Friday, May 31, 2013


Yikes! If the racquets get this full, maybe break into
two or three smaller groups!
Summer tennis camps are just around the corner. Quality coaches are organizing lesson plans like mad. If they're not, they're the OTHER coaches who are using the same tired dead ball feeding drills, finishing camp with a half-hearted game of Dog Pound. After hours of dead ball feeds, the campers think Dog Pound is the best thing since yellow tennis balls, and who can blame them? I Can. Don't Be That Coach! Get Googling for some fresh tennis activities - like Overload.

My boss encourages us to combine quality fundamentals with fresh new on-court activities. He led a summer camp refresher training session for all summer camp instructors last week. Overload was one of the many gems he shared with us. He didn't have a name for it so as usual I am taking the liberty. Great for all ages and abilities; a good icebreaker; and all you need is players, racquets, and one ball per player.

Players form a circle facing inward. Each player balances one ball in the middle of their racquet strings. Coach either begins activity or designates starter. Starter passes his/her ball to next player. That player now has two balls on his/her racquet. Repeat around circle. Number of balls will accumulate, making the pass more challenging with each player. Goal is to make it all the way around the circle without dropping any balls.

Will there be some dropped balls? Probably. Will everyone be rooting for everyone else to succeed? Probably. If any balls are dropped, have the players retrieve, put back on racquet and pass them singly. This should be light-hearted, not punishment.

Once all balls have made it to the final player, and just when all think the game is over, have them keep passing so that the players who began the game with only one or two balls to pass now have to 'feel the pain' of the players farther along in the circle to had to manage more balls. Go all the way around again with the total number of balls.

For a conclusion to this activity with a little flair, coach or last player can fling all balls accumulated onto their racquet into the air.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Around the World

Around the World is a dribbling challenge perfect for warm-ups. It is simple and easy to customize. The goal is to be able to dribble a complete circle around an object. Youngest players can dribble using 'bounce, catch' with their hands and a ball, no racquets needed. Dribbling can be done as 'downs', 'ups', 'self-rally', or some combination.


  • Have a single object such as a cone or spot. All players take turn dribbling around that item.
  • Have multiple objects; each player moves from item to item, dribbling around each in a complete circle. 
  • Divide group into teams. Each player dribbles around item relay-style. First team to finish, wins. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Awards Categories

Summertime means summer camps, and no camp is complete without awards on the last day! It is important that each camper receives an award of some sort. Sometimes it is a challenge to come up with appropriate awards that are fun and unique. Here are a few awards I have given in the past. Do you have any to add to this list?

The Obvious
Most Improved
Camp Champ
Hot Shot

Less Obvious
Kings and Queens - this is a great category, infinite ways to customize based on your camp activities. For example you could have a King or Queen of popular games ('Jailbreak King') or shots (Overhead Queen) or activities (Ball Pick-up King) or lunch snack (Popsicle Queen) or whatever comes to mind.
Scorekeeper - some students have a real knack for keeping track of the score. Some don't. :)

Mr./Ms. Cool
Trooper - good for anyone overcoming adversity - sunburn, skinned knee, blisters, etc.

This is meant to be light-hearted, or for when you just can't think of any more unique awards - Best Hat, Best Shirt, etc. Be careful with this one. Kids are so sensitive about peers, clothing, etc. I usually use it if they have worn something especially colorful or wacky just for fun.

Best Lefty
Best Righty

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thank You, Jeeves

Thank You, Jeeves is a serve warm-up. You will need at least four players.

Pair players into teams of two. Place four balls on the ground on each side of court. Points are not played out so you can put them wherever you want as long as they are on the same location on both sides of court so as not to give one team an advantage. You want them some difference from traditional serving position. Suggest in alley near service line, at T, at net, etc.

First player from each team serves; server then runs to get a ball from their own team's pile and give it to the next server. First team to run out of balls wins. Notice they are not playing out points, just serving and then running to the ball pile and back.

Best two out of three wins. While speed is important, it is also important for playeres to maintain good quality technique here. Note the points are not played out. Just serve and go.


  • Increase the number of players on each team. Even numbers preferred but if not possible, the team with the extra player will just have to serve quicker!
  • Change # of balls
  • Change location of where balls are stored on court
I used Thank You, Jeeves recently in two different small groups, with only two players each. It worked GREAT as a serve warm-up and I will def be using it again in future. Here's my tweak for uber small groups: the two players compete to see who can earn 7 points first (one point for each correct serve). Earning points for each good serve motivates them to hit quality serves. Played it once on each half of court so both players have a chance to win. By the time they finished two rounds they were def warmed up and ready for some match play. I also insisted they say 'Thank you, Jeeves' each time they were handed a ball. They got a huge kick out of that.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Simon Says

Simon Says is a great prospect for adapting to tennis because it is so flexible. I have seen several different variations. I encourage you to come up with your own and share them with me. Here's the one I like best.

Best for young beginners. You will need some cones or spots. Place them at equal intervals along the sidelines 1-2 feet apart.

Players stand at baseline. Coach is off court or across court. Coach gives directions to players, preceding each command with 'Simon Says'. Example:

  • Simon Says hit a forehand
  • Simon Says hit a backhand
  • Simon Says show me Ready Position
  • Simon Says do a Split Step

Note the commands do not have to be tennis related - ask for jumping jacks, balance on one foot, clap hands three times, whatever. Use your imagination. If they are doing tennis strokes, no racquets necessary, just do shadow swings.

Each time the player(s) perform the correct command, they advance one spot toward the net (hence the need for the spots/cones).  First player to net wins. So far so good, but if you know this game, you also know this rule: Coach may sometimes try to trick the players by giving a command without first saying 'Simon Says'. If players do the command anyway, the penalty is to return to the baseline. So Coaches, once you get going, start firing commands quickly to test your players' listening skills.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Smash It Or Send It

I learned this dribbling variation from one of my students. He is 5. I was showing him the various ways to dribble a ball (ups, downs, self-rallies) and he came up with this one on his own. And I let him! He was obsessed with it and had completed 53 rallies before his dad had to drag him off the court. Love when that happens!

Basically this is a series of 'down's (bouncing the ball against the court with the racquet) without those pesky rules of only one bounce per hit. He Smashed It, tracking it as it was bouncing, and Smashed It again when he judged it to be the proper time. If it started to get too low, he tapped it from underneath (an 'up' - the Send It option) instead to give it more height. Very bright fellow.

So loosen up the rules on the dribbing and let your students Find A Way to engage with racquet and ball. See how many rallies they can get this way. As long as ball is not rolling, keep Smashing and Sending.

Here's a video of my student demonstrating his Smashing skills.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Net Monster

I stole this game from Steve Ghelardini. He was on the court next to me at a recent Junior Tennis
JTL has been running summer youth tennis leagues for
a looooooong time in the Columbia SC area
League (JTL) Jamboree at the Lexington County (SC) Tennis Complex. We were all tasked with running a fun tennis activity on our courts. We had a different group of players rotating through every 20 minutes.

Steve's activity was a variation on the tennis drill evergreen Jail Break/Dogpound. I have taken the liberty of renaming it because Steve was indeed a Net Monster and really made this game a challenge, especially for the higher level players.

Coach stands near the net feeding balls to players at the baseline. Player must hit safely to remain in hitting line. Players not hitting safely cross to other end of court, put down racquets, and try to regain their place in the hitting line by catching a hit ball in air. Last remaining player in hitting line hitting safely, wins.

About now you are thinking, how is this different from Jail Break/Dogpound? It's different because Steve took an active role as feeder, intercepting any balls he had a play on at the net. So the hitters had to get their balls by Steve which was no easy feat - Steve is a Net Monster.

C'mon, coaches - you know you are itching to hit those easy balls when you are playing Jail Break. So go ahead!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Send A Message - To Yourself

I honestly don't remember where I stole this idea from. It's so simple, anyone could have come up with it. I do recall that I have been using it for years.

Recall the blog post about Faisal Hassan's mental buzzwords? Take it one step further and create some visual cues from your favorites. Journal, index cards, post-it notes, on your bag tag, get a Sharpie and write them on your arm, anything handy will do. Keep them somewhere you can access them easily during the match. I have mine taped to my racquet. I see them every time I adjust my grip, which is often. When I first started using this, I was having trouble staying calm and needed to settle down. It has really helped my mental game. Now I have a new boomstick and a couple of new but equally inspiring messages to ponder while I am on court.

What's on your racquet??

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dynamite Defense

This is my current boomstick. What's yours?
This doubles drill is from Coach Helle Viragh on the Tennis Resources site.

Four players take the court; two up, two back. The two up should be slightly staggered. Coach feeds the first ball and players play out the point. No winners, please! Defensive team (team playing back) goal is to keep everything in play. Any shot is allowed by the defensive team. Goal is to strengthen the defensive game, avoid giving the offensive team an easy putaway, or force an error by the offense.

Couple fun aspects of this game:
Scoring fun: any ball touched saves point for team touching it. In other words, if someone can get a racquet on the ball, no point is awarded. Encourages effort! Touch must occur before second bounce.
Positional fun: if defensive team hits a great lob and offensive team gets pushed off the net, teams' positions are reversed and defensive/baseline team may take the net as they push their opponents back with a well-placed lob. So this game could swing back and forth depending on ball placement and team movement.

Coach Helle didn't say in the video so let's just add our own scoring strategy here. First to 7, first to 11 by 2, whatever suits your fancy (and your students!).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Loop to Sneak

If you haven't visited the TennisResources site, run don't walk. Lots of great content there and you
'Loop' aka moonball. Don't hate! This
can be a very effective shot!
better believe you will be seeing it here. Rip Off and Duplicate!

Loop and Sneak is a drill to encourage hitting a nice deep shot, then taking advantage of the defensive position you have put your opponent in. Players play singles starting with a bounce feed, working on hitting a high, deep topspin ground stroke that pins their opponent back. They then follow this shot into the net and attempt to end the point. First to 11 by 2 wins. If you have a large group, play as a team activity, rotating in different players after each point.

For an additional challenge, require a set number of rallies before point play begins a la 3 Monkeys.

Note: I found the site a little difficult to navigate, so just go to the main page and search the word 'loop' to find the Loop to Sneak video.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tennis A-Z

I love this game for several reasons (not the least of which is that I was a pretty good speller back in the day).

  • It is great for any level player.
  • Many of my students perform better when talking during our hitting. I don't know why. I had a student the other day hit 15 backhands in a row while telling me his memories of his first tennis lessons. When he finally missed, I asked him if he knew how many he had hit. When I told him, he was floored - he had no idea!
  • Multitasking! I had a student tell me he had homework to get done after tennis. When I asked what kind and discovered it was spelling homework, we 'spelled' his spelling homework during our warm-up rally. Guarantee he aced his test the next day!
  • Versatile - see Variations below or make up your own. 
I have my students choose the word they would like to spell because if they are very young, this is a very short list. Yes, No, Ball, Dog, Cat, and of course their own names are pretty safe bets. 'Tennis' is another good one. If they run out of ideas then I have them choose any word they want and I help them spell it as we go along. The younger players get a big kick out of spelling ridiculously long  (to them) words like 'alligator' and 'Transformer'. 


  • Easy - they earn one letter for every ball hit over the net and inside court
  • Harder - they earn one letter for every ball rallied
  • Hardest - make the target or skill more demanding - all backhands, all cross court, etc.

  • Another fun letter-related activity is to have them go through the entire alphabet A-Z. This gives a strong sense of accomplishment, especially when mom/dad/grandparents are observing and give a big cheer when we get to 'Z'. To recap, for my youngest players I adjust the goal according to their skill level. We start by giving a letter each time a ball is hit over the net, no matter where it lands. As they improve, the ball must land in the playable area. Make it more challenging by having it land in a particular part of the court, or having them go back to A or zero if they miss.
  • Make it an elimination activity by having any player who misses either in spelling or hitting eliminated. Last player standing wins. 
  • Make this a team-building exercise by having all players working together to spell the word.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Yes! Another children's game we have gleefully co-opted for tennis! This one is from tennis professional David Brouwer, presented during a PTR Symposium. Best for players old enough to multi-task as well as rally (tossing or hitting).

A topic/category is selected (animals, places, cars, sports teams, foods, words beginning with 'M', etc.). After each hit or rally, player(s) must say a word from the topic/category previously agreed upon.  When there is a miss, either with the tennis or with the word selection, next player is up. If you want to play this as an elimination activity, last player standing is the winner.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Tennis Tournament!

Is your first tennis tournament experience coming up? You know what they say: a GIF is worth a thousand words. Here's what you can expect.

Nervous? You betcha! Perfectly normal. It will pass.

Those butterflies in your tummy may make you a little clumsy at first. Don't worry! You'll settle down soon.

Unlike your regular tennis clinics, tournaments mean lots of new faces across the net. Sometimes they are a little scary. 

In every tennis match, 50% of the players will lose. Sometimes this will be you. No worries! Shake it off and move on!

Remember all the great tips your coach has taught you. Recover recover recover!

Beginner level tournaments often provide lunch for the players. Watch out for the stampede to the lunch table.

Better bring some snacks from home in case the lunch is not your favorite.

Beware the after-lunch crash. You may want to take a nap, but there's more tennis to be played.

Don't forget to work on your focusing skills. Every point counts!

In every tennis match, 50% of the players will win. Sometimes this will be you!

Unlike your regular tennis clinics, tournaments mean lots of new faces across the net. Sometimes they will become new friends.

Eventually every tournament comes to an end. Don't worry - there's always another one!

Ball Call

More from Doug Eng! Ball Call is a fun warm-up and a great way to encourage focus.

Mark several balls with different colored markers. For example one might be a red 2; another might be a blue 8. Random colors and numbers are fine. Coach tosses one of these marked balls into the air. First player to correctly identify number and color earns one point.

For larger groups, divide into teams or pairs with players doing both the tossing and the calling.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memory Game

Doug Eng's recent article in the May/June 2013 issue of TennisPro magazine is full of good info for
coaching young players. Here's another idea for challenging your players' powers of observation and attention to detail. This also plays into my ongoing attempt to encourage my students to develop an interest in following the game (having a favorite player, being aware of the various slams and other events, player rankings, etc.).

Get a tennis photo from a magazine. Big with lots of details is best. Show the photo to your students for about 20 seconds, then remove it. Ask them questions about the picture - male or female player? Name? Equipment brand? Color? Stroke (forehand/backhand)? and other details.  Points awarded for each correct answer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Duck Pond

From Doug Eng, May/June 2013 issue of TennisPro magazine:

Scatter targets ('ducks') around court. Ducks are assigned point values. One duck is designated Instant Winner. Players pair up as tossers/hitters. If any ducks are hit, those points are awarded to the player who hit them. First player to 7 wins. If the Instant Winner duck is hit, game is over.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Open Season

Thanks Doug Eng for the next couple of drill ideas, featured in his article in the May/June 2013 issue of TennisPro magazine.

Open Season introduces the concept of hitting to the open court. Coach feeds ball. Coach stands in one half of the court, so player must hit to the other half.

Variation: when I tried this with a red ball class recently, I combined it with a bounce feed/serve challenge, so I was not feeding the balls - the students were bounce feeding to the open court.

Harder: Coach may change position/move to other half of court after tossing the feed.
Hardest: Players pair up as tossers/hitters.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


This is a great game for large groups/summer camps. I found it on a YouTube video by coach Rob Carvajal Jr. It is part of an adult format he uses that is similar to a boot camp or cardio class, lots of fitness components plus some live ball play. The live ball format is where we get to the 42.

42 is basically a variation on King of the Court where one player or team is designated the champ and all others are challengers. In Coach Rob's version, the challenger must earn 4 points before the champs earn 2 points. If they do so, they are the new champs. Coach feeds first ball to challengers, then live play proceeds. Since the players may take a while to get their 4 points, the fitness stations come in handy to keep the other players busy while they are waiting to play in.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fruit Salad 2

Fruit Salad markers set up on a 36-foot court.
Works well for beginners of any age.
Love it when a student brings me a new idea for an on-court activity. Thanks, Zeb! Zeb requested we
play this game yesterday. He didn't know the name so I am calling it Fruit Salad. It's good for beginners on up. You will need some way to mark the sidelines for player advancement.

Players begin at baseline. We had a small group yesterday so all were on baseline at the same time. Each player tells Coach their favorite fruit. Everyone must have a different favorite. Coach then calls out the fruit and feeds a ball. That player must hit the ball successfully into play. If they do, they advance one position forward. First player to make it to closest position to net and hit successful volley, wins.

If players miss their shots, they go back a position. Baseline is deepest position so missing from there just means you stay there until you hit successfully.

Safety first: spread your players out so that if they become too staggered, no one is in danger of being hit from behind.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Drop and Hit

One of my biggest challenges with young players is to get them to set up the correct proximity to the ball. I have blogged about some solutions to this such as the aptly named Proximity Drill. Ken DeHart in the Top Tennis Tips From Around the World DVD has another that I am excited to try.

Ken suggests having the player use their non-dominant hand to track the ball. That's not news. Many of you have probably already suggested this to your students. Ken takes it one step further by having them practice not only tracking the ball with their extended arm, but then actually catching it. After a successful catch, they drop and hit it back over the net. Arm must be fully extended and angled out in front (1 o'clock for righties, 11 o'clock for lefties) for this to work. You can do this as a dead ball feed first, then have players working in pairs with each other.
Photo from

Monday, May 6, 2013

Son of Battle Cones 2: Don't Forget the Feet

If you liked Battle Cones 2 yesterday, you are gonna love this. With the simple addition of a spot behind the service line, Ken DeHart takes this warm-up to a whole new level. Footwork will be improved and the warm-up will include the tennis trifecta of hands, eyes, and feet.

Warm up with Battle Cones as described, but add a spot behind each player's service line. Player must retreat and circle their own spot in between each hit. Good footwork, small adjusting steps, always facing the net. You are looking for 6-10 steps between each hit. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

6 Ways Tennis Should Go To The Dogs

Yes this is my actual dog Chloe, not a stock photo.
Pretty Pretty Princess!
Now that our two children have left the nest, our 9-year-old yellow lab Chloe is undisputed queen of the household. Every day she brings joy (and an astonishing amount of shed dog hair) into our lives.

I mention Chloe often during tennis clinics, and not just because I am a doting dog owner. I find many opportunities to use Chloe in teaching analogies my students may not immediately grasp otherwise. 

Whenever I have something Chloe wants, there is little in the known universe that can distract her from it. Usually it is food, preferably human food. But it may also be a toy (rawhide chews, tennis balls), or something she smells during her daily walk that she finds particular captivating. I greatly admire her level of intensity and often mention it on court. This works especially well when my students are also dog owners. Recently I had two sisters in a Red Ball class, ages 7 and 5. They come directly from school so there is often some difficulty in getting them to focus on matters at hand. Completely understand! They have just been released from several hours of indoor captivity. They just want to run around! I would, too! However, we also need to get a little tennis accomplished. So anyway we are at the net working on volleys. Lots of misses, lots of fooling around. I asked them if they had a dog. Thankfully they said 'yes'. I inquired further about the habits of said dog, if she liked to chase or fetch toys. Thankfully again the answer was 'yes' (apparently some dogs don't - who knew??). I asked them to imagine they were the dog, and to go after the balls like they think their dog would. Eyes sparkling, giggles galore, instant improvement!

Paired with Chloe's level of focus is an equally high level of enthusiasm. She has been known to pout and skulk, but never when there is a game afoot. If there is a tennis ball in the vicinity, she gives plenty of hustle. I don't have to beg, plead, cajole, and certainly never have to discipline her. Quite the opposite - I'm usually first one who wants to stop playing! Level of enthusiasm is a also a great indicator of whether I am doing my job as coach during class. If my students are surprised at how quickly the hour has passed and don't want to stop, mission accomplished!

Reward savvy
Most dogs are smarter than we give them credit for. Chloe is no exception. Full disclosure: she has outsmarted me on more than one occasion. But this is a good thing. This means she understands what a reward is and is able to learn what she has to do to get one. I like to have a reward-based philosophy on court as well. I don't give candy, but I do give plenty of praise using the CBG strategy (Caught Being Good). Praise for nice manners, praise for quick ball pick-up, rewards for being on time (first player to clinic gets first pick of various activities during the lesson - first in line, etc.). Participation in optional activities such as our monthly match play may result in a small reward item given to all participants. Naturally winning is a powerful reward for most of my students. In a broader sense I encourage them to set personal goals as rewards for improving their game such as registering for upcoming tournaments. It's all carrot, no stick. But the carrot is an indispensable part of any progression path.

BTW before just about any activity or challenge I present to my students, they want to know what they will 'get' if they perform well/succeed at the activity. I always say: "Respect".

This one's so simple in concept but so hard to put into practice. When I get up and walk to the front door, Chloe is on instant alert. She trots over there with me, tail wagging hopefully. When I open it, she looks at me expectantly. When I give the nod, she is absolutely joyous that we are going outside because all the fun stuff happens outside. If I also grab the leash on the way out, look out! She goes bonkers. Contrast this with humans. Given the choice of going outside to play versus hanging around inside connected to any device with a glass screen, which will most choose? I compare it to the advice I give my students about our water breaks: never pass up an opportunity to get a drink. Ditto on activity, especially outdoor activity: never pass up a chance. Unfortunately, in today's society, often the chances are not frequent enough. So be prepared to create additional opportunities to get out and chase a ball.

Chloe is a senior citizen in dog years. This means she sleeps a lot. I mean, a LOT. But here's what I admire about her and need to do more of myself: when she is tired, she takes a nap. She doesn't park it in front of a glass screen, listlessly scrolling through meaningless information,  wasting quality nap time! Science is telling us restorative brief naps are beneficial. It is also telling us not getting enough good quality sleep at night can be very detrimental, even possibly related to attention deficit issues. So let's take a lesson from our pets and make quality sleep a health priority right up there with eating healthy and getting plenty of physical activity. Walk out on the court full of energy, not draggin' your wagon!

As I am writing this, I can only think of two things Chloe is not super pumped up about doing. One is taking a dog bath. Considering she is a Lab aka 'water dog', and we live on a lake, and she is in the lake multiple times daily in warm weather, I have always found this weird. She absolutely hates being bathed. Maybe it's the shampoo? IDK. The other thing she hates is taking her flea/heartworm pill which is big and smells nasty and I wouldn't like it either. Other than that, she is on board for whatever you want to do. Car ride? You betcha, even if it is just to the corner store. Boat ride? Heck yeah - who wouldn't? Long walk? Big favorite. Short walk? Absolutely. Walk outside and plop down in the sun for a nap? Every chance she gets. Hang out with me while I am typing this? Sounds a little boring to you, I bet, but to Chloe, sure, she is up for it. That's a quality I love to see in my students. Occasionally I hear some resistance, maybe in the form of excuses, for some of the activities we do, or when learning a new skill is proving to be a challenge. Excuses are mowed down in short order on my court. Not rudely, but methodically so that the student understands how the 'impossible' can indeed become possible. And when I have students who are upbeat and ready to try again, man, that makes my day! Our motto is 'Next Time'! I also love the Yoda philosophy, totally mangling it here but the gist is, "There is no CAN'T. There is only DO."

Looking forward to seeing lots of tail-wagging out on court next time. Something about chasing a tennis ball does that to ya.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Battle Cones 2: Short Court Warm-up

Another couple of gems from Ken DeHart and the Top Tennis Tips From Around the World DVD and I will stop R&D'ing his material -

You may recall an earlier blog post called Battle Cones (if not, click on the link). This one is similar in that the object is to be the first player to hit the opponent's cone. However, this one is played up close, inside the service boxes and only uses one cone per player.

Players warm up cross court inside the service box. Each has a cone inside their own service box. In Ken's example, the cones were more or less in the middle of the box. Warm-up commences. First player to hit opponent's cone wins.

I would add a ball to the top of each cone for added excitement and eliminating any doubt about whether the cone is tagged. Switch to other half of court and repeat. As a progression, restrict shot selection to forehands, backhands, or all slice.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Behind the Back

This player is a lefty, so she is starting with the racquet
in her non-dominant (right) hand
Third in Ken DeHart's series of hand quickness drills is Behind the Back. Player is at net preparing to hit volleys off balls fed from coach. Racquet should be in non-dominant hand and held behind back. Player must bring racquet around front, switch to dominant hand and get into volley position for each feed.

Now you have all three hand quickness improvement drills: Fast Gun, Superman, and Behind the Back. Bundle them together and have your players perform them in series to get those hands Superquick at the net!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Number 2 volley improvement suggestion from Ken DeHart is the Superman drill. Same idea as Fast Gun, but instead of patting the leg with the dominant hand, player raises both hands in the air similar to Superman when he is flying straight up into the stratosphere. Or, if you prefer, similar to signalling a touchdown (American-style football). Hands are raised to this position in between each ball being fed. Racquet is in non-dominant hand. As ball is fed, player quickly switches racquet to dominant hand and hits volley. Once again, the goal is to improve quickness at the net.