Effective tennis footwork doesn’t just happen. There are athletes who have more natural movement and co-ordination than others.
Take Lleyton Hewitt for example. I remember asking him one day if he ever did any tennis footwork drills when he was young, he said never.
It just came naturally to him. For most players, during their developmental phases, their footspeed and lower body coordination seem way off.
I cannot count the number of times I have heard a parent or coach say, their kid is slow to react, their footwork is bad and their coordination is out.
They look lazy on the court. Seen or heard that before?
If you are reading this thinking, yep that’s my kid or kids, you are not alone. To briefly explain this, it comes down to a few things;
Bones, muscle tissue, connective tissue, and neural pathways are developing. We cannot expect a half-built race car to fly around the track.
Most young players do not work at high enough intensities to encourage quick coordination...
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...
The one word that changes everything – ‘WHY’
If you want maximum gains, if you want to be the best you can be, if you want to know a little secret – Keep reading.
We learnt years ago that doing fancy exercises and training really hard didn’t always get the best results, unless you know why you are doing them.
Training effectively always comes down to purpose. Knowing - Why am I doing this training block, why am I doing this exercise, why do this amount of reps etc. What is the purpose of your training regime, your exercises and the variables around them?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself all the time. It is especially important for coaches and trainers to know the “why” in what they do.
I trained Lleyton Hewitt for 8 preseasons in a row and although Lleyton was never the guy to ask, “why are we doing this” or “why has this changed”. We would speak about the benefits of the training phase we would...
Yep tennis really does suck…. It sucks you in really bad!!!
There is something about hitting a tennis ball, that cannot be explained, it just feels right. Hitting a clean shot is enough to keep you coming back for more and more.
Do you ever feel like you are addicted to tennis? Don’t worry you are not alone, most players feel like they need a fix at least once a week……
So why is it that tennis, as frustrating as it can be at times, is also so enticing?
We have our thoughts on this……
1. People who love to play tennis and train for tennis, are generally people who love a sporting challenge. Due to the complexity of the game it is a nonstop challenge, dealing with a moving ball, serve, movement, strategy, energy levels and emotional stability.
2. People who love tennis are generally very competitive, not only when dealing with an opponent but also with himself or herself. Tennis gives them the fix they need.
3. The feeling players get...
Ok here is a blog for the all the players out there that want to improve quickly, win more matches and do them both with minimal effort…… Sound enticing? Read on
Many players will struggle to improve on a consistent basis, with both their tennis workouts and tennis game. They reach a point when added momentum will be required as levels start to plateau or even worse, injuries occur.
The many factors that can contribute to this situation include coaching, motivation levels, knowledge, application and attitude. But in our experience, some simple questions often reveal that players can identify at least three simple steps that they can implement immediately to help them make instant improvements.
Finding these things can propel players forward, providing momentum and boosting their motivation. They are often simple things (you don’t want to get too complicated).
The realisation that players can create change instantly is enough to shift their thoughts and will get...
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
Here are our tips on preparing for each surface. Grass/Synthetic grass
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...
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...
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 mans 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 and how much you sweat Add...
Champion athletes in any sport all have one thing in common… consistent results. To be successful and have longevity in a sport means you have to have many wins over time. Quite often I will ask my tennis players, “What makes a tennis champion” The answers will vary from training for tennis, dynamic tennis footwork, a massive forehand or serve, mental toughness and so on. All those answers make up a good player… but do they keep a champion at the top for months on end?
Most players will have experienced being up 4/1 in a set against someone who is ranked higher than them. How many times have you heard the lower ranked player, or the underdog put themselves in that position where they “could, should have, and almost” won. But they lost…..e
What makes a tennis champion isn’t just grabbing a set here and there (that’s of course a great start ). It is the ability to maintain form and endure rallies, games, sets, matches, and then...