Before a child can hit a forehand, backhand or serve they need to learn how to throw both underarm and overarm, so it goes without saying that coaches should teach throwing to young kids.
One great way to teach both throwing and a basic understanding of tennis is to combine the two. Add an egg, some flour, mix thoroughly and you’ll come out with Throw Tennis.
Throw tennis works similarly to normal tennis, except we reduce the size of the court to just mini-court (service boxes) for the kids, however this can be modified to suit more/less developed players. In the diagram, players are playing half-court, covering one service box each.
Each player will throw the ball over the net, acting as their shot. As per normal rules, if the ball doesn’t go in you lose the point, or if it bounces twice you also lose the point. If a ball is fumbled while a catch is attempted, the coach can choose depending on the player’s ability level, whether that means they lose the point, or that it is play-on.
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The coach can introduce a rule that the player must alternate between an underarm and overarm throw, so that the kids get used to both actions.
Before beginning this drill be sure to demonstrate how a correct throw should look, including turning side-on so that it mimics the correct body-stance for a typical tennis shot.