October 2010 -- It is important to keep students moving while they wait for their turn to hit balls in a clinic setting. It is equally important to feed more than two balls to each student before that player rotates out so that we can properly teach the skills of the game.
Here are 10 activities students can stay busy with while they wait.
- Shadow the hitters - The students next in line pretend to hit (shadow) each ball the other students are playing, in order to prepare for their turn.
- Figure 8 - Put two cones about 6 feet apart, then have the students move up and around each cone, making a figure 8.
- Ball Pick-up - The students who just hit, run around the court to pick up three balls and come back to put the balls in the hopper.
- Ladder work - Move in and out through the ladder using different steps - forward, sideways, grapevine, etc.
- Line Hop - Using both feet, students hop over a line, forward and back and side-to-side. The ladder is a great tool for these exercises.
- Exercise Band - Students wrap an exercise band around their ankles and move sideways to a cone and then move back. There are many different exercises using the bands. You can also use light weights to strengthen specific tennis muscles.
- Dribble Figure 8 - Students take a ball and dribble the ball with their racquet around each leg, making a figure 8.
- Dribble Down - Students take a ball and with the racquet dribble the ball down. They can dribble the ball and move around cones.
- Step-Ups - Students use an aerobic step to quickly step up and down.
- Ball Toss - One student is stationary and rolls a ball out to one side. Another student, standing across from him, side-steps to pick up the ball and tosses it back. The next roll is out to the opposite side. Rotate positions after eight tosses.
Please e-mail me back with your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Dillard is the physical education teacher at Deer Park Elementary School in Centreville, Va., and the Girls Tennis Coach at Westfield High School. He also teaches tennis at Virginia Run and Sequoia Farms swim and racquet clubs.