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STAR TENNIS

Autumn Coaching plan 2020

DATE GAME SITUATION TACTICAL INTENTION TECHNICAL INTENTION (PAS) & BALL  CONTROL (HDDSS) CORE DRILL (MEASURABLE) PHYSICAL MENTAL SKILLS
 

31 Aug

BOTH BACK CONSISTENCY

 

HIT A QUALITY RALLY BALL THAT GOES DEEP LOW TO HIGH SWING PATH. MEDIUM ARC OVER THE NET FOR DISTANCE HOW MANY BALLS PAST THE SERVICE LINE. OR HOW MNAY RISING BALLS THROUGH THE B.LINE 5 BALL PICK UP . SPEED ENDURANCE AND AGILITY BREATH OUT ON THE HIT. RELAXTION UNDER PRESSURE
7 Sep BOTH BACK NEUTRALISING HIT A HIGH BALL WHEN UNDER PRESSURE & RECOVER STEEPER SWING PATH. TOPSPIN FOR ADVANCED PLAYERS. ‘TURN & RUN’ SCORE OUT OF 5 FOR HITTING A DEEP BALL UNDER PRESSURE LTA SHUTTLE TEST. HOW MANY COURT LENGTHS IN 90 SECS POSITIVE SELF TALK WHEN IN A TOUGH SITUATION.
14 Sep BOTH BACK

TRADE OR BUILD

CROSS COURT KEEP PLAYER AWAY FROM THE MIDDLE. HIT THE OUTSIDE EDGE OF THE BALL. LOW TO HIGH DIAGONAL SWING LINE. HOW MANY CROSS COURT BALLS IN A MINUTE

 

5-0-5. CHANGE OF DIRECTION TEST. RUN FROM C.LINE AND TOUCH BOTH S.LINES CONCENTRATION. FOCUS ON THE BALL. TIGHTEN STRINGS IN BETWEEN.
21 Sep BOTH BACK BUILD USE ANGLES AND DOWN THE LINE SHOTS TO PLAY AWAY FROM THE MIDDLE STEEP SWING FOR ANGLE TO CREATE SPIN. LINE SHOTS KEEP LINE OF THE SWING STRAGIHT POINTS . PLAY AWAY FROM THE MIDDLE . HOW MANY BALLS PLAYED AWAY (MATCH CHART) SQUATS (KG) OR DEEP SQUAT (TECHNICAL SCORE / 5) AGGRESSION. FAST RACKET WITH CONTROLLED AGGRESION
28 Sep APPROACH TO THE NET FINISH THE RALLY WITH A DOWN THE LINE WINNER OR VOLLEY FLATTEN THE SWING FOR LESS SPIN. AFTER A SHORT BALL HIT AWAY FROM THE MIDDLE INTO TARGET AREA SPRINTS 20M (SECS) RISK TAKING. TAKE ON THE SHORT BALL AN COMMITT.
5 Oct APPROACH THE NET CHANGE DIRECTION ON THE VOLLEY ANGLE VOLLEY BY HITTING EARLY AND OUT INFRONT BUILD DOWN THE LINE AND VOLEY INTO THE OPEN COURT STANDING BROAD JUMP ( CM) GOAL SETTING. SET GOALS FOR THE SEASON AND FOR EACH MATCH
12 Oct SERVE CONSISTENCY DEPTH OF SERVE TO ENSURE OPPONENT CAN NOT BUILD MEDIUM SPEED. CONISTENT BALL TOSS AND AIM FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE LUNGE TECHNIQUE SCORE / 5 VISUALISATION. MENTALLY REPLAY YOUR BEST SHOTS.
19 Oct SERVE BUILD WIDE OR T SERVES TO MOVE THE OPPONENT ANGLE THE RACKET AND USE THE INE OF THE SWING TO AIM 20 SERVE CHALLENGE. 5 SERVES WIDE AND T. SCORE OUT OF 5 FOR EACH DIRECTION JAVELIN THROWS (CM) MEDITATION PRACTICE. 5 MINUTES . RELAX AND FOCUS.

 

RAMP Warm Up for Tennis

Getting warmed is essential for a match and a training / session coaching session. As a coach I need to observe a player first in a realistic situation rather than seeing a player not showing their real shot as cold. Also for competition often players see themselves as ‘slow starters’ and this is because the miss the warm up and and therefore not mentally focused.

So here is a explanation of a RAMP warm up and exercises yo can do to be ready for anything

R-AISE

  • ↑ Body temperature
  • ↑ Heart rate
  • ↑ Respiration rate
  • ↑ Blood flow
  • ↑ Joint viscosity

Just jogging is ok but put in some changes of direction and run with movements like side stepping, low skips, back steps and arm circles. Being specific is better so shadowing shots with a racket is more realistic.

A-CTIVATE & M-OBIILISE

The aim here is activate major muscle groups for example by doing a squat activates the quadriceps and hamstrings. Focusing on good quality of movements rather than speed and power. The whole body needs to be warmed up so a good routine would be. This is NOT static stretching but should involve full range of movement on the move so to keep the body warm and heart rate up.

  • Squats
  • forwards/ backwards and side lunges
  • Superman’s (from all fours extend right arm and left leg) working the core and back
  • Hip circles
  • Leg swings forwards / backwards and
  • Arm swings / move arms up and down a the side of the body and infront
  • Using light therabands & thigh loop bands as a progression from bodyweight exercises

POTENTIATE

This part can be more fun and feels like a car accelerating as we are going from 60/70% to full speed. Moving know is the last stage and like getting ready for a fight if not then we are not prepared mentally and physically for learning and / or winning. Of course we have to be careful not too tire the player out.

This stage should involve more plyometric movements, changes of direction and mentally challenging the player so it could be a game or challenge.

Some examples …

  • reaction ball  drops from a partner / coach . 2 balls on after the other for a player to react
  • Tig. You could thigh elastic bands to help activate the glutes
  • Medicine ball tennis – throwing the medicine ball as a rally or even a point so you are moving each other around
  • Reactaball ball . A great bit of kit is the reactaball as it ‘wakes’ the eyes up and challenges players reactions and movement

ON COURT WARM UP

There are 2 types of warn up one when you are on on court with your opponent and you have a timed warm and then there is voluntary warm up you do with a partner or coach. SO we are going through the warm up yo may do for example with you team …

1 – Rally in the boxes using full swings but 50% speed . After every 10 shots increase the racket head speed

2 – Rally down the middle and deep. Rally cross court both ways (essential for doubles)

3 – Volleys and smashes with one back / one forward. Volley to volley in the boxes cross court and straight for doubles players

4 – Serves . Practice 1st serve and 2nd serve. Personally I aim my serve one to the forehand and then one to the backhand.

5 Returns . Really important practice hitting deep and in, often forgotten.

6 Mentally Prepare. Chat or self talk . What is your game plan with you partner, just a quick reminder ? How will you beat you opponent ?

 

 

How to beat a pusher

Beating a pusher a a tricky task as they get a lot back and they make you make errors. To beat a pusher you must stick to your game and stay aggressive and be patient. They will not give you much pace so you therefore have more time to generate pace but often leads to errors as players mentally get frustrated.

MENTAL 

Controlled aggression is required to beat them

Patience is required as they will get a lot of balls back

Take risks. There is a fine line but you have to be able to finish the point when you get the chance. This is however when errors are made so knowing when to finish and take shots on.

TACTICALLY

Take their time away. Take the ball early and / or move to the net. Look to step inside the baseline to take on mid and short balls.

Play too your strengths. Use for example your big forehand or your volleys to help build and finish the point

They will make errors. Forced errors rather than unforced errors. By using angles for example this will make them run and create space to finish the point.

TECHNIQUE

Trust your swing. Go for your shots with a full swing.

Use topspin if you have it. Use it to your advantage. Brush up the back with a fast racquet.

Keep good technique don;t fall back to pushing and shortening your swing. Us topspin to be able to a

PHYSICAL 

Good endurance is required as the rallies will be longer.

Take you time in between points to recover.

Breathe out when you hit shot to help with breathing. Also big deep and controlled breathes in between points.

Strength Exercises for One Hand Backhand

This is a great exercise for one hand backhand players. The movements in the shoulder include external rotation and extension, the wrist supinates and requires the core to be engaged. 3 Sets of 1o reps as a warm up or add to strength program. Weight’s could be used instead between 1-5kg. For variety try on 1 leg or in a bent over position

Improve your ankle mobility for more power in your shots and more

Ankle mobility is key to all shots and by improving your ankle mobility can help your sprints and change of direction around the court. Also with a mobile ankle can help with increased leg drive in shots and help produce greater force into the shot and help with balance for execution of a shot (fine skill)

Are my ankles Mobile …(self screen)

To check them ideally go to a physiotherapist and they can screen you. To self screen you can get a ruler and put it against the wall measure the distance from the wall required to meet the knee on the wall from a standing position to the knee touching the wall. The foot must stay on the floor as the heel will be tempted to lift off the floor.

Ankle Mobility Program…

Exercise 1 – Standing leg squat. stand on 1 leg and lower yourself as if you are sitting into a chair.

Exercise 2 – Resistance Band Toe Flex. Hold a band or towel under the foot and point towards and away from the body with a straight leg

Exercise 3 – Calf raises on a step. heel off the step and go up and down

Exercise 4 – Ankle roles. Role in and out . Then stand so you have a neutral standing position

 

Meditation for Sports

My yoga story started with a friend suggesting Yoga for sports after Matchday. I learnt that yoga was more than trying to reach for my toes and about mindfulness for example keeping calm and controlling emotions in the session and in tennis matches.

5 reasons how meditation can help with sport…

1 Relaxation & control emotions – relaxing the mind helps relax the body. We all get tight from time to time on big points and learning to relax in a yoga session can help in a sports match. Also it can help with being a hot head or being too cool with understanding how you are feeling.

2 Help Focus – Oh my god, how many times have I been doing well in a match then I start thinking ahead of the trophy, what I am doing later or who is that watching me play. Using the ‘third eye’ to channel your mind can help keep focus and train attention and ignore what is going on around you.

3 Reduces the mind from ruminating and negative cycles – We all have doubts that creep in life and in sport. We are not robots but we can beat the chimp on the shoulder by batting away negative thoughts and keeping the mind on track .

4 Increase endurance – If we can concentrate for longer we can last longer, like a duracell bunny . However, the bunny can not keep going if it is switched off!! Even if we have good physical endurance and a full tank , it still requires a driver to steer in the right direction.

5 Improve sleep patterns – we all know that if we have a good night sleep we will play better the next day. Also after a training session a good night sleep can help with recovery. Often our mind has so many things going on, so to be able to relax and swtich off before going to sleep and help with training and on match day.

Coming Soon – How to meditate & visualise!!!

Miscellaneous

We have a range of sessions that can inspire you to improve your game …

  • Doubles workshop

Key Strength Training Exercises for Tennis Players

Strength Training is vital for tennis players to last long in the game and also to maintain power and mobility for long matches. Here are some key exercises that tennis players should be doing in there weekly routines.

General strength (toning) training a good start is 3 x 8 reps and build up to 12 reps over a 6 week period. If you go heavier that means you will get more power but less endurance i.e. 5 reps . Going for a longer time i.e. 45seconds is great for endurance but will require less strength, so it depends on what your goal is…..

1 – Deadlift 

This exercises is similar to a squat and works on ‘triple extension’ which is a buzz word in the strength world. This means there are 3 body movements happening to help lift the weights…extension ankles, knees and hips. The move requires good balance using the core, co-ordination of using more than one movement and strength of course to light the weigth. The combination of these three movements can help players have a explosive start to running to a ball, jumping for a smash and changing direction.

See the source image

Alternatives – back or front squat

2 – Lunge

The lunge is vital for picking up low balls, sprinting and helping with leg drive in shots. The side lunge is a great alternative and often neglected as s key exercise. Tennis players move side to side yet this movemnt is often overlooked .  A great exercise is to lunge in different directions from i.e. step towards 12 oclock then 3, 6, 9 and back to 12. Weights can be used for a harder challenge but make sure you get a body weigth squat right first by checking in a mirror and everything is inline.

See the source image          See the source image

Alternatives – Lunge to high knee, split squats, skip into a lunge

3 – Plank

The core muscles that help you balance your body are widely known  to be Federer and Djokovic’s secret weapon. Such players are not big muscle players but have unbelievable core to help with quickness, and agility and quality stroke production .There is no point hitting the ball hard if you not balance and engange your body efficiently when hitting shot. The normal plank with the body in a straight line should be a starting point with players challenging themselves to planks with twisting. Tennis players twist a lot so going into side planks and using rotational movements can help with producing more force for shots.

See the source image

Alternatives – side plank, front to die twist, thred the needle,

4 – Medicine Ball throws

Using a weighted ball, football or even just throwing a dumbell (not indoors) can help mimic tennis shots and help players focus on correct & effieicient body movement. The movement involves a combination of leg drive and hip rotation to help generate power, a great alternative is a woodchop which is a diagonal movement which can be down by using weights if there is no space / no medicine ball to hand. Using one leg when throwing the ball like a forehand or backhand can help improve balance and proprioception on the foot, this little adjustments can make a difference in hitting a winner and making a unforced error.

See the source image

Alternative –  Wood chop, resistance band twists

5 Chest and Rear Fly

Bulletproof shoulders are essential for hitting 100’s of balls in a match. The repetitive movements if weak can get damaged and lead to long term injuries and stopping you play. The rear and chest fly is great essentially for forehands and backhands and equalises the shoulder muscles rather than being dominant on the front. Rarely the back muscles are stronger in tennis players so the rear fly may require a lighter weight or resistance band to start.

 

Incline Fly

alternatives – chest press, row pull

6 – Shoulder press & Lat Pull down 

‘Push’ exercises should be paired up with the ‘pull’ alternative. The shoulder press is vital for serving for example to create racket head speed up to the ball. After the contact the pulling action back down helps maintain the racket head speed through the ball before declaration and eventually stopping. If only the shoulder press was done and focus on the ‘acceleration’ to the ball then you will soon get injured, it is vital the body can eccentrically contract after the ball is hit i.e. when the weights are lowered to the start position

See the source image   See the source image

 

Be a Environmentally Tennis Player…

Be Environmentally Friendly as a tennis player for 2020…

Firstly I am not a extinction rebellion member, vegan or generally the greenest of human beings, however I am trying to change my behaviour slowly but surely to make the environment more sustainable.

As tennis players we are already being greener compared to the guy on the treadmill exercising in the gym. After a lot of talk in the media last year I have tried to make the little differences, I am not perfect and have blips but I definitely feel better for making some small changes. Here are some areas to ponder on and maybe make that can inspire you to help make a difference…

Teamwork & Community
1 – Talk and share – Be greener with team mates. make a pact with your team that you will all use reusable water bottles for example. Discuss ideas from other clubs, gyms etc.
2 – Club Meetings – Have a chat about the more expensive ways to be greener i.e. solar panels, electric car points, selling reusable water bottles. Make money out of being greener!!
3 – Network & Promote – Use other local businesses to help promote your vision of being a greener club. Ask the local bike shop to give your members a discount. Remind members it is cheaper to get a coffee with your reusable coffee mug from the club’s coffee machine or local café.
Travel
1- Cycle (or walk / run) to the tennis club – A great way to warm up and cool down. Good for strengthening the knees and improving stamina and wakes the body and mind up feeling match ready.
2- Local Competitions / Matches lift share – Have some banter, gossip and talk about the match ahead. This helps put a smile on your face
3 – Use public transport for long journeys– If you compete nationally then use public transport. You will be more relaxed for your game, chance to prepare mentally and think about your game plan, rather than being stuck in traffic. Do your homework and plan your trip and don’t miss your stop.
Food & Drink
1 – Make your own energy snacks – This is a great way to know what is in your food and be healthy. It will reduce plastic waste, save you money and make you feel healthier and happier
2 – Have 2 Reusable water bottles – why 2? because you are bound to lose one, leave one in your car or at home. You can share with a team mate if they forget theirs. Also you may have one with water and one with energy supplements
3 – Reusable Coffee mug – Caffeine is a great way to kick start your match and improve our mood. Grab a reusable mug and make sure you clean it, you don’t want smelly milk in your bag
4 – Rethink your diet – Personally I have reduced my intake of meat over the last couple of years before all the hype. I just feel I have more energy, recover just as well after training and spend less money. I still like meat and to me cow’s milk has more nutrients than any other kind, so perhaps vegan is not an answer, sorry. Just rethink and read up on diets not fads.

Equipment & clothing
1 – Reuse Tennis Balls – Give them to our coaches, charities, local schools or reuse in the home. Use a tennis ball as an aid a massage on your tight muscles. Use them as a decoration. Use them as a planter for seeds (cut them in half ) Be creative!!
2 – Clothing – Take your time when buying. Ask the question is it environmentally friendly, where has it come from etc. Some great examples are North Face who, in one product, use recyclable down. Adidas have a range of clothing made from recyclable plastic materials.
3- Recycle your old trainers and rackets – Give them to a local charity. Simple.
Thank you and good luck