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The Tennis4You Workshop- "Live Ball Volley Drill"
By:  Randy Cummings - Match Point Racquet Sports

As an instructor, one of my favorite volley drills with 2 or more students is a variant of the hot seat drill. I position one person on the tee, and one on the baseline on the deuce side of the court. I stand just inside the service line, directly in front of the person on the baseline. The focus here is on forehand ground strokes and forehand volleys.

I begin by feeding a ball to the baseline person, who hits a controlled forehand ground stroke back to me. I volley this ball to the person standing on the tee, who volleys the ball back to me. I volley this ball back to the baseline person, who again hits a ground stroke back to me. We continue this way, trying to keep the ball in play, until someone makes an error. After several minutes, I rotate the two students.

If there are three students, I put two on the baseline and have them alternate their forehand hits as in a circle drill. I might also have them each stand on the baseline facing each other, one hitting forehands and the other backhands. After several minutes, I rotate the 3 students.

After 10 minutes or so of feeding and hitting on the forehand side, I shift over to the ad court and now focus on the backhand ground stroke from the baseline and the backhand volley from the tee.

This is a great drill for building confidence and quickening reaction time for net play for beginners and intermediates. For more advanced students, I try to hit more random volleys: high, low, hard, soft, forehands, and backhands.

I think the reason I love this drill so much is that it forces me to be very precise in my volleying and gives me great practice for my own game!