Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Partner Toss/Catch Variations

Will Hamilton from www.fuzzyyellowballs.com
demonstrating his tossing skills
Tossing and catching skills are central to many sports. In tennis, both progress into making contact with and hitting the ball with the racquet. So the more often your students work on these two basic skills, the quicker they will improve.

These two skills are also wonderful because they require little extra equipment and can be performed off the court (at home) for easy and fun tennis homework assignments. The tossing/catching activities below will require a partner.

Easiest
Rolling - partners face each other a few feet apart. They take turns rolling the ball to each other. Receiving partner must move so that the ball is between their feet when they stop it. Crank it up a notch by adding a ball and having each partner rolling/catching the balls simultaneously.

Harder
Tossing - same as above, but have them toss underhanded rather than rolling the ball. No bounce is hardest. If this is too difficult allow one or more bounces, but still have the receiving player moving to catch the ball in the center of the body.

Hardest
These will require coordination!

  • Each partner has a ball. One player rolls their ball. The other underhand tosses. Simultaneously!
  • One player underhand tosses (catch in air); the other bounce passes (one bounce before catch). Again, simultaneously!
  • Still using two balls, but in this variation, one partner has two balls in one hand, and tosses both at the same time to their partner. Partner must catch both balls after one bounce. If this is too hard, allow two bounces. 
Adapted from USTA's QuickStart Tennis guide