Sunday, May 20, 2007

Focusing on the serve and receive


Boys were late, I arrived at 9:00am. There were only eight boys, some F1 boys were absented. At the first half hours, they warmed-up and rallied. Some were good and could maintain their consistency.

Then, Frankie told me that they wanted to pratice their serve. Raymond and I thought that the serve is their weakness and have to be focused. First, I focused on Frankie, Boris and Barry. Of course, Barry had good serve and nothing rectified. But, Frankie and Boris had to work hard on their serve. Frankie couldn't throw the ball at the right position, you know, he threw the ball too forward which may land in front of the baseline. In the case, he may hit the ball at front, the racquet face then face to the net. Lastly, he always hits to the net.

In terms of Boris, he is tall but he doesn't take this advantage. His serve is weak and not powerful, most importantly, not consistent. The reason is that he had a bended arm. When he hit the ball, his right arm was bended. He cannot use whole arm to hit a powerful serve. I told him that he should reach the ball at the highest position and should have a straight arm. I hope he can learn and accustome.

Next, I shared the mistakes the boys made with other players at Raymond's court. I found that the boys made the same mistake:
1: the ball they throw is not high enough,
2: not hit the ball at the highest position,
3: some hit the ball with bended arm,
4: some throw the ball too "front"
5: the position of their feet

That's all for the serve of the boys. One young boy had a good serve as he could hit a topspin serve. He's good becasue he neither makes the mistakes I mentioned above. It surprised me. I hope the boy can influence others. But, actually, I forgot his name, I hope Raymond know his name.

The next thing we focus is the receive. I had the drill for them which was used once in talenT Group. I serve and the boys have to receive cross court and rally few. Next, they have to reach a backhand slice to move to the net. Finally, some volleys and an overhead. The drill is suitable for the intermediate, some beginner or the new intermediate may few hard as they can not rally to cross court. The hardest shot maybe the slice backhand, you know, some boys even have an awful double handed backhand. The boys in this situation found it difficult. After some balls, I afraid that the drill is not suitable for them. But, I was wrong! Calvin did good receive and the backhand is okay. Though he didn't had a slice backhand, his volleys and overhead impressed me. Some boys were okay and they tried their best.

It is true that practice makes almost perfect.
I believe, if they work hard, they will have an improvement.

Another drill we used was some "match demo". We demostrated the net player to intercept the ball the receiver returned. This is to train them to hit the ball cross court, preventing the net player to intercept. At the begining, they did badly, maybe they lacked cross court practice. One even hit a down the line shot...Later, they did well and the net player of the ball intercepted and be "braved". This is unexpected. I think Joseph to be the net player of my side and he did a good job, just like the D1 school player. However, I think they should have more baseline drills in terms of down the line and cross court, instead, they should be consistent and not to make unforced error.

We have too much to focus on: volleys, serve, rally...
Which is the most important?

Boys, work hard and be tough!

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