Students of all ages have been taken on tennis skills! We started with racquet and ball balance challenges.
We then moved to dribble challenges….dribbling the ball from the racquet to the floor working toward 100 dribbles.
We the tackled dribbling from the racquet up into the air! Students had to use hand eye coordination, visual tracking, muscular endurance and control skills!!! Once they accomplished 100 dribbles they moved to the four square courts with a partner.
Partner work started with the use of one racquet. One partner would give a good bounce of the tennis ball…to simulate the serve. Into the court of their partner. Their partner would try to pop the ball back to the tosser with a gentle underhand or fore hand strike. Our cue was”bounce across, hit, catch.” After five the partners would switch rolls.
The next task was simply just adding onto the previous drill. Both partners would have their racquets, the same bounce across and the same return but now instead of a catch the partner was able to try and return it. This is where we inserted GOOD JUDGEMENT. If the ball was a good hit, the partner would hit it back and their partner would catch, with a two hit maximum. However, if the ball was not a returnable hit, they partner would catch and toss across to restart.
“Bounce, hit hit, catch” were our cues.
Our next drill, took off the two hit maximum and inserted the word rally! “Bounce across, hit, hit, hit, hit, hit…..” Was the focus cues. Our objective was to keep the ball in play as long as possible, keeping good judgement as a focus.
For the younger classes this was where we probably stopped. However, 4th-5th grades moved on to the diagonal bounce across serve and the attempt at a mini tennis game. 3rd grade will hopefully evolve to trying mini games this week.
The four square courts have proved to be a valuable tool for all ages in creating clear boundaries and targets for game play.
I will be posting photos of all ages accomplishing the lessons above!
I have one good shot I will post right now of a fifth grade student in her mini game today!