I want to share some simple exercises with you today that I would expect a 13-18 year old tennis player to do within the targets I have set. I am not saying a player “Won’t make it” if they don’t hit the targets.
I am saying these are some guidelines to see how your players are tracking and evaluate areas they need to work on. Just like getting your whole structure balanced (hitting volume, tennis fitness training, recovery, nutrition, etc), we need to make sure players are physically balanced within what we call our Martin Method 9 threads.
If you work with players under 18 years of age, you know how hard it can be to manage their progress. Getting their on-court volume right, coordinating their Tennis fitness training is tricky, then we need to look at - sleep patterns, tennis mental fitness, hydration, nutrition, social factors, stress levels, really the list goes on.
All these areas play a part in how quickly a player progresses. Having been a tennis fitness trainer for over 20 years (showing my age). I have only ever come across a few coaches and parents who understand this and who have gotten it right.
A lot of coaches and parents feel it is just a matter of hitting tennis balls and everything else will sort itself out. I have found the opposite to be true. Get as many areas balanced as possible and the hitting of balls and winning of matches will be both easier and more enjoyable.
I encourage you to take a broader approach to the development of young players.
There is a whole room full of conversations, plans, and suggestions to help get this right, in reality, every coach, parent, and player will have their take on what it takes to make it.
The beauty of sport is that you can reach the top following different paths. In my opinion, as long as you are doing work in all the right areas and not spending all your time in one, you are giving yourself a chance to reach your potential.
So you are here reading this because you are interested in Tennis Fitness Training, possibly you want to gain some knowledge, get some motivation or help someone out. That is great! You are in the right place!
Below you will see a range of exercises that we can use to establish if a player is physically on track to reach their potential. There are targets to accompany the exercises.
You will see that these exercises vary from endurance, speed, and agility, flexibility to strength-based. We want to make sure our athletes are tracking in a balanced projection.
I would expect from a physical perspective players aged between 13-18 years of age with average strength and conditioning levels to be able to carry out these exercises within the targets I have set. If not, we have some work to do!
Please note these exercise targets are set for the average athlete, middle of the pack. The targets may be easily attainable for some players and out of reach for others.
If you can hit them, that’s great, you are doing well. If you are falling short, click here and get in touch with us for some guidance.
Tennis Fitness Tests For Kids
Here we go!
1.2 Km Endurance Test
Assessing – Aerobic conditioning (endurance)
Run 44 lengths of the tennis court continuously as fast as possible (running from one end of the court to the other end counts as 1) You need to get one foot past the line at each end. Alternate what foot you push off each end.
Girls Ages 13-15 = 6.20 min
Girls Ages 16-18 = 5.50 min
Boys Ages 13-15 = 5.50 min
Boys Ages 16-18 = 5.10 min
Assessing – Lower body power.
Stand behind any line on the court. Jump out as far as possible. Your aim is to jump out as far as possible. Have 5 attempts. Use a tape measure to read the distance.
Girls Ages 13-15 = Jump own Height in cm + 10cm
Girls Ages 16-18 = Height + 20cm
Boys Ages 13-15 = Height + 20cm
Boys Ages 16-18 = Height + 30cm
6 point Agility Drill
Assessing – General speed and agility.
Perform the drill as set out in the image. Your aim is to do the drill as quickly as possible. Use a stopwatch to time the drill. Have 2 attempts at the drill.
Girls Ages 13-15 = Under 20 seconds
Girls Ages 16-18 = Under 18 seconds
Boys Ages 13-15 = Under 18 seconds
Boys Ages 16-18 = Under 16 seconds
Assessing – Measures upper body strength and endurance, particularly grip strength.
Perform the drill as set out in the image. Your aim is to hold onto the bar as long as possible. Use a stopwatch to time. Have 1 attempt at the exercise.
Girls Ages 13-15 = 40 seconds
Girls Ages 16-18 = 60 seconds
Boys Ages 13-15 = 50 seconds
Boys Ages 16-18 = 80 seconds
Lunge Isometric Hold
Assessing – Lower body strength and endurance.
Perform the drill as set out in the image. Your aim is to hold the position as long as possible. Use a stopwatch to time. Do 1 set on each side.
Girls Ages 13-15 = 50 seconds
Girls Ages 16-18 = 70 seconds
Boys Ages 13-15 = 50 seconds
Boys Ages 16-18 = 70 seconds
Assessing – Hamstring and lower flexibility.
Perform the drill as set out in the image. Your aim is to touch your toes and hold your fingertips there for 5 seconds.
Girls Ages 13-15 = Touch Toes (hold for 5 seconds)
Girls Ages 16-18 = Touch Toes (hold for 5 seconds)
Boys Ages 13-15 = Touch Toes (hold for 5 seconds)
Boys Ages 16-18 = Touch Toes (hold for 5 seconds)
Once you have completed these exercises it will give a general idea of where your player is at and how they are tracking.
There may be some areas that stand out as a real weakness, I would recommend focusing on these as a starting point. We offer a range of tennis fitness training online programs to help improve specific areas, whether that be Speed and Agility, Flexibility, Power, or Strength.
You can check them out here.
It is good to do the above exercises every 4 months to monitor a player's physical status.
We will be launching a “Tennis Fitness Testing Program” by the end of the year. It will be a much more detailed and informative way to assess and track a player's development.
Keep your eyes open for it!
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