Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Toss Relay

Hitting, throwing and catching stuff
for fun has been around for ages
Tennis, like many sports, is a variation on throwing, hitting, or catching something. Sounds simple at its most fundamental level. But we can't assume that all of our young students are able to perform even the simplest of skills. If you don't believe me, ask a group of red ball beginners to throw a tennis ball over the net.

I recently heard it said that due to a variety of reasons (school funding cuts, economic hardships, video game culture, childhood obesity) many children today are athletically illiterate. They spend very little time performing physical activities. You may be the first person who has ever shown your students how to catch, hit, or throw properly. This simple warm-up will help develop a sound throwing motion as well as build target skills. Best with medium to large groups.

Divide players into two groups. Send each group to opposite courts. Once there, each group forms a single file line. The first players in each line come into the court. One of them tosses a ball to the other. As soon as he/she tosses, he/she goes to the end of his/her line. When opposite player catches ball after once bounce, he/she then throws the ball back across the net to the next waiting player across the court, and goes to the end of his/her team's line. Continue until everyone has had plenty of opportunity to throw and catch.

Encourage proper throwing form - stepping with opposite foot, weight transfer, natural finish, etc.

Variations

  • Underhand toss
  • Overhand toss
  • Cross court only
  • Switching halves of court (deuce, ad) on demand to reinforce knowledge of sides of the court
  • for even more exercise, have them run to the end of the OTHER line after their toss/catch