Outlines for 2023 USPTA Southern Conference

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All four players have roles to play each time a ball is struck during a doubles point. It is important to know what role each player has in each situation. There are plenty of available opportunities for the shot maker. It is beneficial to have a team respond to a set of criteria based on a few important factors. Understanding these factors can help us control a situation better as a player. Using these main concepts we can better coach and formulate drills helping players to tactically control situations.

Acting (initiating)

Imposing “your game” on your opponents

Preventing your opponents from causing damage

Reacting (Responding)

Past history

Ball placement in relation to court and body position

Overall knowledge and experience of tennis

How to Build A Wheelchair Program

Presented by Paul Walker/Milly Sequera

Bangers to Dinker

Presented by Tim Smith

Developing the 3rd Shot Drop for the player who: Has started playing pickleball and only drives the ball!

Has been playing a couple months and does not understand why there is a No Volley Zone! Does not know how to use the No Volley Zone as a strategic way to win! Is starting to play players who have strong volley skills at the No Volley Zone.

What are the 3rd shot options?

Your choice is Drive, Lob, or Drop!

The Drive is used by newer players to the game. It is used by tennis players, a lot! The Lob is used sometimes. The Drop Shot!

So, WHY a Drop Shot as the 3rd Shot?

Per the rules, the serving team has to let the ball bounce. With the returning team at the No Volley Zone and the Serving team at the baseline, the returning team has a tactical advantage that gives them approximately a 75% chance to win the point. Two key factors for the serving team on the 3rd shot

The 3rd Shot Drop offers a player/team another strategic option!

How to Introduce the 3rd Shot Drop to your players!

Demo the 3rd Shot Drop

Self-Feed, Drop Shot, and Catch

Pro Feed “pickleball tube” target drill

Student NVZ line Feed to Baseline Mid Court & Baseline

½ court game with 3rd Shot Drop Rule

Full Court Doubles

Notes for consideration!

This is an introduction to the 3rd shot. Your players will vary, based on skill, as to what is an “easy” ball to attempt the 3rd shot drop, what is “challenging” to attempt as a 3rd shot drop and what is “impossible”. Challenge your players to try 3rd shot drops in their fun/rec play.

The above drills can be altered as your players improve on their 3rd shot drops.

What to do on Good, OK, and Bad 3rd shot ball attempts

Entering the transition zone for the 5th shot drop

With the ability to hit good 3rd shot drops and advance to the No Volley Zone, your players can implement the Dinking Game of Pickleball!

Closing Q&A Time

USPTA National Update

SERVE + 1 - MONEYBALL Style Professional Models

Presented by Walker Sahag

High Performance Techniques For Players of All Levels

Presented by Ray & Walker Sahag

Recent Research on Athletic Development

Presentation Goals:

 Increase awareness of cutting -edge research into athletic performance enhancement

 Emphasize practical recommendations for implementing evidence-based practices into your programs

Presentation Sections:

 Providing Instruction and Feedback

 Organizing Effective Practice

 High-level Skill Training

 Mechanisms and Models of Skill Acquisition

Master Poaching for 3.0 to 3.5 Level Players

Presented by Larry Karageanes

Most club players around the 3.5 level return serve better than they serve. This will often give the return team an advantage on first hit opportunities. By improving serves, tactics and formations the serving team can add more stress and gain back some of the advantages that usually come when serving. The goal in this session is to show drills and progressions that will improve poaching, tactics and formations for the club player.

Take the SAT

Make the returner take the test - create multiple choice options

SAT (Stress Affects Tennis)


Player “Coach” Drill for Timing the Poach

Player “Coach” Drill for Timing the Fake Poach

Signals Progressions (2 vs 2 from Pro feed)

Script 1 (poach and play)

Script 2 (fake poach and play)

Script 3 (? and play)

Serve Drill and Poaching Movement Progressions

From Pro Feed as Returner (poach 4 rotations, fake poach 4 rotations, lob 4 rotations) (two feeds)

Play points to Deuce side using signals and any return

Six Week Lesson Plan

Week 1 (Deuce side)

Week 2 (Ad side)

Week 3 (Australian Ad side)

Week 4 (Australian Deuce side)

Week 5 (Review options and games)

Week 6 (Review and set play)

The Doubles Moves Your Opponents Don't Want You to See!!

Teaching Singles to Your 2.5- 3.5 Players

Presented by Allan Jensen

Depth Dictates Doubles Decision Making

Most club level players are not truly aware of the depth of shots that they hit or that their opponents hit so we are making bad decisions based on bad information. Most of the reactions and tactical adjustments we see during play are all adjustments made based on reactions to opponents’ shots and not adjustments to take away the opportunities that are hurting us in play.

Better Depth recognition drives better shot selections and counter attacks:

Step 1: Divide courts into thirds (section 1 front third, section 2 middle third, and section 3 back third)

Have players rally and call out where the opponents shot will be landing by the time the ball crosses the net. Most players are not very accurate with this judgement, but it does explain why they have a hard time moving back or forward in time to get a better shot during the rallies.

Step 2: With all four players back try and get a rally going by only hitting the ball into zone 3. The receiving team can call out the depth of shot as well. Work on the mix of speed and heigh that they need to get the desired depth. Most shots will land in the middle third, but it makes them aware of the shots that they are hitting.

Step 3: Move one side to the net (just inside service line) and keep the other side back. Have the net team try and hit all the balls back to zone three and stay back around the service line. The baseline players are now trying to hit to zone 2 since the other team is moved forward and is not at the baseline. Preferably down the middle to reduce angle returns.

Step 4: Have all players start back and if their opponents hit the ball into zone 1 or 2 they can come to the net.

If they are successful in keeping the ball in zone 3 they all stay back. Once they get a zone 1 or 2 they immediately come in. As the team moves from the baseline to the net the opposing team should adjust its shot selection from deep to zone 3 to zone 2 due to the court positioning of the attacking team.

Step 5: The net players are now in a position that allows them to use zone 3 or zone 1 if they are going back to the baseline player and they can go into zone 2 or 3 if they are attacking the other net player.

Zone two to the baseliners allows the baseline team to have more options than we can cover.

Step 6: One up and one back team movement based on our shots


Net players coverage on zone 2

Stay out of the box of death!

Team movement and shot selection if we hit a zone 3

Disarm the lobber

Tennis Dyslexia

Step 7: Team patterns of play with depth numbers

31 – deep ball and if you get a zone 2 response go short to zone 1

13 – on a short second serve of weak baseline shot go short to zone 1 and then close into volley back to zone 3 where the space was created

Run 5 ball drill and make the first shot non negotiable to help make decision making easy under pressure. (Rally ball, defensive ball, volley start, angle, take lob out of the air)

We used this process for the entire ALTA season this year and we really saw a big improvement in the tactical decision-making during match play. It also helped them understand what was available to them based on the opponent’s shots. Once they realized not every shot was available every time they could focus on the attacking and defense that was needed in that scenario.

Connecting the Dots. Community, Parks, and Clubs

Presented by Delaine Mast

Making An Impact

* What's your current Impact?

* What opportunities are out there for you to make an impact

1. on your facility

2. On your community

3. On our sport

4. On your bottom line!

What will you do to make an impact?

Cardio Tennis Re- Engaged and Re- Energize

Presented by Bill Riddle

Coaching/Drills with the Playmate Ball Machine

Presented by Matt Levinson

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