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How Much is Too Much Tennis Training?

Feb 28, 2024
Tennis Training

10-year-old Billy loves tennis, he plays every day and is driven hard by his parents who commit both time and money to see him succeed and MAKE it. At the age of 15, Billy decides he is done! He is finished playing and wants nothing to do with tennis.

Have you heard or experienced this yourself?

I have seen this happen many times…



There are several reasons:

🟢 Kids get pushed or driven too hard before they are ready. This can come from the parents (most common),  players themselves or coaches.  

🟢 People around players don’t know how to manage the tennis training volume Often there is not enough education behind the decisions around creating a player's long-term tennis plan. 

🟢 Players get distracted. As young players get older, they start to want to do different things socially, other things can become more important to them. They start to find out about the opposite sex, video games, spending time with friends, other sports, etc. 

🟢 Tennis Injuries. They develop one or several tennis injuries that knock the passion out of them. At the end of the day, no one likes doing something that causes them pain every time. 

🟢 Lack of progress. They don’t feel they are improving or progressing towards their goals. This causes them to lose motivation. This is an area that frustrates me because if the right things are put in place a player should always be making progress. When the focus is on progress over results, the results then generally come easier and more often. 


Tennis Tips - To get your training right.  

1. Communication - Communicate with young tennis players what they are enjoying about their tennis, their tennis training, and also things that they don’t enjoy. Then find ways to make improvements in what they do to minimize the things they don’t like (if they are reasonable).

Ask them if they feel they are doing too much or not enough. A parent, coach, and player together should always make the final decision on what is too much or not enough, so getting feedback from the player will help make the right decision.

Getting players involved with these decisions at a young age is important for many reasons; It gets them actively thinking about their journey, creates more clarity for them around the "what, when, how, and why" of the process, and builds confidence in what they are doing because they have been apart of the decisions. This all leads to a high level of buy-in from the player. 


2. Managing tennis training volume can be tricky - Every player is an individual and they need to work out what their training threshold is. I believe there is no magic chart that will tell you exactly at any given age how much a young player should be hitting, there are guides, but ultimately the training volume needs to be adjusted and managed through a combination of things; the age of the player, physical maturity of the player, body composition (how genetically robust they are), and their day to day energy levels.

When we are dealing with clients we have a system of working this out with them, it is very effective and very much needed to give parents and players clarity on what is enough and what is too much, if you are interested in getting help in this area shoot us an email - [email protected].



Given  I'm writing a blog here and cannot go into too much detail but still want to help you out I am going to give you a simple way to get started so you can begin adjusting the training volume and get this right.  What you need to do is slowly increase the tennis training volume and use an “energy scale” to see how they are coping. It would work like this; Tennis Training increases by 3 hours per week over 2 weeks.

Then by monitoring the player's energy levels using a scale of 1-10 (1 = flat and lethargic, 5 = A bit tired but ok to keep going, 10 = Full of energy 100%), You can start gauging how a player is coping. If a player is constantly sitting at a 1-5, you need to make changes. If they are sitting in the 6-10 range you are on track. It sounds easy and it is, it is a starting point for you to get feedback and buy-in from the player, then together start to make adjustments, whether that be adding more in or doing less. 


3. Distractions - Some young players just get more interested in other things than tennis, that’s life for some of them. I understand it can be really hard for parents to have to deal with this when it happens, especially when they have invested countless hours and god knows how much money into the journey.

Sometimes there is nothing we can do about it, some players' love for the game will change as they change and that's the way it is, we need to let them follow their journey. What we can do is control what we can control! Keeping them highly motivated is a key area to focus on through their adolescence.

Looking ahead is a big tip here. Locking in future tournaments, discussing the journey ahead in a positive way, and also getting them to pro tour events to watch helps keep them focused on what they love. Another area to help with distractions is keeping young athletes socially and emotionally balanced when they feel connected and supported socially they will have less reason to look for this in other areas.

Allowing them to have a good social network is important, especially having friends away from tennis. Giving them the opportunity to try and experience new things is good for their emotional state also as they can learn and process more experiences and become more diverse. 


4. Injuries - Too much of anything without enough recovery can cause tennis injuries. So managing how much time players train for tennis and how they balance their tennis exercise program (on-court - hitting, off-court – tennis fitness, Recovery- stretching, etc.) is vital. Injuries can ruin a player's tennis potential and I believe the vast majority of players that stop playing tennis are due to injuries.

Most injuries can be avoided if you are doing things right. Following a specific tennis strength and conditioning program is crucial. This will help build strength and stability, increase flexibility, and improve stamina, these are key areas that need to be worked on consistently for every player to prevent and manage injuries. If you need help with your Tennis specific strength and conditioning you can check out what we offer here

5. Goal setting - Is important to help players feel they are progressing. Even small really attainable goals work really well with young players. Communicating with them about areas they feel they can and want to improve is the best place to start, that way you already got them buying into the process.

From there set some attainable goals with them and set some deadlines to reach them, then keep reminding them and reinforcing them frequently. Once the goals are met acknowledge it and get more in place. Works a treat!

Ok, I think I have left you with enough to think about here, hopefully, you have some ideas on how you can make positive changes in your or your child's training plan. Tennis training plans will always be evolving as your game evolves. If you stick to my tips in this blog they will help your game evolve the right way :)

Good luck!

If you want to get more out of yourself and improve your tennis fitness check out our online programs here.