10 Ways to make a dull practice more fun

Ever found yourself in a practice situation where your partner just isn’t quite as good as you had hoped? There are ways to make this more fun for you, if you just leave your ego aside and use it as a controlled practice session. Take your pace down to 60%, or maybe 50% or whatever speed is appropriate for both you and your partner to have a consistant rally situation, and then play around with some of the following goals and mindsets to make the practice worthwhile, all while working hard to be the player who never makes an error.

  1. Count the number of steps you take between shots, and try to increase it! 
  2. Pick one spot (comfortably in front of your partner is a nice one to help with consistency of the rally) on the court, and try to hit it every time, working hard with your feet and contact point to achieve this.
  3. Give yourself an appropriate depth goal, trying to keep your shots within a certain distance of the baseline every time. 
  4. With your depth goal, now add a height over the net goal. make this appropriate for the ability of your partner, but remember that this too is a goal worth working on.
  5. With any of these target specific goals you can now make it more interesting by trying to hit a specific pattern of shots, alternating your forehand and backhand for example, no matter how your partner hits the ball.
  6. Entertain yourself by trying to hit a specific pattern for your partner, for example simply alternating forehands and backhands to them, where they hardly have to move but that you are being precise with your shots. 
  7. Combine 5 and 6 to make it even more challenging on your footwork!
  8. Pick a specific footwork pattern to work on and be disciplined with, for example, always having cross over recovery steps, or working on always having open, or semi open stance on all your shots, think back to what your coach has been advising.
  9. Pick a timing on the bounce to hit every time, specifically a fun one to work on controlling is always taking the ball on the rise, but not over hitting it so you still retain the control and consistency of shot.
  10. Take something specific that your coach has been working on with your technique and focus on this. 
Posted on February 28, 2018 .