Tennis: Smarter than the opponent

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Andrea, Tennis coach

DESCRIPTION

Coach feeds the angle shot. Player runs diagonally forward and hits drop shot down the line.

Drill specifications:

1 repetition per set

One player is working with the coach so other players should perform speed exercises to improve their movement to the ball. On clay court coach should demand sliding to the ball; on harder surface full sprint without stopping is required to answer the angle shot.

COACHING POINTS

There are situations in tennis when we have a small chance to win the point so it is a right time to go for a surprising shot. Many opponents create good offensive situations and wait for typical defensive answers so they don’t expect something extra from player on the other side of the net. While running to get the angle shot we have few possibilities and one of them is a surprising drop shot. Most of the players hit counter angle shot or powerful down the line so opponent’s position is not adjusted to easily get to the short ball.

In this drill players work on adding surprising element into a tactical pattern. Quick analysis of a current situation helps to to pick right decision at the right time. Being in deep troubles means that good opponent has a big chance to win the point so we have to come up with something extra that can turn the situation around. Hitting drop shot of an angle shot is a rarely used option but when it is performed well defensive player can quickly get advantage over the rival. Coach should explain to players that sometimes they will hit a winner but they have to be ready to recover because the shot is not finished after the point of contact. Additionally, players have to pay attention to the disguising effect so opponent’ can’t read our intentions. By practising this shot players add another surprising tactic to their skills but they have to understand when it is smart to go for this really risky shot and when it is preferable to go with a more common strategy.

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