Get Better at Tennis WITHOUT Using a Racket
How Sports Performance Training Works Without Being Too Sport Specific!
We often get calls from tennis parents and athletes looking for sport-specific training.
It seems like they expect to see our coaches working with a tennis racket and ball in our sessions.
While we do work on the performance training of high-skill sports like tennis, we are not in the business of working on tennis swings specifically. In fact, we are in the business of literally doing the OPPOSITE.
I know that doesn’t sound helpful but let me explain.
Tennis is a one-sided or unilateral sport.
Being a one-sided or unilateral sport means you are predominately only using one side of your body.
Think about all the hours you spend hitting a ball to perfect your swing and serves.
The time you spend practising and playing can add up to a lot of wear and tear on your body.
Therefore, the last thing we want to do is to add to the thousands of repetitions your body has already done and expects to do in the future.
It doesn’t make sense for your performance coach to do more of the same.
Also, I would expect your skills coach would shudder at the thought of a performance coach handling or adjusting your precise and refined skills.
How We Train Tennis Players
Our aim is to support the limbs and joints that are doing all this work by building up the opposite muscles and joints.
For example, it is much better for a tennis player to work the external rotator cuff muscles which prevent the shoulder from tearing out of its socket when serving.
Building this will allow the upper body to hit the ball harder without causing injury.
So, the external rotator cuff is not the primary muscle used in the swing motion but strengthening it is necessary to support the shoulder so it can produce the power it needs to hit hard!
The Same Goes for Speed and Agility
Our speed and agility training may not look tennis specific – but it IS.
Tennis players need to be able to sprint very quickly from one side of the court to the other.
We ask our tennis players to run further than half a tennis court because if you improve speed over a longer distance, it will improve acceleration.
Improved acceleration means improved tennis-specific quickness.
What Goal or Purpose Has Brought You Here?
When tennis players come to us ready to work on their bodies to perform their best, this is what we do for them.
- Work on the ‘lopsided’ aspects of your body (50% more work on the non-dominant side)
- Increase mobility, power and strength for tennis
- Increase foot speed, agility and conditioning for tennis
- Reduce the risk of injury specifically for your body rather than just the sport of tennis
We will connect the exercises and drills in your program to your needs and goals.
Acceleration Australia is here to look at the whole picture of where you are today and where you want to be in the future.
Have a look at this video on one of our previous clients, Matthew Stubbins, who has played tennis for Papua New Guinea.
Get stronger and faster today for tennis!
Stewart Briggs, M.Ed, C.S.C.S
Managing Director Acceleration Australia