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Backhand Drills

Posted by Claudia Fontana at Jul 4, 2015 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

You'll need a coaching partner for these but I think you'll like them.

 Click the link and see what you think

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Find IT!

Posted by Claudia Fontana at May 5, 2015 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

This drill is done with your back to the net.. Listen for SIMON's Thump or your coaching parnter's cue 'now' or whatever they want to cue you. Soon as you hear the cue turn quickly find the ball and ground stroke to target.

This drill is for deep attacks.

So your back is to the net and you are on the baseline or a few feet in the court. 

Listen for the cue..


Ground stroke to target.


You'll be training to find the ball quickly set and return the ball.. Great for working on footwork and getting into the best ready ground strok position. 

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Cross court dinks

Posted by Claudia Fontana at May 5, 2015 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Cross Court Dinks

Cross court dinks can be very tricky but can easily be returned if you are in LOW, READY position and ready to use those feet to get to the ball and lift using your legs rather than just smacking the ball back with only wrist and/or arm action.

Wrist with arm action produces a variety of sometimes uncontrolled forced errors. Too much force and you have issues with the ball being too high and smacked, right back at your chest or feet. Like the baseball players fast swinging bat, around the body to make contact with the incoming high velocity pitch. COLLISION and BAM the ball is hit with too much force and the ball response is with uncontrolled speed back to your opponent for a high kill shot... on you. Ouch! No home run for you!

Or ...Too little force on the ball and it just dies a pathetic death at the net.. on your side. SO sad..

So in this drill/shot you will receive a ball from your machine or from a consistent hitting partner/coach. They are on the far left of right of your position. They will hit the ball low and tight across the net to your position. Inside the net post.


You are in constant motion or DANCING with the ball. If the ball is in motion you should be in motion. On your toes and ready with your weight balanced and slightly forward over your toes.

As the ball crosses the net you must position not only your feet but your hips and your paddle to achieve the best shot selection.. 'The knee bones connected to the leg bone...' everything must be smooth coordinated and quick to action.

Your options for returning the shot are many and not limited to the following:

1. Return from whence it came, long cross court and as tight to the net as possible. Caution not to send it passed the post for the low “around the post shot”

2. Drop it low and short between your two opponents, so they have to make the decision of who is playing the shot.

3. Send it directly across the net to your counter side opponent low and JUST over the net

  1. Lob it quickly high and 'over' your opponents heads. Be sure it is out of reach or it's a kill on you.

  1. A variety of spin shots. The cut shot with backspin and side spin are most often the choice of spins at this tight proximity to the net.

  1. Forward flick. This is when the paddle is in ready position in front of you and you rotate your wrist towards the net with the top edge of the paddle. It's quick and deliberate. Think of your thumb moving forward as it does on a throttle handle..IE. Motorcycle throttle that is. You may even have your support hand assist with paddle stability on this shot. CAUTION.. Flicking with the paddle above the ball may cause the ball to go into the net.. A ½ Flick with no follow through will make the ball sail up and Wham, bam thank you mame.. right back at you

I'm sure you've seen more choices but these are the most common dink returns for just about any dink shot at you.

So dink or die and let it fly. But Don't be shy or you'll be asking WHYYYY …...........Did I do that?

Enjoy and Pickle on.

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HOW TO ROTATE into a court

Posted by Claudia Fontana at Apr 28, 2015 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )


When you win your round and all 4 are coming off the court your paddle will go to the bottom of the Winner's pile.

When you lose your round and all 4 are coming off the court your paddle will go to the bottom of the Loser's pile.

Alternating piles of going IN to play rotation after waiting,  The NEXT 4 paddles on the designated pile will enter the empty court.

Place the NEXT to go in towel on the other pile in waiting. Alternate piles going in and out of play.


Win pile has 6 paddles on it and is the next pile to go in. 

Lose pile has 5 paddle waiting to go in.

Court 2 opens up.

The winners of court 2 place their paddle at the bottom of the Win pile(A) and the TOP 4 paddle will go on to court 2 to play. Now the win pile has 4 paddles in waiting

The losers of court 2 place their paddles at the bottom of the Lose pile (B) and the NEXT towel will be place on TOP of the Lose pile (B) designating that, THAT will be the next pile to go into the next open court.  This pile will now have 7 paddles. 

NEXT to play towel will switch back and forth to designate WHICH pile is next to play. 

Court 1 opens up.. Lose Pile (B) with 7 paddles will have the next 4 paddles go in.When all paddles are laid in. Lose pile will have 5 paddles in waiting. Move the NEXT to play towel to the Win pile and REPEAT 


Single Paddle Pile Up Rotation

A FAIR method of rotation to mix all levels. PILE your paddles up

Scenario 1: When attendance is low or few players in line, the losing 2-4 players leave the court depending on attendance numbers, Winners will stay and split if attendance is low. The next two paddles on the TOP of the  pile enter that game.

When you come off a court your paddle goes to the BOTTOM of the pile. The top two or four will move to the open court accordingly.



Scenario 2: When we have an excess of waiting off court players, 6 or more? All 4 players of a playing court will leave the court and the next 4 paddles  on TOP of the pile will enter that court.

The GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE pile up works for a 2 or more court set up but attendance must be high. If there are 6 or more players in waiting and only 2-3 courts, we can run the GSB 4 player rotational system.. EVERYONE must follow the system for it to work. When it's run, the natural progression of the system places people in LIKE divisional skills levels together. Actually its like a mini ladder tourney feel in each session. Win and move up, lose and move down. Each night is a personal challenge to move up and stay up. Everyone will benefit in the end.

3 or More courts and HIGH attendence...

TO START - Each court will have 6 players or more players.. 4 will start play and the others will wait to begin rotation. 

Court 1 GOLD -  If you win your game your paddle will stay at the GOLD court and winners split  ONLY if there are low numbers of players.. If there are high numbers of players ALL 4 players leave the court and pile your paddle in the appropriate court pile up or down.

If you lose on the GOLD court your paddle will go DOWN a court  to the bottom of the SILVER pile on Court 2.

The next 2 or 4 players paddles will now play on GOLD.

Court 2 SILVER -    If you win your game your paddle will move UP and go to the bottom of the GOLD court pile. If you lose your paddle will go to the bottom of the Silver if there are only 2 courts in play or MOVE DOWN to BRONZE if there are 3 courts in play. 

Court 3 Bronze - If you win your game your paddle will MOVE UP and go to the bottom of the SILVER court pile. If you lose your paddle will go the bottom of the BRONZE court paddles. NEXT set paddles are on..If NO ONE is in waiting? Winners stay and split next 2 players in waiting will go onto play.

Additional NOTES: If you win 3 games in a row ona a court of WINNERS SPLIT please sit out a game to give others a chance to play more too.


 Clothes Pin Partners OUTSIDE ONLY

You will find a set of wires on the fence by the gate. You can supply your own ID clothes pin or use one that is available with a number. This WILL be your number for the remainder of the session.

The top wire 'rope' is for players ON the COURT or in an active game.

The bottom wire 'rope' is for players WAITING to enter a game.

When you arrive at the courts pick and/or place your PIN on either the top or bottom wire DEPENDING on if you are going to be ON the court and ready to play or if you are going to be WAITING for a position on the court. This all depends on number of participants and available courts.

Once you exit a court with a lose or a 3 game winning streak you will REMOVE your pin from the ON THE COURT upper wire and place it on the lower WAITING TO PLAY wire at the far RIGHT of the pin line.

The next 2 pins on the LEFT side of the wire will move their pin to ON THE COURT upper wire and now enter the court that is looking for new opponents.

Continue this and organized play will make everyone a happy player.

Winning players ON COURT PLEASE be patient as the new oppenents make their pin changes.

IF there are OPEN courts and there are players in waiting THIS court BECOMES a PRACTICE court. Meaning that you will be in PRACTICE mode, not a GAME mode. So KNOW and remember your pin number on the WAITING wire! GO practice and warm up. When the next competition court calls for NEW opponents your pin will need to go to the TOP wire and you may now enter the GAME court from the practice court.

We all come to play. But we want ROTATION and mixing of players. So a 'practice' court is the solution if your are NOT sitting out on the side line. If ALL courts are filled and we don't have substitutions or rotating players to come in and change, players get 'stuck' in one court with the same players and never have the opportunity to play other people.

This is our newest rotational method and it works as long as everyone adheres to the method.

Life is to short.. let's work together and make it fun.

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Down the line

Posted by Claudia Fontana at Apr 13, 2015 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Have someone hit you balls from various spots across the net. Hitting to your forehand in the Even court side.

FROM: Deep corners, deep middle, front court Left, Middle, Right

Shots from the deliverer need to be at a consistant pace and hieght for proper training. 

If you are working on singles receive the forehand close to center and then again closer to the even court line in YOUR DEEP court.

If you are working on doubles play stand in the Even court and work your Foot work. 

Using your forehand stay low in ready position, Paddle face forward, crossover step to side line to take the shot. Front shoulder to the net, paddle moves behind you. Point to your target - the ball with left hand . transfer weight from back rt foot to front left foot as you rotate to through the stroke. Stay low on the shot. Don't come up on the shot otherwise the ball will rise with you. Stay low and return to ready position 

If you are top spinning?  Paddle is from low to high and finish your stroke

If you are using a cut shot?  Paddle is from high to low. To get the back spin in action.

Either way finish your stroke to your opponents odd court line.

Points to remember:

Stay low, bend your knees don't have your shoulder in front of your knees. Your weight is on balls of feet, Keep your motor running (bodies in motion are ready to move) your feet are ready to move, paddle in ready position with paddle face flat to net, chest high. Move to the ball in a balanced position. GLide...Rotate hips in a smooth motion. Stroke is smooth and finishing. If you stop the stoke the ball too will not finish. It will have a tendency to hang up. Your opponent will have time to get to the backhand, if right handed and then return your shot without much difficulty.