Rally Speed  

Rally Speed

There are generally three types of shots that you can play.

1. Aggressive Shot : A shot that you play that your opponent will not be in a
position to control. This shot will be played using a higher
than average degree of risk.

2. Defensive Shot : A shot that you play that you are not in control of. This shot
will be played using a lower than average degree of risk.

3. Neutral Shot : A shot that you play that neither aggressive nor defensive,
but is used to jockey for position within a point. This
shot will be played using a small degree of risk.

It is this degree of risk, and the ability to calculate it prior to hitting each ball that is often associated with the skill of correct shot selection. This module will concentrate on the “Neutral” or “Rally Shot”.

First we must understand the principal of “Individual Rally Speed”. (I.R.S.)

Your I.R.S. is the speed at which you can successfully rally the ball in a “Neutral” situation with very little risk of error. The purpose of rallying is to both open up your attacking opportunities and to avoid extending your opponent the same courtesy.

A player such as Roger Federer would obviously have a faster I.R.S. than your average B grader. So why do players attempt to hi the ball as hard as Roger? Answer: Because, they feels they must do so to emulate their idol, and they forget that Roger has certainly earned his stripes through years of practice.

It is possible to ascertain your I.R.S. by carrying out the attached Rally Speed Test.

During the epic 1995 Men’s US Open Final between Sampras and Agassi an absolutely incredible point was played from the baseline which included 20 of the hardest struck groundstrokes imaginable. During this rally a ten ball succession was timed at 10.5 seconds!

Knowing your I.R.S. is a great benchmark in establishing real improvement. From the coach’s point of view is a fantastic medium to refer to when a pupil is either inconsistent or not forceful enough in a neutral rally situation.


Rally Speed Test

The test is to determine the player’s Individual Rally Speed. This is the greatest pace at which a player is able to
rally the ball in a neutral rally situation without error.

To work with a partner to achieve the lowest possible time for a ten ball baseline rally.

The Test
1. The Coach feeds the ball from the side of the court to Player A and starts his stopwatch as the Player makes contact with the ball.
2. Player A hits the ball to Player B.
3. A and B commence a baseline rally at a pace which enables them to make no mistakes.
4. The Coach stops the stopwatch as Player A makes contact with the ball after both Players have successfully completed a ten ball rally.
(The 11th hit) This time is recorded as the Player’s score.

The Rules
• Both backhands and forehands must be played in the test.
• Players must not volley a ball on the baseline that would otherwise
have been out.
• Players must co-operate to achieve a realistic score. No half-volleys or purposely hit short balls must be played before the baseline.
• Players should have a number of attempts
at the Test with many different partners
to achieve an individual score.

Craig Miller
IQ Tennis Pty Ltd
“Learn Twice as Fast”

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