Tips And Techniques For Tennis Players: Play Like A Pro! Tennis Drills

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Tennis is one of the greatest individual sports there is. The simple game of lawn tennis has origins dating back hundreds of years, when the upper class played fully regaled in their finest outfits. It has grown into one of the most popular sports on the planet.

These days, it’s hard to find a good-sized public park without a tennis court. Because of this, it’s now easier for anyone to take up this sport. There are also many accessible programs aimed at bringing the sport to the masses, eroding the stigma of tennis being a “country club” sport.

It takes an excellent athlete to excel at tennis. Although learning the proper techniques of hitting the ball over a net is important, of course, if you are interested in playing like a professional, that’s not the only thing you should focus on.

Practice is always going to be important to improving your game. But by following these tips on nutrition, fitness, and movement training, you may very well bypass your competition and find yourself playing like a pro!

Tennis Drills

There’s a reason why this section appears towards the end. When most people want to improve in tennis, they believe it’s all about swinging a racquet. Some of the information listed previously can be more important to improving your game, specifically because many people forget to focus on those areas in the first place, and are sorely lacking in things like their footwork, their stamina, and their nutrition. Improve on those areas, and you’re quite likely to improve upon your competition.

That’s not to say that practicing racquet-and-ball drills isn’t important. Practice is also a vital part of improving at tennis. So here are a few drills you can work on to improve your game:

  • The Double Bounce Drill
    Although the concept of this drill may seem to go against the rules of tennis, you’ll find this drill helps by showing you how much time you really have to hit the tennis ball. Allow your partner or coach to hit the ball to you. Let the ball bounce twice on your side of the net before hitting it. Keep your hands forward and let the ball come to you. This is a good drill for patience, as most unforced errors happen because a player rushes a shot.
  • The Volley In A Chair Drill
    This is a fun drill to help you find a good position for volleying. Place a plastic patio chair on the service line. Sit in that chair, lean forward, place your plant foot (opposite of your racquet hand) slightly forward, and place your racquet in a ready position. Have your coach or partner toss the ball over the net. From your position, stand up and volley the ball, then return to your seat, and repeat the drill in rapid succession. The idea of sitting in the chair is for several reasons. When you stand out of the chair, you’re in an ideal position to accept a volley: In a steady crouch, knees bent, eyes on level with the ball, racquet, out in front. Also, the rise from the chair prevents you from drawing your arm back or twisting around on an axis.
  • Rally Drill
    This drill involves a partner. The basic idea of this drill is to keep a rally going as long as possible; therefore, neither you are your partner is trying to win the point. There are several reasons for this drill. First of all, controlling the game oftentimes leads to winning the game. Are you more fit than your opponent? Then winning a few long rallies may be beneficial to the overall battle. Also, because you will be taking it easy in this drill, as you are trying to keep the rally going, this drill provides an excellent opportunity to perfect your fundamentals against live competition. Concentrate on some of the basics you have learned, and focus on seeing the ball well. And for extra motivation to keep the rally going, count how long you and your partner can keep the rally going, and then try to beat it.
  • Half Volley Wall Drill
    This is an excellent drill because it can be done alone. Find a public outdoor racquetball court or a wall where you can hit a tennis ball against (without anyone being upset about it). Take a piece of chalk and draw the line on the wall where the height of the net would be on a tennis court (3 feet in the middle, 3.5 feet at the ends). This is a repetition drill to work on your half volley, both forehand and backhand. Stand at a distance from the wall where you would normally receive a ball for a half volley. Continuously hit the ball above the line you’ve drawn by using one of the two half volley swings (forehand or backhand). This is a deceivingly complicated drill, as it takes an incredible amount of skill, patience, and concentration to keep the rally going. To succeed at this drill, focus on producing a technically sound half volley, not putting too much power behind it, and being in a good position. As you get better, you should find yourself being able to connect for upwards of 500 consecutive volleys.
  • Power Serve Drill
    This is another fun drill designed to help the advanced player to improve their serve. As players learn to prefect their serves, many tend to approach it with trepidation, worrying so much about getting the ball in the service area that they either forgo any power behind their serve, or launch a technically unsound serve. The Power Serve Drill just lets you give the ball a good beating. If you’re on a tennis court, stand behind the service line and hit the ball as far as you can using a technically sound service stroke. Don’t worry if it hits the fence or even if it goes over the fence. You can even take this drill out into an open field and just hit the ball as hard as you can, again, using a technically sound serve. You will soon develop the technique for producing a powerful serve, and then you can focus on aiming the serve into the service court.
  • Extreme Angle Drill
    This drill helps develop your tennis game at the net. This is a drill in which the two participants stand at the singles sideline at the net, using a spin block shot to work on hitting the ball over the net at an extreme angle. This drill is not so much about the technical swing, but positioning. Many times, when a tennis player approaches the net for an extreme angle shot, they do not position their body to the side of the ball, but try to reach around the ball to make the shot. This is a rally drill, so in this drill, where both sides try to keep the rally going, you’ll be able to get used to getting around to the side of the ball.
  • Alley Rally Drill
    This drill helps tennis players learn consistency. This drill is set up with you and a partner in the alley between the doubles sideline and the singles sideline on opposite sides of the net. The object is to rally, aiming to keep the ball in the center of the alley. Start with forehand topspin shots until you can consistently rally, concentrating on your techniques as well as location. Then switch to different shots, backhands, half volleys, etc.
  • Volley Catch Drill
    This is an excellent drill, focusing on volleying technique and concentration. With a partner, begin a volleying rally. However, instead of just returning a volley, “catch” the volley by gently popping the ball in the air, then without it hitting the ground, return a volley. Continue in this fashion. This rally dill is meant to hone the concentration and the form of your volley stroke, as well as help you learn the gentle touch that it should be done with.

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