We all see so much of what people do physically in their tennis training. I still find it surprising, when I tell somebody I do tennis mental training people often laugh and say something like
“You are nuts” or "I don't believe in that stuff"
I always encourage people to try it, before they judge it.
Have you ever done a mental training session? “Why would you do that?”
In short, so you can play your best more often despite tough feelings and pressure. So you have strong routines, strong positive body language, have better tennis conditioning, are more aware of your thoughts and have the capacity to let go quickly, so you can select the right options and have a clear mind.
So, how do you practice mental training? You can start with the following exercises. Do 2-3 minutes of each one every day, the whole routine should only take 10 minutes, it is often best at night when your mind is more receptive (You can set a reminder alarm in your phone to prompt...
Janine Thompson is a highly regarded world class player and coach.
Playing career - #9 World Junior / #52 WTA Singles / #9 WTA Doubles / Fed Cup 3 times
Coaches : Tony Roche, John Newcombe and other world class coaches, helped shape Janine’s coaching methodology.
Janine has coached many top juniors and professional players.
As Tennis Trainers we appreciate Janine’s willingness to share knowledge and work together for the betterment of players. As you will also find Janine is candid and to the point, this something we also love about her.
Read Janine's blog on progressing a tennis player.
You wouldn’t take your car with an engine problem to a dietician or naturopath for some change of juice advice. OR if you had a racquet needing restringing to an alteration shop.
There are so many aspects involved in the progression of a tennis player. Each have unique stories with different beginnings and endings. Sometimes their road maps seem like directions to nowhere...
As a tennis fitness coach or trainer, it is important to be constantly learning and growing, without this approach, not much will change. We call this the “Growth mindset”. We strongly encourage everyone to have a growth mindset. We know as Tennis Fitness Coaches we need to be constantly looking for ways to benefit our players, this means being open, willing to try new things and being creative in what we do.
The past 6 months has seen some changes for us. One of the changes involved developing a structure that gave us clear guidelines on Tennis Footwork and Court Movement. We called this our “7 Tennis Movement Principles”
We did this to give us clear definition on what we teach our athletes. We have found it has given athletes more confidence in what they are doing and helps educate them on the importance of breaking down movement and focusing on weaker movement patterns.
To keep it simple, we highlighted 7 areas that effect overall movement, then...
In the year 2000, I was lucky enough to get the job as Physical director at the Sanchez Casal Tennis Academy in Barcelona, Spain. It was a huge responsibility for me at the time as I was young for the role, in such a world renown premier club.
It started me on a journey that has led to many many highlights in my life. But I am not here to talk about myself! I am here to talk about building relationships.
How when you communicate effectively, have mutual respect and care for each other, friendships are forged, results come and as you will see opportunities arise.
As a parent, coach or player, if you are not focused on these areas, there will be plenty of dead end relationships and no one wants to waste time and energy right?
I want to tell you about an experience I had with a player I worked with starting back in 2000.
Carlos Cuadrado was a young Spanish prodigy when I laid eyes on him, he was already labelled a top 10 player at the age of 16. He was on the rise and it was my job to...
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...
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...
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.
There are few players who step on the court without a match plan in mind. To make the most of your training time, that same structured thinking should reply to your fitness too. The best fitness strategy is a balanced one. Getting balance into your tennis fitness plan will improve your performance, help keep you injury free and give you the variety you need to stay motivated. Here is a rundown on how to do it.
Build up your fitness by completing a variety of tennis training. This will ideally incorporate:
• Cross training
• Strength training
It is always best to attack your weakest link first. Fitness testing is the best way to find out what requires the most attention. Many people do very little to improve their tennis fitness, they think hitting more is the key, which is far from true. If you are...
The most common question we get asked as tennis strength and conditioners is, "When can my daughter or son, start tennis strength training and what strength training should we do?"
One of the biggest misconceptions people make is to train young tennis players like they would an adult.
Tennis training for kids should be totally different than for adults.
This can be dangerous and often leads to tennis injuries. Players under the age of 16 should steer away from weights and heavy loading. Alternatively, they should use body weight exercises, resistance bands and medicine balls (5-10% of their body weight).
At ‘Martin Method Tennis Fitness’ we recommend all young players aged 16 and under start out by performing these 6 fundamental movement patterns- Lunge, Squat, Bend, Pull, Push and Rotation. When young players can consistently complete all the 6 movement patterns, with good form, only then should their tennis program progress.
Performing these basic fundamental...
How important it is to periodize your training for tennis?
Periodization is simply, structuring on and off court tennis training into phases or blocks of time.
The basic phases include:
• Preparation (general and specific)
• Competition (pre-competition and competition)
• Transition (offseason)
Each phase focuses on different aspects of tennis fitness and tennis conditioning (cardio endurance, strength, power, tennis speed, agility, and recuperation) in conjunction with on-court work, specific for the phase.
Here is a brief explanation of each phase.
Preparation (General and Specific)
General: High training volume/ low intensity. Focus is on endurance and strength. Training can be general and non-tennis specific at the start of the phase (cross training) a good time to work on tennis technique. Ratio 30:70.on court : off court training Phase length: 4-6 weeks.
Specific: Low volume/High intensity. Focus on more specific tennis training variables (anaerobic...