Coach Forum

Robot Training
Excerpts from Larry Thoman's Newgy Robo-Pong 2000 Player's Instructional Manual



Before anyone attempts to learn a sport that involves hitting a ball with a racket or bat, it is necessary to do
some preliminary hand-eye coordination drills. These drills must be mastered before any progress can be made
for a beginner, these drills must be practiced until perfected before hitting a moving ball. For someone who
already plays, take a few minutes to be sure you can do these drills. An experienced player can do these
drills in one or two minutes.

Lesson 2: Developing Basic Hand-Eye Coordination

  • Drill One: Using the shakehands grip, bounce the ball repeatedly on the forehand side of the
    racket (the side of your thumb is on) fifty times without missing or moving the feet. The bounce
    should be 8-10 inches above the racket. See photo 5.
  • Drill Two: Same as Drill One, but bounce the ball on the backhand side of the racket (the side
    with your forefinger). See Photo 6.
  • Drill Three: Bounce the ball repeatedly on the racket, first with the forehand side, then with the
    backhand side, then with the backhand side, alternating sides until 25 hits have been counted for
    each side without missing or moving your feet.

Once you find these drills easy to do, you should be ready to learn the basic strokes. However, if you have
trouble contacting the ball as it moving, more hand-eye coordination drills are called for. Several examples

  • Do any of the above listed drills but move your feet by walking forward or backward, or sideways,
    either to your the left or right.
  • Bounce the ball on the floor using your racket to dribble the ball.
  • Hit the ball against the wall, let the ball rebound off the floor then strike it again. (Just like practicing
    against a wall in tennis).
  • Have a partner stand about 10 feet apart away and hit the ball with your racket so it strikes the floor
    midway between you and your partner. Your partner will do the same. See if you can keep a rally going.
  • Have a partner stand about 5 feet away and volley the ball back and forth without letting it touch
    the ground.

Photo 5: Basic Hand and Eye Coordination Drill (Forehand Side)
Notice that the racket is held with the shakehands grip in front of the stomach with the handle pointing toward the body. The ball is bounced only 12 inches or so above the racket, and the eyes follow the bouncing ball.
Basic Hand and Eye Coordination Drill


Photo 6: Basic Hand and Eye Coordination Drill (Backhand Side)
Same as Photo 5 except handle of the racket points sideways away from you, and the back of the hand is turned up, instead of down.
Basic Hand and Eye Coordination Drill

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