In this post, we will be talking about the Placement Drill. This drill is useful for beginners to advanced players and can be done with 2 or 3 people, and helps you practice shot placement and consistency. This can be done as a focused drill for a training session, or even as a warmup drill prior to matches in a tournament. Let’s take a quick look at the drill summary before going to the details.
Drill: Front Placement Drill
Duration: 25 shots, no mistake before 15 shots OR 10-20 minutes.
– Stand in front: Lift, push, or net drop
– Hit all shots back to the person / people standing in the front
Front Placement Drill Details
This drill is extremely simple – all the driller has to do is hit every shot back to the feeder that is standing in a front corner. The feeder can lift the shot high or low, push the shot around the driller’s body, or hit tight or long net drops. The goal is to have the driller retrieve all these shots and hit them back with decent quality, while making sure that they are consistent. This practices the driller’s consistency and placement, as all the shots must be hit back to the same corner from any position on the court. We aim to do this for 15 shots without mistake normally, increasing the number of shots without mistake and the total shots as the driller improves week after week. I personally like having beginner – intermediate level players do this drill often, as it helps them practice their basic shots while also improving their consistency.
This is a great drill to do with a partner, because you can switch off with each completed set. As you are feeding, you will not have to exert much energy so this can be considered your “rest” while your partner is drilling. This makes is extremely time efficient as you will have little to no total downtime, while still being able to practice your shots and rest.
I often do this drill as a warmup for tournaments before matches or the days leading up to it, because I feel that this gives me confidence to hit these shots in game since I can see the shots already going over. I do this as long as I can without feeling tired, to make sure I am prepared for the match and ready to hit these variety shots in a game.
Front Placement Drill Variations
As I mentioned earlier, this drill can be done with either 2 or 3 people. If it is done with 2 people, the feeder generally will just pick a corner to start with and then switch between them after each set. If this is done with 3 people, you can have 2 feeders doing the same thing while covering the whole front court. This will help the driller hit more variety, as they are not limited to only one corner to hit to. This version of the drill is normally harder as well, as you can expect the shots to come back faster and you need to hit the shots with higher quality since they are 2 people standing there already.
Another variation is adding an option of smashes to the placement. In games, you do not only want to hit drop shots over and over, and normally you will hit these drop shots to try and find a good opportunity to smash. In this variation, the feeder will be given the option to lift higher and call out “smash”, and the driller should smash and continue the rest of the drill as normal. This is a simple variation to the original drill that still adds a lot of benefit.
Try to work this placement drill into your next training sessions or warmup sessions to work on your consistency and placement. Keep increasing the target shots without mistake and total count as much as you can week after week. Let me know what you think of this drill and if you enjoy it as much as I do!
If you’d like to see more drill highlights, training highlights, or more, please check out my YouTube channel and Instagram Highlight Feed, and feel free to reach out with any questions. See you guys in the next one!