Having been tennis trainers for over 20 years and worked with a diverse range of players from tennis professionals to tennis kids, we have seen a lot. We have also found some major missing links in players' tennis strength and conditioning programming and training. These are areas we are always trying to address and educate coaches, tennis parents, and players on. Getting the balance right is important and finding a way to keep players consistent is tough for most.
Aside from the missing links we find in the tennis training space, we have highlighted the need for players to understand the importance of building their game around 3 key areas. These 3 key areas need to be balanced and all functioning together in order to produce the best tennis results and create the best development pathway.
No matter your age or level of play, if you want to boost your performance, win more matches, remain injury-free, and stay motivated then you should be aware of these areas and be doing...
It is all about balance and finding what works for each person as an individual. There are a few areas that in our opinion are “givens” meaning everyone should do them. One of the most important is “Rest days”. We are always amazed at how many people contact us for advice and when we look over their tennis workout plan/schedule they have no rest day/s in a week.
Most of the time they say they don’t feel they need it. In this blog post, we will be looking at rest in relation to rest days, meaning a period of 24-36 hours of minimal physical activity for tennis players.
Why have a rest day?
Simply put tennis athletes train to increase performance (that’s what we are aiming for). Performance increases are achieved through increased training loads...
Unbreakable - Have you read the book? The tennis journey of Jelena Dokic.
What an amazing read.
We had the privilege of interviewing Jelena recently for our blog series
“In the Mind of a Tennis Champion”
The insight Jelena gave us into her tennis journey was both inspiring and unsettling.
After listening back to the interview and having read her book, we realized how much she had endured and how resilient she had become. Jelena copped years of physical and emotional abuse from her father, centered around her tennis and her success on the court.
Imagine playing a match and knowing if you lost it you would cop a flogging when you walked into your hotel room, by the person who should be actually stopping someone from flogging you.
Putting up with this for years on end and on top of it dealing with the pressures and demands of being a top tennis pro. Reaching number 4 in the world whilst all this was going, it was a herculean effort, seriously.
Jelena's story unfortunately...
When we started our careers as tennis trainers, we never dreamed our journey would have gone as well as it has. We have met some amazing people along the way; Players, coaches, trainers, therapists, managers, tournament staff, fans, and everyone in between.
We have learned from the best in the business and now we thoroughly enjoy sharing our knowledge and experiences.
Working with some of the best tennis players in the world gave us the reality of what it takes to make it. We learned lessons not only about tennis workouts and everything tennis but more importantly about life. That is the beauty of sport, the lessons we learn from winning, losing, working hard, getting up after getting knocked down, learning to compete in a fair manner, transcend beyond the court.
As tennis trainers we believe it is as much about learning about the player;
This has always given us...
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,...
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...
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...
Janine Thompson is a highly regarded world-class player and tennis coach.
Playing career - #9 World Junior / #52 WTA Singles / #9 WTA Doubles / Fed Cup 3 times
Coaches: Tony Roche, John Newcombe, and other world-class tennis masters helped shape Janine’s coaching methodology.
Janine has coached many top juniors and professional players/tennis masters.
As Tennis Trainers, we appreciate Janine’s willingness to share knowledge and work together for the betterment of players. As you will also find Janine is candid and to the point, this something we also love about her.
Read Janine's blog on progressing a tennis player to a tennis master.
You wouldn’t take your car with an engine problem to a dietician or naturopath for some change of juice advice. OR if you had a racquet needing restringing to an alteration shop.
There are so many aspects involved in the progression of a tennis player. Each has unique stories with different beginnings and...
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, ...
The Value Of A Flexible And Mobile Athlete!
Teaching young athletes how to prepare their bodies for performance is crucial for long term injury prevention and constant physical development.
After performing 100s of junior tennis fitness assessments, postural screens, and flexibility assessments we have found most young athletes are falling short with their flexibility and mobility ranges.
Is this fault of their own? It can't be, they just do what they are asked.
There needs to be more focus on this from tennis trainers, coaches, and parents.
What we are finding is that young players are exposed to more time on the court with no cross over into other sports.
This combination leads to constant loading patterns and in some cases overuse issues.
What is important to realize is that young players, no matter how good they are at 12 years old, if they don't have healthy flexibility and mobility ranges it is only a matter of time before they hit an injury wall.
We see it all the time, it's...