Here’s a simple contact point tennis drill you can do with your child. The drill consists of 3 steps that progress as your child masters the fundamental movements.
There are two key things you and your child need to understand when it comes to the contact point. First is the body position; you want your child to be sideways. So, often you will find that tennis pros and coaches will use a target positioned perpendicular to the net to help the kids understand that they should be facing sideways the whole time. The second thing to remember is that the contact point should be on the side of your body.
Contact Point Tennis Drill Steps:
Step 1 – Throw the ball in a sideways position (Forehand or Backhand)
In this step of the contact point tennis drill, the child should be positioned sideways and use their dominant hand to try to throw the ball over the net. The palm of the hand should be facing up as well. Younger children may not be able to actually get the ball over the net, but that’s okay. We’re just trying to help the kids get a sense of the height of the net and understand the basic positioning.
Older kids who can successfully toss the ball over the net should also focus on trying to get the ball to arch at about eye level height.
This is an easy drill that requires a lot of simple repetition to help your child get better at the basic fundamentals. Once your child has mastered this technique, you can move on to Step 2.
Step 2 – Ball on the ground with racquet hit
This step of our drill introduces the use of a racquet. The sideways body position remains the same, however this time you’ll want to position the ball on the ground to the front/side of your child. Then using the racquet, your child should try hitting the ball in a way that they can get it to roll towards the net across the ground, perhaps also including some follow-through with the racquet. (This is better demonstrated in the video below.)
You can also try using this step of the contact point tennis drill to practice on the backhand side. Just have your child face the opposite way with the ball in the same place on the ground, this time using two hands, roll the ball towards the net on the ground . You may want to use two separate targets to help your child position themselves and also help them understand the concept of the turn during play.
Step 3 – Ball toss with racquet hit (Several bounces)
Once again in this step your child should be sideways on the court, perpendicular to the net. Have your child position the racquet in front of them with the ball in their non-dominant hand clutched against the face of the racquet at about waist height. Then simply have your child let the ball drop and bounce back up, then they should tap the ball forward nice and easily. (Again demonstrated in the video below.)
Contact Point Tennis Drill Video:
Written by Saulo Gonzales, Director of QuickStart Programs 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.Get more involved with Tennis!