Train for your sport
I am sure you have heard or come across the phrase “sport-specific training”. There is a reason. Every sport has their unique demands and training needs to reflect those specific demands. I remember my very first tennis fitness program when I was competing and I can tell you that it made a huge difference. I started winning more and my tendonitis vanished. Why? I started training for my sport. I wanted to maximize my performance and stay injury free. The message here is that you can be extremely fit but if you are not conditioned for your sport then you will be faced with the daunting task of meeting those physical requirements. I was conditioned for tennis and the results I saw and experienced reflected that.
The physical demands of tennis: the three pillars of tennis fitness
The moment you start playing you are faced with the combined tasks of constant movement, short explosive sprints and frequent directional changes. The magnitude of these demands is of course relative to the level of play (recreational vs. high performance). Training starts here with these three features and they need to form the foundation upon which a fitness program is designed. This is why I coined them as the three pillars of tennis fitness.
Need for tennis-specific speed?
Tennis has often been characterized as a game involving high intensity bouts of emergency situations followed by an approximate 20 second rest period. This is referred to as the work-rest ratio. In fact, most tennis points last less than 10 seconds and players rarely exceed a running distance of 20 meters in one shot on a tennis court. This indicates that tennis is a highly anaerobic sport.
The common goal
I would like to end off by safely saying that as tennis players we do share one common goal and that is to stay on court longer and play injury free. Regardless of our playing level or starting point, this is a goal that we share. Meeting the physical demands of tennis would be a crucial first step in achieving this goal. Share your thoughts or comments below. #Common goal if you agree.
Your dedicated coach,