DISTRACTION & DRILLS & in GROUP LESSONS
In tennis parlance a line drill is the activity where an instructor feeds balls to two (or more) lines of students one after the other. In this example the instructor is drilling 8 students at one time, so there will be 4 students in each line. Before changing position each student will hit at least three balls, the minimum number of balls to provide benefit.
Each drill will have a specific focus which will be explained in brief just before the drill begins. If you do not fully understand the instruction, ask me to explain further until you know exactly what to expect.
Line Drill. Here’s how they work. This example includes the instructor (for instance Silvestre) and two lines: line 1 and line 2. Line 1 has three students: A1, A2, and A3. Line 2 has three students: B1, B2, and B3.
Silvestre will feed a ball to A1 and then a ball to B1, then a 2nd ball to A1 and a 2nd ball to B1, then a 3rd ball to A1 and a 3rd ball to B1.
As soon as A1 hits the third ball, A1 will go to the back of line 1 behind A4 (see arrows)
As soon as B1 hits the third ball, B1 will go to the back of line 2 behind B4 (see arrows)
Distraction. Being social animals the people toward the back of the line may be naturally tempted to socialize with each other. Don’t be distracted You will get the best results from your time, efforts, and money if you postpone your conversations for the breaks between drills or when picking up balls to replenish the ball hoppers.
Many of my drills are about GOOD FORM. Correct classic form will be slowly and repetitively explained and demonstrated by me. You will hear me prompt you to “watch my body,” or to “watch Silvestre’s body” many times because most students learn easiest my trying to copy a physical example. So in terms of form, the movements of your body during drills are temporarily more important that where the ball ends up.
Consistent stroke production is your goal.
Consistency especially relies on repeated mechanical repetition.
A stroke is comprised of three essential stages which need to work consecutively:
1. Your body movements and racket swing just before hitting the ball - Preparation
2. Your body movements and racket face as you contact the ball - CONTACT
3. Your body movements and racket swing just after hitting the ball – Follow through
So, here is my suggestion. During the drill, instead of being distracted while you are waiting is line, focus your attention on how the student who is hitting the ball at the front of the line. Listen to the corrective suggestions being made to that student and try to figure out what is right and what is wrong.
To help you concentrate of the swing at hand (no pun intended), I may ask you a question about what I just said. Otherwise, when you get to playing tennis, you just might end up looking like this...
[3C-Distraction & Drills in Group Lessons] [Rev 5-25-11]
Tennis is not just for pros.
Tennis is for everyone.