Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I cooked up this drill myself as a way to work on return of serve. Borrowing a little from a drill I saw that Jim Courier used to use. Bet his targets were way smaller, though! You will need some way to mark off the targeted area of the court.
Ad side corner of 60 foot court marked
off as a generous-sized target

Mark off a good-sized area deep in the corner of one half of the court. Coach or other player is on this side of the court, feeding or serving. All other players are cross court returning. One at a time, they return the fed/served ball. Once chance only on each feed. If server/feeder misses, receiving player waits until they receive a good serve. First to 21, wins. Anyone landing on 13 must go back to 0. Points awarded as follows:

0 = over net but out of play
1 = straight ahead
2 = cross court in front of service line (short)
3 = cross court behind service line (deep)
-1 = into net

Anyone hitting the marked off target (cross court very deep) is an INSTANT WINNER. The Instant Winner component can be the great equalizer and is very popular and motivating with my students.

Very simple to convert this game to a team-based activity, so good for larger groups, camps, etc. Make sure to feed/serve quickly, one chance each, teams alternating turns. If they are lollygagging, I feed/serve even if no one is 'ready', thus giving that player/team a missed opportunity = minus 1 point for ball not making it over the net. Trust me, you only need this to happen once, especially in a team setting, for everyone to pick up the pace and rotate through quickly!

Once game is won, rotate new player into serving/feeding position. Move target to opposite side of court on each rotation. So for example if you were hitting to deuce side, move to ad.

Want to make it harder? Make the target smaller. Easier? Reduce number of points needed to win, or hand-feed adjacent to player rather than serving to them.