Switch of Play
As per the diagram below, this drill has two players working together hitting in a windscreen-wiper formation, where one player will hit down-the-line and the other player will hit cross-court. It is similar to our X-Men drill with a couple of key differences.
1. The court is divided into thirds (as seen by the yellow lines) and the target area is smaller. This smaller target area brings into play the next variable on a more consistent basis.
2. Every time a player misses their shot and it doesn’t go into the correct third, the roles swap and the player who was hitting down the line is now hitting crosscourt and the player who was hitting crosscourt will then hit down-the-line.
3. It’s important that the players try and maintain the rally even if a mistake is made and the ball doesn’t go into the designated third.
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4. The drill can be modified in the following way – when a player doesn’t hit it into their designated area, the next ball should be hit down the middle third by the other player and then the roles will swap over from that time on.
This drill works not only on consistency and accuracy but additionally it will help players adapt mid rally to change their pattern of play. This is because every time a mistake is made outside of their control (i.e. their opponent makes the mistake) they will have to change their shots, such as from crosscourt to down-the-line.