Place and Pick up from the Baseline

Tennis Gator Groundstrokes

Players rally from the baseline. They have to hit the ball to each other slowly, with control. In addition, each player starts with a ball in the non-dominant hand. After each hit the player will either place the ball on the ground or pick it up. The drill will force the players to remain in motion and to practice shifting …

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Serving in Balance

Tennis Gator Serve and Return

This is a useful exercise to test the balance and finishing position on the serve. The player is asked to hold the finish. The player should land on the front leg with the back leg in the air. The racquet head should be pointing down in front of the body. The player should try to hold the landing for 2 …

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Searching for Balance – Ball Between Feet

Tennis Gator Serve and Return

This is a great drill to work on improving toss accuracy and balance. The player stands at the baseline and tries to serve without moving his/her feet, pressing a ball between them. The idea is to help the player find a tossing position where the body remains in balance throughout the serve.

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Return Collection – In the Air

Tennis Gator Serve and Return

Although it is widely accepted that the return of serve is one of the most important shots in the game, practicing it enough is difficult since it requires someone to serve a high volume of balls. Here is an alternative, that although not perfect, targets many of the skills needed to return Exercise 2 Close Feeds Taking time away from …

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Bounce Feeds Return

Tennis Gator Serve and Return

A return is nothing more than a groundstroke with a short backswing. In order to force the player to shorten the backswing it is important to take away time. By standing close to the player and feeding fast bouncing shots, the coach forces the payer to shorten the backswing and work on blocking the ball in front of the body.

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In the Air Returns Collection

Tennis Gator Serve and Return

Exercise 1 Against the Fence A good way to teach players to use short swings and meet the ball in front of the body is by having them stand against the back fence and rushing them with fast feeds that do not bounce. The players against the back fence cannot take large backswing so they are forced to keep the …

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Disguising the Serve

Tennis Gator Serve and Return

Ideally the player should learn to hit the serve in any direction off the same toss. The best way to practice this is for the coach to stand behind the player as the player serves. Once the ball is in the air, the coach will yell: T or wide. The player should serve accordingly. This drill fosters the ability to …

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Minimum Movement Return

Tennis Gator Serve and Return

A common problem on the return is moving too much and therefore loosing precision. In this drill the player works on staying totally still to return using as little body movement as possible. The idea is to work on stability. The player should try to keep the eyes at contact for a second or two before looking up to see …

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