Here’s a simple tennis drill you can do with your child to introduce them to ball control and how to accurately hit cross court and down the line. The drill consists of 3 steps that progress as your child masters the fundamental concepts.
This tennis drill will help your child to learn how to control the ball either “cross court” or “down the line”. For this ball control drill you will need a net (or tape between two chairs a few feet above the ground), two different sets of colored cones, tennis balls, and a tennis racquet.
Ball Control Tennis Drill Steps:
Step 1 – Tossing ball by hand to the targets
Standing in the sideways position and throwing the ball on the side of the body, have your child toss the ball over the net aiming towards one of the sets of colored cones. In this step of the ball control drill your child will actually be throwing the ball down the line or cross court without even realizing it. To them, they are just aiming for the cones. Eventually your child will have to figure out how to get the proper rotation to throw the ball cross court as well, while keeping their feet planted in the sideways position. This drill can also be done on the back hand side, just remember to have your child hold the ball with two hands in this case.
Step 2 – Hitting the ball with the racquet to the targets
In this step your child will still be aiming for the colored cones, but this time using a racquet. They should still remember to stand in the sideways position, and make sure the contact point is on the side of their body.
The great thing about using cones for this ball control drill is that it naturally helps kids understand the limitations of the tennis court.
Step 3 – Hitting the ball with the racquet to opponent (the parent)
For this version of the drill, there should be more interaction between you and your child. Stand on the other side of the net in the same areas where the cones were placed in the previous two steps.
First try gently tossing the ball to your child (from either cross court or down the line). Have them hit it back to you at a very easy pace. From here you can work up to hitting the ball back and forth with racquets.
Ball Control Tennis Drill Instructional Video:Get more involved with Tennis!
Saulo Gonzales, Tennis Pro at Elite Sports Club – Brookfield
Saulo was born in Venezuela and raised in Peru and Brazil. He was introduced to the sport of tennis at 8 years old on a recreational level. After his family immigrated to Brazil he found his love and passion for tennis and competed throughout his junior career. Locally he reached a top 10 ranking in Sao Paulo and top 80 in the Nation. By the time he was 16, Saulo began competing in the ITF circuit where he had the opportunity to train with professional players such as Juan Martin Del Potro and Thomaz Bellucci.
After high school Saulo accepted a full tennis scholarship to Dowling College in New York where he continued playing. Soon after, he was offered a coaching position at NY Sportime Clubs during summer sessions in the Hamptons. His successful summers in the Hamptons gave him the opportunity to become Summer Camp Director at Sportime Harbor Island, Westchester.
He quickly gained success and was recognized for his immense following and program development skills. Saulo moved up the ladder to become an Assistant Manager & Tennis coordinator and responsible for the successful development of Sportime Harbor Island. His last role at Sportime was High-Performance Academy Director where he worked with the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.
Saulo joins the Elite team to apply his experience towards player development in the Wisconsin area towards USTA competition.