Have you ever wondered what your junior tennis player is thinking? Have you really put yourself on their level and realised they are looking at things from a different perspective? It is an effective tool to help create change.
Junior tennis players are told what to do all the time and don’t get me wrong, direct instructions (technical, motivational, physical) are important and have a massive role in a child’s development and learning capacity. However I find it extremely important for educators (tennis coaches, parents, tennis trainers, mentors) to get on their level (put yourself in their shoes), then encourage them to think for themselves (preparation, recovery, time management, respect for others etc) these are the things we need kids to be aware of for themselves and not be told all the time, understanding how they think and operate will help make this happen. Learn to do it!
My tips on getting a junior tennis player to think more;
1. Listen better =...
How Lleyton Hewitt's unprecedented 20th straight Australian Open tilt this month will be the culmination of a brutal summer regime involving some 800km of high-intensity hitting, running, swimming, boxing and strength tennis training.
Long revered as one of Australia's most supreme athletes, Hewitt has worked ferociously on his game and fitness for almost six hours a day, six days a week - virtually non-stop - since early November in preparation for his Open swan song.
Attacking every session as if it were his last, the indefatigable former world No.1 has worn out a queue of hitting partners since commencing his exhausting eight-week block and left his decade-long conditioner in awe.
"In terms of endurance and durability playing professional sport at the highest level for 20 years, there wouldn't be many athletes who could match it with Lleyton for intensity on a day-to-day basis," fitness trainer Nathan Martin told AAP.
"He never gets sore. He turns up every day with the same...
What can you learn from Lleyton Hewitt, who will play a record-breaking 20th and final Australian Open this summer?
Lleyton Hewitt is the ultimate professional when it comes to tennis training. A professional athlete needs the following categories to be considered the "whole package” – great physical attributes, punctuality, strong organisational skills, focus, intensity and commitment.
Having worked with Lleyton for the past 10 years, he scores close to 10 out of 10 for all of them. He is never late, always has everything he needs, knows what he is doing and is determined to get it done. He always has an extremely high level of intensity and can back it up day after day.
Lleyton attacks his pre-season with the enthusiasm of a 20-year-old year after year. As a tennis fitness trainer, you can’t ask for more. A typical pre-season tennis training block for Lleyton runs for 10 to 12 weeks, training between three and five hours a day. During the initial transition...
If you were old enough to have seen tennis being played over the last 20 years, you would have noticed the rapid rate of development that has occurred. Even in the last 5 years, there has been a big jump in the physicality of the game.
The factors that have created these changes are; Technology advancement (tennis training equipment, rackets, strings, clothing, court surface) Sports science (supplementation, tennis fitness programs) Tennis Nutrition and Hydration (Sports drinks, sports specific eating plans, better knowledge, and understanding) I have found there are few things that stand out for the players that have endured and acclimatised the best to the current game.
Players are looking at tennis a lot more holistically. There is a strong sense of balance and getting what I call the Work: Rest ratio right. It is not just about hitting loads and loads of balls anymore. Having quality across the board has more emphasis placed on it. This involves having a...
Tennis is an extremely complex sport. Physically, you need to be able to run fast, change direction on a dime, jump multiple times, be strong, have optimal endurance and be able to react quickly to the ball.
Resistance bands are the most functional, transportable and reliable piece of tennis equipment for players of any level as you work towards those objectives.
We think so highly of resistance bands that we’ve designed our own ones specifically for tennis. We use them regularly with all players of all standards – ranging from juniors to our most seasoned professionals. They provide everything we need to get players fitter, stronger and more dynamic on the court.
Here are three reasons why resistance bands are a must-have tennis equipment for any player.
1. Specificity – The bands can be used on the court to perform movements that are specific for tennis. They can also be used for multi-purpose tennis exercises, including rotational patterns.
Here is the misconception! We have seen time and time again, players wasting their time training the incorrect way. Quality tennis footwork could be the most critical element for a solid game. You have to get it right! Let's look at how you should structure all your footwork drills. Have you noticed how well Roger Federer moves? It can be hard to understand how smooth and graceful he moves when you watch on TV, but it was only until I saw him train and play in person, I truly appreciated why he is regarded as the greatest mover in the game.
While we can’t promise you’ll reach the same standard as Federer, there are proven ways to improve your tennis footwork on the court.
We’d like to share the ‘Tennis Fitness, Martin Method” movement patterns that we use daily with the professional players who work with us. And don't worry it will work for you also, no matter what level you play at. The thing is all tennis players have something in common, they...
Staying balanced is important for constant development and improvement in tennis. If you have ever felt flat or stagnant with your tennis training, then there is a good chance your balance has been out.
When we talk about having balance we are talking about having a consistent flow or steady energy throughout your day and week. Waking up every day ready to go, feeling motivated, uninjured and good about yourself.
So how do you know if you are balanced?
Answer these questions:
• Do you often feel flat and tired?
• Do you often feel unmotivated?
• Do you always feel like you are carrying an injury?
• Is your tennis improving?
• Are you getting fitter and stronger?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions there is a good chance you may need to make some minor adjustments
REGAIN YOUR BALANCE
Getting balanced involves increasing your focus on areas of weakness, or where you spend less time and decreasing your focus on the areas you spend...
The earliest stage of a tennis player’s development is the most important part of their tennis journey. It’s also when problems can arise, so if you work with young tennis players and want them to achieve sound tennis results and maximize enjoyment, it’s critical to understand a few key points:
Kids are not adults… So don’t treat them like one. Coaches, tennis trainers and parents need to be responsible for the volume and intensity of a younger player’s practice and preparation. Don’t compare them to adults or other kids; they all develop at different rates and they cannot do what adults do.
Know their limits If a young player wants more and more, that’s great – but remember that everyone has their limit. Younger athletes often don’t know when it’s time to stop, as they find it hard to read how they are physically feeling and how they will respond to what they are doing. If we want them to achieve good tennis...
Having useful equipment for tennis at hand is important for any player who is committed to tennis training and competing at an optimal level. Many professionals travel with their own training and recovery equipment. Not only do they realize the benefits of various pieces of equipment, but they also understand that those fitness accessories aren’t always available on the road.
Let’s look at some equipment that is commonly used by tennis players.
These bands, comprising rubber tubing with handles attached, are one of our favorite pieces of equipment – we recommend that every player has a set.
Weighing around 800 grams, resistance bands are used for strength training and can be used instead of dumbbells. Adding to the appeal is the fact that resistance bands are lightweight and extremely versatile.
You can also add a waist belt attachment for tennis speed and agility work. We highly recommend checking them out – and to assist in that...
Quality tennis footwork could be the most critical element for a solid game. You have to get it right! Have you noticed how well Roger Federer moves? It can be hard to understand how smooth and graceful he moves when you watch on TV but when you see him glide around on court in person, you can truly appreciate why he is regarded as the greatest mover in the game.
While we can’t promise you’ll reach the same standard as Federer, there are proven ways to improve your footwork on court. We’d like to share the ‘Tennis Fitness, Martin Method” movement patterns that we use daily with the players who work with us. Firstly it's important you understand there are six types of foot work steps used on the tennis court. Once you understand this, you can then plan your tennis training around the foot work steps you feel need more work.
1. PREP STEP
Prep Steps are small controlled steps that are used when preparing to set-up for a shot. Instead of taking...