5 Lobster Tennis Drills
Hone your shot skills and footwork with these five lobster tennis drills.
Practice alternating shots. Set the lobster machine to shoot balls straight down the middle of the court. Use your forehand to return the ball. After hitting the first ball and before the second ball is launched, move to the other side of where the ball will be shot. When the second ball arrives, you will now be in position to use your backhand. Alternate forehand and backhand shots, crossing over the center line after every ball to set up each successive shot. At first, don’t worry about where your return shot lands. Focus more on your approach to the ball and positioning yourself to hit the next shot well. Oh yeah, and don’t get hit by the balls when crossing the line of fire. When you become proficient at this, incorporate other lobster tennis drills which we’ll describe later.
Practice hitting your overhand shot. When your opponent gives you the opportunity to hit an overhand shot, you can win the point right then and there with one good smash. This “gift” from your opponent can also lead to embarrassment if you miss. Ensure the first result and prevent the second by practicing this lobster tennis drill repeatedly. The overhand is seemingly easy and deceptively difficult to time and hit well, due to the awkward trajectory. Set your lobster machine to lob the ball near the net and practice smashing the ball to turn every overhand opportunity into a winner.
Practice your net game. Just like overhand shots, take advantage of all volley opportunities. Not only will a good net game score several immediate points, but from the net you control the tempo of the game and your opponent much better than you would from the baseline. Simply set up the lobster to shoot directly at you. Start off slow and with the machine far away, so that you have time to visually pick up the ball. As you familiarize yourself with the timing, speed up the machine and place it closer to you. Work on forehand volleys first, and then switch to backhand volleys in the next set of balls. Practicing your net game increases your reflexes and hand eye coordination more than any other lobster tennis drill.
Set the lobster machine to oscillate. Now that we’ve covered several shots the lobster machine can help with, let’s improve on footwork. Have the lobster alternate shots between the back right corner and the back left corner of the court. Now you’ll have to cover some ground before returning the ball. Hitting while on the run is much different than hitting from a ready position. This tiring lobster tennis drill accustoms your body to making those difficult running shots. Apply the oscillation setting to the previous overhand and net drills.
- Put it all together with the cone drill. Previously, we concentrated on our approach to the ball. Now let’s work on good ball placement. Place two cones (you should be able to find them at any sporting goods store) in the far back corners of the court so that they are just inside the court lines. Practice any of the previous lobster tennis drills, this time aiming for the cones on your return shots. We’re not only increasing our accuracy, but we’re improving our court control as well. The farther back you place the ball, the farther your opponent has to travel to return it. You will now have more time to react to his shot and he’ll have less of an angle to work with. Move the position of the cones between rounds to practice hitting different targets.
Posted on: May. 28, 2010