Steps To A Tennis Speed Training Program

Proper Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Training for Tennis Speed is all about maximum effort and intensity, so a proper DYNAMIC warm-up (no static stretching in the warm up!) is ESSENTIAL as your muscles will be working at full capacity.

The rate of muscular contraction is very high during speed training so if you don’t take the time to warm up properly you really run the risk of injury.

The same can be said of the cool-down period after training.

The excessive contractions tend to shorten the muscles and produce waste products as the session progresses so you MUST performf a proper cool-down as this will help to stretch the muscles back to their original resting length and eliminate the presence of the waste products such as lactic acid.

Your cool-down should be similar to the warm-up except the warm up should start slowly at low intensities and build up whereas your cool-down should the be exact opposite (gradually slowing down) finishing with some static stretching.

A proper warm up and cool down will also significantly reduce the amount of muscle soreness that will occur a day or so after the session.

Never Train Just in Straight Lines

Let’s think about how you play for a minute! As a percentage, write/scribble rough answers down to the following questions! How often do you move forwards? How often do you move backwards? How often do you move sideways? How often are you moving forwards (say towards the net) but side-shuffling (basically a sideways movement)? What about going backwards for a smash (tip – you should be positioned sideways for this shot)? Do you get the picture? Do you understand what I am trying to point out? Hopefully the answer is yes, but if not, here it comes!!

You can see from the above that many, many situations occur during the course of a match that require a multitude of movement types, BUT very few situations call upon you to run forwards as though you were sprinting to catch a bus!

So why would you choose to do your speed training in this way?

It’s just not specific is it?

If you were training for the 100 metres then straight line running is acceptable, but for tennis (and most other sports), you have to learn how to move quickly in many directions.

Straight Line training has its place in your programme but should NOT be the ONLY type of speed training you do!

Only Train Over Short Distances

Going back to what I said about only training in straight lines this was specific to the way tennis (and most sport) is played.

Another aspect of your speed training involves the distances you should be doing your training over.

Let’s think about the game again for a minute! Again scribble the answers down to the following questions. What is the average distance you cover to each shot? What is the maximum distance you may need to cover to get to any shot? Do you get my point?

The answers will vary slightly for each person and situation BUT they certainly are not 100 or 200 metres/yards!

SO

When you are training for speed, you only need to be training over very short distances such as 5 or 10 metres/yards.

To re-visit our earlier analogy – you are NOT a track sprinter so DON’T train like one!!

Rest Periods Are Vital

One of the most overlooked aspects of speed training is the rest you need to take in between repetitions/exercises.

Most people finish a repetition of a drill and begin the next one far too quickly.

The reason this is wrong is because for you to be able to impact on your speed, you have to perform all exercises at 110% intensity and for this to be possible you have to make sure you have fully recovered from the exertions before.

If you are not fully recovered you will only be able to perform at increasingly less intensity as the session progresses and therefore will only really be improving your endurance and NOT your speed.

You really need to be taking at least 1 minute (if not more) to rest although this does depend on the distances involved and the type of exercise involved.

But as a rule make sure you feel recovered before you start the next one.

Remember NOT to hurry your speed training and you WILL win the race!

Become a Great Tennis Player

Physical
All tennis players should have a strong interest in fitness. At lower levels we are wanting to become fitter, tennis might help us do this. At higher levels we want to improve our fitness above and beyond that required for the game of tennis so we can excel to greater levels. Regardless of your level you will need to condition your body to prevent injury, adapt to the movements required on the court and develop your game.

A player will need to perform strength training specific to the muscles used in the game. Weight training for especially the upper body is imperative as it will help you develop more power in your shots. If you look at Agassi for instance he could bench press 140kgs almost twice his body weight. This is a phenomenal power to weight ratio.

Strength training also helps prevent injury. Tennis can unbalance muscles in the body which can lead to injuries down the track. Often the front shoulder and chest muscles are more developed then the back muscles. Also the more dominant arm is often more developed then the non dominant arm. Working back and non dominant arm muscles will help balance your body out.

Psychological
Some say tennis is 80% mental and 20% physical. Whether this is true or not, psychological factors play a big part in the game of tennis. Your mental training program should go beyond the game of tennis on the court. You really need to build your self confidence, develop a competitive attitude, practice relaxation and concentration techniques, ensure you use positive self talk and visualize your goals you want to achieve. All these factors cannot be covered here in detail, and some are self explanatory like self confidence. Really all need to be developed and worked on daily.

Self talk and a positive attitude is perhaps the most important factor that needs to be discussed here. When you miss a shot what do you tell yourself in your head? Something along the lines of “damn I missed it” or “ill hit my next one for a winner”. Can you see the first comment is self defeating and the second is positive. If you can change the way you think from a negative to positive outlook by consciously monitoring your self talk you will go a long way to a sound psychological mind for tennis.

Tactical
Tactical elements of the game of tennis are often overlooked by most coaches which is a bad mistake. A more mindful tactical player will come out on top. Thousands of players hit better balls then the pros, however there poor tactical mind impedes there performances.

The ultimate tactic in tennis is consistency. The more balls you hit in the more likely you are to win a point. This is your greatest weapon. Good shot selection is also a cornerstone for a sound game. When in a rally situation you should use the more safe cross court shot, and only when you get a short ball that you can take advantage of should you go down the line.

The foundation of a good tactical play is the understanding of ones limits at all times. This comes through tactical practice and knowing where one is on the tennis court. Always incorporate tactics into a training regime and implement them in games.

Technical
Everyone’s technique is slightly different, however certain fundamentals need to be met for a sound shot. For example the racket face is always vertical on impact, certain grips work better on different shots, and a pathway of motion of the racket is required. For a topspin shot this would be from below the height of the ball to above the height of the ball.

Make sure when you train you develop a sound technique which can meet the demands of playing at higher levels, to ensure you do not have to drastically modify it later. This is done through developing those basic technical foundations that every coach should be able to help you with.

Improve Your Forehand In Tennis

If you have the basics of hitting a tennis forehand in place and now you want to improve it to another level try these tips:

  • For a solid compact swing, keep your right elbow close to your tummy at impact.
  • As you follow through make sure that the racket face is up in front of you and the contact surface is facing your opponent on its extension and rotational movement upward.
  • Make sure your stroke finishes shoulder high. Your arm at the elbow/forearm and your hand/racket form two 90 degree angles.
  • If you want to increase the speed of your stroke DO NOT hold the racket throat at the end of the swing with your non dominant hand. Let the racket head speed decrease naturally as you rotate trough the shot.
  • Ball speed depends on timing and acceleration, increase your racket head acceleration through the shot and you will increase ball speed.
  • Flatten your shots by hitting through the ball with less topspin, for accuracy and power.

About Mental Tennis Leaping

We all have been programmed by others or by ourselves unconsciously.

Then after we hear something over and over again, our subconscious mind starts accepting it.

And never challenging it.

So now you will have to lose that fault self concept, that has been created and sold to you, by leaping over it mentally.

Decide that from today, you are not going to let anyone’s opinion of you or your mental game, determine your results in matches.

This is what it really boils down to, the sad fact is most tennis players never do this and they accept what has been taught to them as fact, which is crazy, it takes courage to make this MENTAL LEAP.

Which is why most tennis players never do it.

Never forget that your friends and sometime relatives are going to try to hold you back, and that’s just a part of life, but stand up for yourself and believe that you were made for more, because you were!

It’s time for a mental leap!!

Ask yourself questions that make you think and don’t accept anything by others or yourself, without questioning it!!

This starts with you as a player.

You must create the mental image of the players that you want to become in your mind, then start acting and playing like you are already that player.

Then getting in tune with that image.

Be brave enough to act even when you are afraid on court, have faith in your mental game.

The mental leap is having faith in yourself, when no one else does.

Very few players are able to do this and what happens is this, ,

They never reach their full potential as players.

One time my high school coach told us this, ,

Tennis will reveal and then build character, but only if the player is willing to put forth the mental effort, to make it happen.

That statement is so true!!

And that’s a very important thing to keep in mind, when making this psychological leap with your tennis game.

Everything is mental in sports and in life and the more you face your fears with courage, the more you will feel mentally powerful.

Why?

Because when you face fears, you control them, and when you avoid them, they control YOU!!

Fear can and is holding millions of tennis players back as I write this article, and that is why I’m asking you here today, to make the mental leap by jumping over your fears.

Good luck my friend!!

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Post Up Tennis Goals

Most junior players don’t reach their tennis goals because they are not posted up and in blindsight, for them to look at.

Out of sight, out of mind, is real, let me tell you.

Post up all of your goals somewhere that, you can look at them daily and meditate on them, to give you better focus and concentration.

A great time for doing this is in the morning and then one more time in the evening before going to bed.

Soak it in as best as you can and form a clear picture of yourself reaching your targets and doing it in your mind.

All things are created mentally first, so if you can’t see it, you can’t reach it.

By posting your goals up in your room.

You will unconsciously activate your subconscious mind.

And it will start attracting certain people, coaches, and things into your life, that will help you achieve your goals.

“Your goal with doing this is to make yourself a living magnet for what you want and stop pushing it away”.

Yes, you need to want to reach your goal bad and yes, you will need to put in the work on the court.

But, you can’t be sending out the wrong energy while doing it (like most players do) and I think, this is why they don’t reach their goals.

They push away the exact thing that they want, by working for one thing, but expecting something else.

The power of expectation is what really counts here because what you expect from your efforts will determine how well you perform on the court.

You should never go into a tennis match, feeling like you can’t beat another player.

Winning in your mind is 85% of the mental battle and never forget that tennis is all mental.

We are in June right now, so you need to get serious and think about this.

How many of your goals have you reached this year?

How many are posted up?

Your answer will determine your results.

Good luck guys!!

Tennis Juniors Turning Pro

Let’s get right into this important information, because I value your time and I know you guys are busy with your schedules.

I used to teach tennis in japan and I saw many players go pro and then just mentally give up on themselves after a few years.

So, today I’ll give you a blueprint to follow and you can then adopt and adapt it for your playing career.

The main goal for every junior should be to get a tennis scholarship and then see how far they can take their competitive career from there.

They should not be thinking about turning pro at all.

Now of course they can make that a goal or a dream.

I have no problems with them doing that, but first things first, get that tennis scholarship.

There are more than 700 college tennis coaches looking for tennis players every year that can come into their programs and make them better.

So if you have the talent and want it bad enough, there is a tennis scholarship out there waiting for you.

I always use John McEnroe as an example, when I’m trying to drive home this point to kids and parents.

“John first went to college and still played in some pro tournaments, then he won the NCAA title and after that, when he saw that staying in school wouldn’t help advance his career and that he was mentally ready to go pro, he left and the rest is history.”

All tennis junior players should have a goal to get a tennis scholarship.

That means some juniors could stay for 3 or 4 years and get their degree, which is even better for their future security.

Again, there are a few exceptions to the rule!!

But here are the facts.

The majority of junior players will be late boomers, “They won’t get a feel for the game and their mental game until the age of 24 or older!!!

Hope that information there can help some of you guys.

Please be sure to like and share!!

And best of luck to you guys too!!

Tips For Serving In Matches

Set your own tempo and rhythm.

You need to always serve at your own tempo and pace.

Which means.

Never allow your opponent to dictate the tempo on your service games.

Start your motion on your own terms.

Never start serving until you have mentally recovered from the last point.

If you feel any carryover effect.

Step away from the baseline and breathe deeply for 3 times and start your pre-serve routine again.

This will help you set and maintain a good rhythm for your service games.

Never rush through your motion.

This is a very important point when serving.

You should never feel like you are rushing before or during your service motion.

Your body needs to be relaxed and your mind should be picturing one fluid service motion.

Again, if you are feeling nervous at any time before you start your service motion.

Step away from the line and repeat the above suggestions I just gave YOU.

Then start your pre-service routine over again.

At the junior level.

Head Tennis Coaches

Develop The Vision.

It all starts with you getting a clear vision of what type of tennis program, that you want to build.

Picture in your mind, how you want your program to look in 3 years and then in 6 years, down the road.

Your vision plan for your program, should be written out and then posted up in your office.

Set Team Goals.

At the start of every season, set team goals together with your team.

Ask them to take part in the planning and come up with some ideas for your goals for that season.

Never lower your goals either.

Instead push them to dig deeper and reach those goals.

Many coaches set goals, then during the season, they lower them for the players and this is the wrong move to take by coaches.

You job is to push them into their greatness and the only way to do that is to, help them develop grit in themselves!

Coach With Passion.

The more passionate you are about the game, the better results your team will get from your coaching.

My best tennis coaches were all passionate about the game.

There is real authentic power in coaching with passion.

It’s so contagious, that many of them will over achieve in their careers with you.

I would make that my main coaching theme for every team.

Bring passion to practice and bring even more passion to your team matches.

The main goal is to have fun with your team!

Thrill in Olympic Swimming

In Olympic Swimming, one would actually feel the tension in the air. The swimmers are very competitive and are committed to a win. And the audiences are correspondingly cheering hard for their representatives. One can expect thrilling Olympic Swimming events that can take your breath away. It is just too exciting to watch, and having so many people around having their own swimmers, will more than quadruple the fun.

What is more interesting now with Olympic Swimming is the addition of the Open Water Races. There will be the 10K open water races for both men and women divisions. These are very interesting additions as considered by many – but a welcomed one at that.

The addition of the Open Water Races in Olympic Swimming would add a variety to the swimming competition. Many believe that Europeans are well to dominate this category, but others will not come in without a good fight. Definitely, Olympic Swimming is able to put more excitement with their array of competitions in the field.

Serves Gone Wild

On your serve, did the ball touch the net, the center strap or top tape before hitting the opponent? If so, the ball is considered a let. Why? Because for the ball to be considered out, it has to hit some part of the court after it touches the net, center strap or top tape or net cord.

If it did not touch the net or any part of the fixed court (posts, singles sticks, etc), did the ball cross the net and hit the ground in the correct service box BEFORE it hit your opponent? If the serve was good and the ball hits the opponent receiver or opponent partner, the point is yours.

If the serve did not land in the correct service box, THEN hit your opponent receiver or opponent partner, then the ball was considered out of play (or dead) before it hit the player. If this is the case, you can start your second serve. If that was your second serve, you lose the point and begin your next serve.

IF the ball hit your opponent BEFORE it hit the ground or net, the point is yours. After the ball crosses the net, it needs to hit hit the ground before it is determined to be “out” or “in”. If the opposing players prevent the ball from hitting the ground first, they lose the point and you win the point. It is not so much as the opposing players PREVENT the ball from hitting the ground first as much as they just could not get out of the way of the ball fast enough.

It is odd but if you hit your opponent with the ball, you win the point. Maybe that is why so many players try to hit their opponents.

See you on the courts!