No. 1 Tennis Drill for Faster Feet and Better Accuracy

The best tennis drills challenge players to hit the ball while working on movement patterns and some kind of scoring. 

The so-called prize drill, a favorite among players, hits all of three of these goals. There are two ways you can complete the drill. One version involves using one tennis shot at a time, while the second version involves using two shots at a time.

Version One

Have a coach or partner feed a ball to your forehand side, starting from the center of the baseline. Your aim is to move over to the ball and play a cross-court forehand. Once you've completed the shot, move back to the start position on the baseline.

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If you get the shot in, your coach or partner puts another ball (known as the prize ball) into play. Using any shot, you can either play the point out, hit to a target or go for an outright winner. The choice is yours.

Once the point is over, start from the beginning. Having made one cross-court forehand, your next task is to make two cross-court forehands before the prize ball is unlocked again.

Depending on your playing/skill level this could be two cross-court forehands in a row or keep hitting until you make two cross-court forehands to unlock the prize ball.

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From here, continue the pattern, adding one to your target number of cross-court forehands (each time unlocking the prize ball) until you successfully worked your way up to 10.

Once you've reached 10, switch change over and work on your cross-court backhand using the same drill.

Version Two

This version of the drill is similar and a little harder.

As before, have a coach or partner feed a ball over to your forehand side. This time hit a cross-court forehand, get back to the middle of the court and move to hit a second ball with a cross-court backhand in order to get to the prize ball.

The next target would be to hit two forehands and two backhands cross court before the prize ball is unlocked. Continue until you've successfully completed 10 cross-court forehands and backhands.

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This is such a great drill for your game because it involves movement, fitness, shot making and the mental game. Players often give up once the errors begin to mount up as the targets get higher, just the type of scenario that will help you the next level of your game.

It can be adapted for any level of player, for any shot and can be done as a one player drill and even with a group. Try it and see what an impact it can have on your game.

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About the Author

Paul Gold has been involved in enhancing the performance of tennis players of all levels from beginners to touring professionals for more than 20 years.. For Paul's free mini-course footwork video, visit footwork4tennis.com.

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