Learning the best tennis drills for beginners is a great way to accelerate improvement on the court, plus, these exercises are a lot of fun. These tennis drills for kids are an important part of player development and will be an invaluable supplementary asset as they progress. Here are some types of tennis drills every player should know.
Tennis Drills for Beginners and Kids
Running the Lines
Before even hitting the ball, it’s important to build anticipation and get the player’s blood flowing. You can do this by having them run the lines of the tennis court. This tennis drill can help them get warmed up and it is a great opportunity to teach them the names of the different lines of the court, which will be referred to throughout the following drills.
Forehands and Backhands
Stand the player at one end of the court at the centre of the service line where the lines connect. Have them stand in position for either a forehand or backhand, and you should stand four to six feet in front of the player. Toss the tennis ball so it bounces once in front of the player at waist height and have them hit it. Then, switch to the other side and toss the ball, and have them demonstrate the opposite swing. This kids’ tennis drill is important to strengthen their coordination and build their confidence.
Developing a great toss is one of the most underrated fundamentals when learning to serve. You can perform this drill beginning with a basket of balls. Head to the service line on either side of the court. Position your student as if they were going to serve into the deuce court, or just to the right of the centre service line. With the student standing in a closed stance, place the basket so the bottom of it sits on the ground, in front of the player. It should be placed at two o’clock if they are right-handed, and 10 o’clock if they are left-handed. Teach them the fundamentals of a proper toss: from the shoulder, keeping a nice smooth movement, and holding the ball correctly to ensure a clean release at the right height.
Toss and Blocks
The toss and block tennis drill for kids is intended to teach students how to volley. Volleys are simply catching the ball in the air before it bounces, and blocking it back to the opposite site of the court. Practicing volleys can involve many complex movements, but you can start with a simple exercise. Make sure your player is holding a continental grip—holding the racket as if it were a hammer. Have them hit a series of forehands, then repeat the same process for their backhand. If you need to make this beginner tennis drill more challenging, have the player alternate forehands and backhands, without telling them which direction you will toss the ball.
Take the previous drill and add a ball toss, which will encourage your student to start judging the ball speed, move their feet a bit more, and focus on their timing. This will help to simulate the feeling of playing a match, by putting you and your student on opposite sides of the net. Head to one side of the court with your basket of balls, and stand on the centre service line about three feet from the net. Then, have your player stand at the centre of the service line, ready for either a forehand or backhand. With this variation, gently toss a tennis ball toward the player, bouncing it in front of them about waist high. In the last tennis drill, the ball was barely moving and simply bouncing in front of the player. This time, the player must judge the speed of the ball, and adjust their footing to make sure they can contact the tennis ball.
Hit and Run
Have the student position themselves in the centre part of the service line, and stand on the other side of the court. Feed the balls to the student, encouraging them to run to hit the balls, and return to the centre position.
Hand and Eye Coordination
Stand across from your student, one on the end of the service box, and the other on the baseline. Begin throwing the ball to the student, allowing it to bounce once off the ground before they catch it. Then, let them throw the ball back to you, and gently hit it with your racket, back to them so they can catch it. Repeat this, and then switch roles. Then, try to hit the ball back and forth with your rackets, letting it bounce once on the ground between you.
Ask your student to drop the ball to the ground and hit the ball with the racket towards the ground. Have them do this dribble as long as they can. Depending on the type of racket, players may need to hold the handle higher up to the ring, or lower down, to reduce the shock on their wrists and forearms. To make this kids’ tennis drill more challenging, have players increase the speed of the bounce, and slow it down, and repeat.
Improve Your Technique at Bayview Village Tennis Camp
There are many tips and tricks to improving a beginner or young student’s tennis abilities. At Bayview Village Tennis Camp, your child will benefit from working with some of the best certified instructors in the Greater Toronto Area. Our team includes Tennis Canada-certified instructors who work to teach kids not only how to have fun, but also how to play smart and safe. Even beginning tennis students will have a great time as they get the attention and training they need, and the support and encouragement to boost their confidence. Each tennis drill for beginners is performed and taught by instructors who will improve your child’s coordination, teamwork, and physical abilities. For more information about the junior, intermediate, and advanced summer tennis programs, call us at (905) 889-7293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Credit: iStock.com/YakobchukOlena
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