7- DRIVE, DRIVE, BOAST
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.)
exercise is as much about movement and rhythm as it is about set-up and
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Remember it is not practice that makes perfect. Perfect practice makes
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.