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The Tennis4You Workshop - "Groundstroke placement and coming around the ball"
By:  Dan L. Salinas

A friend showed me this drill that two people could do using one doubles lane. This will work on your stroke placement and force you to move fast on your feet to line up the shot. Also you will learn to bring your body around quickly to change from backhand to forehand and back again.

Both players start at the baseline on one side of the tennis court centered on the "doubles lane." Quite simply, start a rally to your partner but keep them in the "doubles lane". This might sound easy, but try it. You will be tempted to stay with either your backhand or forehand, and in order for you to change to the other side you must do some quick footwork to come about the ball. Set a total score of 11 points and see who can "win" this game by two points. I use this to work on my weak side until I start losing and then I switch to my stronger side. Remember, hitting the line is ok, but not outside your opponents doubles lane. Take turns starting the rally, or allow the "losing" player to start all the rallies. His "serve" must be a clean hit deep to his partner to start the play. You may have the players each hit twice before "play" to get a fair start. You may lob, approach, and use spin to defeat your partner, but remember to watch the lines when he overheads or sends you a drop shot and don't volley a ball that is going out.

This drill will cause you to focus on hitting on an exact spot on the court. It is a very small target frame, but will greatly increase your accuracy.

Because two players are using one side of the tennis court in one lane, it is possible have another pair of drillees on the other side doing the same thing. Let both "matches" play out 11 points and then switch partners, winners against winners and losers together. See who becomes the "Doubles Lane Champion."

Work hard and play hard,

---Dan L. Salinas