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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Tennis Videotaping Assessment
Purpose of Activity:
To assess students striking with paddles or racket skills.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
Short handled foam or plastic paddles/rackets; balls to strike; TV; VCR; videotapes; camcorder; extension cord; etc;
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

Set up several striking stations so you have about 4 students at each one. At all the other stations students are working on their forehand striking patterns but at this one station they are being videotaped while performing the forehand strike with a paddle. At this particular station each student will need a racquet and a ball and there should be a line or a poly spot at which the students must stand so the camera can get their performance on tape. They will be striking to a wall that should be about 20 feet from the mark.

Set up the video camera with a tape in it (students can provide these tapes since they are fairly cheap these days and then they can take home) so that it will tape the person on the spot from the side. Teach the students how to run the camera by turning it on and off. Have a TV and VCR with a second tape at the next station.

After practicing for a minute or two tell the student that their task is to strike the ball to the wall using their "best" forehand strike. They will have 4 trials. (The other three students are either practicing, watching you run the camera, or collecting the ball for the person being taped). After all four had been taped they stop the
camera, eject their tape, and on the signal everyone moves to the next station.

The next station for the this group is to watch and evaluate themselves performing their forearm swing. So they bring their tape with them from the camera and put it in the VCR to watch themselves.

Attached to the TV should be a sheet of paper or poster with the critical elements of the forehand striking motion so they can watch for these and talk about them with each other. You may also want to give them a worksheet/checklist for them to watch and check off as they observe themselves.

The critical elements/cues to look for may include some (we recommend only 2-3) of the following:

Opposite side facing the target

Racket swings back behind the body

Step forward with the opposite foot

Level forward swing

Rotate or twist trunk

Follow through across the body

Have your students only look for one or two of these at a time. You may have to have them watch the tape a few times to see this.
Jane Koval who teaches at Van Hise Elementary in Madison, WI. Posted on PEC: 10/7/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
Products for This Lesson: