Tennis: Punish net-rushers

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Nail, Tennis coach

DESCRIPTION

The coach stands on the service line and feeds balls to the backhand side. The player hits backhand slice. The player tries to hit the ball inside the service box to place it into net-rusher's legs.

COACHING POINTS

Coming to the net is an effective strategy in singles and doubles. In both situations, a major reason why players come close to the net is to put pressure on the opponent and shorten reaction time. These things force many players to miss passing shots because they try to hit winning shots. It is important to understand that there are many ways to win points against net-rushers and one of them is to force rival to hit really difficult first volley. Playing into the legs is one of the options that allows players to successfully execute this strategy.

In this drill, the player works on technical and tactical skills related to the opponent who is coming to the net. From the technical standpoint, the player learns how to shorten depth of the ball and apply backspin to keep the ball low over the net. From the tactical perspective, the player develops strategy to put the ball into opponent's legs and force him to hit the ball up or even to miss it. The coach has to explain to athletes that passing opponent on the second attempt is many times safer and more effective option to win points than trying to hit winners on first ball.

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