1st To The Baseline
Giving kids a little competition can create a great atmosphere in a lesson. Of course it does depend on the personality of the kids and their desire to compete, so do this tennis game with a little wisdom. A way around this is to get kids to work in pairs, so that it’s not an individual win or an individual loss.
In the diagram below there are 4 players, obviously this can be broken up into two teams of two kids.
- The kids will line up on the service line.
- The coach will be on the other side of the net feeding (hand feeds next to the kids can be used for less experienced players).
- The coach will randomly (but evenly) feed to each kid. If they make the shot over the net, they will take one step backwards towards the baseline.
- If they make a mistake they will take a step closer to the net.
- The 1st child to the baseline, and who completes a shot on the baseline wins.
Note: Make sure if players are taking shots behind another player who hasn’t progressed as quickly towards the baseline, that you clear the players who are in front of them, so that there is no chance of them being hit.
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This drill can be easily changed up. For example backhands can be hit to players who are approaching the baseline. Or players might only need to reach 3/4 court. For those kids who are near the net you can give them a volley which is generally an easier shot for a young player close to the net.