The Passing Shot Game

One of the keys to having a solid defensive game is to be able to hit an effective passing shot. On the other hand one of the keys to having a strong all-court attacking game is to be able to come in and finish the point at the net.

Even typical defensive baseliners such as Nadal are becoming more and more an all-court player (did anyone see how often Nadal came to the net at the 2013 US Open?); so clearly these are skills we need to develop in both our game and our player’s arsenal – for those that are coaches.

The passing shot game works as per the diagram below:

1. Two players will begin the match, with one player at the net and one player at the baseline.

2. The coach will feed a ball (see yellow arrows) to the baseliner who will take it on-the-run – this person must hit a passing shot, past the person at the net.

3. It is a one shot drill, with the coach moving the baseliner from side to side hitting one shot and the net player hitting one shot.

4. Here’s an example: The baseliner will stand in just inside the deuce court to begin the 1st point. The coach will feed an on-the-run shot to the advantage court where the baseliner will try and hit that ball as a passing shot. If successful the baseliner gets a point, if the volleyer makes the volley back they get a point. From there the coach will feed an on-the-run ball back to the deuce court which will begin the next point.

passing shot drill


5. Players will play first to 10 or 20 points and then switch roles.

6. The drill can be modified by having the players finish the point by playing it out and scoring from there.

7. Two players can easily play this game without a coach, simply have the volleyer hit a 3/4 paced approach shot and come to the net and play out the point.

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