Surprise Channel Change

This tennis drill looks at the element of surprise and change of direction in order to win a point.

Each player is hitting to the same channel, there are three channels on each end of the court, indicated by the cones and the singles lines. In the diagram below the players are hitting down the middle channel. The point will begin with a drop and hit.

Sometime during the point either player can change the direction of the point and hit to another channel, upon which the point is then played out across the full singles court.

The scoring works like this:

  • 1 point to whoever wins the point while the point is being played in the original channel (no change of direction occurred).
  • 2 points to whoever changes the channel and wins the point
  • 3 points to the player who’s opponent changes the channel, and then wins the point.

This scoring system encourages people to change the direction of the play, and to take the element of surprise into their own hands. However it also encourages the player who changes the direction of the point to make sure they have an appropriate shot to do so, or else if they let their opponent back into the point and they lose the point their opponent will win 3 points.

surprise channel change on tennis court

The coach can choose what the player’s will play first to. A first to 21 point match is appropriate. Player’s will begin each point with a drop and hit to the appropriate channel. There is no serving.

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