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...
At Tennis Fitness we are all about education. We don’t know everything, that's for sure, what we have learned along our journey, we like to pass on. We encourage you to do the same!
We wanted to give you some useful Tennis Tips as well as other helpful tennis information on how you can get the most out of yourself, your coach, and your team. Give them a go and we are sure you will feel the difference!
Tip 1 – Tennis Warm-up
If you are not warming up before practice or matches you are costing yourself both time and money. An effective tennis warm-up before the start of practice will save you both time and money, here is why. If you walk on court ready to go, instead of warming up with your coach, you will get up to 20% more out of the session.
You might waste 10-15min warming up with your coach, that time could be used more productively. We always have our players implement their tennis conditioning drills into...
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...
This is a question we hear often. As tennis conditioners, we've worked with many top athletes. One thing that always stands out among professional players is that when they workout for tennis (off-court), they push even harder than they would on-court.
Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, and Martina Navratilova are great examples. When we trained them, they always knew when to bring a high level of intensity.
Training at high intensity is how players allow their bodies to work equal to and above the thresholds faced during competition.
Through rest and recovery, their bodies adapt and improve, allowing them to push more as they develop. Without this adaptation process, there are often minimal or even no physical gains.
When training out of competition you are basically preparing for competition and not just training for the sake of it. This is critical, as training is about preparing the body. It's imperative...
FIND OUT THE 5 MUST DO'S FOR PLAYERS "OVER 40"
Training for tennis over 40 can be challenging! For many players, the loss of energy and time makes it challenging. We need to also consider physically what happens as we age (Loss of muscle mass, aerobic capacity, and flexibility).
These factors alone will make it hard for even the seasoned player to deal with. So what can we do to combat these issues?
Read on for our “5 must do’s” for players over 40.
Before we get into our 5 must do’s, the first area we need to attack is the “Mindset” this is an area that I have found most players over 40 struggle with. Many people reside in the fact they are aging and “that's it”.
They keep doing the same things all the time, with no improvement (It is like watching a sinking ship). We cannot do much to stop the aging process but we can, by all means, do our best to slow it down and make the most of what we have.
Switching the mindset to a growth mindset...
I want to highlight an issue we often see in tennis players. Being aware of this and addressing it is something that has the capacity to prevent many tennis injuries for players.
Whenever we assess a player’s tennis mobility and flexibility we always start from the ground up (big toe flexion, foot alignment, ankle joint range, calf complex flexibility, etc.).
We have found with tennis players, they tend to get locked up or jammed in their ankle joints, their calf complex (plantaris, soleus, and gastrocnemius muscle), and the tibialis anterior (runs alongside your shin bone). Muscles shorten and joint mobility becomes restricted.
It is common to see players with poor ankle mobility in the leg they land on during the service motion.
To understand the importance of ankle mobility lets to take a step back and look at the body joint-by-joint. The body can be seen as an alternating stack of stable and mobile joints.
The ankle joint being the lowest to the ground, the ankle joint is...
We were chatting with a pro player that we helped out and we asked them a few questions about life for him on tour. We were amazed at some of his answers to the question.
What is tough about life on the road?
After hearing about how things roll for lower-ranked players, we find ourselves totally blessed!
I was lucky to start my career 15 years ago working at the top level with Monica Seles, and Giselle working with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. We have never seen the hardship described below, but we are aware they exist.
We don’t want to slag professional tennis in any way, we want the general tennis community to know what life is like, for an aspiring tennis player. We want to help educate young players on what they need to prepare for and push through, in order to be in the top 100.
Male player's rankings sit between 1-1000. The circumstances we are talking about below relate to players ranked 200 and below. Considering they are 800 of the best players in the world it was a real...
When I was a young athlete I would have never considered journaling or writing about how I was feeling or how I played or competed. I actually rarely stretched, ate well, or focused as much as needed in order to extract as much as I could out of myself. Was I dedicated? You bet, I put more into what I did than anyone else, I prided myself on being my fittest version and I would have done more if I had been simply shown.
The reason why the stretching, recovery, healthy eating, etc never happened was that I never had someone teach about those things, I never was exposed to their benefit.
Fast forward 3 decades, the journey I have been on myself has been life-changing. I spend more time working on my body and health than I do on training it. The number of resources and tennis training tools that have developed has opened doors to health and enhanced performance and now the fact that young athletes expect to stretch, recover, warm-up, and know what healthy eating is, is a testament to...
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...
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...