Sometimes it’s worth going to the extreme.
Every now and again, I suggest every 3 months, I like my students to pick a routine and do it for a full 30 minutes. That’s an extreme and you need to fully understand its benefits and potential drawbacks.
Firstly, the routine must be fully understood. I have mentioned that in a previous piece. If you are doing it incorrectly, doing it for 30 minutes would be cementing bad habits.
Secondly, it must be taken seriously. And by that I mean no joking about or chatting. Imagine it is a real match. Focus and try not to make any mistakes.
Thirdly, be prepared for a very tough session. To be honest, these sessions are all about mental strength and fortitude rather than only about the physical aspect.
Let’s take the most common pairs routine: Boast and Drive.
After ensuring that both players know exactly what they are supposed to be doing, including the movement involved. The session would start.
Here, I want both players to work cooperatively. Aiming to keep the ball going for as long as possible. Obviously, that is within certain limits, e.g. drives must be within the service box width and boasts must be two-wall and hit the front wall below the cutline.
Every 2 or 3 minutes, the players would swap roles.
I have had really positive results from doing this with students telling me that it made them feel mentally strong during tough matches.