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Tennis Drills

In this article we look at some exciting drills for hitting partners who do the same old stuff week in and week out. Give your game some direction, objectives and strategies!

Most intermediate tennis players I coach have a hitting partner they train with at least once a week. This gives them an opportunity to practice the technique or tactics we’ve been working on at that week’s tennis lesson.

Having a hitting partner is the most cost effective way of improving your tennis shots, for you and your partner as well.

Tips for practicing with a partner

  • Get a partner at your standard or preferably slightly stronger than you. This will often bring your game up to their standard. Just as playing someone weaker might throw your game out a little.
  • Book a regular time for practice. Whether it’s weekly or fortnightly, make a commitment and stick to it. Practice drills are as important as match practice.
  • Use different venues and court surfaces. This will test how you adapt your game to changing conditions and will benefit those who play tournaments around town.
  • Have a few different hitting partners of varying styles. Examples include a heavy topspin hitter, hard flat hitter but also someone who you really enjoy hitting with. It keeps the game fun ;)

In this first edition of quality drills for hitting partners we’re going back to the old saying KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. Some try to get too fancy too soon. If you can’t keep long rallies at simple angles, you need to work on that first. Some of the drills can be performed with a ball machine but I’ve written them out in a partner format.

Drill 1 - Crosscourt

Crosscourt is your bread and butter. To be able to stay in a match for more than 2 shots you need to have a solid crosscourt shot.

The benefits of a crosscourt ball are more length of court to hit to, you hit over the lowest part of the net and with the body naturally turns across the court. More importantly for the intermediate/advanced player is that you don’t have to recover as far as if you played a down the line ball. This will be explained further in our court positioning post coming soon.

The Tennis Drill:

Place a cone or drink bottle in opposite corners of the court about 1 metre in from the baseline and single lines. Simply try and hit the bottle on the other side of the court. You’re looking at rallying 20 balls in a row. The bounce should be in the vicinity on the bottle, or at least deep than the service line. A 20 ball rally is a benchmark you should aim for.

To add a competitive element to the drill play first to hit the others bottle over 5 times.

Progression:

Rally 4 balls crosscourt then the point starts. Then rally 6 balls then play, then 8 etc. Aim for 20 ball rally then play the point. You can score if you want.

Drill 2 - Unforced Errors

Tennis matches are won and lost on unforced errors, not winners as some like to play. Getting the ball in one more time, even as a lob or soft shot is better than hitting an all or nothing last ditch hit.

The Tennis Drill:

  • Play the point out full court
  • Each unforced error is a strike
  • Winners and forced errors don’t count
  • 3 strikes and you do 10 burpees and repeat.
  • This also builds fitness and adds pressure, especially after a few sets of burpees.

Progressions:

1 - Have one player covering doubles court and the other on singles as shown by the red rectangles. Same rules apply with strikes etc.

2 - Add rule if you win on a volley you can minus a point off the strike score.

Drill 3 - Doubles Approach

This one is for the double players out there. Most weekly tennis competitions around these days have a doubles and single element and this is a great drill for teaching when to get to the net and play a strong volley under pressure.

Doubles tactic numero uno, get to the net. I see a lot of social doubles and too many people either hang back at the baseline or in ‘no man’s land’. Generally social payers start in the neutral doubles positioning of one person at the net and one on the baseline. From here any short ball that pulls you into the court or if you hit a strong enough ball to get the other players out of position, or give yourself enough time to get to the net, get to the net. If you have the option of hitting to a baseliner as opposed to a net player you should nearly always play to the baseliner.

The Tennis Drill:

  • Play the point out crosscourt including the doubles alley. RED AREA
  • The ball must be hit back crosscourt if it bounces on your side.
  • If you play a volley it can be placed anywhere in the full doubles court BLUE AREA, meaning it should be put away.
  • Assuming the opposition can return the volley the point is played out full doubles court.
  • Play an approach shot that makes the opponent play a bounced ball because it forces them to play a crosscourt ball back to you.

Progression:

  • If the ball bounces before the service line you must approach no matter what. This adds pressure on whoever hits the ball short because you know the opponent is approaching and they have a hugely increased chance of winning at the net.
  • This drill can also be played down the line, doubles alley included, and full court singles

Within tennis training there are an infinite number of drills and variations. These are just a few of many more to come. I hope you have enjoyed these drills and keep on the lookout for more to come.

If you have any questions please let me know in the comment section.

Saturday, 08 November 2014 20:58

ATP Men's Tour Finals 2014

Men's Tour Finals

Barclay's ATP World Tour Finals are upon us again and I can't wait to watch the matches. This is the final chance really to watch the crème de la crème of men's tennis battle it out for supremacy.

This year the 8 players consist of Djokovic, Cilic, Wawrinka, Berdych, Federer, Raonic, Nishikori, Murray. They’re battling it out for tour points and a share of the 6.5 million dollars prize money.

The Singles winner will receive 1500 points to their tally; however with each round robin loss they lose 200 points off their score. The doubles Winners will receive the same number of points.

If a player can win the tournament undefeated the get 1.9 mil but to win but lose a round robin match the receive $910k. Double undefeated win $360k, winners $140k.

Federer holds the most wins with 6. Some other past winners include LLeyton Hewitt (2), Djokovic (3), Sampras (5), Becker (3), McEnroe (3), and Lendle (5) and Nastase (4).

The favourite is Djokovic coming in off some good wins and a strong lead in the overall points. Nadal had to pull out because he had to have surgery on his appendix. Wawrinka reached the semi-finals last year on his debut and is one to watch, if not only for his backhand. Kei Nishikori is the first Asian man to qualify for the Tour finals ever! Andy Murray is a 3 time semi-finalist, who knows he might take it one step further but He hasn’t been playing as well as before the back injury. Berdych has qualified for a 5th year in a row but hasn’t done all that well as yet. Roanic is the first Canadian to qualify for the finals and lastly Cilic is playing his first tour final. If he plays like he did in the US Open Final he could take it out I think.

 

Personally I’d love Kei Nishikori, Cilic or of course Federer to take it out this year!

Everyone likes a good selfie…

 

Monday, 20 October 2014 06:47

Four Seasons Spring Junior Round Robin

Spring Junior Tournament/Round Robin

Saturday started out with ominous skies and moisture in the air but it all cleared up and we were set for a sunny day, I even got sunburnt! 

After our obligatory 2 baskets of warm up serves and a short hit up the matches got under way. Unfortunately a few pulled out at the last minute with injuries and sickness so the groupings were changed a bit. Not to worry!

Using the usual round robin format we gave the kids 4-5 matches, some playing best of 6, others out of 8. The top 2 point scorers played a final and trophies given out. For lunch we had pizza hut! Liam ate about 8 slices.

Junior Tournament Results

In division 3 we had 3 first time junior tournament players. After they realised our tennis tournaments have a friendly atmosphere the relaxed into the game play and Ella was even a finalist. In the end Audrey defeated Ella 6-4 in a close one.

Division 2 saw Max hold onto his title of champion for another 3 months. He had to play Evan in the final and won 6-0.

For Division 1 we had most of the squad boys come down and battle it out for bragging rights ;). The round robin scores were so close with only a point or two between players. Dali held his title again defeating Josh 6-3.

As I mentioned in the last junior tournament blog post if is just great to see how much all the kids have improved. Playing twice per week, whether group lessons, private lessons or having a hit with the parents and friends the more you hit balls, the better!

Book the Next Tournament

I’m looking forward to the next tournament in February 2015. You can book through our website. http://www.fourseasonstennis.com.au/index.php/juniors/tournaments

And always the showman...

 

Thursday, 25 September 2014 06:52

2014 Spring Adults Tournament

Last Sunday we ran the Adults Spring Tournament and the results are in, plus a few pics.

Division 1

Winner Nicholas Perkins 6

Runner-up Frank Santonoceto 0

Division 2

Winner Adrian Izurieta 6

Runner-up Tomas Masinda 4

Division 3

Winner Stefanie Jolly 7

Runner-up Ash Pereira 6

Division 4

Winner John Chan 6

Runner-up Teresa Gizzi 2

Happy chaps after the tournament

David attacking the net

Thomas might have lost the last point

Steph plays an off forehand against ash in the Div 3 final

Jamie dropping shots

Jamie dropping shots

Saturday, 23 August 2014 00:00

Junior Tennis Tournament Winter 2014

2014 Winter Junior Tournament

 

The results are in and it was a wonderful day! After the initial tournament date was a washout... again, we had the sun out and a great turnout. A few new faces participated over the divisions which was awsome to see. 

Division 1 played it out on court 1. These matchs were so close and because of the round robin format we use it was hard to tell who would make it to the finals. It endedbeing Dali D. defeating Nathan A. 6-3 in the final. I can honestly say, as I did to the boys, it was the best tennis match I've seen from the juniors tournament ever. I really hope to see them play again!

For Division 2 we spread the matches over the other courts with two brackets. The top 2 point scorers played a semi-final with the winner playing the final against the other bracket. 3rd and 4th point scorers played out for their places respectivly. The results of the two semi-finals were Connor P. defeating Justin P. 6-3 and Max VB defeating Anita S. 6-3. 

 

Adults Winter Tournament 2014

 

On Sunday we ran our quarterly adults tournament and it went brilliantly… apart from the wind. Across the 4 courts we had 4 divisions battling it out for the golden trophies. Delicious food was served by Tony including prawns, chicken, pork, beef and veggies.

Now for the results!

Division 1

Frank S defeated Ulf

6-0

Frank df Ulf

 

Division 2

Dimitri defeated Jamie Lu

6-1

Division 3

Funihiro defeated Ash P

7-5

Division 4

Teresa defeatd Dean

6-3

Thanks to all those who played. It is always a great day of competitive tennis for all. We might try and get a video made of the next one.

Monday, 19 May 2014 03:12

Winter Junior Tournament Results

Four Seasons Tennis Junior Tournament

What a wonderful day of tennis we had. There was a huge improvment from everyone who participated in the competition. Huge lengthy rallies were great to see and everyone really going for their shots. So many matches right down to the wire.

Everyone who attended were members of our junior tennis coaching school. It was great to see the kids putting the things they've learnt in the lessons into practice in a competitive setting. We had 2 divisions in the tournament, both very strong. The division 1 finalists were the same as last time!

Now for the results:

Division 1

Zac B df. Evan P 6-0

Division 2

Max VB df. Jonathan S 6-4

Again than you to everyone who participated in the tournament and we hope you can join us next time.

For details to book into the next tournament CLICK HERE

 

Congratulations to all our participants in the Autumn Adults Tennis Tournament.

With a big day of competition starting at 9am, 24 players battled it out in 4 divisions to make the finals. I huge BBQ was cooked up by Tony to keep the furnaces burning. Through the highs and lows our finalists for each division were:

1.      DAVE ALLAN defeated JOHNNY CAMPOS

2.      DAVID O'DRISCOLL defeated KAROL  TARASIUK

3.      MYAT MIN ZAW defeated ASHTON PEREIRA

4.      CATHERINE NIEC defeated MARIAN LENTFER

 

The next tournament will be held on Sunday 29th June. To book check out http://www.fourseasonstennis.com.au/index.php/adults/tournaments

 

Monday, 28 April 2014 02:42

Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the first post on the Four Seasons Tennis Blog.

We are excited to bring you tennis news and events, coaching tips and specials so stay tuned.

 

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