Tennis: Send and adjust

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Nail, Tennis coach


2 players rally in cross court direction. Players adjust their court position according to the placement of own shots. If the ball is hit really deep players move closer to the baseline. If the ball is hit with medium depth players maintain the position around 2 meters behind the baseline. If the ball is hit short players quickly move back to prepare for defense.

Drill specifications:


1 min and switch


4 players work with each other at the same time so the coach can walk around and provide constant feedback about the footwork and positioning. Main goal is to focus on these two aspects so any faults related to stroke’s technique shouldn’t be pointed out at this time. Waiting players should do fitness drill to work on their footwork skills and legs endurance. Ladder, jump rope or plyometrics are great examples to implement while waiting for own turn.



Footwork is the area that top coaches in the profession stress a lot. Looking at the players like Williams, Sharapova or Ivanovic it is visible that their footwork is at the same level as their strokes. Tennis is a game where we have to move to the ball before we hit so inadequate work of our legs can be a reason why we are missing many shots. Court positioning can be an advantage for the hitting players but it can also be a reason of lost points so knowledge connected with a practice is the only way to develop decent footwork and court positioning in our players.


In this drill players work on footwork and court positioning. After the ball is hit, the player should adjust own position according to the placement of the shot. Our positioning after the shot is strongly dependent on the opponent’s skills but we can teach our players some basics decisions to make. While playing deep balls (especially few in a row) we can expect that opponent will respond with an easier ball so we should move closer to the baseline to capitalize on the easier response. While playing regular balls we should maintain our standard positioning 2 meters behind the baseline because we don’t know how hard the opponent will hit. Hitting shorter balls is an opportunity for the rival to attack so players should move further back to get more time and prepare for the defensive response.



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