Tennis Drills (Part 1: On Court)

Developing and improving your tennis game can be quite the commitment. However, a combination of drills, practiced both on and off the court, along with a quality exercise regimen will have you scoring points in no time. Daily performance of your tennis drills is recommended to achieve and maintain peak performance capability.

The best tennis drills you can do are ones that help you focus on the key areas you want to improve. The most important thing to understand about tennis drills is finding ones which are both effective and efficient, and build your core skills. On court drills are used to help practice shots and ball control.

We’ll start with a few examples of basic on court tennis drills. There are plenty more, and you’re welcome to get creative to develop your own drills.

Forehand Tennis Drills

Topspin drill

Stand close to the service line at the center of one side of the tennis court. Have your coach stand across from you on the other side of the court and then toss the ball so that it bounces below the height of the net your forehand side. When the ball reaches your side, hit it with a firm forehand stroke. The stroke should roll over the ball, giving it topspin. Focus on brushing your tennis ball with the racket strings while bringing the racket from low to high. After mastering this drill, your tennis ball will dip after it clears the net and then bounce in the baseline.

5 forehands:

Have someone on the opposite side of the court feed you five shots to your forehand side. With each ball, you’ll want to bring yourself closer to the net.

Backhand and Forehand:

At a medium to fast past, have someone opposite of you feed balls to the corners of the court. The goal of this drill will be to reach each corner in time to execute a respond hit that is a forehand or backhand.


Backhand Tennis Drills

Backhand slice drill:

Stand at the baseline and have an assistant hit slow to medium shots to your backhand. Use stutter steps to help keep your feet in a position perpendicular to the baseline when executing this shot. Tennis racket is held with both hands only until impact. At that point the supporting guide hand should release. Swing in a downward angle to give more backspin; keep the racket face angled upward to send the ball over the net. Practice makes perfect with this slice … the lower the ball clears the net, the better.


Serve Tennis Drills

First and second serve accuracy drill:

Want to improve the accuracy of the tennis player’s service? This skill will let the player be able to hit any part of the service box when they serve the ball. The drill for perfecting this desired skill involves practice. Lots of it. Aim for a place on the service box, also use a ball hopper and aim the serve on that spot. Even stacking cans to aim for can be helpful. The important thing is to practice for both first and second serve, and practice often.

Live tennis serve drill:

Once skills have been enhanced by practicing with inanimate objects, ask a coach or friend to step in practice with you. Make it a game of ‘serves’. Player to land the most serves inside the service box, wins.


Volley Tennis Drills

“V” volley drill:

Tape off a “V” on the court, starting at the center of the net and extending to the “T” of the singles sideline. Player one goes to the center of the service line, which is the line between the baseline and the net. Player two goes to the other side of the court. Player two hits the ball, while player one practices how to move toward the net in order to hit a volley: if the ball is within the V, perform a crosscourt volley; if outside the V, perform a down-the-line volley.

The cover volley drill:

This drill requires more than two players. While one player stands on one side of the court, the other players stand on the opposite side of the court in a straight vertical line. The single player will feed the ball to the first player on the opposite queue. This first player then moves out so that the second player in the queue hits and returns the ball. This rotation follows until all the players have had their turn.

Volley drill with one arm behind the back:

Right-handed players place their left hand behind their back, left-handed players place their right hand behind their back. Practice hitting the volley with your dominant hand. This will force the dominant hand to be more prepared to hit the volley with no interference from the non-dominant hand. It also helps the player develop dominant hand strength to better prepare to hit harder volleys.

Smash drill:

This drill is good to help players learn to move around the court in an overhead position. Run the drill by having one player hit lobs for the other player to encourage performing overheads.

Next time we’ll discuss Off Court drills, which help players with movement around the court, better flow, increased stamina, and muscle strengthening.

If you’re interested in seriously improving your tennis game, Elysium Tennis offers beginner coaching and personal tennis instruction with our staff pros. Contact the front office at 614.873.8749 to schedule a time.