Practice 7

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This is the first practice we have encountered that provides movement up and down the court. It is not easy (although not especially difficult), being for those near team standard and above. It is important to be able to hit straight from the back corners when moving back. (In some instances it may be useful to let the ball bounce twice to sustain a rhythm.)
This exercise is as much about movement and rhythm as it is about set-up and shots.
1. Player A hits off (it is useful to have the ball well warmed up and to use a bouncy ball, perhaps even a single dot). Initially, play a full shot that will rebound and allow a straight drive off the back wall. A back-pedals towards the T and turns to move to the back corner.
2. Player B sets up to straight drive again, playing a full drive, and steps back towards the half-court line (the one that divides the court into half lengthways), up to a very quick astride position (that will allow a take-off in any direction) and then on to the front, to the side of the ball, turning the shoulder and the trunk, so that they can unwind and provide power on the straight shot.
3. A moves to the side of the ball and sets up his boast. Ideally he will take up a set-up position that will allow a straight shot (and even a crosscourt) as well as a boast, so that his play and shots will not be predictable and will have alternatives.
As he has boasted, he can step directly to the T and walk fast to an astride ready position, and then push off to the other side to get ready for a straight drive.
4. B, (front left), straight drives and pushes back from the shot and back-pedals to the T, turns and comes backcourt to get ready for the boast. He is pushing back dynamically from the front, but all the while concentrating on making the movement as smooth and efficient as possible, eliminating any unnecessary steps.
5. A sets up and straight drives, stepping out of his shot on the follow-through to the half-court line and on to the T.
6. B sets up and boasts and recovers the T.
Get the rhythm: set up (good balance, good distance, shoulder around), pause, strike. Then recover dynamically, initiating the movement as smoothly as possible. Use an astride ready position from which you can push off in all directions from the T. Donít just race to the ball and run through the T.
Remember it is not practice that makes perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
1. A (right frontcourt) straight drives;
2. B (right backcourt) straight drives,
3. A boasts,
4. B (left frontcourt) straight drives,
5. A (left backcourt) straight drives,
6. B boasts.

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