This exercise serves as a wonderful warm-up before drilling or competitive play!
I’ve created a new method to get my clients watching the ball more carefully (I need this myself). I place a tennis ball 1 foot inside the baseline and about 3 feet inside the singles sideline (depending on how far you want them to run). I do this on both the deuce and ad court. Then, I have the player shadow their forehand and backhand, moving laterally as if the ball on the ground were in the air and swing through it while keeping their head down and looking at the ball until follow-through.
To make the training more effective, once the player is keeping his head down, I then have them work on footwork and distance from the ball in addition to watching the ball.
I have just started using this technique, but think it will be very effective and look forward to reporting on my players’ progress.