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The "N" Drill

Mark Guilbeau
Mark Guilbeau.

N DrillThis doubles drill has been provided by Mark Guilbeau, varsity women's tennis coach at the University of Virginia and 2005 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year.

The "N" Drill for doubles helps to teach the net positions and net player's responsibilities during the basic one-up/one-back point.  It is also very good for large groups with limited courts because it involves and keeps four players active on one court.

The drill begins with two doubles pairs on each end of the court, both playing one-up/one-back.  A coach feeds a ball to Player A, who hits a down-the-line groundstroke to Player B.  Player B, who has closed in toward the net as the ball is fed from the coach, volleys the ball crosscourt to Player C.  Player C, who has shifted back toward the service line and near the center line for a more defensive position, handles this reflex volley and volleys the ball down the line to Player D.  While the ball is moving to Player D, Player C closes with the ball into a more offensive position, and Player B retreats to a more defensive position near the service line and center line.  This completes the "N" pattern, which gives the drill its name, and should be repeated with Player D hitting a down-the-line groundstroke to Player C, Player C volleying to Player B, Player B hitting a reflex volley to Player A, and around and around.  The net players should focus on the necessary up and back movement required to play the net positions both offensively and defensively in doubles.

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