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5v2 Tennis


  • To build up the complexity of passing and supporting play.

  • To develop two player teamwork in defending.

  • To bring in the aspect of penetrative and forward passes.


  • To stay as one of the attacking group and not the defending group.


  • Mark two grids 15 x 15 yards depending on numbers, 5-yards apart.

  • Use 3 teams of 5 players (adjust organization if numbers do not quite work out).

  • Use pinnies to distinguish the three groups.

  • Two groups of 5 go into the squares. Two players from the third group also go into one of the squares to become defenders.

  • Coach plays a ball into the defended square. The 5 players try to keep the ball away from the two defenders.

  • After three passes they are allowed to pass the ball to the other square.

  • Only when one player in the other square has touched the ball are two defenders from off the field allowed to enter that square.

  • The previous defenders come out of the square to take a rest. Defending chores are divided in this way and the defending chores are shared on an equal time basis.

  • When a mistake is made and possession lost the offending team then change to become the defenders and the former defenders take their place in the square (Coach to act as referee. Be warned!).



  • Coach must assess whether the playing area is too big or too small and make adjustments if necessary.

  • Encourage the attackers to be looking for the opportunity of making the pass across the square. Must keep their heads up.

  • The players "off-the-ball" have to move and work hard to open up a good passing angle for the player with the ball.

  • The player with the ball may have to screen the ball away from the defender while awaiting a better supporting angle from team-mates.

  • All attackers need to communicate - particularly the two players "off-the-ball" ("Hold it!" "Wait!" "I'm here!") - as they are the "eyes" of the player with the ball.

  • The two defenders must work off one another to force difficult passes, and therefore mistakes, by the attackers.


U11 Progressions

  • This is a progression of the 3 vs. 1 and the 4 vs. 1 Tennis.

  • If the players find it difficult stay with the 4 vs. 1 for the moment or make the space larger.

  • Giving them a bigger area is better than regressing to 4 vs. 1 as the 3 vs. 1 practice encourages more communication and movement off the ball.

U12 Progressions

  • This is the game from U11 Lesson Plans.

  • Be prepared to “regress” (to 4 vs. 1) if the players are having difficulty mastering the game. Or, better still, stick with the game, but make the areas larger.

  • If they are coping, challenge them more by increasing the distance between the two squares.

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