Game, set, match!
written by Carlos Diaz
Head Performance Coach,
Acceleration Brisbane East
Game, set, match!
Since the introduction of tennis to Australia around 150 years ago, the popularity, growth and professionalism of the sport has grown rapidly. It is a unique sport as it attracts a broad demographic of age groups and competency: novices, amateurs, semi and professional athletes.
During the late 1960s and 1970s, interest in tennis, as both a participant and spectator expanded, and this aligned with the rise of televised tournaments. Sponsorship deals and prize money pushed the game to new heights and an Australia-wide passion for the game was borne with many Australian players acclaimed on the world stage.
As strength and conditioning coaches here at Acceleration, we pride ourselves on knowing how to prepare athletes to be the best they can be in their chosen sports. We understand how technique is intimately related to performance and how a poor technique hinders success and increases the risk of injury.
We strongly believe that emerging tennis players, in particular, should complete a well-structured strength and conditioning program in their early years that focusses on specific tennis-based exercises that will help them to maintain and improve their form, minimise injury and optimise performance during their playing career. Research literature has found a positive correlation between the biomechanics of the tennis serve and lower back injuries especially in connection with adolescent tennis players. Far too often, they hyperextend the spine when serving and, combined with repeated rapid rotation of the trunk during ground strokes, there is a higher rate of lumbar spine abnormalities.
As strength and conditioning coaches, we focus on injury prevention, skills development and sports specific training to achieve the best sport performance possible. We also understand the impact that equipment has on shoulders and wrists from the weight of the racquet through to string tension, court conditions, footwear and playing surfaces.
If your son or daughter is interested in playing at the junior level, tennis academies and school programs can improve their game. The fact is, younger tennis players are entering the professional circuit by the age of 15-17 years old. As their professional schedule increases, the travelling time, training time and playing time rises too. The physical demands of the sport also increase the likelihood of injuries during their playing career and correct form, technique, skills development and strength and conditioning can mean the difference between a short career and a long and enjoyable relationship with the sport.