Why do tennis drills ?

What are the characteristics of great tennis drills? What makes one tennis drill boring and flat and the other one is exciting and fun? Players sometimes practice one kind of exercise time and time again and realize that their skills are not improving. Other times, players try every new tennis drill they hear about and still don’t get the desired results. How do we know that the drills we are practicing are effective?

The best tennis drills display certain qualities that are necessary for tennis players to improve. We can find these core characteristics in every single great tennis drill. If tennis coaches can apply these qualities to their own drills, they are well on their way to improve their players’ performance. So what are these very important properties that tennis drills have to display?

The first goal of every great drill is focus on a certain area. Tennis players have to know what skill they want to improve in order to deploy the proper exercises. First, players have to identify weaknesses in their game. Naturally, tennis instructors can be a great help in this matter. Players need to ask themselves if they want to be better net players or they rather have a big serve. Of course, all of us want to improve everything at the same time. This, however, is not realistic. You should only focus on one thing at a time. Second, the tennis instructor has to pick the kind of exercises that focus on that given area or skill. If you don’t know what you want to improve, no tennis drill can be helpful.

The second important characteristic is simulating match situations. Tennis is a competitive game after all where players want to win. Practicing forehand cross courts for two hours is not very effective and it’s also boring. In match situations, the ball never comes at you the same way twice. Tennis players who practice one type of shot will struggle in match situations. There is no replacement for good situational tennis practice.

Finally, it is essential for tennis players to have fun while they are practicing. All of us will burn out if practice becomes a chore. Tennis practice should provide excitement and fun. The way good tennis coaches accomplish this is by allowing players to work towards a goal. Whether players cooperate or compete against each other to achieve this goal doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that players feel satisfied when they accomplish this goal.

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