Friday, January 17, 2014

4 Stroke Challenge

4 Stroke Challenge is great for any level. I use it both as a warm-up as well as a point competition activity.

Warm-up version
Players begin at service line. You can have one line or two depending on your feeding prowess and the size of the group. Each player is fed four balls from coach in this order: forehand, backhand, volley, overhead. Then they rotate out and next player is in for their four.

It gives me a chance to do two important things. 1)They get used to the idea of following a ball in
(the backhand, in this case) for a volley. 2) We get to tweak the overhead, and they get used to hitting a high ball out of the air.

Keep the feeds at a lively pace, keep them on their toes and paying attention to keep the line moving.

Point Competition
Once you feel they are warmed up, change the rotation so that after a player completes their four shots, they come over to other side of court. The four shots are still fed, but now they play out the point each time. You may have to move your feeding location if you have been feeding from on court.

One point awarded to winning player each time, so every rotation, a total of four points will be earned by someone. I don't give second chances on the feed. If they miss the feed, point goes to opponent. Player with most points when hopper is empty, wins.

This could be played as singles or as doubles. If you play it as doubles, you have a couple of scoring options.

  • Switch to a golf score format. Points awarded to player making error; player with lowest score when hopper is empty, wins.
  • Award all players 10 points when you begin. Subtract points for errors. Player with most remaining points when hopper is empty, wins.