Tennis: Deep directions + angle changer

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Nail, Tennis coach


Deep zone and angle zone are set by cones. Coach feeds balls to one side. Player performs tactical pattern based on deep cross court shot, deep down the line shot, and short cross court angle shot.

Drill specifications:

1-2 repetitions per set

1-2 patterns in a row is a number that each players should hit. With more players coach can set up 2 lines to work on forehand and backhand at the same time but it requires good feeding skills to keep the patterns in a right pace. Otherwise players should perform physical drills e.g core strength to improve power of the groundstrokes.


Working on shots with different depths is a modern approach to teaching tennis. Few years ago all the top players were using deep balls to put the opponent back but good defenders have learned how to answer these challenges. That is why players have started using angle shots to open the court and force the opponent to adjust own position on the court. By hitting the balls with different depths opponents are not comfortable and they have to constantly adapt to the new situations so it affects accuracy of their shots as also their decisions.

In this drill players work on tactical patterns based on shots with different depths. All 3 shots have specific goals behind them so players have to understand why they have to use these shots to make sure that they will be using this combination when the pressure is on. By hitting first 2 deep shots into various directions player puts the opponent behind the baseline and forces him to run from one side to another. Some players won’t be able to answer even these 2 challenges but with better defenders player has a ready answer for the last shot. Short angle cross after the deep down the line opens the court up as also put the rival on a solid run so there is a big chance that opponent will make a mistake because of a really difficult situation he is put on. Coach should explain to players that they have to focus more on power with first 2 shots and finish the pattern with more controlled but really accurate opener. Many juniors make a mistake by slowing the racquet down while trying to hit an angle and the result is a slow ball that doesn’t go far outside the sideline. Players have to accelerate the last phase of the racquet motion and add more wrist into the shot to guarantee heavy spin, high trajectory and bounce-away effect after the contact with the court.



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