Performing the Drill
Player A serves a double bounce serve to Player B’s forehand. Player B then pushes or flicks the ball as wide as possible to Player A’s forehand side, cutting the sideline wherever possible. Player A then loops, drives or smashes the return to Player B’s forehand side, and Player B blocks the ball back to Player A’s forehand court. From there the basic forehand loop to forehand block drill continues as normal.
Benefits of the Drill
There are a number of benefits for Player A when performing this drill.
- Plenty of practice of his double bounce serve down the line, which is one of the most difficult serves to perform well, and also a common weak area for opponents.
- Good footwork practice since Player A must move quickly to cover the wide return of serve, and then move back into position to cover Player B’s block. Moving wide to the forehand side is also a common weakness in many players, so this is a good chance for Player A to work on this area.
- Player A will have to choose between opening his attack from a push return or flick return. This will improve his decision making under pressure, and also gives Player A the chance to work on both types of opening (from backspin and topspin).
- When Player A has opened from a push return, he will have to adjust his stroke for his next attack, which will be against a ball with slight topspin. This adjustment is something that many players find difficult at first, so the extra practice will be of benefit.
Player B will also benefit from the drill, since he will get to practice his return of serve from his short forehand side (a weakness of many players), and he also can practice aggressively returning the ball as wide as possible to make it difficult for Player A to attack well, which is a good tactic to master. Player B can also work on his blocking against Player A’s attacks.