International Book of Tennis Drills: Over 100 Skill-Specific Drills Adopted by Tennis Professionals Worldwide

International Book of Tennis Drills: Over 100 Skill-Specific Drills Adopted by Tennis Professionals Worldwide

by Professional Tennis Registry


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International Book of Tennis Drills: Over 100 Skill-Specific Drills Adopted by Tennis Professionals Worldwide by Professional Tennis Registry

Filled with time-tested drills designed to improve every aspect of one’s game, this updated edition is the ideal resource for any tennis player who wants to gain an edge on their competition. With more than 100 practice drills for both group and independent practice, readers will learn how to improve their serving, returning, groundstrokes, lobs, drop shots, approach shots, overheads, volleys, and much more. The singular, authoritative source for skill-enhancing drills, this guide is equally useful for beginning or advanced players of all ages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781600788291
Publisher: Triumph Books
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 509,783
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Professional Tennis Registry is the largest global organization of tennis-teaching professionals with more than 14,000 members in 117 countries. They are dedicated to educating, certifying, and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game of tennis. They are based in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Read an Excerpt

International Book of Tennis Drills

Over 100 Skill-Specific Drills Adopted by Tennis Professionals Worldwide

By Muscle & Fitness

Triumph Books

Copyright © 2013 Professional Tennis Registry
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62368-510-2


5-6 Year Old: Warm Up Drills

Characteristics of 5-6 Year Olds

• Great difficulty with "fine" motor skills

• Reactions and anticipation skills are very low

• Listening to and following instructions is very difficult for them

• Scoring and winning and losing are not understood yet

• Throw with limited rotation and catch with both hands

• Grips, swing action and rallying over a net can be too advanced

• 30-minute time period is optimal for children of this age

• Sessions should be fun, active and interesting

1) Popcorn

Pro stands with his back to the kids with a handful of balls. When the pro yells "popcorn" he throws all the balls high in the air and behind him towards the players.

The kids have to try to catch as many balls as they can before it the balls stop bouncing (popping). Players can use cones, their hands, or an empty tennis ball can to catch balls.

2) Caterpillar

The players line up in a single file line facing the pro and with their feet shoulder width apart.

The pro rolls a ball to one side or the other and the players must side- shuffle to that side and try to get the ball to roll between their feet.

If the ball goes between their feet, they're safe. If it hits their foot or goes to the outside of their foot, they go to the back of the caterpillar line.

This is a great and fun way to teach players to move side-to-side which they will have to do when playing tennis.

3) Spider in the Web

One player starts as the spider. The rest are at the baseline. When the spider yells "spider in the web" all the runners have to make it to the other baseline without being tagged by the spider.

When a player is "tagged" by the spider they must sit on the court at the exact spot where they were tagged and they are now also "sitting" spiders.

The original spider remains as the spider until they "catch" all the other players.

If the players do not run to the other side quickly enough, give them a 10-second time limit to make it to the other baseline.

Players must run inside the designated boundaries.

4) Zoo Warm Up

Players move around a designated area while mimicking their favorite animals.

Pro can call out animals to mimic like:

• Kangaroo

• Horse galloping

• Frog

• Humming Bird

• Eagle

• Elephant

This is a very fun way to get young players to warm-up and use their imagination.

5) Mirror Hands

The players face each other and stand close enough to be able to almost touch hands, like patty-cake.

One player is designated the mover and will shuffle from side to side while the other player tries to keep up while keeping their hands in the upright position.

The players should be almost touching hands in front of them as if they were going to give each other a "high five" at chest level.

After 30 seconds have the players switch roles.

This is good for teaching lateral movement and upper body balance.

Variation: Allow the moving player to slowly move their hands around so his partner now has to move and control their hands, like they would when they have to volley.

6) Lily Pad

This drill helps young players gain agility & balance.

The pro sets out several throw-down spots or donuts and the players start in a single file line behind the first spot.

Players jump from spot to spot on one leg and they must regain their balance before jumping to the next spot.

This drill is very effective in teaching them balance and also works on their leg strength which is what they will need in the sport of tennis.

Remind the kids that this is a not a race drill. They should be working on proper form and technique vs. doing it fast.

Variation: The pro can reposition the Lily Pads further apart so it is a tougher drill for the players.


5-6 Year Old: Drills

Characteristics of 5-6 Year Olds

• Great difficulty with "fine" motor skills

• Reactions and anticipation skills are very low

• Listening to and following instructions is very difficult for them

• Scoring and winning and losing are not understood yet

• Throw with limited rotation and catch with both hands

• Grips, swing action and rallying over a net can be too advanced

• 30-minute time period is optimal for children of this age

• Sessions should be fun, active and interesting

1) Goof Balls & Magic Balls

Set two hoppers of balls by each corner where the net posts would be on a 36' court, these are the "Magic" Balls.

Set one more hopper of balls at the baseline between the two lines of players.

Form two teams on the baseline. The first kid on each team takes a ball out of the hopper on the baseline (a "goof" ball) and drops/hits it over.

If they make it over, they get to run up and get a ball out of their hopper by the net posts (called "magic balls").

If they miss their hit from the baseline, they go to the back of their line. The object is to empty your "magic ball" hopper first. The balls on the baseline are "goof" balls because if you miss, you don't have the chance to hit a magic ball!

Whether the player misses or makes their shot, they always have to get the next ball for their partner in line behind them.

Variation: Pro can disallow shots that have poor form or technique. And this drill can work with any kind of shot that the players must introduce (i.e. Serves).

2) Speed Racer

All the players are on the same team and line up across the baseline on a mini-court.

Part 1: Pro feeds players one ball at a time and when the team gets 10 balls over and in the court, all the players run around the entire court while the pro tries to peg them with a foam ball.

Part 2: If they make it all the way around to the back of the line without being hit, they are declared a speed racer.

Variation: Have players play by themselves and if they make 4 shots in a row, they run around the court and avoid trying to be hit by the pro's foam ball.

3) In the Toilet

This drill is designed to help young players develop racket head control.

Place several circle dots on the court in a variety of places.

Have each player balance a ball on their strings while they walk from dot to dot.

When the pro yells "toilet" each player goes to the closest dot and "lifts" the ball in the air trying to get it bounce in the toilet and then catch it back on their strings.

This skill is one of the first young players must master in order for them to be able to rally.

4) Collision

Have players facing each other on the same side of the court (not over the net).

Each player places a ball on the ground in front of him.

When the pro yells "send it" they send the ball (along the ground) to each other while trying to get the two balls to collide with each other. After they send the ball, they will use the incoming ball to repeat the drill again.

Have the players repeat this drill and always wait for the pro to yell the "send it" command before they send their ball.

Note: To help develop proper form, do not allow the players to stand directly behind the ball and send it with the tip of their racket. Instead, teach them to get on the side of the ball and to send the ball with the edge of their racket as if to simulate proper forehand technique.

5) Cone Catchers

This is an excellent drill to use to teach young players how to properly "receive" the ball and create the proper space between them and the incoming ball.

Player 3 tosses to player 4 and player 1 tosses to player 2.

Each "catcher" uses a cone to catch the ball after one bounce.

Dots are placed on the court and serve as target areas for the players to toss their balls at.

Players use underhand tosses to their partners who must allow the ball to bounce one time before trying to catch it in their cones. This will teach players the proper spacing to have on their tennis shots.

After a few minutes have the players reverse roles.

It is important to remember that tennis is difficult for most youngsters because other sports require you to go directly to the ball, but tennis requires you to maintain an amount of distance from the ball so you can hit it properly.

After a while ask the players to let the ball bounce twice instead of once.

6) Rip It

This is a fun drill that allows young players to feel what it is like to really hit a hard shot.

Place an empty tennis ball can upside down on the court with a foam ball (or low compression ball) on top of it.

Players line up behind one of the cans and when the pro says 1, 2, 3, rip it – the players try to hit the ball over the net.

This will make a loud noise and the kids love it. It is like T-ball in baseball only it sounds cooler because of the noise that the can makes.

Repeat several times.

Pro can emphasize good technique and a proper full follow through.

7) Clean Your Room

This drill gives kids practice on the proper throwing motion and is typically done at the end of a class.

Players on one side of the net are a team playing against the team on the other side of the net. Have each team start with 10 balls on the ground on their side of the net.

When the pro yells start ... the players have a throwing war where the goal is to get all the balls off of your side of the net by throwing them over to the other team's side.

At the end of a specified time, the team with the least amount of balls on their side wins the game.

Pro should allow only overhand throws with proper form.

Note: Use only foams balls so that if a player is hit by a ball it will not hurt.

8) Bobsled

This is a fun game that the kids love and will ask to play almost every day.

Place the kids sitting close together on the ground as if they were all on a bobsled. They should all be facing the net and looking across to the other side of the net.

Two coaches rally with a foam ball and try to hit the players in the bobsled on the other side of the net.

The players in the bobsled will bob-and-weave to avoid the incoming ball but must remain seated.

This fun drill actually helps players track the flight of the incoming ball which is an important skill to develop.

9) Instant Tennis

This is a great progression for getting players to rally quickly.

Step 1: Player starts with ball balanced on the strings and he "lifts" it into the air and catches it back on the strings after the ball bounces 1 time on the ground.

Step 2: Players lift the ball in the air and try to hit up in the air and sustain a self-rally for as long as they can. Players should hit the ball at least as high as their heads.

Step 3: Players build on this skill and now cooperatively hit to a partner that is only an alley width away.

Step 4: Repeat the process with the players across from the net from each other. This time they must hit it up to themselves and then to their partner. This will help them not to over-hit.

Step 5: Players back up and repeat the previous step from farther back in the court.

10) Lift It

In this drill each player has two rackets in their hands.

Skill #1: Players put the ball between their rackets and "lift" it into the air and let it bounce on the ground one time before they trap it between their strings again.

Skill #2: Just like skill #1 but now the players "hit" the ball up in the air and try to do a self-rally before they trap the ball between their strings.

Skill #3: Players lift the ball into the air, but this time they hit it over the net to their partner after the ball has bounced one time. The partner will then try to catch the incoming ball between their 2 rackets and repeat the skill back to the other player.

Pros should teach the players to catch and release the ball off to the side of their bodies like a real tennis shot.

11) Cone Battle

Players set up 3 upside down shallow cones on their side of the net. The players rally with each other with the goal being to hit one of his opponent's cones.

If this happens, then they have "captured" that cone and it comes to their side of the net. The goal of the drill is to capture all of your opponent's cones.

If a ball hits more than one cone at a time, the players still only capture one cone at a time.

Pros can adjust the difficulty of the drill by moving the cones closer to or farther from the net.

12) Balloon Balls

This drill helps players work on skills above their head as we know this will be needed later in their tennis development for such shots as serves and overheads.

Part 1: Each player has a balloon and they try to hit it up in the air to keep it going. This slow moving "ball" will allow players to experience success and work on skills above their heads, which will be important as they grow older.

Part 2: The players pair up in groups of 2 and do the same, but this time they alternate turns hitting the ball up in the air. This version will now require cooperation and much more movement from the players.

Part 3: Each player now has 2 balloons and they try to keep them up in the air without either balloon touching the ground. This will be much more challenging (but fun) for this age group.

Pros will need to constantly remind the players to "hit up" and not to hit out or down.


7-8 Year Old: Warm Up Drills

Characteristics of 7-8 Year Olds

• Gross motor skills are developing

• Reaction speed is improving but any children find tracking and making contact with a ball quite difficult

• Concentration and focus are improving; better able to follow instructions

• Learning the concept of winning and losing

• Throwing has more body turn and weight transfer

• Introduce simple guidelines such as scoring and calling lines, and the basic rules of tennis

• Optimal length for each session is 45 minutes

• Do best in a very active, fun and positive environment

1) Gladiator

This is a fun game that helps young players develop agility and balance.

Kids line up at the baseline in a single file line across from the pro. This game has all the kids as one team against the pro.

The pro will be throwing (or hitting) foam balls at the players as they try to dodge all the incoming balls. Make sure to only use foam balls.

When the pro yells "GO" the first kid in line must work their way to the net and back to the baseline without getting hit by a ball.

This fun drill helps develop for agility, quick changes of direction, and general mayhem.

If the pro hits a player, the pro gets a point. If a player makes it to the net and back, then the team of players gets the point.

2) Fill it Up

This drill uses empty ball cans, cones, or boxes, based on kids' ability and hand-eye coordination.

The object of this game is to fill up an empty tennis ball can. The players do this by tossing a ball up in the air, letting it bounce once, and they trying to catch it inside their empty tennis can.

When they fill up their can (3 successful catches) they score a point and do it again.

Have players use their serve tossing arm to make their tosses. (Good for serve practice)

Ask player to leave their tossing arm in the air for a few seconds like they might when they serve.

Variation 1: Have players toss the ball and catch it directly out of the air.

Variation 2: Have players toss the ball and catch it after it bounces 2 or more times.

3) Burglar

This is a fun game that develops agility and keeps players low to the ground.

The pro will set up a specified number (10) of balls in the center of the court. Each player sets their racket on the ground about 15 feet away from the center where all the balls are. (To determine how many balls you will need use the number of players in the game X 2 balls each plus 2 bonus balls)

The goal is for the players to bring back 3 balls to their racket and place them on the strings. The first player to do this yells out "burglar" and wins that round of the game.

When the coach yells "go" all the kids run to the middle and bring one ball back to their racket.

After they get the first ball from the center pile, they can go back to that pile or begin to "burglarize" balls off of the other kids' rackets.

The goal is to get 3 balls on your racket before everyone else. Players can only steal one ball at time.

4) Orbit

This drill helps players develop balance while they move in a variety of directions.

Pair the kids up facing the pro and have one stationary player (the Sun) and have the other player (planet) shuffle around them while holding a cone above their head with 2 hands.

The orbiting players should be facing the same direction the entire time. After a few minutes the players should switch spots.

Making the players hold the cone above their head will get them to work on maintaining upper body balance while they are moving. This is essential in tennis.

This age group typically has poor balance in their upper bodies when moving so it is important to use these types of drills.

Variation: Have the players change directions whenever the pro yells out "change".

5) Golden Arch

This is a good drill for teaching the athletic stance and a quick first step.

Each player needs 1 partner. One player stands behind their partner so they cannot see them. They should both be looking straight ahead towards the pro.

The tossing player then calls out "GO" (or partner's name) right as they underhand throw the ball over their partner's head.


Excerpted from International Book of Tennis Drills by Muscle & Fitness. Copyright © 2013 Professional Tennis Registry. Excerpted by permission of Triumph Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction 5

5-6 Year Old - Warm Up / Agility 6

5-6 Year Old - Drills 20

7-8 Year Old - Warm Up / Agility 46

7-8 Year Old - Drills 60

9-10 Year Old - Warm Up / Agility 86

9-10 Year Old - Drills 100

11-17 Year Old - Serving 118

11-17 Year Old - Singles 132

11-17 Year Old - Doubles 146

Performance - Serving 160

Performance - Singles 174

Performance - Doubles 188

Adult / Recreational - Serving 202

Adult / Recreational - Singles 210

Adult / Recreational - Doubles 224

Adult / Seniors - Serving 236

Adult / Seniors - Singles 244

Adult / Seniors - Doubles 258

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