Tennis: 1 Offense 1 Defense

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Bill, Newly qualified coach

DESCRIPTION

2 players rally together in cross court direction. Player A hits all the balls aggressively. Player B hits all the balls defensively. After the point both players switch roles and play another rally.

Drill specifications:

5-10 min per side

With more players on the court coach can use this drill strictly for the learning process or to make it really competitive. For learning purposes, players switch after few points to have a time to work on their shots as also to spend some time on different skills. For competitiveness, coach should put players into teams and play cross court points with clear defensive/offensive goals.

COACHING POINTS

It is important to create situations where players can work on offensive and defensive skills in the same drill. Many juniors make a mistake by staying in the defensive mode for too long so they miss opportunities to take advantage during the point and win it by hitting winners or forcing the opponent to miss. On the top level we can observe many changes during even one point when both players switch their shots from defensive to offensive. Without practising these scenarios it is impossible to perform these transitions effectively during the tournament.

In this drill player works on offensive and defensive shots. Switching the roles after every point is a good training tool to learn how to quickly adapt and use different skills to win the point. Additionally players start to understand the strategy and they know that they can win the point by hitting a spectacular winner as also by being consistent and hitting safe balls all over again. Coach should take a look at players decisions and see if they apply skills that they practised at the beginning of the session. Spin of the ball, height over the net, height of the ball after the bounce and positioning are factors that should be observed while looking at the defensive player. On the other hand point of contact, footwork, placement and power are skills that offensive players should pay attention to.

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