Learning Tennis goes way beyond getting on the court and learning how to serve the ball in the box. There are so many drills and activities you can teach a child/student to promote fun while learning.
Equipment: Racket and ball per student.
- Strike ball on ground and catch.
- Strike ball on ground over and over.
- Strike ball in air and catch.
- Strike ball in air over and over.
- Strike ball against the wall and attempt a volley.
- Practice serves up against a wall.
Equipment: Rackets, balls and cones.
Grades: 2nd-8th (Relay 1 only for 2nd & 3rd)
- RELAY 1: Teams of 5 players set behind a designated cone.
- First player in line will balance the ball on the racket and run around a cone on the far end of the gym and return to their team.
- Once the first player in line returns to their team, they can grab the ball and place it on the racket of the next player.
- OPTION: Dumb the ball from racket to racket instead of grabbing.
- RELAY 2: Same set up as relay 1, but now the player must bounce the ball in the air as they run.
- If the player drops the ball on the ground, they may simply grab the ball and continue.
- OPTION: Older students (6th-8th) can receive a penalty, such as 5 push-ups for a dropped ball.
- RELAY 3: Same as relay 2, but now each player is bouncing the ball on the ground with their racket.
- RELAY 4: Same as relay 3, but now in and out of cones.
- RELAY 5 (GROUP RELAY): In any of the above relays, you can set up your entire class on a designated start line.
- The entire class will begin the race at the same time.
- Once a player reaches the far base line, they will run back to the run wall and sit.
- You can place the top 5 finishers.
Clean Your Own Back Yard
Equipment: Rackets and balls.
- Divide the class into 2 teams. Pinnies aren’t needed for this game.
- Each team will be on their side of the court divided by the half court line.
- Object of the game is to have less tennis balls on your side of the gym.
- No overhand strikes.
Equipment: 1 ball per group, rackets and wall.
- Place your class into groups of 3-5.
- The first player in line, strikes the ball up against the wall and immediately runs to the end of the line.
- The second player in line may hit the ball off 1 or 2 bounces when it comes off the wall and then goes to the end of the line.
- This process repeats until one player miss hits the ball.
- The player that gets out can strike another ball in the air until their group has a winner.
Equipment: 1 ball per group, rackets and wall.
- This game can be played just like wall ball used with no equipment. CLICK HERE if you would like to learn wall ball (aka hand ball).
- This game can be played 1 v 1, 2 v 2 or 1 v 1 v 1.
- You can make a number of small courts in your gym.
- Set up a back line, side lines and a line a few feet away from the front wall. This distance can be adjusted to your liking.
- The server will stand behind a designated serve line.
- I don’t want to give exact measurements for distances and court size, because it depends on the size of your class. It make take a little trial and error.
- Once the ball is served, the other player may hit the ball before it bounces or after.
- The ball must hit the front wall before it strikes the ground and it only has to go past the 3 foot line on a serve.
- OPTION’S: Allow multiple bounces. Only stop play when the ball is hit out of bounce.
4 Square Tennis
Equipment: 4 square court (over sized), Rackets & 1 ball.
- I recommend making over sized 4 square courts.
- Label one box as the servers box and the remaining boxes 1,2 and 3. The object is to bet to serve as in a typical 4 square game with a rubber ball.
- Each player has their own racket.
- All hits must be underhand.
Double bounces allowed in each square.
- The ball must bounce at least once before it’s struck by another player.
- Lines are out.
- The must be served to box 2.
Monkey In The Middle
Equipment: Rackets and 1 ball.
- 1 team will be placed in the center of the court. Half of each team on both sides of the court.
- You can require the center team to stay within the servers box or a line of your preference.
- The other team will their team off of the court. Half of the team on each side of the net.
- The object of the game, is for the team off of the court to volley the ball over the next without letting the team in the middle intercept or block the ball.
- The team off of the court will receive 1 point for every successful volley.
- If the ball is intercepted, the teams will switch places.
Horse or Out
Equipment: Rackets & 1 ball per group.
- You can make teams of 3-5 players.
- Each team will stand on the opposite side of the net from their opponent.
- The first player in line will volley against the first player on the other team.
- The player that loses the volley will give their team a H and next player and O, until a team spells HORSE. First team to horse, will lose the game.
- Once a player strikes the ball over the next, they will go to the end of the line and the next player in line will strike the ball.
- VARIATION: Players don’t rotate until one player loses the volley.
Modified Tennis Game
Equipment: Rackets & ball.
- You can play 1 v 1, 2 v 2 and 3 v 3 games.
- Allow multiple bounces & strikes.
- Teammates can assist a ball over the net, if their teammate doesn’t hit it over.
- All hit’s must be underhand, including the serve.
- Don’t require the serves to go in the servers box. As long as it lands on the court, the serve will be considered successful.
I hope you can add these games to your class and Summer Camp. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.