Friday, August 31, 2012

Cone Catch Relay

I have three teaching aids that stay on my cart: clothes pins, throw down spots, and cones. I use one or more of them at just about every lesson - very handy! Here's one for cones and you can probably see how the spots and pins could easily come into play as well. This game is played on the 36-foot courts. The goal is to encourage players to move forward to the ball. Thanks PTR Kids Tennis Manual for the idea.

Two players face off across the net from each other at about volley location (within racquet length from net although no racquets are used in this activity). Ball hopper is at net post. One cone is on each service line.
Cones - check.
Pins (under racquet) - check.
Spots (under pins) - check.
Maybe I need a bigger cart.

  • When coach says 'Go!', one player runs to fetch his/her cone from service line and returns to net area. 
  • The other player runs to hopper, gets one ball, runs back to volley area and tosses ball underhand to player with cone. 
  • Player with cone retrieves ball into cone after first bounce. 
  • Roles are now reversed - player who tossed ball runs back to service line to fetch his/her cone, and player who caught ball with cone runs back to service line, puts cone down, runs to hopper for a ball, goes back to volley position and tosses ball underhand to other player. 

You can time this activity or ask for X amount of completions. If you have a large group and have several courts going at once, set a goal number of X rotations to be completed. First pair to complete X number wins.

For young players you may find you will need to slow this down and direct them step by step to avoid confusion.

For older players this could easily be turned into a team based activity with a true relay action - players rotating in, taking turns at the net.