Soft Hands

Here are ten exercises, games and drills to improve your ability to manipulate the ball with your hands and racquet.

  1. Do racquet ups, downs and up-bounce-ups.
  2. Establish a two-bounce baseline-to-baseline rally (ball must bounce twice inside the court boundary).
  3. Hit volleys and groundstrokes with one hand behind your back. If you hit with a two-handed backhand, hit forehand groundstrokes and/or volleys with your non-dominant hand.
  4. Hit volley and one-bounce (two bounce) groundstroke rallies against a backboard.
  5. Hit volleys and/or groundstrokes over an established mid-court barrier target (e.g. court bench).
  6. Play a slice (or topspin) war – all slice (or topspin).
  7. Hit with Quick Start red, orange and green dot balls.
  8. Establish and maintain a two-touch volley and/or groundstroke rally. Catch (or stop)/set the ball with the first touch and then hit the ball over the net and back into play with the second touch.
  9. Play mini tennis. Establish service box or boxes as court boundary. Work the point with finesse and angles only (no pace).
  10. Mirror the shots of your hitting partner (e.g. high trajectory to high trajectory, low trajectory to low trajectory, topspin to topspin, etc.). Another option is to change and/or counter the shots of your hitting partner.  Examples include taking pace off the ball in response to pace, adding pace to the ball in response to no pace, hitting slice in response topspin and hitting topspin in response to slice.

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