You are reading this because you love the game of tennis, am I right? You either play tennis, coach tennis or are involved with the game at some capacity. You also probably want to learn some things from us to help yourself or someone else get better, maybe even win more? If that’s you, keep reading….
In this Tennis Fitness Testing blog, I want to share with you a simple way to establish where you are at physically with your tennis and give you some tools to improve on your:
There is a good chance you have no idea where you are at physically, by that I mean; how fit you are, how strong you are, your flexibility, your speed around court, etc. You may have a general idea, but how would you really know?
At Tennis fitness we believe it is critical to know your physical status, you need to know what areas you need to improve on, your weaknesses, and what areas are your physical strengths - these are the areas you can lean on when needed.
From our experience, we have found that most players will focus their training sessions on their strengths and generally these are areas they enjoy training in also. An example of this is a player that likes to play a power game, they will tend to focus their training on gym sessions and dynamic training.
What we have found is that players that focus their time and energy on their strengths miss out on developing other physical traits that can end up becoming other strengths, in the case of the power athlete, improving their endurance capacity will allow them to play at a higher level for longer, get my point?
If you don’t, I will spell it out – Work on your weaknesses and become a better all-around player!
So how do we determine areas of strengths or weakness, how do you know as a tennis player what you are physically doing really well and what needs extra attention?
This is where we come in! I am sure you have heard about physical fitness testing before, but have you ever done specific Tennis Fitness Testing? Good chance you have not……
Well, today that is going to change. I am going to show you a few specific tennis tests you can do on yourself and others to find out where you are at. I will also let you in on a new tennis testing platform we have created that covers all aspects of testing for a tennis player.
Before we get into a few of the tests I want to educate you a bit deeper on what areas we need to physically test for tennis and why.
First of all the areas, we need to test are vast, given tennis is such a physically complex sport. We need to assess all physical modalities that are used when playing tennis.
Tennis testing needs to cover;
- Mobility/ Flexibility (Joint movement and muscle length)
- Coordination (upper and lower body)
- Agility (Speed of change of direction)
- Speed (Moving from point A to point B)
- Power (explosive)
- Power Endurance (repeated power)
- Strength (Body control and stability)
- Endurance (Stamina)
Ok, so you know what tennis testing is, why we need to do it and what areas we need to test. Now it is time to give you a few examples you can try out! Let's go!
At Tennis Fitness we have created a Tennis Physical testing system that covers all the areas above, it is available for anyone that wants to establish their current physical condition, work out what areas they need to improve, and create a sense of motivation to get better as a tennis athlete. You can also see how you are placed against your peers using what is called a Norms Chart (scoring chart with averages for ages)
Tennis Fitness Testing - Here are 3 tests from our testing system
1. FLEXIBILITY - ACTIVE STRAIGHT LEG RAISE
ASSESSING: HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY, ACTIVE MOBILITY OF THE HIP
TECHNIQUE: LYING FLAT ON YOUR BACK, PUSH HIPS FIRMLY INTO THE GROUND. CENTRE THE RACKET OF THE MIDDLE OF THE THIGH. KEEPING THE LEG STRAIGHT RAISE THE LEG AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE. NO BENDING OF KNEE.
TIPS: KEEP THE KNEE JOINT LOCKED OUT AND TOES PULLED DOWN TOWARDS YOUR BODY. KEEP HIPS IN NEUTRAL.
ANKLE JOINT PAST THE RACKET = 3
BETWEEN KNEE AND ANKLE JOINT = 2
BETWEEN KNEE AND HIP = 1.
2. COORDINATION - WALL THROW TEST
ASSESSING: HAND-EYE COORDINATION
TECHNIQUE: STANDING 1.8M AWAY FROM A WALL. STAND IN A WIDE BASE, HOLD ARMS BETWEEN LEGS. THROW THE BALL AGAINST THE WALL, CATCHING IT IN THE OPPOSITE HAND. THROW THE BALL CATCHING IT ALTERNATING HANDS, AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE IN 30SEC.
TIPS: HOLD YOUR POSTURE THROUGH THE TEST, TRY TO GET INTO A RHYTHM. ONLY MOVE AS FAST AS YOU CAN CONTROL THE EXERCISE.
SCORING: RECORD HOW MANY CATCHES ARE COMPLETED IN 30SEC.
3. AGILITY - 6 POINT AGILITY TEST
ASSESSING: AGILITY - CHANGE OF DIRECTION SPEED, THROUGH MULTIPLE MOVEMENT PLANES.
TECHNIQUE: STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SERVICE BOX. FOLLOW THE VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS. MAKE SURE THE PLAYER PASSES THE LINE WHEN THEY CHANGE DIRECTION. GIVE PLAYERS A FEW GOES AT PRACTICING THE DRILL BEFORE TESTING THEM. TALK THE PLAYER THROUGH THE DRILL IF NEEDED.
TIPS: ENCOURAGE AGGRESSIVE MOVEMENT.
SCORING: TIME HOW LONG IT TAKES TO COMPLETE THE TEST IN SECONDS. RECORD THE TIME.
These are just a few examples of some tests, give them a go and see how you score.
There are a lot of key areas that need to be adhered to in order to get the most out of testing and retesting, we don’t have time to go into them today, but you will find that information in the Tennis Fitness Testing Program we have created.
What is important to remember is that you should be doing some form of testing to find your current condition, workout what areas need to improve and set a plan to get on top of them.
I mentioned at the start of the blog I was going to share some tools with you to help you improve physically. If you have not been around us long you may not know that we offer free short online programs, we also offer comprehensive Online Tennis Strength and Conditioning Programs. We have these set up for players that cannot afford a trainer, do not have access to getting help, or like doing things on their own.
If you are serious about getting in your best tennis shape, here is what I recommend;
- Get your testing done
- Set some goals
- Follow a tennis-specific program
- Retest (blow your goals out of the park)
- Set new goals (continue to grow)
I hope you understand how testing works, why you need to do it, and if you want more tests like this go here or click on the image below.
Get it done!
Team Tennis Fitness
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