Monday, February 4, 2013

Hot Seat

Hot Seat is a variation on elimination games like Jail Break. This version is perfect for your youngest beginners. Plus it contains an element of mercy, also perfect for your youngest beginners. With a little tweaking, it will work for players of any age and ability.

Players line up on one side of the net. One at a time, they attempt to bounce feed a ball over the net and into play. If the player succeeds, they go to the end of the line. If they do not succeed, they go to an area off court designated as the 'hot seat'. If the next player succeeds, the player on the hot seat is knocked out of the game. However, if the next player also fails, he/she is now on the hot seat, and the former hot seat player may return to the end of the line. Last player remaining in game wins.

My boss told me about this game. It appears in the free samples section of the tennis instruction site under the title 'Knock Out'. However, when I used it recently, the players were much more intrigued with the hot seat element than the knock out element. I found myself calling it Hot Seat and it just stuck. I played it with Red, Orange and Green ball level players. For the Red Ball we just played it simply with me tossing them forehands. For the more advanced players, we added moving back farther from the net after each round to increase difficulty. Then we ran through the whole game a second time with me tossing to their backhands. Everyone enjoyed it. I would definitely use it again.

UPDATE: for the players who are knocked out of the game, rather than have them just standing around waiting for the game to be over, put them to work shagging balls on the other side of the net. I tried this with my Red Ball class, offering a free pass back into the hitting line for anyone who caught a ball in the air or after one bounce (similar to Jail Break).