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The Toughest Grand Slam

I have long regarded the French open as the toughest grand slam to win. But to win it 10 times takes a Herculean effort.

We were fortunate enough to work over in one of the best Tennis Academies in Spain. During this time we were able to watch Rafa practice. You could see then he was a very special breed. His work ethic and focus to his training was amazing, even as a 14 year old.

Having spent years on the tour, we have been lucky enough to watch him evolve, we have seen his game progress and admire the risks and changes he made. He has become a lot more aggressive, changed his serve.... he has worked on becoming a more complete player. The one thing that hasn't changed, is his intensity he works at and the attitude he possesses. He has had the same people around him for a long time. Uncle Tony has coached him from the age of 3 and it wasn't too long ago that people told him he needed to make changes, I think we could all agree, we are glad he hasn't.

It was great to see him...

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Is Tennis Training For Strength Worth It?

Most, if not every tennis player will develop some form of tennis training injury during their careers. Some injuries cannot be prevented, but you will be surprised how many of the below injuries you can be prevented from doing one thing.

We will tell you more about that later on.

Most common injuries in tennis we see on a daily basis are, often the overuse injuries.

Overuse injuries often develop slowly and can start out as a mild discomfort that gradually increases and becomes painful. Some common overuse injuries are:

1. Tennis Elbow – A very common cause of elbow pain due to the chronic irritation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow.

2. Wrist Tendonitis – Caused by irritation and inflammation around the wrist joint. Usually, this will occur from a number of reasons from equipment (new racket, heavy / wet tennis balls, court surface), bad technique, or mainly overuse. This can be prevented with some simple yet effective good strengthening tennis exercises...

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Prepare Or Not To Prepare For A Tennis Match

Having yourself physically and mentally ready can be just the start of a good preparation for practice, a match or tournament season.

Read on to find out how to get athletes ready to go........

We've helped 100s of players prepare for tennis matches, junior tournaments through to grand slams. In our opinion, the preparation should be no different for a junior to a pro athlete.

Learning to get things right at a young age is very important and creating the habits of being organised, punctual and responsible will have long-term positive results for anyone.

The other day I had a young player I train tell me they felt dizzy, I asked him when he ate last he said, 1.15pm, and it was 5.30pm. His blood sugar levels were obviously low, I said to him you need to eat at least 1.5hrs before coming to training, he turned and looked at his mum and said, "mum you need to remember that!" His mum said ok, so what should he eat before coming.

I said wait a moment, his 14, fit and able, he can prepare...

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Soft Kids or Soft Tennis Coaches

Whether it be tennis, fitness, football or any other sports we all remember those hard tennis coaches that worked us to the bone. Everyone that is 30 or older, will have stories to tell about some of the hard and intense tennis fitness training we were put through in our youth.

By today's standards it could even be classified as a little brutal, but we talk to the kids we train about how different it was back in our day and how tough and challenging the kids tennis training was.

Fast forward to today and those hard tennis fitness training days are hardly recognizable.

I remember a drill that a coach used to put us through growing up. He used to stand at the net with his basket of balls and have us stand on the service line at the other end with our rackets up looking to defend for our lives.

What would soon follow was ten tenaciously struck balls hit at us with the purpose of teaching you to hold your ground and defend yourself at the net, the coach felt he was the victor if he...

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Specific Tennis Exercises for the Dirt

The best way to prepare for any surface is to do tennis training on it as much as possible. This is the law of adaptation and it especially applies for clay court tennis. On this surface, you need to learn how to slide into shots, recover after hitting and stay balanced. When you are born in a country where the main surface you train and compete on is clay, it just become natural to move efficiently, you don’t even realise it happens. You are able to start sliding when you build up that confidence. The other requirements are good balance, a low centre of gravity and most importantly, strength in your legs. For better balance and control, it’s critical to have a good low stance, keeping yourself balanced and being aware of the first step movement.

  • You need to slide and hit – not hit and slide.
  • For good body control, you need to have good strength in the core, hips and especially in the adductors.
  • You need good timing, which comes with practice.
  • For stability, you...
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How Should Tennis Training Differ From Surface to Surface?

Just as court surfaces differ throughout the world, there are different courts that you might encounter as a social player. Altering your tennis training according to the surface you’re currently or preparing to play on, is a smart way to train for tennis. This will get your body better prepared and lessen the chance of injury. So how should training for tennis differ from surface to surface? To understand this better let's take a look at some key characteristics of varying court surfaces. Synthetic grass

  • Low ball bounce, fast court, poor traction underfoot.
  • Average point = 3–5 seconds.

Clay

  • High ball bounce, slow court, poor traction underfoot.
  • Average point = 6–10 seconds.

Hardcourt

  • Medium ball bounce, moderate-fast court, good traction underfoot.
  • Average point = 4–6 seconds.

Grass

  • Low ball bounce, fast court, Moderate traction underfoot.
  • Average point = 3–5 seconds.

Here are our tips on preparing for each surface. Grass/Synthetic grass

  • Due...
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3 Steps to Transform Your Tennis Strength & Conditioning

Where do you start when you want to transform your Tennis Strength and Conditioning?

It is a challenge every tennis player faces. Knowing your starting point and having something to aim for will help.

To gain a better understanding of a player’s Tennis Strength and Conditioning level, we ask them to perform specific tennis fitness test twice a year. These tennis-specific fitness tests have been developed to provide insight on a player’s strengths and weaknesses.

Understanding weaknesses is vital to improve Strength and Conditioning levels, as they highlight the areas that need the most attention.

This is a more effective approach than training the same way day in, day out without enough focus on the specific areas that need attention. Many players and tennis trainers make this mistake and wonder why attributes such as speed, reaction times and strength are not improving.

Identifying the areas that need to improve is the key and fitness testing is the method...

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Why Do You Play Tennis?

young tennis players Feb 27, 2017

We can't answer that for you… but we can tell you why we as tennis fitness trainers, devote so much time working with and helping players be the best they can be……

  1. Tennis players are a special breed. They get addicted to the great game and cannot get enough of it. As tennis fitness trainers this motivates us so much, when we see the passion there, we want to add to it. We have found it to be a good life lesson "find your passion, pursue it and people will add to it"
  2. We love the complexity of tennis. Physically it challenges not only your physical structure (muscle, organs, tendons etc) but also works the different energy systems (Aerobic, anaerobic) the body has at its disposal……. To be constantly improving you need to work on your strength, agility, speed, flexibility, recovery, nutrition, hydration, power, aerobic endurance etc etc etc, there is a lot of bloody things you can do. Finding the starting point or the priorities to focus on is the...
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Benefits Of Adding Variety in Tennis Training

When it comes to tennis exercise and preparing your body to play your best tennis, it is important to do the right things at the right time. That includes resting and changing what you do, even if you feel your current routine works. Tennis training variety is often overlooked.

Some people prefer consistency, so do the same things all the time then often wonder why they are not improving. Others jump from tennis program to another without allowing the body time to adapt.

Whatever your "training personality", it is vital for long-term development (at any age) and performance to phase the tennis training you do. Often known as periodisation, phase training is as important as your actual tennis exercises. This is how it works ...

PREPARATION

General: High training volume and low intensity. Focus is on endurance and strength. Your tennis training can be general and non-tennis specific at the start (cross-training). This is a good time to work on tennis training techniques. 

...

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Don’t Let Travel Affect Your Tennis Fitness Training

Tennis is a year-round sport with tournaments played globally and often in hot conditions. Travelling on tour can be brutal for players, as there are many different factors that need to be considered along with a focus on tennis fitness. They range from changing time zones, managing jet lag, coping with new cuisine to cultural and language barriers. To ensure health and fitness are not compromised, it's important to be prepared and keep going on with your tennis fitness schedule.

Adopting these simple but effective measures can help improve a travel experience...

Planning

Make the Internet your best friend before travelling. Do well research prior to arriving at destinations to learn the location of grocery shops, health food stores, restaurants, gymnasiums, and pools. Organize a schedule, which includes training and meal plans, before departing to ensure your routine is maintained on the road. It is still important to be flexible and not to expect anything when you travel, however...

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