The American College Tennis system has always been a great way for players to develop their game and be in a structured environment. I believe in this day and age the majority of young players coming through should be pursuing this pathway, staying in school and focusing both on Tennis and their academics.
The simple facts are that the majority of good young players (nationally ranked, worldwide) coming through will not compete on the professional level, under 5% of them will make it into the top 1000.
For this reason, I always encourage young players to stay in school and work hard academically no matter how their tennis is tracking. A player is only an injury away from never playing again.
This provides them with structure, social interaction, and an outlet away from tennis. Doing this can open doors to follow the American College Pathway or set them up within their own country to attend a university/college.
I know a lot of players globally are looking to pursue the...
There is a good chance if you play tennis you have had some form of a shoulder injury. The shoulder injury statistics are not great for the tennis lover. Having been a tennis fitness trainer for nearly 20 years, I would say shoulder injuries are one of the most common body parts that get messed up.
The majority of tennis shoulder injuries are overuse injuries, which generally means they can be prevented following certain preventive measures. We will look at these later on.
First, let’s look at the complexity of the shoulder joint.
The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. It is highly mobile. It is estimated the shoulder joint can be placed in 1000s of different positions.
If you compare the shoulder joint to say the hip joint, the hip joint has a lot more structure and support around it, it is a lot more robust.
The shoulder joint, on the other hand, is more isolated and has a lot less muscle mass around it to support the joint.
For this reason, it needs to be well...
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 a clear definition of 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 affect overall movement, ...
Having been a Tennis Trainer travelling on the WTA and ATP for over 20 years, I honestly believe having the right team around you is crucial. Some tennis players will have an entourage that may consist of tennis trainer, tennis coach, physiotherapist, massage therapist, sports physiologist, chiropractor, dietitian, manager, stringer, parents, family, hitting partner, nanny and even dog minder... I’m sure I have missed some! It really could be an endless list depending on the individual and what their needs are (Serena Williams is one player that comes to mind that has a slightly bigger than normal entourage).
Whilst some players play it low key and may only have one person on their team, which is also fine, getting the team right is important. I remember Justine Henin and Lyndsey Davenport travelling with just a coach, that worked for them, others like to have more people around them. To be honest, it’s not the one with the big entourage that is...
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 tennis 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
Here are our tips on preparing for each surface. ...
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...
I am often amazed how little people know about tournament preparation. Preparing for tournaments is one of the most critical things to get right and finding what works best for you or your players as individuals, is important.
I know some people will be reading this and be saying to themselves "My preparation is, to not prepare“ I’m better off just turning up and playing, that works best for me” Sorry guys that’s the lazy persons approach, and there is a good chance if you follow it, you won’t get far as a tennis player.
There are certain principles that need to be applied in order to get the most out of yourself come match day, here are some key principles;
1. Hydration - keeping yourself hydrated is important for concentration, energy levels and preventing tennis injuries. As a guide athletes can follow this formula; 0.03 x Body weight (KG) = ? Litres of water. This is a base requirement. Depending on weather conditions...