Quick Fast Footwork Shots
Players should not only work on their footwork, but it’s important to do footwork drills in combination with hitting shots. This way they put into practice their movements into a match-realistic situation.
This is a very intense drill that has players focusing on footwork as well as shots. It can have a range of variables, a few of which we have mentioned below.
1. The player will start at the back of the court behind the cones (where the arrow heads are in the diagram below)
2. The coach will be hand feeding balls to the player (standing where the racquet is in the diagram below)
3. This drill works best with flat cones (not witch’s-hat style cones as shown below)
4. The player must do fast quick forward steps weaving in between the first set of cones that run towards the court and then split-step before moving laterally (either left or right)
5. When they split-step the coach will hold out his/her hand in the direction that the player should move
6. The player will then move in that direction (either left or right) doing small lateral jumps (one foot at a time) over the cones
7. Once the player has reached the end of the cones the coach will hand feed a shot and say either cross-court or down-the-line, upon which the player must quickly make an adjustment to hit the shot in the direction that the coach has said. The player should aim for the cones that have been set up in the back-court.
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The coach can change things up with a number of variables such as:
– The player has to jump over the cones in a forward direction (one foot at a time) when initially moving forward, rather than weaving in and out of the cones.
– The player must hit a certain type of shot with a certain type of footwork applied, such as an open-stance cross-court shot, or a closed-stance down-the-line shot.
– The player has to weave in and out of the cones when moving laterally.
This drill can be changed in a number of ways to focus on a particular footwork style that the coach is trying to teach. Want more footwork inspiration then here’s a clip that will show you some movements.
In the end it will come down to the coach (and player) evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the player. Most players prefer to move laterally than forward and backwards, and most practice is generally laterally, so it’s important to include and work on every aspect of tennis footwork.