This week we are lucky to hear from the Academy's Strength and Conditioning Coach, Joe Wear, who outlines the importance of physical development in the success of competitive tennis players...
Tennis is a very physically demanding sport and to make it to the top of the game it takes a great amount of training and dedication. With the highly demanding physical side of the game it is essential that players have their own strength and conditioning programmes so you can improve your speed around the court and stay strong and injury free.
A tennis match can last anywhere from 1 hour to the longest ever match which was recorded at 11 hours 5 minutes. Each game having explosive shots and changes of direction, so you have to be in prime physical condition. You should have a programme that focusses on the key areas of tennis, which should be worked on weekly. These are
It is simply not enough to hit tennis balls to progress in your game. International, National and County tennis is extremely competitive and one way to get an edge over the opposition is to work hard on the physical side of your game.
If you have two players of equal skill level, one that works hard on their strength and conditioning, and the other that does none. Which player do you think stands the better chance of winning?
The strength and conditioning programme should work alongside your tennis to make sure everything you do transfers to your on court training.
A common misconception around strength training and junior athletes still exists today. Strength training will NOT stunt an athlete’s growth - it will actually enhance and help the athlete improve and reduce the chance of being injured. As a tennis player you should be able to control your bodyweight in some key major movements.
A good starting point is to see if you can perform the following exercises with your bodyweight.
Jump and hold
Hop and hold
Your preparation as a tennis player is key. Make sure your working hard on the Technical, Tactical, Physical and Mental side of your game, but more importantly have fun and enjoy the process of training hard and giving your best!