Archive for June, 2010

3 Training Mistakes to Avoid for Tennis Players

Posted in Xtreme Tennis Conditioning, Z.S. Tennis with tags , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by zenithstrength

There is so much training related information these days that its hard to know if the information you’re reading is credible. My clients all have similar goals regarding performance training. They all want to become better athletes. In the case of the tennis player, the requirements to become better athletically are still the same. You need to get stronger, more explosive, better conditioned and need to improve hip mobility and shoulder mobility. Unfortunately many athletes have been taught by their coaches, usually the sport coach that they need to avoid weight training or need to run miles at the track to become a better athlete.

Here are 3 training mistakes that I see many tennis players make in their quest to improve their on court performance.

1. Spending too much time on the tennis court working on skill development. For some reason in has been ingrained in the head’s of so many junior tennis players that they need to be on the court 7 days a week working on tennis specific drills. While it is imperative that the athlete continues to improve  tennis specific skills, there are limitations as to how much you can improve your athletic ability. There needs to be at least 2-3 days a week dedicated to a specific strength and conditioning program to address weaknesses, mobility issues and improving power output and quickness.

2. Not integrating recovery protocols  into the program. This means taking a least one day off a week to rest and let the body and the nervous system recover. Also, make sure you are doing regular soft tissue work using a foam roller or softball. Specific areas for tennis players include working the hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and mid-back.

3.Incorrect energy system training. This is an area that has recently gained more popularity, in light of some college tennis coaches who require their student athletes to run a specific mile time in order to earn a spot on the team. I could write a whole article as to why distance running is inappropriate for tennis but I will keep it simple. It comes down to energy system training specificity. The average professional tennis point lasts under 10sec. Most junior players will have rallies that average 30secs. The rest between points is 30seconds. Based on the principle of training specificity you should be doing a lot of sprint work in the 10-30second range with 30second rest intervals. That will benefit you much more than running for 5-6 minutes straight. They should require all coaches to take an exercise physiology class to understand this basic principle.

Take a look at the two pics. One is an endurance athlete and the other is a world class tennis player.,0.jpg Rafa didn’t build that physique without some quality sprint work in his training program

If you are a tennis player looking to play at the D1 level make sure you are training with a qualified strength coac h, integrating recovery into your workout and implementing  conditioning workouts that are no more than 45 seconds long with rest intervals of 30 seconds.

In Strength.