Those balls at the net are an excellent motivator, especially when this is a team activity and adjacent courts can see how the competition is doing. Also good for young players who may not be great at counting yet, or are not easily motivated by a number existing only in their imaginations.

Points are not awarded, but obviously the players are trying to get as many rallies as possible.  You can make this a team activity by having adjacent courts compete to see who can get the most balls at the net within a given time period.

Progressions

  • To make it simpler, play with lower compression balls and shorten the court (have them play mini-tennis within the service boxes)
  • Make it more difficult by
    • having players use different balls
    • rally from baseline
    • rally straight ahead within one half of the court
    • volleys only

Now to the drawback: this is a good activity with a lousy name. Nothing against the word itself, but can anyone tell me what this activity has to do with quicksand? I'm stumped.