Tennis: Change the pace

I have used many of the tennis drills and as a result my two High...
Linsent, Tennis coach


Coach feeds the ball to one side. Player alternates aggressive and regular down the line shots.

Drill specifications:

2-6 repetitions per set

The minimum number of repetitions is 2 but it can go up to 6. It all depends of how many players we have on the court. With less players more repetitions are recommended while with more players less reps will be a better option to keep all students hitting. Coach can set up 2 lines of players to work on forehand and backhand down the line shots at the same time.


Opponent’s position has a big impact on player’s decision according to the power of the stroke. If the opponent is not in good recovery spot player doesn’t have to use too much power to win the point. On the other side if the opponent is taking good position on the court more powerful shot will be a better option to put more pressure on the rival. Rafael Nadal is an example of a player with world-class shot selection ability that he shows in mixing up powerful flat forehands with more controlled heavy-topspin oriented balls. Knowing that really offensive strokes are quite risky players should be able to execute different down the line shots to use the proper one according to the particular tactical situation on the court.

In this drill players work on offensive methods according to the ball’s power. By mixing up the pace player learns how to differentiate the speed of the stroke while maintaining good level of consistency. Coach has to explain to players that powerful strokes should have a bigger target to aim for because of the risk factor involved. Controlled shots should be focused on accuracy so pinpoint placement is required to get benefits from this stroke. Players have to remember to generate the pace from all body parts (winners) and involve big amount of spin to control the ball (controlled shots). Many players have a quick footwork while preparing the winner but they don’t show the same approach while hitting a controlled down the line. Coach should tell players that it is probably their last shot so all effort has to be put into this ball to make sure that the result will be positive.



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