I played six man football in the late 50’s in North Carolina.   Recently  I googled you tube six man football.  Texas has about 200 small high school six man teams.  The clips posted vary in length.  Some are game film.  Some feature the small Texas towns and youngsters who play today.  One team has only six players on the squad.  Yet state playoffs feature the same rabid atmosphere as all high school teams.

While the kids are mostly small, there is some “de-cleating” out there.  The field is 80 yards long rather than 100yds.   Think about it, six players  (or 12 on both teams) on 80 yds vs eleven (22) on 100.   Lots of space and speed and fun.   Check ’em out–the youngsters are great.

And no, they don’t play 3 man basketball.


The first strategy is IN.  Consistency.  Next it is deep at the backhand.  Nine of ten players are right-handed.  Thus the primary target is on his/her left hand side.  Given that you know that, accept they probably know that too.  So–lots of backhands are coming at you.

Much so that the center of your defense has shifted to your left.  Given that good hit spots and position give you good shots, movement to that position is crucial.

  • Tennis starts in your eyes and brain and goes to  your feet and legs immediately.  Here is a beginning footwork drill for newcomers:  It is done without a racket or ball.  ONLY FOOTWORK.  And  mimicking several shots you will have to master.
  • The basic two handed backhand  (make the stroke like the ball is hit several feet to your left.  ALWAYS RETURN TO THE MIDDLE OF THEIR BEST SHOT, USING PROPER FOOTWORK-BEGIN WITH A QUICK WALK-LIKE FOOTWORK TO THE BALL. USUALLY SHUFFLE STEPS BACK TO CENTER.
  • Defense against the moon ball or very deep looping.   Footwork now is turn and run and loop the descending ball back.   Run to return.
  • On the rise.  Quick walk-like footwork to proper hit-spot before it gets too high or behind you.  Shuffle back.  Most of these shots will be cross court.  On really well hit deep balls, lob it or simply block it back to the middle.
  • Run around your backhand and hit your forehand  to his backhand.   This is the emerging tactic for those whose forehand is better.  Turn 2/3 or more of the backhand side into a forehand with footwork.   This is a different footwork.  Have your coach hit you a ball to the middle, then move his second shot to the middle of your backhand.   Tricky and intense footwork is needed to make your response a forehand.
  • Volley the passing shot.   If the shot to you is floating or weak, you maybe able to run quickly and volley the shot down the line to the opening.  While a skilled procedure, foot work can make it a winner.  Better be ready to run or scramble back to home base.   REALLY GOOD PLAYERS MAY FOLLOW THIS VOLLEY TO THE NET.
  • These, then, are the shots to mimic.  Next you run the cycle moving with the proper footwork and mimicking the proper shot and footwork back to home base, then on to the next shot.  Perfect the above order one through five.  Then vary the cycle with any number of possible combinations.


  • I apologize to our women.   USOPEN SEMIFINALISTS!
  • Few good Americans develop without high school tennis.
  • Girls high school teams and girls of limited ability are the most neglected learners and often the most receptive.
  • The maturing of our women’s league players, coaches, and administrators is a gold mine of help for high school girls teams.  Boys too.
  • There are a lot of different ways to help our high school teams and coaches.
  • The two  toughest teaching spots are  developing  a working one hand backhand grip for 1. the slice and 2. the advanced serve.


Mr. Wilton Powers taught us the scientific method in the 9th grade.  Seems very similar to the popular “algorithm” .  Or Mom would suggest –recipe.

The “domino effect” is another term anyone my age is well aware of.

Both apply to sports in American colleges today.   Watch what happens when a top tier basketball coach changes schools.  The next guys down the chain apply, one is picked and the chain moves down a rung.  And on and on to the last Division 111 coach doing it the right way.   A similar pattern is all too often repeated among D1 mens basketball players. Called”one and done”, it is more widely understood than algorithms.  One that makes many coaches jobs less appealing?


  1.  Collegiate athletes graduate, quit or somehow vacate a scholarship.
  2. The coach recruits the player best enabling him to win, or keep his/her job.
  3. The best players take the best scholarships and accrue the best education available in the USA.
  4. They return to wherever, educated.
  5. Those down the chain get a lesser education.

In Division 11 Men’s College Tennis (2017) the top five combined team’s rosters housed 63 total players.  Sixty-two  are international.  How far down the chain must an American tennis player go to get what’s left?


Quite a year in the Atlantic Coast Conference tennis arena.

UVA wins third straight team title (D 1 men).

UVA, Wake Forest, and UNC –Chapel Hill all finish in top five of D1 mens.

UNC women win NCAA D1 women’s indoor title.

UNC men are runners-up in D1 for the first time in a storied history.

Sam Paul (UNC) is justly named NCAA D1 men’s coach of the year.

Coach Paul was aided by Tripp Phillips, who was recently named top assistant coach in men’s D1. The men and women combined were the best in D1.

Coach Kalbas has been at the top of D1 women’s tennis along with Roland Thornqvist of the University of Florida’s women. The Gators won their 4th women’s D1 title under Coach Thornqvist last week. Roland, a UNC graduate continues along the path of a legendary player and coach.