13 December 2022 / 2-Min Read
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I'll be the first to admit that this article should at the very least have an accompanying video. But it doesn't as I am not able to get on court until next year. So you will have to read the words and view the images and imagine the drill in your head. If nothing else, it will be a good visualisation practice.
Standing in front of the short line, hit a forehand boast against the right side wall, so that it hits the side wall, front wall and left side wall without bouncing. Adjust the angle so that the ball comes back to your backhand. The adjustment you need to make is either hitting it slightly, I SAID SLIGHTLY, further back or forward against the side wall. It's one of those things you need to really experience to understand. A small difference in angle will make a big difference in where the ball goes.
When performed correctly, you should simply be turning from side to side and taking a small lunge to hit the ball. It actually seems quite easy, right? Well, it is so far. You can adjust your hitting speed and height to increase or decrease the intensity.
Forgive the terrible graphics
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One small change takes this from a fun drill to a killer drill. Instead of hitting the ball so that it hits all three walls before bouncing, you now need to hit it so that it hits the first side wall and fron wall without bouncing (a normall boast), bounces on the floor, hits the side wall and comes off enough for you to hit it back again the way it came.
It requires much more control and is easy to get wrong. Not only that but you will have to lunge that little bit further each time, meaning you have less time to get across the court for the next shot. It really is much harder.
Forgive the terrible graphics
I've seen this drill performed, although I doubt I could do it now. In fact, I couldn't do the more advanced version either. The key for the volley version is to hit it high and hard enough to move across. give it a try and elt me know how successful you are. Perhaps I am mis-remembering its difficulty.
Regular readers and viewers will know that for my solo routines, I like to create repeating sets with one exercise alternated with other. This drill could easily be the repeating drill that keeps the ball and you hot, while the alternating drills could focus on touch and control. The more advanced version is really quite tough, so limit that to no more than a minute. Now, a minute doesn't sound long, but it is - trust me!'
I can't tell you how frustrated I am at not being able to makea video showing (probably badly though) how to perform this drill. It's so easy to see it in action than read the explanation text.
I used to use this drill a lot and then suddenly I forgot about it. I hope that it becomes as popular as the side-to-side drives.
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