Best Kids Tennis Drills
Due to its immense benefits, different experts have collaborated to offer the best tennis drills for kids.
In a tennis, safety comes first. Sportsmanship, camaraderie, and teamwork are critical elements of tennis that help the child grow both mentally and physically.
The right coach plays a vital role in teaching the right technique and exercises to escape any injurie. Patience and practice can make it easy to learn this amazing game.
Tennis Drills boost your physical and cognitive capabilities
It is an excellent exercise for kids, as it involves quick movements and running around. As a result, the entire body is involved, which provides strength to the muscles and body.
Furthermore, it is a conventional drill that boosts the working of the cardiovascular system.
Different scientists claim tennis requires tactical thinking that enhances the cognitive abilities and performance of the brain.
Thus, it stimulates the lifetime development of the brain if you choose to play tennis throughout your life.
Tennis drills improve hand-to-eye coordination and motor skills. It imparts different benefits to the child, including fine motor skills, balance, flexibility, and physical strength.
The child masters these skills and stays healthy and fit for a longer.
Importance of tennis drills in the mental and physical growth of kids.
In the process of learning tennis, drills play an important role in developing the right technique. Confidence and consistency are the essentials in the drills that are necessary for the mental growth of kids.
Each tennis stroke allows the person to use body movements that enhance the reaction time, thus helping kids become more proactive. In addition to this, it also improves the gameplay with each passing day.
Different rackets, like an intermediate racket, beginner racket, and high-end racket, can be used at different stages during the learning process, which helps in refining the game.
Different types of tennis drills for kids
For a tennis novice, drills are considered the best way to learn the basics of the game. In addition, it builds confidence and boosts the overall learning procedure.
No doubt, it can be seriously challenging and time-consuming to perfect certain movements in tennis. However, the right training and guidance offered by an expert coach can help overcome the shortcomings easily.
The article deals with the various types of tennis drills for kids and starters. Each exercise has its significance and can benefit kids in various ways. Some of the most common and useful tennis drills are discussed below.
For kids, it is necessary to concentrate and anticipate the ball. So, the hungry crocodile is a fun volley drill technique that teaches the kids the importance of maintaining concentration.
Initially, each player has to line up in front of the net. After that, they have to wait for the coach to hit the ball in their direction.
When the coach hits the ball, the player has to hit it back. In case they miss it, they will lose a limb.
After losing at first, they have to hit the ball with their dominant hand. Then, if they miss the second one, they have to go down on the knee.
This whole Tennis drill is so much fun to kids as they play it nicely to win a game.
In this drill, a kid needs another player to play the game. The repetition in the game will cause the kids to hit the ball back and forth.
Each pair has to hit a ball and count the volleys by saying, ‘trust Dracula’s every time.
Many kids enjoy playing this game, as it offers pleasure to them.
Partner ball pass
The drill helps the kid understand the importance of teamwork. At the start, the players are divided into teams to practice together. The purpose of the drill is to toss the ball from one end to the other.
In this game, the goal is not to let the ball hit or touch the ground. If the kids are having problems keeping the ball on the racket, they are given access to a bean bag.
Most commonly, children between the ages of four and six love to play this game. The game is considered a perfect game for them. Firstly, the kids pair up in a team. After that, they take turns and roll the ball to their partner.
The game is like playing a golf club, but the only difference is the player has the rackets instead of a club. When the player hits the ball, the partner squashes the ball on the ground. This game helps develop hand-eye coordination in kids and improves their reflexes.
The drill is not easy as it seems. In this drill, a pyramid of tennis balls is built. After that, kids are forced to knock the balls by hitting the target.
It is best for the parents who want their kids to improve their concentration capabilities. Furthermore, it helps develop hand-eye coordination and boosts skills.
The drill establishes endurance and boosts the dynamic balance of the kids. At the start, twelve tennis balls are set up. Six balls face downwards, and six tennis balls face upwards with the lids on the court.
Players are divided into two teams. One player from each team competes with the other. The person who flips the most cans in one minute wins the game.
All the kids love playing this game. It’s a balancing game that requires skills to play.
Many parents convince their kids to play ball balance because it improves coordination and balance. Furthermore, it strengthens the legs. So, the game makes them mentally and physically strong.
The game starts when each kid stands upright and tries to balance the ball on the tennis racket. Then, if someone wants to make the game more challenging, they can try to keep the ball on the racquet while walking and balancing.
Some advanced players perform squats without even dropping the balls. Thus, every age group, child or adult, can play the game.
Ball tosses backhands and forehands
The drill starts with a ball toss, which forces the kid to judge the ball’s speed. As a result, the kid moves the feet and focuses on time. When a kid starts to play, it boosts the feeling of a tennis player playing on the opposite side of the net.
A kid stands in the center service line of 2 or 3 from the net in this drill. In the center of the service line, a child becomes ready for a forehand and backhand.
Most commonly, a game starts with a gentle tossing of a tennis ball towards the player. Then, the ball is tossed high above the waist in front of kids.
Simple service motions
After developing the solid feel for a toss, the next step is the proper service motion. In this drill, kids don’t need to have a racquet, and they can place it at the side.
The kid has to hold the ball in his dominant hand. The service motion breaks down into three positions.
In the first position, a kid has to raise both arms and hold them straight. Mostly, coaches use the phrase spread your wings to make kids memorize the pose. Let your kids practice the motion until they feel comfortable, and keep a proper form.
In the second position, kids open their wings. Then drop the elbow of their dominant arm while raising the tossing hand. As a result, it becomes a trophy pose.
A clean line is required in this position, stretching from the tossing arm’s hand down through the shoulders and elbow.
In the third position, kids drop their tossing hands and twist their torso. After that, they extend the dominant arm forward and make a stretch. That is the point where they release the ball to the service box.
● Special instructions:
At first, a kid has to move to position one and then pause to relax for a bit. After that, they proceed to step next.
In the third position, the coach must examine the child while doing the drill.
In this way, they will be able to provide feedback. If the child needs any suggestions, the coach must help so that the learning process keeps getting better.
Toss and block volleys
The kids are introduced to the volleys. Generally, volleys catch the ball in the air before it touches the ground.
In these tennis drills, volleys require different movements, and it starts when kids get comfortable with the net.
The game starts when the player uses a continental grip in which the player holds the racquet like a hammer.
In this drill, a kid stands in the center of the service line and 3 to 4 feet from the net. Then, a kid can head to the opposite side of the court and stand at the service line.
Before the ball-tossing process, a forehand volley acquires a basic movement. Then, the game starts by setting the racquet head at about eye level with the knees slightly bent.
Afterward, kids release their hands, use their front foot in the opposite direction, and punch the balls with a racquet. Make sure not to swing at volleys if you are a beginner.
Many kids keep their racquet heads in the same position, and it leads to wrist breakage. So, it is suggested to the players to bend the knees and get low. In this way, their racquet will head above the tennis ball level upon hitting the ball.
After becoming comfortable, a kid can hit a series of forehands, followed by the same procedure of backhands.
For some players, the backhand is complex in the start and hard on their arms. In this regard, a coach must encourage them to use both hands if their one hand is not strong enough to support the racquet.
Some experts challenge themselves by hanging the forehands and backhands. Then, to make the game more complex, they don’t decide on the ball they will toss.
Overall, the game is fun and easy to play.
Split step volleys
In this drill, kids are introduced to the critical split-step that helps them gain balance. So, it allows the kid to move in the ball direction and hit a forehand and backhand volley.
A kid has to stand in the middle service line to start a game. The guardian or coaches must explain to the kids about the split ends and their relation to the volleys. They are responsible for telling the kids about the split step. Regular practice is the critical asset that trains the kids.
After that, a kid has to move forward a few steps and end the split-phase with knees bent. In this way, the kid will be ready to move forward to take maximum advantage of the backhand or forehand.
The next step is to start back on the service line. Again, it requires excellent skills and effort, so let your kids practice the backhand and forehand initially.
Afterward, the kid must take a few steps forward by spelling out the ”split and toss the ball” to the forehand. That’s the point where the kid has to step forward with the opposite foot to punch the ball.
Don’t tell the kids about the ball; you will toss to make the game more complex and challenging. In this way, the game can become more fun.
Running the lines
Before the beginning of any game, it is necessary to warm and unwind your body so that your body’s muscles can relax.
When the pressure applies to the muscles, they tear down. So, it is essential to warm up your body before any drill. In this way, you will not suffer any problems.
Running the lines is an integral part of the tennis learning process, which helps push more blood towards the muscle to perform hard drills.
Furthermore, it allows building stamina considered a core part of this game. It is done by running between the two service lines side by side and left to right.
Many experts say to perform it for a total of ten to fifteen minutes. After that, gradually increase your time. It is an excellent start-up for many games.
In addition, performing this exercise in Gym on a treadmill or by jogging can increase endurance.
When kids perform this drill regularly, it strengthens the calves muscles and boosts stamina.
You can also change the difficulty level of this drill by running, walking, and sprinting. It may be frustrating at the start, but it is an excellent warm-up nonetheless.
Make sure to warm up your body before starting any drill.
The frying pan
If a student is a newbie and wants to get started, then the frying pan is the drill to consider.
Hand-eye coordination is the key in this drill and essential for the achievement of the required objectives. Unfortunately, most players ignore the importance of subtle hand-eye coordination, affecting their game and overall learning badly.
Start the drill by holding the racquet in your dominant hand with your face up, and place the ball on the racquet.
Slowly move the racquet up and down until the ball starts bouncing. Keep doing that for five to ten minutes daily until your Hand-eye coordination develops.
It strengthens the forearm muscle and develops hand-eye coordinated movements, which help in the game.
After the development of hand-eye coordination, kids can stop doing this drill. However, this drill may be uncomfortable for some kids at the start.
They may not be able to perform this drill, but don’t let them be discouraged. Instead, make sure to encourage and motivate the kids.
Let your kids practice daily so that they can become good players.
Just like a frying pan, the drill works, but oppositely. The goal of this drill is the same as that of the above training.
To perform this, hold the racquet in your dominant hand above the ring or lower down to reduce the shock delivered to the arm.
After that, hold the ball in your other hand. Drop the ball to the ground and hit it with the racquet. The ball will bounce back. Hit it again and again until you get regular ongoing dribble.
Continue the dribble as long as you can, and record the time every time you do the dribble. Then, gradually, increase the time by regular practice. Also, do alternate slow and fast dribbles.
Doing this helps change the difficulty level of the game. Furthermore, it aids in taking your game to the next level.
During drills, always believe in yourself. No one knows about the other person’s future. Sometimes, this hard work pays off excellently.
Simple forehand and backhand
The drill aims to acquire good hand-eye actions. As mentioned above, exercises develop good hand-eye coordination and can be performed at home as well.
So, encourage kids to perform these drills for better and quick learning of the game.
The next step is the simple forehand and backhand drill. Show the kid how to perform this drill.
Place the kid where the service line and center service line meet, and the trainer needs to stand at 4 to 6 feet apart.
The racquet should be in the dominant hand above the waist. The grip should be firm.
Carefully toss a slow bounce towards the kid at waist level and ask the kid to hit that above the strings.
Start with forehand grips, and then go to backhand grips. Change the position of the trainer after every five to ten ball tosses.
- Drills for a starter
This drill is simple, as it involves the ball coming above the waist level. For a newbie, start with above the waist. The complex part arrives when the ball is at ground level below the waist.
For this, practice regularly with the waist drill, and then go below this. By the time you go below the waist drill, core movements like judging ball, speed, and depth have already been tested.
- Kids with a lean body and small hands
Some kids have small hands and lean body mass. Therefore, they should use both hands to grip. In this way, they can strike the ball better.
It is the responsibility of the trainer to keep an open eye on those kids.
The importance of this drill lies in fact; it helps to build intense eye contact, control coordinated movements, and confidence when someone hits a ball.
Thus, this drill offers confidence to the kid and helps him/her grow.
Side to side forehand and backhand
After simple forehand and backhand, the difficulty level increases. To start this drill, the trainer should be on the other side of the net.
The student should be ready with a racquet in his hands. The trainer tosses the ball directly to the student’s forehand and backhand in the ready position and asks him to throw the ball back with forehand and backhand grips.
- Challenges for starters
This skill may be a little challenging for the new students, so it’s essential to ask them whether they feel comfortable or not.
If they are not satisfied, stop this drill and help them in practicing the above exercises until they feel comfortable.
However, if they are comfortable, continue practicing this drill. In this way, a kid continues to get better and develops impressive learning skills.
This drill helps a lot in footwork, placement, and judgment of the ball. Take progress notes and the easiness level of students while performing this drill.
Catch and hit
Several skills are used to build stamina, confidence, and hand-eye coordination. Among these skills, catch and hit is the one.
In this game, the main element is the focus and throwing. Initially, a kid focuses on the ball and then hits it.
It is an excellent skill for a newbie student to improve his/her shots.
- Positioning of the kid
To perform this skill, a student must be present at the center of the service line, and the trainer should stand at the opposite side.
The prerequisite is two tennis racquets and two to three cones. Every cone is present at each corner, and fifteen to twenty balls are placed beside the trainer.
- Start of training
The drill starts when the trainer throws a slow bounce toward the student. After that, the kid catches it with bare hands and then hits the ball towards the cone hard with the racquet.
This skill is excellent in terms of helping the kid strengthen forearm muscles and improving focus.
- Different colored cones
Different color cones are used for the development of interests. These colors attract the kids and make them happy.
For example, yellow cones are given 5 points, red cones are given 10, and orange cones are given 15 points. In this way, a child feels happy to play.
However, if cones are not present, you can use gadgets like tennis balls or racquets for a point game. The further the object, the more points you will get out of it.
Some people like to play Catch and Hit. It is exactly like the former and used for the same purpose, except it involves a student that hits the ball that bounces and goes over the rope.
The trainer is present on the other side and catches the ball with either gloves or cones.
Gloves are better than cones because they have a good grip, but some people like to add a unique touch to their game by adding cones.
Hit and run
It is the same as catch and hit but think of it as an upgraded version. It helps in coordination of movement but with running.
Initially, set the student in the center of the service line just like catch and hit. The trainer is present on the opposite side.
The trainer hits the ball with a racquet, which bounces over the string to the opposite side. Now, motivate your students to run, hit the ball, and return to the center position.
- Challenges for a kid
It may be challenging for the kids, so always perform this when they have developed enough endurance. As mentioned above, drills and regular jogging can be effective in building up your stamina.
Serve accuracy is a crucial part of the game of tennis. However, before knowing about it in detail, one should know about the importance of the right stance.
For this purpose, both feet should be firmly locked to the ground, with the front foot directing toward the right net post and the back foot in the same line as the baseline.
There are two types of stance
- The platform stance
- The pinpoint stance
In a platform stance, the position of feet doesn’t change during the whole service, while in a pinpoint stance, position changes when you hit a ball.
To perform this drill, you need a basket of fifteen to twenty balls.
The trainer should be on either side of the court if he/she is experienced. If not, the trainer should be right next to the student to teach him/her about the basics.
The student should be present on the opposite side with a racquet in their hand.
The student’s position must be next to the service line in such a manner as if he/she has to serve in the deuce court.
The basket of balls should be next to students, about half feet apart. If the student is right-handed basket position will be 2 o’clock, and if the student is left-handed basket position will be 10 o’clock.
Start with asking your students to hold the racquet in their dominant hand with a continental grip. That is a grip like we have a hammer perpendicular to the ground.
Start by tossing the ball high in the air at your eye level, keeping the racquet back with a firm continental grip, and keeping your shoulders straight. Now loose up a bit and take a swing at the ball towards the deuce court for serve.
This drill requires practice, training, and hard work. But, with proper guidance, you will ace it in no time. Believe in yourself. As Venus William said, “Tennis is mostly mental you win or lose the match before you even go out there.”
Volley to volley drill
Probably, this is one of the favorite drills of many kids. You can also perform this drill in your indoors if you got enough space.
The best part of this drill is that it improves your reflexes and hand-eye coordination markedly.
To perform this drill, you will need two racquets and a tennis ball. The trainer should be on one side of the court and the student on the other side, or if you are doing this drill in your indoor, make sure to stand at least 16-19 feet apart.
Now, volley the ball to each other and try to hit the ball, preferably when it’s in the air. Half volley the ball when it hits the ground.
Continue volley for a total of fifteen to thirty minutes, depending upon your dedication and stamina.
To raise the difficulty level of the drill, the trainer can also increase the pace of the volley or move side to side while volleying.
For training purposes, play a game during volley, which consists of a total of twelve points. You lose points when you lose your volley.
Daily practicing of this drill strengthens your reflexes and strengthens your core muscles necessary for tennis learning drills.