Tuesday, May 26, 2015

4 Tennis Drills to Boost Speed and Agility

In order to really dominate your competition, you’re going to need more than a powerful serve and flawless ground strokes. You need to be able to get to the ball, fast!

This requires a player to develop speed and agility so that they can react quickly enough to reach any ball that comes in their court.

Here are 4 great drills that all players must complete:

Run & Shuffle

image via tennisworkout
This drill helps to develop foot work by forcing players to properly transition for forward to lateral movement. This drill can also be performed while being fed balls from a partner.

1. Set up 3 cones along the base line, one in the center and two where the baseline and singles line intersect. Have the trainee stand towards either end.

2. If desired, have someone on the opposite side of the court feed the ball to the opposite end where the player is standing.

3. The trainee should start by doing a lateral shuffle towards the center cone, and once that center cone is reach they can turn into a sprint to reach the ball.

4. The player can return the ball with either a forehand or backhand.

Perform: 3 sets of 10 repetitions (1 repetition being crossing the width of the court) Rest: 1 minute between sets, as little as possible between repetitions

Call a Cone

This exercise will enhance agility reaction time in trainees by forcing them to respond quickly to commands:
  1. Place 4 cones in the court about 10-15 feet apart in the shape of a square court to form a square (Two towards the baseline and two towards the net).
  2. Assign each cone a respective number 1-4.
  3. Have the trainee stand in the center, and call out a number 1-4. The trainee will then run to that cone, and return to the center.
  4. The numbers should be called out in rapid succession so that the trainee is constantly moving.
Perform: 3 sets (30-60 seconds of movement). Rest: 1-2 minutes between sets

Drop Shot

Players must be able to quickly chase down drop shots in a match. This drill will force them to quickly locate and reach any given ball.

1. Have the player stand several feet behind the base line, and another person several feet behind the net on the opposite side.

2. Have the partner hit a light drop shot on the player’s side of the net.

3. The trainee must then sprint to return the drop shot allowing only one bounce.

Perform: 2 sets (6-8 drop shots). Rest: <1 minute between sets

‘Suicide’ Sprints

This is a grueling exercise that will really wear someone out. It is best done at 95% of full speed. Because this exercise is so draining, save it for the end of practice or workout session.
  1. Start outside the doubles line. When ready, run directly to the singles line several feet in front of you. 
  2. Turn around, run back to the doubles line, and touch the line.
  3. Turn back around and run to the center of the court. Touch the line (if applicable) and run back to the outside of the court.
  4. Repeat this until you touch each line going vertically across the court.
Perform: 2-3 sets Rest: 2 minutes between sets

By: Bryan Rosenthal
Tennis League Network Blogger

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