Welcome to the Superfit Tennis Blog


Warning: Regular reading of and participation in this blog may give you an unfair advantage by significantly improving your  Physical Conditioning and Mental Strength for Tennis. (This is especially true if you are participating in a Superfittennis Program)  

Tennis Specific Speed Agility Reaction

 

In this video Torando Ali Black and I demonstrate how reaction, agility(balanced change of direction), and quickness (fast feet adjustments) can be easily practiced. Try doing this for several sets of 20 seconds of movement followed by 20 seconds of rest. Doing so will significantly improve one’s anaerobic endurance. BEWARE: Tornado makes this drill look easy but it is actually not so easy. The player is required to react and change directions quickly and not get too close to the cones.

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Why You Shouldn’t Give 100% Effort

 

Why do so many tennis coaches and parents of players say the following: “You need to go out there and give 100%?   At first glance, that appears like the logical thing to ask of a player. Unfortunately, that is not sound advice because when a player actually does try to give a 100%  effort level the muscles and mind tend to tighten up. That is not conducive to optimal performance on the tennis court.

It is fine for a player to care about playing well and try hard. With that being said, it is also crucial for the player to be in a relaxed flowing state while playing.  It is important to care, be determined, and be  intense as long as the muscles and mind are not tense. This mental and physical tightness does not allow a player to get into a flow state. Continue Reading Why You Shouldn’t Give 100% Effort »

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Tennis Specific Movement Drills-Andy Murray

 


Those who still run in a straight line for miles really need to check this out. Developing juniors need to work on functional tennis movement patterns without hitting balls. This style of training makes moving much more efficient when one does get to live ball situations. Heck, even pros who have a very well-developed game and movement patterns like Andy Murray do this type of fitness training to become faster and more comfortable for the live ball situations. Depending on the amount of training done and the rest periods involved, this training can be a great conditioning drill as well. Here, the drills are being used to primarily get Andy prepared to play on this particular court surface.

It is not just about hitting balls!!!
Imagine what this does for those who are still in the development process. This type of training is not easy, but the fruits of your labor can be incredible.

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How Specified Should Your Fitness For Tennis Training be?

 

In general, a fitness program for tennis needs to place focus upon several specific elements. Every tennis player needs a good first step, good recovery and change of direction to the ball and good physical recovery in between points with the capability of being able to last through long matches and tournaments. All tennis players should also focus on keeping their core strong (lower back and abdominal muscles) and take part in an injury prevention for tennis program which focuses upon strengthening the tendons and ligaments surrounding the wrist, elbows, shoulders, lower back, hips, knees, and ankles.  Yes, all of the aforementioned can and should be part of a specific and regularly implemented group or personalized fitness program for tennis.   

Oftentimes, players want individualized attention because participating in a customized for their needs fitness program for tennis, focus can be placed on their specific strengths, weaknesses, and capability. By doing so, results can be obtained quickly.   Prior to starting an individualized fitness programfor tennis, players should definately take part in an age specific fitness for tennis testing protocol. Results from the testing can quickly determine their individual strengths and weaknesses and the fitness coach can use the results asa guiding tool for creating a fitness program.  Anaerobic endurance, lower and upper-body power, quickness, multi-directional agility, core strength, speed and muscular imbalances should be the focal points of the tennis specific testing.

Note:

 Once a players strengths and weakenesses are determined, those weaknesseses need to become the focal point of their fitness for tennis program. The players age and style of play will also play a major part in what their physical needs for tennis are.

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Charlotte 27 Racket touches

 

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1 foot + drill 1234

 

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This is a Good Example of Tennis Specific Movement Training

 

I am an advocate of this style of training. If you are not being pushed and practicing in this manner then you are simply not going to improve your on court movement. There are a few technical elements that I may change and I would add in some reaction drills to the mix, but all in all a great clip on tennis movement. I would also not allow players to be keeling over and showing that they are tired. I don’t care how tired they are. That is simply not good practice and if one shows that they are tired during matches it will simply give the opponent confidence to run you around some more.

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Crossover Steps Tennis Footwork

 

serviceboxrackettouches1 300x174 Crossover Steps Tennis Footwork

Service Box racket touches drill- while facing the net the entire time how many times can you touch the singles sideline and center service line with your racket in a specified amount of time which is usually not more than 30 seconds (great for practicing and improving your crossover steps and may be used for an endurance enhancement drill)

 

It is amazing that so many hours are spent on technical training skills and so little time is spent on improving ones tennis footwork. Perhaps people do not know how to train tennis footwork properly? If I received a nickel for every time someone came up to me and told me that their son or daughter needed to improve their crissover step for tennis, I would be quite wealthy. Unfortunately, well-intended parents and even coaches oftentimes ask me the best ways to improve explosiveness and change of direction/recovery.  In todays fast paced game everyone understands that it is necessary to explode back towards the middle of the court after retrieving a wide ball.  It amazes me how many people talk about the crossover step and understand that it will help them recover quicker, but do not know how to properly do the crossover step. In order for this aspect of tennis footwork to be performed effectively, it must be performed correctly.  

The video shown above is a good example of a right-handed player using the crossover step when going wide to hit a forehand.  Notice that the crossover step does not need to be used every single time you hit a stroke. It is used on balls that take you out wide, in order to more efficiently get back towards the middle of the court.  When a wide ball is hit to you, take your back let (the one closest to the sideline) and cross it in front of your other leg. Then push off hard and to the side you are going towards with that front leg. This action will spring you back towards the center of the court. Continue Reading Crossover Steps Tennis Footwork »

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Functional Training: What is it?

 

Functional Training may be one of the most overused and least understood terms in the history of physical conditioning.  Quite frankly,  it does sound quite impressive, but what in the world is functional training?  Simply stated, functional training is training the body for the purpose of enhancing a specific activity. Tennis specific functional training  focuses on the muscles, movements, and energy systems that are specific to tennis. The majority of a functional training program focuses on the training of movements similar to the sporting acivity.  Performing exercises that isolate the training of a specific muscle and are not functional generally have no place in a fitness training for tennis program. 

In the following video by trainer Todd Norman of Cutting Edge Sports Training, demonstrates one good example of a functional for tennis exercise. This is exactly the type of fitness training for tennis that creates real results that you can see on the court.  The following will explain why this would be considered a functional training for tennis exercise. Continue Reading Functional Training: What is it? »

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Great Tennis Specific Medicine Ball Exercises

 

Great video that is brought to you by Ian Westerman of www.essentialtennis.com and personal trainer Steve Beck. This Video shows you some simple and functional fitness for tennis exercises that can add power to your forehands, bachands, serves, and volleys. I would simply suggest that you make certain to not do too much when starting out and slowly progress from a lighter medicine ball to a heavier one over time. Doing 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps of these fitness for tennis exercises should be done 3x a week for optimal results.

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