Here are ten more creative ways to have more fun on the court (and develop racquet and footwork skills at the same time).
- Play a serving-based game where the server continues to serve each game until he/she loses serve. With the loss of serve, the opportunity to “serve it out” then reverts to the other player. It’s a different twist on serving and emphasizes the importance of holding serve.
- Another way to change the complexion of the game with the serve is to play points where the server has only one serve per point (no second serve).
- To emphasize the importance of net clearance, penalize players with the loss of an additional point for any ball hit into the net.
- Play “Cut Throat”, a one versus two player game. Players only count points won on the singles side of the court. Players rotate clockwise one position with each loss of point by the player on the singles side of the court. With more than three players, the rotation can include a station off court.
- Play a no-bounce, volley-to-volley game. Use the service box as the court boundary and require all volleys to be hit up in the air (versus down at the feet of your opponent).
- Play an offense/defense game where one player (or team) has to finish the point within X number of shots (or loses the point).
- Play a doubles-based lob game in which one player on each team is positioned in the forecourt and one player positioned in the backcourt. The players on each team positioned in the backcourt hit lobs over the players positioned in the forecourt (who are not allowed to step back beyond the service line). Once a lob is intercepted by the net player (either with a volley or overhead), the point is played with court positioning restrictions.
- Maintain a (juggling) rally with two balls in play at one time. The two players initiate the rally by hitting a ball in play at the same time. The rally can also work with three, four or more players.
- Play “Ping-Pong Doubles”, a game in which partners must alternate hitting each ball.
- Place a target (or multiple targets) on each side of the court. Players win one point for hitting a target and to keep things honest, one point for winning three consecutive rallies.
- Finally, as a bonus, check out this mini tennis rally game video with Novak Djokovic and Dusan Vemic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9eNJBzptZ0
These are just a few examples of games to make things fun on the court and to target specific court skills. It is fun to experiment and be creative with different point situations and variables.