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Getting Your Sleep Right For Tennis

Sleeping like breathing is something few people really think about. It just happens right, you put your head down on the pillow and off you go. Well, I can tell you their many benefits to getting your sleeping habits at optimum levels.

In fact, if you were to go for more than 3 days without sleep you would be in a pretty bad way. Besides breathing (You know what happens if stop doing this right :).

Staying hydrated and getting adequate sleep are the two most important necessities. As a tennis player, if you can get them working at optimum levels, how much better will you perform?

Today we are talking about Sleep. Now let me tell you, I was the kind of guy that would tell himself, I only need 5-6 hours sleep and I’m fine. The funny thing is, every time I would have 8 hours of sleep, I was like a new person. My sleep habits have been a work in progress, especially after 20 odd years of getting up at 5 am, to prepare to train people. Now I am much more aware of what I...

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College Tennis Good or Bad?

 

The American College Tennis system has always been a great way for players to develop their game and be in a structured environment. I believe in this day and age the majority of young players coming through should be pursuing this pathway, staying in school and focusing both on Tennis and their academics.  

The simple facts are that the majority of good young players (nationally ranked, worldwide) coming through will not compete on the professional level, under 5% of them will make it into the top 1000.

For this reason, I always encourage young players to stay in school and work hard academically no matter how their tennis is tracking. A player is only an injury away from never playing again.

This provides them with structure, social interaction and an outlet away from tennis. Doing this can open doors to follow the American College Pathway or set them up within their own country to attend a university/college.

I know a lot of players globally are looking to pursue the...

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How To Improve Your Court Balance

 

It is not uncommon to see players focusing on the one percent aspects of their game when they should be focusing on what gives them the greatest improvements.

Sometimes as coaches, tennis trainers and players, we get caught up in the small things and lose sight of what can give us immediate impactful gains.

The main physical areas that every player needs to focus on are –

Strength and Flexibility/Mobility.

When you get these areas right and you are ineffective and healthy ranges, then you should look to improve other aspects of your physical state.

Improving your Strength, Flexibility/Mobility will give you the best bang for buck!

Following a specific Tennis Strength and Conditioning Program is the best course of action.

One area I see a lot of players struggling with (many are unaware of it) is court balance (Staying balanced when hitting, feeling centered, transferring weight through the shot).

A lot of people, for example, seem to be focusing on what the...

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Every Player Should Read This

“Every player (especially young player’s) should read”

Dear Tennis Player,

Congratulations on picking the greatest individual sport you can play. 

You are going to have an amazing journey as you learn about this great game, but more importantly about yourself and those around you.

Tennis and training for tennis can teach you some valuable life lessons if you let it......

I wanted to give you some advice as you endeavor to be the best version of yourself. This comes from a place of experience and honesty, maybe these are things you need to hear.

I promise you, you will encounter these situations and feelings, so read on and take on the following 8 things (you may not want to hear the truth, but I can guarantee it can help change the way you think)

  1. Losing– You are going to lose a lot of matches. That is the reality. Prepare for it and learn what you can from each loss. This is what we call turning a negative into a positive. Do not fall into the trap...
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How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries In Tennis

 

How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries In Tennis

There is a good chance if you play tennis you have had some form of a shoulder injury. The shoulder injury statistics are not great for the tennis lover. Having been a tennis fitness trainer for nearly 20 years, I would say shoulder injuries are one of the most common body parts that get messed up.

The majority of tennis shoulder injuries are overuse injuries, which generally means they can be prevented following certain preventive measures. We will look at these later on.

First, let’s look at the complexity of the shoulder joint.

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. It is highly mobile. It is estimated the shoulder joint can be placed in 1000s of different positions.

If you compare the shoulder joint to say the hip joint, the hip joint has a lot more structure and support around it, it is a lot more robust.

The shoulder joint, on the other hand, is more isolated and has a lot less muscle mass around it to support the joint....

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Lower Body Injuries in Tennis (Part 1)

 

I want to highlight an issue we often see in tennis players. Being aware of this and addressing it is something that has the capacity to prevent many tennis injuries for players.

Whenever we assess a player’s tennis mobility and flexibility we always start from the ground up (big toe flexion, foot alignment, ankle joint range, calf complex flexibility, etc.).

We have found with tennis players, they tend to get locked up or jammed in their ankle joints, their calf complex (plantaris, soleus, and gastrocnemius muscle) and the tibialis anterior (runs alongside your shin bone). Muscles shorten and joint mobility becomes restricted.

It is common to see players with poor ankle mobility in the leg they land on during the service motion.

To understand the importance of ankle mobility lets to take a step back and look at the body joint-by-joint. The body can be seen as an alternating stack of stable and mobile joints.

The ankle joint being the lowest to the ground, the ankle joint is a...

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How to Train a Tennis Player?

Nathan and Giselle operate their world-renowned Tennis Fitness brand and have trained five world number one players over the life of the business.

Through the journey of creating Tennis Fitness, they both developed a passion for the sport after learning the ins and outs of the game. “Being a tennis trainer, I think tennis is the pinnacle of sport because it is so complex in many ways,” Giselle explained.

Nathan and Giselle have built a breadth of experience working with athletes such as Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, Martin Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Monica Seles. The lessons learned have inspired them to create their own ‘Martin Method’ brand to achieve success with players of all levels.

According to Nathan, the success they have experienced has come from a unique focus on the mental resilience involved with high-level training. “As much as we use the physical aspect, you also start to realize how important training is to...

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The Truth About Life On Tour

We were chatting with a pro player that we helped out and we asked them a few questions about life for him on tour. We were amazed at some of his answers to the question.

What is tough about life on the road?

After hearing about how things roll for lower ranked players, we find ourselves totally blessed!

I was lucky to start my career 15 years ago working at the top level with Monica Seles, and Giselle working with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. We have never seen the hardship described below, but we are aware they exist.

We don’t want to slag professional tennis in any way, we want the general tennis community to know what life is like, for an aspiring tennis player. We want to help educate young players on what they need to prepare for and push through, in order to be in the top 100.

Male players rankings sit between 1-1000. The circumstances we are talking about below relate to players ranked 200 and below. Considering they are 800 of the best players in the world it was a real...

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Mental training for Tennis - 6 Strategies

We all see so much of what people do physically in their tennis training. I still find it surprising, when I tell somebody I do tennis mental training people often laugh and say something like 

“You are nuts” or "I don't believe in that stuff"

I always encourage people to try it, before they judge it.

Have you ever done a mental training session? “Why would you do that?”

In short, so you can play your best more often despite tough feelings and pressure. So you have strong routines, strong positive body language, have better tennis conditioning, are more aware of your thoughts and have the capacity to let go quickly, so you can select the right options and have a clear mind.

So, how do you practice mental training? You can start with the following exercises. Do 2-3 minutes of each one every day, the whole routine should only take 10 minutes, it is often best at night when your mind is more receptive (You can set a reminder alarm in your phone to prompt...

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Journaling For Tennis

When I was a young athlete I would have never considered journaling or writing about how I was feeling or how I played or competed. I actually rarely stretched, ate well or focused as much as needed to in order to extract as much as I could out of myself. Was I dedicated? You bet, I put more into what I did than anyone else, I prided myself on being my fittest version and I would have done more if I had been simply shown.

The reason why the stretching, recovery, healthy eating, etc never happened was that I never had someone teach about those things, I never was exposed to their benefit.

Fast forward 3 decades, the journey I have been on myself has been life-changing. I spend more time working on my body and health than I do on training it. The number of resources that have developed has opened doors to health and enhanced performance and now the fact that young athletes expect to stretch, recover, warm up and know what healthy eating is, is a testament to how far we have come.

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