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.