Ten Drills to Improve Your Ability to “Play Solid and Steady Tennis”

Here are ten practice drills and exercises to improve your ability to “play solid and steady tennis”.

  1. Maintain cross-court rallies for depth (deep to deep) and consistency.  Repetition is the key.  As an alternative, maintain a cross-court rally with angles (angle to angle)
  2. Maintain a two-bounce rally with each player taking the ball on the second (not first) bounce.
  3. Box off a hitting target within several feet from the baseline.  Maintain a live-ball rally until each player in turn hits x number of balls into the established hitting target.
  4. Require a specific exchange of x number of shots to start each point.  Play cross-court, down-the-line and/or full-court points (with serves or drop-hit feeds).
  5. Require a specific exchange of x number of shots hit in succession past the service line or into a specific target area to start each point.  Play cross-court, down-the-line and/or full-court points (with serves or drop-hit feeds).
  6. Play cross-court, half-court points with serves.  The half-court requirement extends the rally and makes points beneficial for both singles and doubles.
  7. Play cross-court, down-the-line (redirection) rallies and/or points.  Designate one player to hit cross-court and the other to hit down-the-line.  As an option, require one player to hit cross-court only and the other player to hit wherever (cross-court or down-the-line).
  8. Maintain a two-ball rally.  Each player puts a ball in play at the same time.
  9. Maintain rallies or play points where one player is only allowed to hit to one half of the court and the other player is allowed to hit to the full court.
  10. Play offense/defense points (or rallies) with one player looking to prolong the point (or rally) and the other player looking to shorten the point (or rally).  As a variation, have the offensive player hit to a more narrowly defined target area with the goal to see how long the offensive player can sustain pressure with each exchange (versus how long it takes for the offensive player to put the ball away).

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