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Ultimate Drill Games: The Magic Box

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic Ultimate Drill Games: The Magic Box

    Ultimate Drill Games: The Magic Box

    Let's get your thoughts on Jorge Capestany's article "Ultimate Drill Games: The Magic Box"

  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    returning deep down the middle is pretty much the only return i try. i'm often ok with even hitting it long ("a good miss").
    (unless i have so much time, that i'm able to redirect anywhere).

    similarly i saw a female player practicing countering that return... (involved serving, stepping through, and immediately "hop back", and a hand feed immediately follwoing the serve... it's a drill i do with a willing partner :P

    Leave a comment:


  • seano
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post

    Are we assuming just the service return here? Or rallies too?

    So, in a rally, if someone drills a ball down the line to my backhand, my safest and (I assume easiest) option is to hit my backhand back down the line to my opponent? Not sure I would find that safer or easier to do over knocking it cross court instead.
    The answer to your question is not so cut and dry. I like "Lorenzo Beltrame's" ideas that shot selection is determined by 1) balance 2) court position. Your confidence level can be added to that, as well. He believes that there are 4 types of balance and that, as well as, your court position greatly influence your shot selection.

    4 types of balance -
    1) "Ideal" balance - goal is trying to finish the point within 2/3 shots. Court position is deeper inside the baseline and the ball is sitting up.
    2) "In" balance - goal is to gain control of the point, good time to attack a weakness or change the direction of the shot. Court position is at or inside the baseline, not pulled past the sideline. You have time to set up for your shot.
    3) "Off" balance - goal is to maintain your position in the point, not lose any ground, hopefully keeping your opponent off balance, as well. Depth of your shot is important. Court position is wider and/or deeper. Don't have time to really set up for shot, hitting while moving.
    4) "Emergency" - your are in trouble, trying to defend as best as you can. Trying to keep your opponent out of "Ideal" balance.

    Leave a comment:


  • nickw
    replied
    This is exactly the return of serve that Djokovic used to save the first match point against Federer on Sunday. I agree this is a great skill to have and much under-used. The other reason it's so good is because it takes a little longer to complete the service action and regain balance than it does for regular groundstrokes, so the server is always vulnerable to being rushed, and not having the time to get the body out of the way to hit a good reply.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by seano View Post
    The safest shot on a hard hit ball is to hit back in the same direction from which it came. The safest return on a hard 1st serve is to hit deep (if possible) down the middle. Hopefully your deep return backs up the server, allowing you to use angles and make your opponent run or attack weaknesses. Slower 2nd serves can be attacked more by using more of the court. Unforced errors accumulate when you try to change the direction of hard shots when you don't have balance and court position..
    Are we assuming just the service return here? Or rallies too?

    So, in a rally, if someone drills a ball down the line to my backhand, my safest and (I assume easiest) option is to hit my backhand back down the line to my opponent? Not sure I would find that safer or easier to do over knocking it cross court instead.

    Leave a comment:


  • seano
    replied
    The safest shot on a hard hit ball is to hit back in the same direction from which it came. The safest return on a hard 1st serve is to hit deep (if possible) down the middle. Hopefully your deep return backs up the server, allowing you to use angles and make your opponent run or attack weaknesses. Slower 2nd serves can be attacked more by using more of the court. Unforced errors accumulate when you try to change the direction of hard shots when you don't have balance and court position..
    Last edited by seano; 07-13-2019, 07:27 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    It's a good one. I use a very similar drill all the time with my players. It's an excellent way to return. One of the things Roger did brilliantly numerous times against Rafa in the Wimbledon semi-final was to return right back a Rafa's feet. A trick he learned off Novak. It gets Rafa in all sorts of trouble. Roger did it so well he even managed to squeeze his returns slightly over to Rafa's backhand wing...what a bonus.

    Deep down the middle is a must have return for any aspiring tennis player. Practice it over and over again against the best server you can find until you are a master at it.

    Leave a comment:

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