Deep vs Short Creativity
It’s important for players to learn to move their opponents around not just side to side (laterally) but learn to move them forward and backwards, which is for many players a far more uncomfortable situation (most players like to move laterally, but don’t like moving backwards, or forwards to a low mid-court slice).
This is a great drill for developing the creativity in an advanced player, by forcing them to concentrate on moving their opponent forward or backwards depending on what the coach has decided for them to do.
1. Two players will play against each other. NO points should be used during this drill as the competition could distract the players from the specific shots they should practice.
2. The coach will tell one player that they need to bring their opponent forward, and the other player must move them backwards.
3. No volleys are allowed in the drill – for the purpose of fluency in the drill, the player on the baseline must move back to the baseline after hitting a short shot (as much as feasibly possible between their shots).
4. In the same manner the player on the baseline must move back to the baseline after being pushed back.
5. The two highlighted areas below are the places where the players must aim to hit in.
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This drill is for advanced players – the coach must work with the players to ensure they hit an effective shot (i.e. not a basic drop shot or a basic moonball shot).
The ideal shot to hit, which will be effective in a match against another advanced player is a heavy top spin groundstroke for a deep shot that will force their opponent back and for a short shot, a low slice, or a drop shot when in an appropriate court position.
Of course these same shots could be practiced simply through a feed from the coach, however this drill provides a little more of a match realistic environment.