Three Ball Circle Drill

Players: 1-8

Level: All

Aim: To play the ball on the move, focusing on footwork and timing.

Description: The players line up to one side of the court facing the coach who is on the other side of the net. The first player in the line side-steps and hits the ball and the first feed spot (indicated in the image by the blue circles) and sides-steps to the second feed spot. The second player in the line steps up to hit ball feed to the first spot before following behind the first player and side-stepping across. The first player will side step across to hit their final ball at the third spot before moving off the court. Following behind the second player hits the ball and the second spot and a third player enters the court at the first spot. Once a player has finished the drill they can either loop round to the back of the line to run through in the same direct or the drill can be reversed to work both the forehand and backhand.

Tip: This drill is more easily explained demonstrated and I will usually walk player through it first where I will start and the front of the line and pretend to hit a feed at the first spot before side stepping to the second spot and prompting the next player in the line to step up for their first shot.


Coaching Points:

  • Insure the player judges the ball and adjusts their body position accordingly. Players often end up too close to the ball as they rush across the court.
  • Insure the players plant their feet before hitting the shot. Players often attempt to hit the shot mid side-step/stride. This is important as all the power is generated from the ground and they push off into the shot.
  • Insure the players complete the shot fully. Players often feel rushed by movement and forget the technique. I have found the follow-through motion is skipped and the back-swing shortened.
  • Insure the players side-step across the court. This movement not only ensure the players are watching for the next ball but is also more game realistic. The habit players want to get into is to be in a position where they can change direction quickly at any point. This is achieved through side-stepping rather than running in straight lines.

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