Beginning tennis players often have trouble adjusting to the speed of the game. You can combat this by practicing reaction time drills. If you work on improving your reflexes and reaction times along with basic tennis fundamentals, you will soon have the skills required to start playing the game at full speed.
Learning to react immediately to stimulus is an important part of reaction time training. This drill is useful for tennis, but also for football and any other sport where a quick reaction time is important. Have a coach stand about five yards away from you. Have the coach drop the ball and then explode forward and try and catch it before it bounces for a second time. Try the exercise in a sitting or laying position as well as from a standing one.
Medicine Ball Tosses
Medicine ball toss drills are used by tennis coaches to improve player reaction time. The simple drill of throwing a medicine ball back and forth provides many benefits. The throwing and catching motion works on hand eye coordination. The faster you throw the ball, the more you need to improve your reaction time. Finally, the heavier the ball you use, the more you increase strength.
The tennis player actually uses his racket in this drill. The player stands in a ready position several feet away from the wall, facing the wall with the racket in hand. A coach or training partner stands behind the player. The partner in the drill throws a tennis ball against the wall to the right or the left side of the player. The athlete has to quickly hit the ball after it bounces off the wall.
Rapid Fire Reaction
This rapid fire volley drill forces the player to react more quickly than the normal pace of a tennis game. Either set up a ball machine or throw balls rapidly at a player. Maintain a constant barrage of balls at the player that vary in speed and placement. The player's goal is to react to each ball and return it in bounds. Players should start to react quicker as they get used to the rapid fire incoming balls.
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- Stack; Tennis Ball Reaction Drill With the University of Miami; Matt Siracusa; 2008
- Brian Mac: Reaction Time
- Professional Athletic Performance Center; A Simple Drill for the Enhancement of the Athletic Reaction Time, Foot and Hand Speed; Robert Panariello
- Bodybuilding; Tennis Anyone?; Diane Fields
- Core Performance: Boost Your Reaction Time; Jim Brown; 2009