Saturday, August 4, 2012

Modified Match Play

Limpsfield LTC
There are so many great sports instruction sites online. These tips are inspired by a site called Y-Coach. It offers tips for many sports in addition to tennis.

I'm a big believer in getting students playing in actual matches or something approximating match play as soon as possible. Sad but true, sometimes their only opportunity will be during their lessons. These tips will help you keep things fresh while giving your students plenty of match play opportunities during your clinics. Also excellent for adult clinics and socials!

  • Ace wins game; double fault loses game.
  • Want to improve your serving consistency? Allow only one serve per point (eliminate second serve).
  • Want to serve more aggressively? Give three serves per point instead of two.

Game awareness
  • Learn how to close out a match OR come from behind by starting the match with the score at 4-1
  • Learn to convert with this twist: once at 40, player must win point or game score goes back to 0-0.
  • Server serves midway between service line and baseline to give returner practice returning harder/faster serves.
  • Server serves underhand to give returner practice returning soft serves.
The all-court game
  • Player must serve and volley at least once per game
  • Three balls rally complete before any points are awarded
  • Player must approach net on any ball hit inside of service line
  • Extra points given for winning points at the net

The mental game
  • Have two or four players playing singles/doubles with all others watching, divided into cheering sections for each side. Losing player(s) and their fans do all pickup at end of lesson. 
  • Each player is allowed two intentional bad calls per set. Caution: for young students, make sure they understand this is NOT encouraged and is for the benefit of the other player in learning how to deal with bad calls. If you want to add another layer of learning here, have them make bad calls with you as the on court referee to demonstrate possible consequences during an officiated match.