Series Drills are designed to help you experiment with your strokes

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The series drills are designed to help you experiment with your strokes to figure out the type of shots you can hit without making mistakes. These drills are exercises in which you have to complete a series of shot combinations or rallies without mistakes. The demands will depend on your ability. Any mistakes and you have to start the sequence all over again. Here are a few examples of a rally series: Find a partner and work on completing three series of 15 shots in a row, (options: only backhands, only forehands, one hits slice the other topspin, all shots past the service line, etc.). Once you decide what kind of shot you want to practice start with the first series and try to get to 15 without mistake. If you or your partner misses, you have to start again from the beginning.
Once you get to 15, the first series is over, and you will have two more to go. You can also make each series incremental, that is, the task gets harder as you progress. For example, in our 15 ball rallies, you have to hit the first five shots slowly, the second five at a medium pace and the third five at a fast, controlled pace.

Finally, if you really want to push yourself, you can make each mistake more costly, deciding to start from scratch regardless of when the mistake is made. For example, a mistake in the middle of the second or third series would result in starting anew with the first sequence.

Another example of useful series is three shot combinations such as: an approach down the line, a crosscourt passing shot and a volley down the line, or an inside out forehand approach, a passing shot down the line and a crosscourt volley. The idea is to use shot combinations that you frequently encounter in a match. A good goal would be to complete five sets of three-shot combinations without mistakes.

As you get used to these exercises, try to push the envelope and complete the series at the highest possible speed. This will slowly give you an idea of the maximum speed at which you can control the different shots and send you on your way towards developing a strong sense of identity on the court.

However, understanding your technical ability is only half the battle. Equally important is to internalize the types of shots you should hit from every situation on the court, and here the Situation Drills come into play.

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