Tennis: Rally with observation

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Nail, Tennis coach

DESCRIPTION

The coach stands at the net and rallies with a player. The coach hits all the balls randomly and can change position. The player has to play all the ball back to the coach even if she changed her court position.

Opponent's perception is a skill as any other that players have to practice. Most of the time players focus on the ball so they are pretty good with ball perception but they don't have the same ability according to the opponent. Knowing where the rival is situated on the court can be a great advantage because we can use more effective tactical decisions and win points without taking too much risk.

COACHING POINTS

In this drill, the player works on consistency and opponent's awareness. Chasing random balls and being aware of opponent's position are two skills that can have a negative impact on each other. Only really skilful players can maintain good consistency while observing the opponent so that is why players have to spend more time on this type of drills. The coach has to explain to players that normally we want to play the ball away from the opponent but this is the first step to touch this skill. The longer the rally the more opportunities to practice opponent's awareness. The coach can make this drill as a competition and give awards to players who maintain the longest rally.

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