Preparing for nationals. Drills for two. Plus five tips to prepare you for your first tournament.
by Murray Noble (yep, he's our current National Champion, so listen up!)
While it’s been a crazy last six months, spring has arrived, and it’s time to get back in Roundnet! Even though most of the tournaments were cancelled earlier this year, Nationals is coming soon! It’s the perfect time to meet up with friends and start training for the tournament.
Improving your game.
The best way to work on your Roundnet game is to play as a group of four. You’ll get to practice your serve, offensive putaways and defensive touches. But it can be hard to always find four players who are free at the same time.
So here are a few drills to help you work on your game, even when you can only pull together 1 other friend.
1 bounce —A great way to build close touches, footwork and frustrating dropshots.
Play 1v1. The difference is that you get one bounce and three touches… but the ball can’t go more than 5 metres from the net.
Cones — A great way to practice serving, serve receive and one-upping your partner.
Place cones (or shoes or balls or whatever you have spare) where your partner would normally stand in a 2v2. Start with the cones about 2 metres apart. Have one person serve at the other. If the receiver can hit the ball between/to the cones, they get a point. If the miss or get aced, the server gets a point. No points for missed serves – so really go for it! If it gets too easy for the receiver, move the cones closer together.
Deep play – Working on recovering the ball from far away and creating buttery sets for an easy kill.
One person stands next to the net. The other stands 5-10 metres back. The person close to the net hits the ball to the outside player. Using the regulation 3 touches, work as a team to get the ball back onto the next. Especially focus on getting the second hit (the set) right over the net, so your teammate has an easy kill.
Now that you’ve put the hard work in, it’s time to head to your first tournament. Here are 5 tips to help you look like a pro on the big day.
- 6ft – The serving line is for your hands, not your feet. If you lean over the line, it will be a fault. Take an extra step back for your serve!
- H2OK – Water and bananas are your best friend for a long tournament day. Drink lots and bring that source of potassium.
- Sunny 5 – Every 5 points rotate players 90 degrees; this means every player spends the same amount of time staring into the sun.
- What’s the score? – Every time, before you serve, call the score. It keeps everyone on the same page, and lets the receiver know you’re about to serve!
- Curiosity – If you’re not sure about a rule, or don’t understand something, ask someone who looks confident. Even the best players in the country are willing to take the time to help newer players understand the game 😊
That should set you up well to compete for the National title! So get training, brush up on the rules and we’ll see you at the tournament!