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Tennis Lesson Ideas for All Skill Levels

Updated: Jun 5

When we think of the word "lesson," it often brings to mind images of school or punishment. However, tennis lessons are a different story. They can be fun, engaging, and filled with competition. Regardless of skill level, both coaches and students can benefit from these exciting and interactive drills. Here are 14 ideas to make tennis lessons enjoyable for players of all levels.

Skill Level: Beginner

  1. Easy Rally Challenge: Encourage beginners to improve their skills by setting a goal to rally the ball back and forth as many times as possible. This drill can be done with groundstrokes or volleys, and the player can aim to hit a specific number of shots in a row, motivating them to perform better.

  2. Target Practice: Introduce beginners to shot placement by setting up a target on the court. They can aim to hit the target with groundstrokes, volleys, or serves. Offering prizes for hitting the target adds an element of fun to the drill.

  3. Catch Me If You Can: Incorporate fitness into lessons by having one player feed the ball to the other, who then hits it back over the net. The feeder tries to catch the ball in the air or on the first bounce. After retrieving the ball, both players sprint to the net, switch roles, and repeat the drill. Keeping score for balls caught adds an exciting competitive element.

  4. Play Against the Coach: Engage beginners in point play by allowing them to play out every sixth ball in a groundstroke feeding drill. This gives them the opportunity to "beat" their coach in a point, which can be a thrilling experience.

Male Australian tennis players competing in NSW
Playing free tennis in NSW

Skill Level: Intermediate

  1. Service Box Challenge: Start a game where players aim to score points by hitting the ball outside the service box. If a player hits the ball within the box, their opponent gains two points. This drill teaches intermediate players about shot placement and the importance of hitting the ball deep.

  2. Net Attack: Encourage players to attack the net when the ball comes short. If a shot is hit within the service box, the opposing player must approach the net and finish the point there. Winning at the net earns two points, while losing results in no change to the score. This drill promotes aggression and risk-taking.

  3. Short Court Game: Focus on developing slicing or chipping skills by playing a short-court game where shots outside the service line are considered out. By limiting the court size, players can improve their short chips and wide-angle shots before incorporating them into match play.

  4. One Serve Challenge: Highlight the mental aspect of serving by allowing players only one serve during an abridged match. This drill emphasizes the importance of a good serve in setting the tone for a point and requires players to focus on consistency and control.

  5. Under Pressure: Simulate pressure by having one player start each game down 0-15 or 0-30. This mentally challenging drill provides a satisfying experience when a player successfully comes back to win.

Skill Level: Advanced

  1. Utilise Instructional Video Content: On platforms like YouTube, where professional tennis players and coaches provide instructional videos on drills, techniques, and stories. This allows players to learn from the best and try out new training routines.

  2. Narrow Court Game: Make the court smaller by playing within the doubles alley only. This challenges players to aim accurately and practice down-the-line shots. Switch sides after each round to cover both forehand and backhand shots.

  3. Short Ball Drill: Improve agility and shot variety by practicing different types of winners. Start with a short ball to either the forehand or backhand, and after hitting a down-the-line topspin winner, quickly backpedal to the center of the baseline. Repeat the process with even shorter balls, incorporating drop-shot winners.

  4. Moving Volleys: Instead of static volleys, incorporate movement into drills. Have players stand at the service line and move swiftly across the court, hitting down-the-line volleys to each other. Switch sides and practice crosscourt volleys as well.

  5. Baseline Challenge: Challenge players to hit the ball on the rise and attack shots by limiting their movement to no farther back than the baseline. This drill helps players develop aggressive play and quick reactions.

By implementing these fun and interactive drills, tennis lessons can become an enjoyable experience for players at all skill levels. The variety of exercises keeps players engaged while improving their techniques and strategies on the court.

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