Tennis Speed, Agility & Power ExercisesFeb 14, 2019
The one word that changes everything – ‘WHY’
If you want maximum gains, if you want to be the best you can be, if you want to know a little secret – Keep reading.
We learned years ago that doing fancy exercises and training really hard didn’t always get the best results unless you know why you are doing them.
Training effectively always comes down to purpose. Knowing - Why am I doing this training block, why am I doing this exercise, why do this amount of reps, etc. What is the purpose of your training regime, your exercises, and the variables around them?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself all the time. It is especially important for coaches and trainers to know the “why” in what they do.
I trained Lleyton Hewitt for 8 preseasons in a row and although Lleyton was never the guy to ask, “why are we doing this” or “why has this changed”. We would speak about the benefits of the training phase we would be moving into, this clarified our purpose and why we needed to do it.
His passion and hunger drove me to ask myself the questions. I love it when players we are training ask us questions and query what we are doing, it means they are invested, eager to learn and improve.
Our first role is to educate, that is where the power is. It opens up doors for athletes to understand themselves, why they are doing certain things, and gives them the knowledge that will have long-lasting impacts on them physically and mentally.
Just recently, we started working on a new program it launches next week. For us it is a culmination of a growth curve and the realization, we still have so much passion to learn and help players.
So, when we put this program together, we had loads of new exercises. Our culling process was simple. When we went through and asked “why use that exercise” – Is it going to fulfill the purpose of the program, is it needed, is it effective, etc. It made the process easy.
In the end, we came up with some great drills and a training structure we have never used before, in fact, we don’t think anyone has. It also left us with lots of tennis exercises we can use in the future.
Below are three of the drills we have included in our New Tennis Speed, Agility, and Power Program. So, you can see the mindset and structure around how we utilize and come up with new drills, we have added in some brief information on “Why” we have used them.
For your reference, the program we are launching is a combination of – Court speed exercises, foot speed, agility drills, and specific power exercises. All areas are covered in each session. We believe these are the areas that most players need guidance and a boost in.
Tennis Speed, Agility, and Power Exercises
We decided to combine 4 areas into one session, WHY? Most players find it challenging to get their extra off-court sessions on a weekly basis, so we have created this program to cover the most important aspects of specific court play. We also took into consideration the fact that this day and age, people (especially the younger generations) are wanting higher intensity and quicker results. We believe this 6-week program delivers on all fronts.
- First Step Acceleration - Having the capacity to move rapidly over a short distance is one of the most critical components of court movement, without a balanced, dynamic first two-step movement process players are limiting their effectiveness on court. This drill gives players the opportunity to focus on their dynamic first 2 steps, in a controlled environment (where it can be assessed and managed). This is a basic, but highly effective drill for athletes of any age.
- Repeated First Step Acceleration with Braking - First step - acceleration/braking – deceleration. WHY?... First step and braking are two of the most important aspects of the court movement. Having the capacity to accelerate rapidly and brake effectively is what court movement should be based on. We do this 100s of times per game. Slowing down requires your body to absorb load, the quicker you stop the harder your body has to work. Learning to brake and absorb force effectively is really important for preventing injuries and also for setting you up to move from a good platform. This is an area not enough players work on.
- Shadow Weight Transfer - Force Expression/Force Absorption. WHY?...Learning how to transfer force from the ground up, is a critical development factor. It gives players the capacity to maximize leg drive, hip drive, thoracic rotation, and arm sling. Too often we see players not setting low enough, using a little torso rotation and having extreme arm slings.
This is problematic for the body, as we isolate certain joints and overuse, certain muscle groups, this opens the door for injury. The fact is from a biomechanical perspective we produce more force, with less effort when we use more of a kinetic chain and distribute the force production. This specific tennis movement drill challenges players to set low and drive from the ground up. It gives players the opportunity to set themselves in the correct starting position and move effectively from there.
Whenever we produce force, we need to absorb it (slow down, stop, etc). You will see at the completion of the movement, there is a unilateral landing phase (landing on 1 leg). This is how we absorb the force and stop the exercise, so the focus is not entirely on the power aspect, but also on the absorbing phase. This is how we make exercises more tennis-specific and help protect the body (challenging it specific ways, in a controlled environment)
Next time you are putting together your training sessions or practice sessions, ask yourself, the all-important question – WHY, why am I going to do these exercises? why am I going to do them for this long? why am I going to work on my serve more than groundstrokes? etc etc. When you answer the WHY effectively it will help set your plan and give you clarity on what you are doing.
We understand you will not have all the answers, no one does. What you will find is that you learn to ask questions and find the right people to help answer your Why’s.
If you are wanting to improve your first-step acceleration, groundstroke/serve power and feel lighter on the court, then try our new
SPEED, AGILITY, and POWER PROGRAM that we have launched this week.
Don't get left behind, join the 1000's of players improving their court movement in only a few weeks.
For more information - https://www.memberstennisfitness.com/speed-agility-power
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