Good doubles players are aggressive with their returns. They know
their target, and they are immune to pressure. Big points are made under
The following drill is good for teams. It is especially good for developing
that “pressure-packed” bomb return that earns the “hallowed” serve break.
We ran this drill daily. I demanded the returner attack the ball. “Go ahead
and bust it. I’m the coach, you have my permission to go all out.” By daily
reinforcing aggressive returns, we were ready in that dramatic moment of
service break returns to “go for it.”
Here is the drill:
Each receiver gets to hit a determined number of returns (7–10). Play
a full point. After each point the serving side’s players rotate. The server
comes to the net. The server’s partner goes from the net to the back of the
serving line. The number 2 server steps up and plays the next point.
After 10 returns the add court player becomes the receiver. After both
receivers finish their 10 returns, they go to the server’s side. And the
servers become the receivers.
Receivers: “Green light—go get it!”

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