Having fast and responsive movement is what every tennis player should be aiming for.
Getting yourself set up for shots, getting to short balls and having the ability to feel like you can attack from anywhere on court is important.
To achieve this every tennis player needs to be performing an effective and specific tennis speed program.
It's not just about getting down the park to do a couple of 50m sprints. You need to be performing specific speed components with the intention of progressing the program to prevent a plateau.
There are three different speed components you need to focus on;
Acceleration, Deceleration and High end speed.
This is also known as taking off or first step acceleration. Considering the majority of distances, we cover on court fall under 7metres per change of direction, we need rapid acceleration
This is also known as braking or stopping. We believe training deceleration drills are as important, if not more important than acceleration drills. Especially when we get a bit older, you may find it a little harder to stop, when hitting out wide or running to the net for a drop shot. It is paramount that players learn how to accelerate, but more importantly decelerate. Deceleration loads the body a lot more than acceleration, during deceleration our bodies need to absorb a lot of load.
High End Speed
This is also known as sprinting or top end speed. Depending on the age and level top end speed only happens after approx. 20-30m. Just because you don’t run this distance when on court playing, doesn’t mean it is not important. It is imperative you learn to run at your top end speed, holding upright body position and good posture.
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Tempo speed program, plus speed drills
To get the most from your tennis speed program all drills must be performed at 100%. Anything that is not all out, will not be beneficial.
There are also three key points you need to concentrate on when performing these speed components; Power, Position and Pattern.
Concentrating on these three points in the speed drills will help improve your overall speed and movement balance.
We usually recommend to perform your speed drills prior to commencing your tennis speed program.