Tennis: Control your distance

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Bill, Newly qualified coach

DESCRIPTION

The player stands at the service line and the coach feeds the first ball into the legs to backhand side. The player executes backhand half-volley cross-court and moves diagonally forward. The coach feeds another ball to forehand side and the player finishes with forehand stop-volley down the line.

COACHING POINTS

Working on volleys have to include many factors. During the match sometimes we have to generate power, other times we use opponent's power so our job is to control the ball. If we are confident with these 2 variations we can confidently move to the net and win many points. If we have only 1 ability in our skill-bag then we will win some points and lose some points.

In this drill, the player works on controlling the shots using different volleys. Half-volleys are especially useful while competing on hard-courts because regular bounces don't put too much risk on this kind of shot. Being able to direct half-volley to different court areas gives us advantage and possibility to build the point or even force the opponent to miss. Stop-volley is the last shot in this pattern and it has to be performed with 100% focus. Too many times, juniors or intermediate players build great advantage on the court just to miss the last easiest shot. The coach should explain to players how to effectively hit stop-volleys from the technical point and warn them that the wrong mentality can ruin all the effort that they put into the point.

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