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Steal This Drill: Russian Warm-Up Drill

Are you the type of player who jumps straight into baseline-to-baseline rallies only to find yourself searching for rhythm and feel 15 minutes into the workout? If so, look to warm up your arms, feet and eyes by first rallying up-close with your practice partner (i.e., service line to service line). You will see and feel the ball gradually and then you can back up to the baseline. However, before jumping straight into a baseline slugfest, see if you can master this following warm-up drill (we call it "The Russian Warm Drill" because it has been brought to our attention by Ms. Elena Bovina). 

In this drill, two players rally from their respective service lines. After a few strokes, one of the players backs up towards his or her baseline. The player who reaches the baseline first must still aim her shots inside of the practice partner's service line; conversely, the service line player must punch his groundstrokes from inside the service line to just inside of the opposing baseline. After a few strokes, the service line player starts retreating towards his own baseline while the initial baseline player proceeds to move forward. The key to this drill is to keep the distance between the players constant so that neither has to step too far and too fast backwards or forwards to retrieve the practice partner's shot. This drill is great for practicing touch, dipping shots and also punching half-volleys deep. 

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