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Over the years we have met some amazing people through tennis. Players, coaches, parents and Tennis fans. Some left a permanent mark on us.
During Giselle’s time working with Martina Navratilova, we got to see the impact contributing and giving back had on people, the environment and animals.
Martina was always willing to donate her time or a financial contribution if it was something she believed in.
We saw it daily with her, “Giving back” seemed to be a part of who she had become. She was extremely fair and stood up for what she felt was right, giving was one way she could express herself and do her bit.
It’s not an easy thing to do. Handing over hard earnt money or your precious time. Some people do it easier and more comfortably than others, I believe it takes a conscious effort to get comfortable with it.
It’s not about how much you earn or what...
A tennis wrist injuries have forced has forced me to miss tennis since November 2019. The recovery is slow, possibly another couple of months (6-18months typically) and has required initial rest followed by physiotherapy and a structured rehab program.
The wrist injury was most likely caused by a change in technique combined with an increased workload on the tennis court and… sadly age. I never really dedicated much time to the gym to strengthen my wrists specifically for tennis. I sure am now!
Many pro players including Del Potro, Nishikori, Nadal & Kuznetsova have had time off the tour in recent years due to wrist injuries and even gone under the knife. Nadal missed most of 2016 due to a persistent wrist problem.
Many wrist injuries result from aggressive modern grip types. The semi-western and western forehand grips are associated with injuries to the ulnar (little finger) side of the wrist.
This includes the highly problematic dislocations and degeneration...
FIND OUT THE 5 MUST DO'S FOR PLAYERS "OVER 40"
Training for tennis over 40 can be challenging! For many players, the loss of energy and time makes it challenging. We need to also consider physically what happens as we age (Loss of muscle mass, aerobic capacity, and flexibility).
These factors alone will make it hard for even the seasoned player to deal with. So what can we do to combat these issues?
Read on for our “5 must do’s” for players over 40.
Before we get into our 5 must do’s, the first area we need to attack is the “Mindset” this is an area that I have found most players over 40 struggle with. Many people reside to the fact they are aging and “that's it”.
They keep doing the same things all the time, with no improvement (It is like watching a sinking ship). We cannot do much to stop the aging process but we can, by all means, do our best to slow it down and make the most of what we have.
Switching the mindset to a growth mindset...
I want to highlight an issue we often see in tennis players. Being aware of this and addressing it is something that has the capacity to prevent many tennis injuries for players.
Whenever we assess a player’s tennis mobility and flexibility we always start from the ground up (big toe flexion, foot alignment, ankle joint range, calf complex flexibility, etc.).
We have found with tennis players, they tend to get locked up or jammed in their ankle joints, their calf complex (plantaris, soleus, and gastrocnemius muscle) and the tibialis anterior (runs alongside your shin bone). Muscles shorten and joint mobility becomes restricted.
It is common to see players with poor ankle mobility in the leg they land on during the service motion.
To understand the importance of ankle mobility lets to take a step back and look at the body joint-by-joint. The body can be seen as an alternating stack of stable and mobile joints.
The ankle joint being the lowest to the ground, the ankle joint is a...
Nathan and Giselle operate their world-renowned Tennis Fitness brand and have trained five world number one players over the life of the business.
Through the journey of creating Tennis Fitness, they both developed a passion for the sport after learning the ins and outs of the game. “Being a tennis trainer, I think tennis is the pinnacle of sport because it is so complex in many ways,” Giselle explained.
Nathan and Giselle have built a breadth of experience working with athletes such as Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, Martin Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Monica Seles. The lessons learned have inspired them to create their own ‘Martin Method’ brand to achieve success with players of all levels.
According to Nathan, the success they have experienced has come from a unique focus on the mental resilience involved with high-level training. “As much as we use the physical aspect, you also start to realize how important training is to...
Among all your match day routines, there is nothing that is more important than an effective pre-match tennis warm up. It not only prepares your body for competition but also reduces the risk of tennis injury and it helps get you mentally ready for competition too.
The obstacle for some players is an understanding of what works best. As tennis fitness trainers, we are constantly hearing from players: I am not sure what to do for a tennis warm up before I play.
The good news is that it doesn't need to be complicated to be structured.
Here are 5 steps to achieve an effective tennis warm up, which should take you around 10-15 minutes to complete.
Perfect Timing- Allocate 10-15 minutes to complete your tennis warm up and then allow that same period of time for a breather before you step on the court.
3-5 minutes of either skipping or running (forward, backward and lateral) is the perfect way to start your tennis warm up. Remember the aim is to boost your heart rate...
Can you imagine something as silly as doing the same thing all the time and expecting the result to be different! Silly silly silly…..
I have found myself doing this in the past with my training, strapped for time I would go to what I’d always done, what I was comfortable doing, did it work? Yeah sort of, could have I done better? Heck yeah!
I’ve long regarded having a “Periodised Tennis Training Plan” just as important as the actual tennis exercises within the plan. Here is some information on why I think that way.
Our bodies have extremely complexed components and systems. We are also highly adaptable. Which means if we are exposed to a stimulus, resistance or repetition our bodies over time will adapt as needed to perform what needs to be done, get it?
Whether it is the neuromuscular system, nervous system, cardiovascular system or a combination of them, the body is highly adaptable!
The body is also highly prone to burnout, over-use injuries,...
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...
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 ...
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.
When we talk about tennis training milestones, tennis fitness testing helps in finding out what physical milestones are important for each tennis player and what milestones are going to motivate them the most. Everyone has different goals, strengths and weaknesses. Working towards something that you would consider a milestone is what it is all about, that’s how you keep yourself moving forward and motivated. Things like finishing off a three-set match feeling strong, getting to balls you never dreamt of, hitting the ball with more power and control, remaining injury free for the calendar year, playing 10 tournaments in a row etc. the list could go on and on. Set some targets and put a plan in place to achieve them.
Here are some tennis exercises to help you improve your physical condition and get you one step closer to reaching your milestones. They will get you stronger, quicker and more powerful, most importantly you can do them, again and again, to see how much you have...