Exercise of the Week: Tennis Ball Reaction Drill | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Exercise of the Week: Tennis Ball Reaction Drill

March 17, 2011

Speed is important, but there are only a few instances in a game when you actually reach top speed. Instead of working just on speed, focus on developing quickness, which is more about acceleration than overall speed. This will help you win a race to the ball or react to an opponent with a winning edge.

To improve your quickness, perform the Tennis Ball Reaction Drill, which challenges your visual reaction time and explosive starts. Before you even begin to move, you must visually identify and react to a play. By starting when your partner drops the ball, you develop the ability to react to a situation, potentially gaining a split-second advantage. Second, the drill focuses on explosive starts and acceleration to bring you to full speed in a shorter time. The combination of improved reaction and acceleration should help you blow by your competition.

Watch the video above for a "how-to" on the Tennis Ball Reaction Drill with University of Miami football.

  • Assume sport-specific start position with partner standing five yards in front, holding tennis ball in hand with arm raised to side
  • As soon as ball drops, explode into sprint
  • Bend at hips to catch ball off one bounce
  • Continue 10 yards after catch
  • With each subsequent rep, increase distance from partner

Sets/Reps: 1x3-5, with 30-45 seconds rest between sets

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

Michael Johnson's Guide to a Faster 40

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

Make Quick and Powerful Cuts Like Adrian Peterson

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

How Sammy Watkins Built His Game-Breaking Speed

Reactive Agility: The Next Big Thing in Speed Training

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

2-Week Long-Distance Track Workout Training Plan

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed