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Welcome to the May Newsletter and to all new subscribers.


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In This Issue

As a thank you for subscribing to the monthly

newsletter, there is a FREE BONUS of 100 drills.

See below.

Item 1/.       Tip of the month

Item 2/.       Drill of the month

Item 3/.       Fun Game of the month

Item 4/.       Play Better Doubles
Item 5/.       Human Kinetics - Coaches and teachers

There are 100 drills of various types that will help you
with your tennis, some are for more than two players,
but you can adapt these to suit your needs.
Where a pro is mentioned, substitute 'your partner'
Click on the following link to go to the download site.

Click here for the drills.

You can now search and buy any book
from Amazon via our website or this newsletter.

Want a great tennis holiday,
play tennis until you drop!
See details on the website.






Every club wants to be more successful and the question is ‘What is more success?’


My new website will help and advise on improving your club, with lots of ideas to put into practice. Your committee and members may need a change of mind, but progress often entails radical thinking.


The website can be accessed via the website: http://www.tennisatthenet.com

or direct via the following link:     http://hoskinsjohn.bizland.com/successfulclub

Tip of the Month





Who takes the ball down the middle?


When all four players are at the net in doubles, who should cover the shot down the middle?


There is often confusion about this, so here is a foolproof solution:


The player who is diagonally opposite the opponent hitting the ball should cover the middle..


This basic strategy makes it easier to cover the middle for several reasons. 


1.,      The player will most likely have an easier time

          reaching the ball which will be coming slightly

          cross court.


2/.      It frees up the other partner to cover the alley,

          in case the opponent decides to hit down the line.


3/.      If the opponent decides to do a sharply angled

          volley crosscourt, you will simply have to step

          forward to cut it off.


Naturally, there may be instances when this strategy may not work, such as if the opponent hits a weak shot. Then it may be easier for the other player to step in and hit the ball for a winner.


But we have our basic strategy and can allow for variations as they arise.







1/.    Commitment  -     A Champion is focused on his.her goals

                                          They dream of becoming a Champion.


2/.    Independence -    A Champion takes responsibility.

                                           A Champion doesn’t blame the coach or

                                           others for losses.

                                           The ultimate responsibility lies with the

                                           champion and they know it.


3/.    Confidence &         Champions have a great sense of

          Self-belief        -     themselves;

                                           They believe they can do it.


4/.    Determination &    Champions are very committed and  

          Will                           have great will power.

                                            Champions do not give in.


5/.    Competitive Spirit - Champions have a competitive spirit

                                            in everything they do.


6/.    Work Ethic    -         Champions prepare & plan well,

                                            They are organised,

                                            They know where they are going and

                                            how to get there,

                                            They are very concerned about their

                                            schedule and peak for big events.




A must for every serious coach or sports leaders.

Human Kinetics are dedicated to providing a range of quality resources designed to help teachers, recreation leaders, coaches and parents get children involved in physical activity.

ukpe.humankinetics.com is a collaboration between the Youth Sport Trust and Human Kinetics, packed with a wide range of resources, special offers, lesson plans and practical tips for teachers and coaches. Visitors can sign up to receive the free UKPE monthly e-mail newsletter, covering all the latest news, resources and advice in PE, youth sport and recreation.

The website also features a great selection of tennis titles for players of all ability levels and resources for coaching and doubles play.

Individuals interested in finding out more can request a FREE copy of the UKPE catalogue by either visiting www.ukpe.humankinetics.com or by calling Human Kinetics on 0113 255 5665.

Drill of the month.


(Extracted from my drillbook - (Over 250 games & Drills)

please see the diagram in the attachment.



Serious Drill / Game –. DON’T WANT THE SERVE. 


Pressure on the server.


Can be singles or doubles – spin for the serve – however as you will see later, it is better to pass the serve to your opponents.


Servers start the 1st game 0 – 40 down - if they lose they retain the serve and commence the next game 0 – 30 down -  then the next game 0 – 15 and  0 – 0 until they win a game ( by which time the opponents might be 4 games to 0.


When they win they hand the serve over and the new servers start 0 – 40 etc.,


The same player keeps serving until serve handed over.


Play a complete set.




Fun Game   -   CATCH THEM OUT  -

To teach players to hit away from opponent.


Two equal teams one team with rackets at the far end from the coach, the second team space themselves out on the coaches side (bearing in mind that once set, they cannot move).


The coach feeds the ball and the players must hit into the court to score. Team plays until everyone is out.


Scoring: If ball is caught out of the air, the whole team is out (this can be varied if coach decides) If ball is caught after one bounce that player who hit it is out. If a player touches the ball but does not catch it the hitting team score one point, if no player touches the ball, hitting team get two points.


Alternatives:  Can have different scores for where the ball lands: service boxes – tram-lines – back court etc.

New Item.


Playing Successful Doubles.


Part Four of this monthly feature.





What is your job!


We have now covered the three most important shots in the game of doubles. Doubles is entirely different to singles and should be considered as a separate game.


With four people on court, covering an area slightly bigger than the singles court, doubles pairs rely more heavily on their positioning on court, instead of shot-making. The probable ratio of court positioning over shot-making in doubles is 65% to 35%, whereas with singles it is reversed.


Additionally in doubles there is far more repetition than in singles and it seams as though the same type of point is played over and over. The players thus need to make subtle changes now and again as is required to win a point.


We are therefore going to look, this week, at the court positions and the job of the person in that position.


The picture following shows the basic court positions for the four players.





Server and Receiver Basics.


The positions of the server and the receiver have to be played well for a doubles team to be able to win points. It is critical that the server has a good solid and reliable first serve and an equally good second serve.


The receiver must equally have a good cross court return.


The Server’s Jobs.


The first priority is to make the first serve as providing the percentage is high, it puts the opponent receiver on the defensive.

The second priority is to be able to place the ball where you want it to go, the task is to serve to the middle of the court on the deuce side and to the opponents body on the Ad. side. By this means you will be making the returners’ job more difficult and set up the second shot for you or your partner to put away. Serves that go wide give the opponent a wider angle to open up the court. That been said, it is a good idea to mix up the serve pattern to keep your opponents guessing.


The next priority is to put the first volley down the middle. The angled volley should only be used for a winning hit. The server should endeavour to close in to the net as quickly as possible and should take responsibility for the first volley. The servers partner is responsible for the cutoff and can be aggressive on a floating ball, but it must be a winner.


We will look at advanced doubles tactics later.


The Receiver’s Job.


The first priority is to ensure that you do not hit wide and do not hit the ball into the net.  The receiver should eliminate the possibility of a poach and hit the ball back across court, it is easier to hit the ball back from where it came, don’t try to do too much.


If the serve is a weak shot, hit the ball back deep and move into the net.

If you can take the advantage of the net away from the serving team, you are in with a better chance of breaking the serve. At the same time the receiver’s partner should also move in.


The next option is to return the ball low and to the server’s feet, in all probability the server will have no option but to put the ball up in to the air, and this will allow the returner’s partner to cross and poach the ball.


The last alternative is for both receiver and returner to stay back and to try to take over the net on the first weak ball.  In this way the pressure is taken off the returner having to make a good return every time and will eliminate the serving team putting the first volley away.


It should however, be remembered that the strongest position in doubles is both players at the net, the second strongest is both players back and the worst scenario is one up and one back. Top doubles is won at the net.


The server’s Partners Job.


The server’s partner, together with the server should decide where the ball is placed, in many pairings, the partner indicates where the serve should go by the use of a signal. This enables the partner to make a winning poach as they will have a good isea where the return is likely to be.


I always teach my players to stand about a foot inside the service line when they are the server’s partner. They listen to the strike of the ball by the server and start to move forward, doing a split step as the returner takes their racquet back. This enables them to react quickly and their body is already in motion.


An important point to holding the serve is for the net man to be able to move quickly on any floating ball. We have already said that the server’s responsibility is to take the first volley and this allows the partner greater freedom to take the floating ball.


In the next lesson we will look at both vertical and lateral movement as it relates to all four players.


The Receiver’s Partner’s Job.


The job of the receiver’s partner can make all the difference in breaking the opponent’s serve and is an essential part of a good doubles team.


The partner should start on the service line in what we call ‘The Hotspot’ see the court diagram. This enables the

partner to:


A/.     Help make the line calls.

B/.     Place them out of the way of the serve.

C/.     Give them the opportunity to react quickly to any

          shot the opposing net player makes.


The receive’s partner should be facing the opposing net player as this will alert them to where their partner is returning the ball. If the opposing net player does not move then they will know the ball has been returned deep to the server. This gives fractions of a second advantage in reaction time.


As the ball is returned past the net player, they should move in to close off the net, this puts pressure on the server and their first volley.


There a couple of rules to assist the play in doubles:


1.,      Deep to Deep, Close to close.

          In other words if you are at the back of the court,

          you should return the ball to the opponent at the

          back (if you return to the net player, they have a

          simple put-away volley.

Likewise, if you receive a ball close to the net then

the ball should be returned towards the opposing

net player (obviously, trying to win the point).


2/.     Outside to Outside – Inside to Inside.

         When at the net and taking up a volley/volley

         situation, if the ball comes to your outside, you

         should put it to the opponent’s outside, and similarly

         inside to opponents inside.

         Naturally, if the volley is a simple one, then you

         should put it away.


In relation to the above guides, a player should equally be aware of their own positioning to cover the possibilities of the above shots, and to back up their partner in the best way possible.


I will also cover, in the next article, where each player should be at any given time.


That’s all for this month.

Two items to see on the website:
1/. Advanced Tennis - click on link in left hand
coloum - You will find Mental Training -
Periodisation - Fitness Training.
Keep viewing to keep up-to-date.
2/. Rules - Misunderstood and mis-interpreted rules.
This will also be added to.



Tennis Balls now available



I.T.F approved pressurised Tennis balls – can of four only 2.60 plus postage.


See on website




Tennis Racquets and Stringing.




Top Quality racquets and excellent junior racquets at competitive


Visit the website for details.

Until next month,


John Hoskins – Coach.



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