Practice 8- Boast &
the crosscourt from the backcourt is easy to do during the knock-up (see
Practice 1: The Practice Knock-up Issue 2004/2).
Practising the crosscourt from the frontcourt is simple.
diagonal practice Player A in front crosscourts while B in the back
boasts. (At an intermediate level the backcourt player may let the ball
bounce twice or quickly throw or pat it off the back wall before
Player A in
the front will try to get his shots grooved into a target area. Start by
targeting the side wall behind the service box for the ball to bounce on
the floor and then rebound off the back for Player B to drive or volley
straight and then boast. Ideally the ball will die on the backwall or
force a boast. After a while you will see how effective your shots are:
if Player B cannot straighten your crosscourt off the back and it is
forcing a boast, it is doing the job well.
has a number of additional target areas. There is also a dying length
shot aimed for the nick behind the service box; a high, wider crosscourt
to give recovery time and to beat the volley; and also the lob.
Part of the
accuracy of your shots comes from the set-up so to gain the most from
your practice move back from each shot and then into a new set-up
position each time. You can practise striking the ball off either foot
on the forehand, as you will have to do this in a game, but perhaps with
the closed stance first (left foot forward for a right-hander) as this
will put the body in the best position.
pause fractionally, waiting until the ball is at the best impact
position, and then strike. Watch your shots as you back-pedal and adjust
the next one back and forth on the wall and get it grooved into your
should step back (swivelling out of the boast set-up position), step
towards the short line and take a step towards the T. Practise moving in
and out of this forward-facing position and turning to the back corner
each time. Get grooved into one type of boast. Try to get the two wall
boast that dies before the side working first with various paces and
angles before moving to the three-wall or nick boast.
the T Player B can attempt a straight volley intercept and then quickly
move back to play the boast when necessary.
Practice falls into four parts: Player A practising a forehand
crosscourt, backhand crosscourt, forehand boast and backhand boast. A
ten-minute practice would therefore allow two-and-a-half minutes on each
part. It is an important practice: if your crosscourt is not working
well in a game you will know how to adjust and vary it.
1. Player B
2. Player A cross-courts,
3. Player B boasts and so on.
of the crosscourt can be tested by B attemping to intercept on the
volley. Player B should move from a central position on the T.