Performing the Drill
Player A serves a double bounce serve to any location. Player B has the choice of returning the ball short to Player A’s forehand, or deep to Player A’s backhand. If the return is short, Player A steps in and plays a forehand flick to any location. If the return is deep, Player A loops or drives the ball to any location. The rally is then played out.
Benefits of the Drill
Player A receives a number of benefits from this drill, including:
- Practice of his double bounce serving.
- Decision making and footwork practice, since Player A must choose quickly between two very different strokes which are played in far apart locations, and move into position in time to play the correct stroke smoothly and effectively.
- Technique practice for his forehand flick and backhand attack.
- Practice of following up his forehand flick with his fifth ball attack, or practicing his third ball attack with his backhand.
Player B also benefits from the drill in several ways, such as:
- Practice of his serve return to two different locations.
- Positioning practice, since Player B will recover to a different position depending on whether he returns the ball short or deep.
There are many ways to vary this drill to achieve slightly different results.
- If Player B is having trouble getting his serve return short, Player A can serve the ball very short, instead of double bouncing the serve, which will make it easier for Player B to drop the ball short when desired.
- The drill can be reversed, with Player B returning short to Player A’s backhand, and long to Player A’s forehand.
- Player B can return the ball short to any location, forcing Player A to decide whether to flick the ball with his backhand or forehand. Player B’s deep return should still be to the backhand.
- To make the serve return easier for Player B, Player A could serve to a fixed location with a fixed type of spin.
- Player B can return deep to any location, but still returns the ball to Player A’s forehand when returning short.