In this post, we will be talking about a doubles offense consistency drill – Smash Drive Consistency. This is good training for doubles players who are working on their smash and follow ups in doubles, and helps to train consistency of their offensive shots throughout long rallies . Let’s take a quick look at the drill summary before going into details.
Drill: Smash Drive Consistency
Duration: Sets of 25 shots, no mistake before 5 / 10 / 15 shots depending on your level
– Stand on one half of the court. Either drive or lift each shot.
– In the back court, mostly smash (full, half, stick). If you are too out of position and can’t smash, then you can fast drop.
– In the side court, only drive.
– All shots must go to the half that the feeder is standing on.
Smash Drive Consistency Details
This drill focuses on the 2 most important offensive shots in doubles – the smash and the drive. Smashes, as expected, give you the highest chance of winning a rally in doubles. By staying on the offensive, your opponents will be forced to continue playing defense (which most players can’t be doing forever). Drives are shots you use to follow up your smashes, and hopefully lead to pushes and kills by your partner in the front.
This drill simulates what it is like to be the back player in a doubles games. The feeder avoids hitting any shots to the front because the front shots would be covered by your partner. Instead, all the lifts and smashes would be covered by the driller in the back, and would be a realistic substitution to playing a full 2 on 2 match.
By increasing the duration of the drill up to 25 shots, we are working on the longer rallies in doubles where your opponent is able to continue to return your smashes. You want to try to keep the power of your smashes the same throughout all 25 shots without getting weaker, so that in long rallies during games, you are still able to hit these power shots. For the drives, ensure your consistency and quality for these. Keep the drives low and close to the net with a fast speed so that your opponent cannot take advantage of these and attack you in a game.
For consistency, players can start from 5 shots with no mistake and work your way up to all 25 shots without mistake. The higher you can continue your consistency, the better off you will be able to apply this in your games. The ultimate goal of this drill is to be able to maintain a high quality and power of your smashes and drives throughout rallies, so that your partner will be able to follow up and finish these shots in a real game.
There are 2 main variations to this drill. The first one is to have 2 drillers, one standing on each half, to perform the same drill. This simulates a real doubles game even more, because now you are playing versus a doubles pair with free-form options to attack either half of the court. Again, this drill will be a lot harder than the normal drill, but you will be able to reap the rewards of having higher quality shots and higher endurance through the rally.
The second variation is to use a weighted training racket – like I did in my post shown above. These are different from the normal rackets that you use with the added benefit of having a much higher weight. This will help train your wrist and shoulder strength as you perform the same smash motions as you normally do. After using this racket to smash and drive, you will find the next time you use a normal racket, your smashes and drives will become much more powerful and you will see how much lighter the normal racket is!
This is a great drill for all skill levels to do, especially to work on your speed and endurance during your offense. Although this is a focused doubles offense drill, singles players can benefit from this drill as well for shot placement and offensive power. Let me know what you think of this drill after doing it with your training partner, and leave a comment below!
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 training post!