Most people struggle to improve their tennis conditioning (recovery between points, endurance) on a consistent basis. They get to a point where things plateau or even worse tennis injuries occur. Is that you? Maybe you have been there before.
Having been tennis fitness trainers for over 20 years, we have found this can be due to a number of factors (poor technique, doing the wrong training, motivation, knowledge, application, attitude). I have found that when some simple questions are asked, players know at least 3 things that they can do better straight away to help them improve how they train and apply themselves to their conditioning training.
Finding these 3 things can get players going, boost their motivation, and push them forward. They are often simple things (you don’t want to get too complicated). It’s the realization that they can create change instantly, that is enough to shift their thoughts and will get them seeing things differently,...
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...
It is not uncommon to see players focusing on the one percent aspect of their game when they should be focusing on what gives them the greatest improvements.
Sometimes as coaches, tennis trainers, and players, we get caught up in the small things and lose sight of what can give us immediate impactful gains.
The main physical areas that every player needs to focus on are –
Strength and Flexibility/Mobility.
When you get these areas right and you are ineffective and healthy ranges, then you should look to improve other aspects of your physical state.
Improving your Strength, Flexibility/Mobility will give you the best bang for buck!
Following a specific Tennis Strength and Conditioning Program is the best course of action.
One area I see a lot of players struggling with (many are unaware of it) is court balance (Staying balanced when hitting, feeling centered, transferring weight through the shot).
A lot of people, for example, seem to be focusing on what the...
Whilst presenting at Indian Wells recently, we had the pleasure to meet and listen to one of the most successful coaches to come out of America (even though he is Dutch :)
Robert Landsdorp has coached some of the greats including - Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, and Maria Sharapova.
It was an interesting presentation, as Robert is in his 80s now and was very candid about his craft.
Robert explained some areas of coaching he found the most impactful. He demonstrated some of his favorite tennis drills and told stories about players he had coached and mentored.
One of the stories that stuck with me was at his 80th birthday party, the majority of the guests were the players he had coached. They all seemed honored to be there. This in my opinion is a sure sign that a coach has done his job.
He mentioned that the ones who gave speeches did not mention his coaching, but rather what he did for them as people, how he helped shape their lives. Every coach and trainer have the capacity to do...
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...
Today we want to give you 3 FREE Tennis Fitness Tests and a practical aerobic training program to compliment it! These are some tests we do with our tennis players.
1 Mobility Test
2 Change of Direction Test
3 Aerobic Test (MAS)
You will have access to the free specific tennis aerobic program after you have completed your free tests.
At tennis fitness we believe it is very important to assess an athlete and measure where they are at. This gives us the ability to know their current level and establish what level they need to be at (their goal) We firmly believe, if we put all our athletes through a movement analysis, whether that analysis is agility based, speed-based, aerobic-based, or all three. Then incorporate a strength tennis fitness test, we then get a clear cut starting point and an end goal. This is how you educate and motivate an athlete. Check out the tests and give them a go.
If you are lacking motivation this is your starting point.
"What Gets Measured, Gets...
Upper limb injuries in tennis are the most common overuse type problems and the most common is Tennis Elbow.
Tennis Elbow or lateral epicondylitis is an extremely common condition where the tendon attachment (origin) of the wrist and finger extensor muscles (back of the forearm) becomes irritated and painful due to excessive amounts of the activity causing tissue overload. This can occur in a variety of activities like tennis, golf, and even typing.
In tennis simply increasing the amount of practice and play to quickly can lead to an overload, inflammation of the tendon, and pain. However, many other factors can also influence the situation. These may include the size of the racket grip (too big or too small), the string tension, the type of play (double-handed backhand is less provocative). Other less obvious culprits include poor posture (especially of the shoulder blades) and poor core control, which can have a substantial influence on the kinetic chain and cause neck and...
You have probably heard us go on about how important is tennis strength training. If you haven’t, well we consider it to be the building block for all other training modalities.
It’s the foundation for physical development! That’s why we are so excited to be able to share with you our new approach to how we program our tennis players for strength gains.
We have developed a system and structure that progresses and periodise our strength programs, it is practical, effective and tennis specific.
If you are one of the players who goes to gym and does “Whatever” you will get whatever results… who wants that!
You need to know what you are doing, make sure your tennis program is progressing and most importantly, know WHY you are doing it! It’s all about the why!
If you can’t answer the reason why you’re doing it and have any purpose or intention with your program, then it’s not going to work.
We are so passionate about strength...
Yes, it’s correct we are really disappointed. It really brings us down.
It’s so disappointing to see so many young tennis kids get injured.
Over the past year, we have seen kids as young as 12 years with tears in rotator cuffs, tendonitis in the elbow, wrist, Achilles, and frightening stress fractures in the shoulders and lower back. We are seeing more and more young athletes present with limited flexibility, stability, and strength.
In a nutshell, what parents, coaches, and players need to know is;
“There is no short term fix….. there is no quick fix pill, if you are not willing to do the correct things at the beginning, you are setting young athletes up for disaster.
I know this might be harsh but it’s fair to say this, as we have been working with tennis players for over 20 years (on tour and in academies). We saw it first hand, working in Spain, with kids that did the correct things Svetlana Kuznetsova and Juan Monaco to name a few. Both at a young...
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 into 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...