As tennis legend Arthur Ashe famously said, “There is a syndrome in sports called paralysis by analysis.”
Paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing a situation, resulting in poor execution. The history of paralysis by analysis dates back thousands of years to where the concept can be seen in one of Aesop’s Fables:
A fox boasts to a cat that it has hundreds of escape options while the cat only has one. When the two animals hear hounds approaching, the cat scampers up a tree while the fox gets caught up, paralyzed upon debating which escapes route he should take.
Especially amongst juniors, most tennis instruction is centered around correct biomechanics, and while technical aspects are fundamental, it is all too easy for players to fall into the trap of this ‘practice mindset’ and constantly devote their attention to the split step, unit turn, pointing with their left hand, driving the butt cap through, brush up the ball, elbow finish...
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 bodyweight 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 ...