Tip of the Week
Should You Stick With Your Best Shot If It Is Missing?
On Sunday, I asked one of our junior players what she wanted to work on, and she wanted to do side-to-side footwork drills. We must be doing something right!!! As usual, we focused on fundamental as I was working with our younger kids. I also set up targets on the table for serve practice and they took great joy in knocking them off - though I kept insisting that they weren't really knocking them off, they were just showing me what it would look like if they were to knock them off, so that if they were to actually knock them off, I'd know what it would look like. Did you get all of that?
They played up-down tables the second half of the session. They would hide the ball to see who served first. If the server scored two in a row, he became the receiver, and the goal was to be the receiver. They would play for about five minutes, and then whoever was receiving at that time moved up, the server moved down. To help work on specific parts of their game, we had them use improvised rules. For example, they might have to serve long to the backhand, or long anywhere, and so on.
Several of the players were hesitating when looping in the games - they'd start out right, but as they started their forward swing, they'd ease up, trying to guide the ball, instead of just letting the shot go, as they do in regular practice. So I worked with several of them on that. I had to keep stressing that this is practice, and if you can't do the shot properly in practice, when will you do it properly? I think they go the message. It only takes doing it right a few times in games to get into the habit of doing it right - at least for kids, who learn fast