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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!!!


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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


Serve and Volley Tips

Some Top Tips For serve and volley

First players should understand that even if you are a baseliner it is good to practice serve and volley occasionally to give variety to your game. Whether you are a net rusher or a baseliner coming to the net can catch your opponent out, reduces their time and a good back up plan if you are down and need to find different way to win.

  1. Aim for control and consistency over power. Good first serve percentage.
  2. Big strides to get forward. Doubles go in a straight line forward. Singles go to the middle of shift out wide on a wide serve
  3. Ready position and / or split step on the returners hit
  4. Shoulder turn on the volley and contact infront
  5. close the net after the first volley

Box Leagues (Grade 7)

For Prestbury Members Only ….

Currently we have over 75 players in box leagues playing a mix of singles and doubles. Matches are a timed format and are played at a greed time between players. Players have roughly 6 weeks to play all the matched by a given deadline. Winning Player receives a £5/discount of Star Tennis Coaching Sessions.

Tips For Parents of Mini Tennis Players Moving up age groups

Tips / Drills for moving up a ball colour & age group
1 Improve their perception skills, reading the ball is essential . Players are having to read the ball from further away so practice throwing an catching with the correct ball and get them to say where it is landing i.e. short / long
2 Improve their sideways movement . The court is wider when they move up . They need to learn how to move sideways to a ball. Feed balls 1m meter to the side then 2m, 3m etc., until they can move and hit from the sideline.

3 Get stronger. Use light medicine balls to help them using a longer and heavier racket. Using their core as well as arms is essential for racket head speed and balancing on the move.
3 Understand how to score. Red player and orange players play first to 10 points. Green play first to 4 games and yellow play to 6 games. Matches get longer so players need to be fit and ready.
4 Try fun circuits. Specifically tennis requires short bursts of movement so circuit training is ideal. A fun circuit of 6 exercises with challenges like running between 2 cones 3m apart, throwing a ball for them to catch left and right, ladders, skipping, medicine ball throws etc… all 30 seconds with a rest in between.

Volunteering / D of E

We have numerous volunteers wanting to get involved for their Duke of Edinburgh award and to just to give back to their community.

Contact Jon to get involved with coaching, camps and competitions.