Beginner Level (Bronze)
1. Rules of the Game
The rules of tennis are a very important place to start. Getting to know them is the basis for any developing player.
2. Basic Footwork
While there are many different footwork patterns in tennis, it is very common for new players to do too much with their feet and, in the process, make playing tennis more challenging than it should be. Here we look to avoiding forming any bad habits and learning correct movement patterns.
3. Hand-Eye Coordination
Tennis is a sport where hand-eye coordination is important so that your hand and the other parts of your body quickly react to do the right moves in response to what your eyes see. Hand-eye coordination is one of many tennis skills and techniques that are very important especially for advanced tennis where the nature of the game is very quick and fast.
4. Basic Conditioning
The basic tennis-specific exercises we incorporate into our training session help improve overall strength, power, endurance, on-court movement and to prevent common tennis injuries.
5. Racket grip
The way in which you grip a tennis racket determines how the ball will behave when hit. There are 6 popular tennis racket grips, all of which have their place and purpose within the game. We start with the continental (basic) grip as a good foundation to build on.
Grip (Continental, Eastern, Modified Eastern, Semi-Western, etc.), Stance (Neutral, Open, Semi-Open), and Topspin can all determine what type of forehand stroke you have. However, one component that is critical to all types of forehands is the “Lock and Roll” movement, or the twisting and releasing of one’s body, to which we will be paying special attention.
While there are many back-hand variations out there in terms of grip, stance and top-spin, the basics of the back-hand are the same. Here we cover everything from hand placement to body position, preparation, hit and follow-thorough to get a good back-hand.
A volley in tennis is a shot in which the ball is struck before it bounces on the ground. The primary objective of the volley is to go on the offensive and cut the amount of time for the opponent to react. Here we will learn the basics of the volley and put them into practice through drills.
Serving stands alone as the most essential and valuable shot in the game. Acing your opponent is the quickest and perhaps the most intimidating way to win a point. Here we will learn the basics of the serve, look to correct any bad habits and develop the basis for a good serving technique.
1. Advanced Footwork
Lateral movement is a key component in becoming a competitive tennis player. In addition, learning to play tennis on the balls of your feet, gives you quicker reaction time. Drills will focus on developing these skills to help athletes improve reaction time and court coverage
Jump rope, wind sprints, and distance running will be the focus to improve athletes cardiovascular conditioning in order to improve game play.
3. Game drills
Athletes will complete on-court drills that will connect various shots together; such as forehand, backhand, approach shot, volley. The goal will be to develop a point rather than just keeping the ball in play.
4. Spin (Topspin and Slice)
Using spin helps to break up the routine of a point and provide a different level of control over the ball. Athletes will be introduced to the different grips that can be used to produce the desired spin and how to use these as both mechanisms of control and weapons during a point.
5. Shot Selection
Where you hit the ball can be as important as how hard you hit the ball. Athletes will learn what shots are best in various situations; attention will be paid to the “low-risk, high reward” philosophy during competitive game play.
A lob is a controlled shot that is hit high over the net either to provide recovery time or to pass the opponent while at net. Lobs can be an effective defensive or offensive shot during the game.
An overhead mirrors a serve but takes place in the middle of the point when a ball is hit over a player’s head. While the technique may mirror a serve, the skills involved in striking an overhead do vary; in addition, it becomes important to control an overhead based on where the opponent is standing and the difficulty of the shot.
A drop-shot is a ball struck specifically to clear the net but land as shallow as possible with minimal bounce. Often this shot is used when an opponent is standing farther than normal behind the baseline. Athletes will learn how and when to make this shot.
Doubles involve two players on each side. Athletes will learn the new rules associated with this change and some basic strategy to play with a partner and shot selection against a pair of opponents.
10. Competitive Game Play
Athletes will have the opportunity to play games against each other, implementing the various skills and strategies that have been introduced.
1. Advanced Conditioning
Athletes will not only work on their cardiovascular conditioning, they will always be introduced to plyometric exercises to develop appropriate functional strength. This coupled with more intense footwork/conditioning drills specific to match play will raise their level of game play.
2. Shot Selection
Where you hit the ball can be as important as how hard you hit the ball. Athletes will learn what shots are best in various situations; attention will be paid to the “high-risk, low reward” philosophy during competitive game play.
Wanting to hit a ball in a particular spot and actually doing it can be two very different things. Athletes will focus on how to ensure that the ball goes where they want when they want.
4. Point Development
Tennis can be a chess match, athletes need to think several shots ahead in order to emerge victorious in a point. Attention will be paid to this aspect of the game and how an athlete can use intelligence to control where an opponent may hit a ball to give them a competitive edge to close out the point.
5. Advanced Strategy
There are various advanced philosophies on how to become a successful tennis player. The key is to identify which skill-set most fits a particular athlete. Here our coaches will identify this skill-set and work with individual athletes to develop their understanding of how to incorporate this strategy into their play.
6. Match Play
Tournament-style competitive match play between athletes will take place. Athletes will play full sets under standard USTA rules and regulations.
7. Mental Toughness
One of the toughest challenges is staying focused throughout a tennis match. Mistakes can distract an athlete and compound the problem. Athletes will learn how to persevere through such challenges and make on-court adjustments to ensure top performance every time.
8. Advanced Doubles Play
Signaling on service, poaching, “I” formation, both players at net, both players at the baseline, communication during a point, switching, and more are all advanced strategies that will be introduced to athletes.