What can you learn from Lleyton Hewitt, who will play a record-breaking 20th and final Australian Open this summer?
Lleyton Hewitt is the ultimate professional when it comes to tennis training. A professional athlete needs the following categories to be considered the "whole package” – great physical attributes, punctuality, strong organisational skills, focus, intensity and commitment.
Having worked with Lleyton for the past 10 years, he scores close to 10 out of 10 for all of them. He is never late, always has everything he needs, knows what he is doing and is determined to get it done. He always has an extremely high level of intensity and can back it up day after day.
Lleyton attacks his pre-season with the enthusiasm of a 20-year-old year after year. As a tennis fitness trainer, you can’t ask for more. A typical pre-season tennis training block for Lleyton runs for 10 to 12 weeks, training between three and five hours a day. During the initial transition...
If you were old enough to have seen tennis being played over the last 20 years, you would have noticed the rapid rate of development that has occurred. Even in the last 5 years, there has been a big jump in the physicality of the game.
The factors that have created these changes are; Technology advancement (tennis training equipment, rackets, strings, clothing, court surface) Sports science (supplementation, tennis fitness programs) Tennis Nutrition and Hydration (Sports drinks, sports specific eating plans, better knowledge, and understanding) I have found there are few things that stand out for the players that have endured and acclimatised the best to the current game.
Players are looking at tennis a lot more holistically. There is a strong sense of balance and getting what I call the Work: Rest ratio right. It is not just about hitting loads and loads of balls anymore. Having quality across the board has more emphasis placed on it. This involves having a...
Tennis is an extremely complex sport. Physically, you need to be able to run fast, change direction on a dime, jump multiple times, be strong, have optimal endurance and be able to react quickly to the ball.
Resistance bands are the most functional, transportable and reliable piece of tennis equipment for players of any level as you work towards those objectives.
We think so highly of resistance bands that we’ve designed our own ones specifically for tennis. We use them regularly with all players of all standards – ranging from juniors to our most seasoned professionals. They provide everything we need to get players fitter, stronger and more dynamic on the court.
Here are three reasons why resistance bands are a must-have tennis equipment for any player.
1. Specificity – The bands can be used on the court to perform movements that are specific for tennis. They can also be used for multi-purpose tennis exercises, including rotational patterns.
Here is the misconception! We have seen time and time again, players wasting their time training the incorrect way. Quality tennis footwork could be the most critical element for a solid game. You have to get it right! Let's look at how you should structure all your footwork drills. Have you noticed how well Roger Federer moves? It can be hard to understand how smooth and graceful he moves when you watch on TV, but it was only until I saw him train and play in person, I truly appreciated why he is regarded as the greatest mover in the game.
While we can’t promise you’ll reach the same standard as Federer, there are proven ways to improve your tennis footwork on the court.
We’d like to share the ‘Tennis Fitness, Martin Method” movement patterns that we use daily with the professional players who work with us. And don't worry it will work for you also, no matter what level you play at. The thing is all tennis players have something in common, they...
Staying balanced is important for constant development and improvement in tennis. If you have ever felt flat or stagnant with your tennis training, then there is a good chance your balance has been out.
When we talk about having balance we are talking about having a consistent flow or steady energy throughout your day and week. Waking up every day ready to go, feeling motivated, uninjured and good about yourself.
So how do you know if you are balanced?
Answer these questions:
• Do you often feel flat and tired?
• Do you often feel unmotivated?
• Do you always feel like you are carrying an injury?
• Is your tennis improving?
• Are you getting fitter and stronger?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions there is a good chance you may need to make some minor adjustments
REGAIN YOUR BALANCE
Getting balanced involves increasing your focus on areas of weakness, or where you spend less time and decreasing your focus on the areas you spend...
The earliest stage of a tennis player’s development is the most important part of their tennis journey. It’s also when problems can arise, so if you work with young tennis players and want them to achieve sound tennis results and maximize enjoyment, it’s critical to understand a few key points:
Kids are not adults… So don’t treat them like one. Coaches, tennis trainers and parents need to be responsible for the volume and intensity of a younger player’s practice and preparation. Don’t compare them to adults or other kids; they all develop at different rates and they cannot do what adults do.
Know their limits If a young player wants more and more, that’s great – but remember that everyone has their limit. Younger athletes often don’t know when it’s time to stop, as they find it hard to read how they are physically feeling and how they will respond to what they are doing. If we want them to achieve good tennis...
Having useful equipment for tennis at hand is important for any player who is committed to tennis training and competing at an optimal level. Many professionals travel with their own training and recovery equipment. Not only do they realize the benefits of various pieces of equipment, but they also understand that those fitness accessories aren’t always available on the road.
Let’s look at some equipment that is commonly used by tennis players.
These bands, comprising rubber tubing with handles attached, are one of our favorite pieces of equipment – we recommend that every player has a set.
Weighing around 800 grams, resistance bands are used for strength training and can be used instead of dumbbells. Adding to the appeal is the fact that resistance bands are lightweight and extremely versatile.
You can also add a waist belt attachment for tennis speed and agility work. We highly recommend checking them out – and to assist in that...
Quality tennis footwork could be the most critical element for a solid game. You have to get it right! Have you noticed how well Roger Federer moves? It can be hard to understand how smooth and graceful he moves when you watch on TV but when you see him glide around on court in person, you can truly appreciate why he is regarded as the greatest mover in the game.
While we can’t promise you’ll reach the same standard as Federer, there are proven ways to improve your footwork on court. We’d like to share the ‘Tennis Fitness, Martin Method” movement patterns that we use daily with the players who work with us. Firstly it's important you understand there are six types of foot work steps used on the tennis court. Once you understand this, you can then plan your tennis training around the foot work steps you feel need more work.
1. PREP STEP
Prep Steps are small controlled steps that are used when preparing to set-up for a shot. Instead of taking...
If you are a player, parent, coach or tennis enthusiast that has an influence on a young tennis player it is important to realize a few things. Having good tennis results in the short term does not equal long-term tennis success. If you are aiming for long-term tennis success and you should be, then following these simple points will help get you there.
1. Losing should be a good lesson - To lose is to learn, or it should be. A young player should be learning more from losing than they do from winning. Everyone loses at some point in tennis. But if you keep losing because of the same reasons and you are not improving, then this is not good. After a loss, it is important to evaluate what happened, what could have done better and what will be changed for the next time. Then move on and focus on the things that can be controlled. Don’t focus on loses, focus on what changes can be made to improve. Losing is part of the game, try to avoid it, learn from it and get over...
I am often amazed how little people know about tournament preparation. Preparing for tournaments is one of the most critical things to get right and finding what works best for you or your players as individuals, is important.
I know some people will be reading this and be saying to themselves "My preparation is, to not prepare“ I’m better off just turning up and playing, that works best for me” Sorry guys that’s the lazy mans approach, and there is a good chance if you follow it, you won’t get far as a tennis player.
There are certain principles that need to be applied in order to get the most out of yourself come match day, here are some key principles;
1. Hydration - keeping yourself hydrated is important for concentration, energy levels and preventing tennis injuries. As a guide athletes can follow this formula; 0.03 x Body weight (KG) = ? Litres of water. This is a base requirement. Depending on weather conditions and how much you sweat Add...