Thomas Drouet, a card game to transform training sessions
It started with torn papers during a winter offseason a little over two years ago, it’s now a commercial game. “I sold more than 600 games in two months”, congratulates himself Thomas Drouet. In January, the French coach, who has worked with Marion Bartoli, Timea Babos, Anna Blinkova, Qiang Wang and Jaqueline Cristian, among others, launched “Tennis Cards Challenge”, a card game to use in training.
“The idea came while I was preparing for a week of traininghe rewinds. I always try to find exercises to motivate my players because scales, they’ve been doing this since they were young and it’s boring. I tried to bring everything I do in my training techniques into one exercise. »
“It allows me to see how my player thinks on the important points, in stressful situations”
The game revolves around three themes: “hot shot”, “which highlights a stroke that we work on, such as ”the winning forehand counts double”, the service, the volley, the drop shot…” ; “fitness”, “a physical exercise before a point starts to have pre-fatigue and see how your player reacts with a little lactic acid in the legs” ; and “trick”, “cunning cards, for example ”the next point scored by my opponent does not count” or ”I exchange my score with that of my opponent”. »
Players draw one card per theme and use them in a super tie-break. “The apparent goal is a new way to score, that’s the fun part. But there is also the educational part that the coaches will detect, explains Drouet. It will allow you to see the mental qualities of your player or the way he will manage the points. »
Thomas Drouet with Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon in 2013 (P. Lahalle/L’Équipe)
” For examplehe continues, with the card ”If I make a winning forehand, it brings me three points”: there is the one who will close his eyes and who will hit with all his might the first forehand he has. And there is the one who will build his point to wait for the right ball and finish the point with his forehand. It allows to see how my player thinks on the important points, in stressful situations. Or with a ”fitness” card, I will realize that after intense physical exercise, my player does not pass a first ball and we will be able to work on this aspect of his game. I have experienced it. »
Tested on pros
Because he tested it on pro players including Timea Babos, Anna Bondar and Marton Fucsovics. “I saw children having fun on the fieldhe assures. I said to myself: if the pros like it, chances are that other players will like it. » He then toured the clubs and brought the game to the group of children at the League where his son is registered. “I had printed cards myself, it was like nothing, but the CTR (Regional Technical Advisor) took the tournament game and when she came back she told me the kids had spent hours on my game. »
The game quickly won over to the point that Decathlon considered buying it before finally becoming one of Drouet’s customers. The coach, who is currently without a player and is not closed to the idea of switching to the men’s circuit, has just released an English version, while a padel version and a version adapted to doubles will follow in the next few years. month.