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American Soccer-Tennis

AMERICAN SOCCER-TENNIS

This very fun practice activity is a combination of soccer heading and volley kicking using general tennis rules on a traditional tennis court.

Objective

Players attempt to use the minimum number of headers or volley kicks to keep the ball in bounds on their side of the net, get the ball over the net, and try to force the opponent from getting the ball back over the net.

Court Set-Up

A traditional hard-surface tennis court is used with appropriate lines and net in place.  A standard, properly inflated soccer ball is used.

Number of Players

From two to six players per side are suggested, with 2 v 2 playing the “singles” lines and 6 v 6 playing the “doubles” lines.  Fewer players per side are recommended as age and skill levels increase.  Successful play is generally achieved with players 11 years old (U11) and older.

Method of Scoring

Traditional ball-out-of-bounds counts as one point for the non-kicking/non-heading team.

Start of Play

Each rally is served with a drop kick.  Younger players may need to serve with a soccer throw-in, underarm toss, or baseball throw.  They also may be allowed to move closer to the net.

Rules of Play

Players need to be versed in the basic rules of tennis.  The ball may be allowed to bounce once within the court boundaries.  Once it hits outside the boundary line or comes off the net, it is out of play and a point is scored by the other team.  No player may extend any body part over the net.  No handling is permitted.  As in volleyball, players rotate positions and the server after an unsuccessful point.  Winning team is the first one to 21 points.

Variations

–       The players may pass the ball in the air to a teammate.

–       Allow two-touch.

–       Increase the number of bounces permitted.

–       Reduce the number of points needed for a win.

–       Reconstitute teams based on dominance.

CRITICAL NOTES:  Tennis shoes only!  No soccer cleats!  Dry surface only!  Do NOT play on a WET surface!

Soccer Coaching Tips

–       Heading

–       Volley Kicks

–       Accuracy

–       Pace

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John Harves

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