I recently had a conversation with a tennis parent, who is helping his 10-year-old son to develop his game.
After taking lessons for a couple of years, he noticed that his son tends to hit a lot of the balls back to his opponent, and the father asked me ‘How to guide him to place the ball better?’
Here is the answer, and tips I gave him:
“This is a common problem with (young) players who are used to doing a lot of drills and very few matches: they are used to hitting the ball back to a partner or coach.
On the other hand, players who grow up with a game-based approach are better at tactically placing the balls.
There are certain drills you can do with your son. For example:
- You stand on one side and have him hit two balls back to you, the third one away from you (put it away).
- Play a set (or a few games) where he will lose the point if he hits the ball back to you (which means you would have to make at least two steps to get to the ball).
- Feed balls to him from the basket while you stand in the middle of the court (just behind the service line center); after each feed, stretch your racket or arms to the side and you should not be able to touch (without moving) the balls sent by him. He gets a point if he can pass the ball without you touching it, otherwise, you get a point. Play first to win 10 points.
The bottom line is that, in my opinion, your son got used to drills where he had to hit the ball back to the coach/partner. Do drills where he aims to targets or any area away from the coach or parent.”
Do you agree with the tips I gave this tennis parent? Do you have any extra suggestions to improve somebody’s ball placement and creativity when it comes to playing?
Let me know in the comment box below.