Fun Series (Part #1)

Here are ten creative ways to have more fun on the court (and develop racquet and footwork skills at the same time).

  1. “Role play” and take on a new or different on-court persona and style of play. As an example, assume the role of a “baseline grinder” and stay back on everything and play a defensive, high margin style of play.
  2. Play “Slice War” where every shot must be hit with slice (back or under spin).
  3. Play “Mini Tennis” using the service box or boxes as the court boundary and a requirement that no shots can be hit with pace. It’s a great game to develop finesse and “soft hands”.
  4. With a partner of similar constitution and temperament, hit 1,000 balls in a row (or as many as you can in a consecutive rally). Yes, this can be fun.
  5. Grab a ball machine and/or a willing (or perhaps unwitting) partner and “crank it up” with your groundstrokes, serve, overhead, etc. After a sufficient warm-up, hit the ball as hard as you can.  Now if you want to make your session more productive, adjust and modify how hard you hit the ball to find your “pace threshold” (what pace you can realistically maintain before going “over the edge” and not being able to get a reasonable number of balls in the court). One variation is to play “Offense/Defense” where one player attacks with sustained and relentless pressure while the other player defends by doing everything possible to get the ball back in play and extend the rally.
  6. Play points (or hit rallies) where the objective is to move your partner (opponent) around as much as possible without actually putting the ball away. Try to extend or lengthen the rally and add variety to the rally by utilizing the entire court, varying spin and pace, etc.
  7. Play “No Bounce” (or one bounce) points meaning that you’re not allowed to let the ball bounce at all during the point (or only allowed to let the ball bounce one time on your side of the court each point).
  8. Play “Two Bounce” points. Maintain a rally or play points with the requirement that you have to hit the ball on the second bounce and the second bounce must land within the singles (or doubles) court lines.
  9. Raise the net by two, three, four or more feet using extender poles and rope.  Play points or maintain rallies over this higher (raised) net to help establish a higher percentage stroke pattern.  If you can stake out two side-by-side indoor courts, it’s also possible to maintain a rally over the divider net to achieve a similar objective.
  10. Hit for targets.  Set up targets at strategic locations to hone your groundstrokes, serves, etc.

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