Tennis: Don't let it bounce

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Nail, Tennis coach


Player stands on the baseline. Coach feeds a moonball. Player moves inside the baseline and hits a groundstroke drive in the air.

Drill specifications:

1-4 repetitions per set

With less players on the court coach can increase the number of repetitions to allow players to hit few strokes in a row. Waiting players can do figure 8 drill around the cones to work on the important aspect of the forehand in the air - adjustment steps. With more players coach can make them switch after one shot to keep the drill dynamic and improve anaerobic endurance at the same time.



Nick Bollettieri is the author of this stroke. Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova are all top players who have worked with Nick and have developed extremely dangerous forehand drives in the air. There is no one way approach to dealing with moonballs so players have to possess different skills to be able to pick the right answer on a given day. Hitting the ball in the air is a demanding stroke but with proper amount of time focused on this aspect players will defnitely master this ability and they will be comfortable using it during the tournament.


In this drill players work on dealing with moonballs by hitting regular forehand in the air. At the beginning coach has to explain to players that most of the balls in the air should be taken with the forehand. Knowing that one-handed stroke has bigger range as also it is easier to execute offensive shots with high point of contact players will understand why they should run more and prepare forehand instead of going with a regular backhand. Additionally coach has to demonstrate the stroke and point out the most important factors of this stroke. Players should focus on:

1. Footwork (Quick recognition of the incoming ball and moving forward inside the baseline. Small adjustment steps are necessary to maintain good position to the ball and have a chance to adjust it if something happens e.g poor early ball perception or wind blows)

2. Higher preparation and point of contact (To hit the ball aggressively and send the message to the opponent that it is an easy ball, players have to hit the ball in the high point of contact. Higher preparation allows players to hit more powerful strokes and maintain good consistency)

3. Follow to the net (Offensive tactic doesn’t end on this stroke so players have to follow to the net and finish the point with the volley or smash. If the drive is good opponent will be in a defensive position so there is a big chance to receive an easy ball to put away). 



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