You shouldn't be stepping on the court without a match plan in mind, neither should you do tennis strength and conditioning training without a plan. To make the most of your training time you need structure! When it comes to tennis fitness training, the best strategy is a balanced one. Getting balance into your tennis fitness plan will improve your performance, help keep you injury-free and give you the variety you need to stay motivated and fresh. Here is a rundown on how to do it.
Over the years we have heard from many players unsure how to train themselves or tennis kids. Some stories have been crazy, like parents training their kids as an adult, doing exercises way above their limitations. We have also heard from players who have not been doing nearly enough training to make positive gains in their tennis fitness.
The truth is it is very challenging knowing how to get things right. I can tell you that because I have been a tennis trainer for over 20 years and I am still learning and working out the best tennis workouts, tennis plans, and tennis exercises!
Here are some ideas to help you create your ideal training plan for tennis.
Best Tennis Fitness Plan
1. BUILD - Build up your tennis fitness by completing a variety of tennis training workouts. These workouts should ideally include:
- Flexibility / Mobility
- Strength training
- Cardiovascular training
- Power endurance
To get these sessions organized into a plan, first, we need to establish your starting point.
It is always best to attack your weakest link first. Tennis fitness testing is the best way to find out what requires the most attention. Testing is how you establish the areas that need attention and also the areas you have as a strength. It is important to know where you are at, so you can make a plan to get where you want to go!
Once you have established your current physical state and worked out where you want to go - your goal, it is then time to set a training plan.
This plan is determined by a few things;
- Strengths and Weaknesses - what is your focus?
- Time availability - how much time you can commit to training.
- Resources - gym access, equipment, training space, support - trainer, parent, etc.
- Injury - past and present injuries.
Once you have established those things you can plan out your training around them.
If you do not have someone to help you create the tennis workouts, we have a range of online tennis fitness programs to help give you the structure you need. We created these to help players learn how to train for tennis and equip them with the physical necessities needed to play at their best.
2. PERFORM - Practice and play as often as you can. It is important to get this balance right. Playing too much will burn you out and not playing enough will hold you back. You can gauge this by your energy levels. If you feel great – that is, have good energy and remain injury-free – every time you step on the court, that’s a good sign; if not look to make some changes.
We need to consider every player is different, we all have different needs and restrictions. I cannot sit on my side of the screen and tell you how much you should be hitting each week, you need to work this out with help from someone that knows more information about you. I can do it for you, but you will need to get in touch and organize an online consultation.
My point here is - work out the best on-court training plan, that compliments your off-court training plan. Create the balance!
3. RECOVER - This is probably the most underestimated area for most players. If you train and play tennis you should have a tennis recovery plan, which as a minimum should involve stretching (at least three times a week), foam rolling (at least three times a week), and a hot Epsom salt bath (once a week). Eating healthy and staying hydrated is also important for effective tennis recovery, these are the basics.
I want to share some insight with you on recovery. Most players do not like foam rolling, stretching, etc, it seems like a chore! I was there once, I get it.... what I want to explain to players is that recovery is actually the first step in preparing for the next session or match, that really is what it is designed to do, it has nothing to do with what just happened (the past), it has to do with what is going to happen next (the future) and how you can best be ready for it. It is an entirely different mindset when we look at it like this.
Recovery tip - Do your recovery when you will be in the most relaxed state, e.g the end of the day after eating, having a hot shower. Watch some television or listen to some music or call a friend whilst doing it. Make it an enjoyable place to go!
Having a well-balanced approach to your tennis will ensure you maximize your time on the court and feel good in between. Find what works best for you and continually aim to improve it.
4. REASSESS - Every 6 months take time to assess what is going on. Asking yourself these questions;
- Am I enjoying what I am doing?
- Am I making progress?
- Am I physically and mentally feeling good?
- What can I do better?
Answering these questions will help evolve your training plan and ensure you are heading in the right direction.
Ok, there you have it. Some simple truths and tips on how to build your ideal tennis training plan.
Now it is over to you!
Many people do very little to improve their tennis fitness, they think hitting more is the key, which is far from true. If you are not sure how to achieve balance in this area, contact us for some guidance.
Our passion is to help tennis players of all levels. For additional help from Tennis Fitness please complete the contact us form below.