The global Health and Fitness industry moves and changes at such a rapid rate, it can feel overwhelming for people to keep up. Having been in the industry for 20 years, we have seen lots of things come and go and the good news is, the bad things are the ones that go. Fads and gimmicks fade almost as fast as they come and in the tennis industry it is no different.
One thing that has always been at the forefront of any successful tennis physical performance plan is “Tennis Strength Training”.
Research shows strength training gives athletes more benefits across the board than any other training discipline.
Being a parent (father) myself with very active kids, I am always wanting to do what I can to better their training and competition experience.
Having been lucky enough to have had experience in training young tennis players for a long period of time, I do my best to get the most out of them, although it is never easy when it is your own kids!
I am always one for outsourcing services with our kids. I play guitar, but I get my son and daughter guitar lessons with someone. Giselle is an ex swim instructor, but we put our kids in swimming lessons.
The one area we do not outsource is anything to do with strength training, flexibility, conditioning, etc. We do this for a living and do it well.
Not everything needs to be outsourced and there are areas of being a tennis coach or tennis parent that you can really capitalize on. Recovery and preventing tennis injuries is a big one.
One aspect, in particular, I would put high on the list, I recommend tennis parents,...
Nathan and Giselle operate their world-renowned Tennis Fitness brand and have trained five world number one players over the life of the business.
Through the journey of creating Tennis Fitness, they both developed a passion for the sport after learning the ins and outs of the game. “Being a tennis trainer, I think tennis is the pinnacle of sport because it is so complex in many ways,” Giselle explained.
Nathan and Giselle have built a breadth of experience working with athletes such as Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, Martin Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Monica Seles. The lessons learned have inspired them to create their own ‘Martin Method’ brand to achieve success with players of all levels.
According to Nathan, the success they have experienced has come from a unique focus on the mental resilience involved with high-level training. “As much as we use the physical aspect, you also start to realize how important training is to...
If you have been a coach or trainer for a while, you would have heard this question a few times “So do they have a chance of making it”. It is always a tough question to answer.
We believe tennis is definitely the most challenging and complexed sport globally to reach the top in. So many factors to consider! However, I believe there is one factor that stands alone and gives me a good indication on whether a player has the desire to “Make it”
If a player does not have the willingness to do “whatever it takes” they are a zero chance.
I honestly believe that.
Any high-level sports person somewhere along their journey has gone to places few others will, pushing themselves, sacrificing time – money – relationships and never giving up.
Some stay there for years and succeed more than others.
I want to tell you a story about a young kid. It will give you, a sense of what I believe as a tennis trainer, coach, and parent we should be...
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...
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...
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...
In order to improve your tennis performance, it is important to physically work hard, but it is just as important to rest and recover hard! Vigorous, prolonged tennis exercise breaks down muscle tissue, fatigues the nervous system and overall places the body under stress. It is during the rest and recovery period that the body gets the positive physical and emotional gains (cardiovascular, strength, mentally, etc.).
If there is an overload of tennis training volume and intensity (level of energy used) with inadequate recovery time between sessions, a player will start to develop, physical, behavioral and emotional issues. This scenario can be classified as a condition called Overtraining. Overtraining or burnout is a common problem for many athletes of all ages in many sports. It is often seen in young tennis players. Possibly due to the fact that they find it harder to communicate how they are feeling and they are not as in tune with their bodies as adults.
Working with the right...