Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Consistency is Key

In the process of integrating the recent 3 ball consistency drills into my lessons, I came up with a couple of variations to scale it down for my younger and less skilled players. You see, I was having some difficulty with them being able to rally at all . . . sometimes that happens! So instead of having them rally with 3 balls among themselves, I switched it up a little. I asked them to hit 3 balls in a row into the playable court, with me feeding the three balls. They were able to have better success with this model, so I am using it as a stepping stone to the 3 Ball drill. I turned it into a competition by rewarding them with one point every time they were able to hit three balls in a row into play. One class did this as individuals, another did it as teams. We started out at the service line. Round 2 was done with them hitting from the baseline to add a level of difficulty. You can probably see how it can be easily adjusted for backhands, serves, volleys, and so forth. My clinic used forehands.

I had two different scoring schemes.

  • One was to see who had the most points by the time the hopper was empty. I had them place a ball along the edge of the court for every point won. 
  • Another was to see which team got to 7 points first, since we had those flippable scorekeepers on court and they LOVE using the flippable scorekeepers.
My students love using these!



For my Red Ball class, I scaled it back to a 2 ball requirement at first. Then I added a ball as they got warmed up. In other words, no point unless you can hit 3 in a row; then 4 in a row, etc.

BTW we also had a brief grammar lesson on the various definitions of 'consistency' and which one was relevant to our tennis lesson. I never cease to be amazed at the intellect of my students!