If you are looking for a way to both get a great workout and improve your tennis skills, having a practice session that uses 2-on-1 Drills will do the trick.
Tennis lore has it that legendary Australian coach Harry Hopman was the one who first used 2-on-1 Drills to hone the skills of the likes of Roy Emerson, Fred Stolle, John Newcombe and others.
A variety of different drills can focus on your groundstrokes, volleys, overheads, and fitness. Of the three players on the court, the man alone is always the one being ‘worked’ and the other two players hold all the balls and are the feeders. And then you rotate and change roles.
Some of the Drills
Here are just some of the basic drill structures; and, after a normal warmup, the player alone goes for four or five minutes (or until tired).
1) One man baseline, two at the net: In this setup, the net players (who have all the practice balls) feed the balls to the open court – but within a distance that the baseliner can track them down. The baseline player tries to get to all and hit passing shots. The pace of feeding should be fast enough to keep the baseliner on the move for their 4-5 minutes.
2) One man at the net, two at the baseline: After rotating all players through the first structure, the players essentially reverse positions and the two Baseliners feed a steady stream of balls at the net man to volley or hit overheads.
3) Overheads: In this structure, the baseline feeders again have all the balls and feed overheads to the player at the net. A variation on this is where they feed the net player alternating volleys and overheads. This one is guaranteed to get the heart pumping!
4) Serve, Return, and Volley: Here, you play cross-court (ghost) doubles, where two players take turns serving to the man alone; and you play out each point, with the server coming to the net after their serve. You can keep individual score and play King of the Returning Hill … where the first server to win three points takes over the returning function.
5) Reflex Volleys: This is a great way to end the practice session, with all three players at the net (standing on the service line). The idea is the not baby the volley, but hit driving shots (but within the reach of the opposing player).
Have YOU ever tried 2-on-1 Drills? What variation on the theme do you have?
Thanks to those who shared names of their “favorite cardiologists.” I now have an appointment to see Dr. Julian Javier (son of) on March 1st to be my follow-up cardiologist for the rest of my life.
My rehab is going slowly, with small successes to note each day. I know, I know, “one day at a time.”
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