Here is a simple but powerful drill that I like to use with my players to
explain the importance of playing with a margin of safety. The coach hands a player at the baseline
ten balls and set a target on the other side of
the net. The coach asks the player to use his or her best
stroke, bounce the ball and try to hit the
target with each of the 10 balls. The coach or a
player will mark every bounce with a ball. Once the player hits the 10th ball, the coach invites him or her to analyze
the distribution pattern. of all shots. The message is always the same: Even in the perfect situation, using your
best shot completely balanced, hitting a tossed ball, with all the time in the world and with
no pressure you’re still not able to consistently
hit a target. Imagine what your ball dispersion looks
like in real match conditions. Pick large targets on the court. You are not as precise as you think.

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Dennis Veasley

4 thoughts on “Tennis Drill – Understanding Margin of Safety (Playing Percentage Tennis)”

  1. Last time out I was using a high rolling TS deep to create offensive situations, and I think 4 out of 12 or 13 went out, and not by much. Obviously shooting for too narrow a slice of the court. This demonstration is very revealing — it is not so much problems with the stroke but with the target!

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