In the past, surfaces were faster and the balls were too. It only makes you a good hitter of the tennis ball. This results in a split-second pause between the legs extending (which adds power and lift to your stroke) and the actual moment of hitting the ball. While that makes it sound like an endurance sport relying primarily on the aerobic energy system, maximal – or anaerobic – energy production is required at many points during a game. Research on the topic agrees. Starting with the serve It will give you a nice platform for your tennis journey. Like I said, keep it free-flowing. In tennis, an athlete needs to serve a ball with as much velocity as possible, react to an opponent's serve, and return it with the same amount or more velocity. You are able to generate more acceleration of your mass. This ‘put away’ ball is usually struck somewhere between the baseline and service line. At the same time, there are also some simple steps that can help you build a bigger game. In other words, once you develop placement your power will follow. Using the proper progression is a necessity. Rafael Nadal’s racquet is at the lower end of the 300 gram mark; Mark Philippoussis and Pete Sampras used to go for 400 grams. Having this ability is vital in almost every movement scenario during tennis play. Add strength training to your arsenal. String section Some Balls. Tennis originally was known as lawn tennis, and formally still is in Britain, because it was played on grass courts by Victorian gentlemen and ladies. If you can throw well and you can replicate those mechanics with a racquet in your hand, then you’re naturally creating racquet head speed. At beginner and intermediate level then surely the enjoyment in the game is to have a rally, especially if you’re hitting with a mate. Let’s briefly explore both types of movements and provide examples. Achieving those objectives can be a complex process requiring many hours fine-tuning technique with a qualified coach. Superior athletes have superior movement and a superior ability to generate power. Many tennis matches can exceed three hours in length and require frequent repetitions hitting groundstrokes and serves and running the court. As a double-hander, you start with both backhand and forehand grips ready. Body shapes in the men’s game are a lot leaner – as Djokovic, Andy Murray, Nadal and Federer all demonstrate at the top of the game. What we’re more concerned with is MAXIMUM POWER - this is the quality that helps when exploding into a big forehand or going for an all out first serve. The results - 1-arm MB forehand throws were significantly correlated with higher forehand speeds in elite players. The court is 78 feet (23.77 m) long. We saw earlier that explosive … Insufficient training will lead to a player’s inability to return the ball on the opponent’s court. Many coaches and players often speak of the importance of power in tennis. You quickly realized that there is more to tennis than just fancy technique. Play Better Tennis With Proper Placement Not More Power Tennismindgame.com would like to thank Scott Baker from Tennis4You.com for this excellent article regarding developing your strokes and of course tennis strategy. Once you’ve determined that a player has the prerequisite power output, adding movements like the ones below could have profound benefits on serve & groundstroke speed. 1) He explained that if an athlete has difficulty with general movements, you cannot progress to more specific ones. ). Your first encounter with tennis strategy and tactics probably happened early in your tennis career. Here are some suggestions to add power to your game: First, grab a basket of balls, have a friend feed some balls to you and you do the same for them. It's not simply a matter of hitting the ball with the racket, but which spot on the racket is used to hit the ball. This is critical for a number of reasons. In tennis today, however, there’s no real need for the average punter to use anything heavier than what’s on the shelf. Some researchers then, theorize that throws may benefit the serve as well. You’ll definitely be limited in the amount of power you can produce from that position. 2. When we talk about the power game, there is no question that it’s incredibly difficult. But keep in mind that hitting the ball better does not necessarily make you a good player. After all, we derive most of our power from the ground. Flexibility: The sit and reach test can be done for lower back and hamstring flexibility. You need to create a torque in your body that in turn allows for an elastic band effect. Equipment is almost certainly the biggest contributing factor to the power revolution in the modern game. I’ve prescribed, on a number of occasions 6-8 sets of a power circuit, keeping the reps to around 4-5. 4) This is exactly why the level of intensity of your game is judged more or less with the amount of times you’ve broken, or been broken. Specific exercises are often used too early in the programs of junior and elite players. Physicality and power Later, I’ll provide a video example of an athlete using a med ball that’s just too heavy. Strength and Power You can really take some cuts at the ball and be offensive off the return. As a result, I thought both feet on the ground would provide more power when hitting. Make it free-flowing More than spin… Why Balance & Stability Training Is Important Balance and stability training are training components to improve speed economy and agility. You can either use high-tech devices - like the PUSH Band (an accelerometer based device that can extract power & velocity metrics from a variety of strength/power movements) - OR, a coach’s eye. When there is a short ball, they can put it away. In fact, a 2015 study (Kara et al) used throws in a med ball circuit routine - these elite players saw significant increases in serve speed after 6 weeks of training. Since many med ball exercises were performed, we cannot attribute the results solely to throwing. Having power generating capabilities within a large bandwidth of angles and planes will provide better transfer to unpredictable scenarios. Even if you were a boxer, it was more about using the jab to set the opponent up for the swinging hook. 3) Movements that recruit type 2 muscles fibers increase testosterone - this hormone is associated with improvement benefits across the board (increased strength, concentration, alertness and so on). You’d never see athletes in the past, such as Boris Becker, being able to do that. Creating a rotational effect is how you create racquet head speed – and that’s the generation of power in simple terms. From movement characteristics to its development during the execution of groundstrokes, serves and so forth. Wiki User Answered . Players will grip too tight; they’ll force too much. For a long time, I thought that keeping both feet on the floor was very important for hitting consistent groundstrokes. Scott Draper was a top-50 player on the ATP Tour, achieving fourth round finishes at the French Open in 1995 and 1996, as well as the US Open in 1997. People love you one minute and then want to drop you the next;... More, As artistry evolves so too do players hard-hitting weapons. Performing power exercises the day before (or even the day of) competition, can have tremendous performance enhancing benefits because of hormonal factors. Take the time to research his site with excellent articles on tennis … Tennis players tend to be on this never-ending quest to hit their strokes with more power, yet they often forget that more power means more risk. Children, teens, parents, grandparents and great grandparents play. As soon as there’s stiffness, there’s an inability to displace the racquet as far as needed. June 12, 2012: Nike Tennis Camps sits down with Jay Lapidus, former head men's tennis coach at Duke University to discuss the importance of balance while hitting the ball. At the same time, accuracy and a sustained ability to slug a ball from corner to corner needs to be extremely good. That said, it's the principles that matter - max intent, appropriate loads, sets, reps and rest. As a single-hander, you have to adapt your grip as the ball is approaching. For example, it is the speed of the arms coming through holding a racquet that determines how fast the racquet is traveling and how hard the ball is … The height of the ball moving over the net has changed. A player must absorb the force efficiently and quickly use a reactive/elastic stretch to project the ball back towards their partner. The more flexible your body is, the greater effective range of motion (ROM) it will have. Photo: Getty Images. You’d try and get inside to tactically manouevure your opponent around; you’d use a lot more variety because that’s what you had to use to break through. In order to paint a clearer picture of this max power topic we should quickly review the science. At first glance it may seem like the main purpose of achieving better flexibility would be to prevent injury, and surely that’s a very important part of it. Greater ball speeds place more pressure on an opponent by decreasing the time needed to get to and prepare for the shot. (Message automatically replaces this text), Check out this post for a comprehensive analysis. Other flexibility tests should also be performed. Gain Volume Through Added SetsNeed a greater stimulus? The tallest players – think Juan Martin del Potro at 198 cm or Mark Philippoussis at 196 cm – tend to have longer swings and aren’t quite as rotational as the smaller players who are generally more angular in their attack as opposed to the linear styles of longer limbed players. remember this concept from a previous post. This is a worthy goal, but before endurance can be optimized, players should strive to improve the high end of power output and build capacity on top of that. To be able to hit winners and finish points early. Where players like Albert Costa or Sergi Bruguera – clay court specialists of the 1990s – had a lot more shape in their strokes. 13 14 15. Note that the lesser the player, the harder it is to incorporate legs in the swing, especially the serve. They can be on the dead run, and you’ll see players nearly doing the splits and creating incredible power from the back of the court. You need muscle to matter in the modern game. Look at the dotted line - generally, max power is achieved when both force and velocity are moderate. While that makes it sound like an endurance sport relying primarily on the aerobic energy system, maximal – or anaerobic – energy production is required at many points during a game. There are countless others that can be used effectively to increase max power output. Notice that the player on the far right has more difficulties compared to the player on the left. Many tennis matches can exceed three hours in length and require frequent repetitions hitting groundstrokes and serves and running the court. Don’t Rush, RESTTake a few seconds between reps and take sufficient time between exercises. Beginners need something light but enough plow through so they can hit the ball with some power, even if they lack in that category. From movement characteristics to its development during the execution of groundstrokes, serves and so forth. From this angle, proper tennis form is important since it enables you to hit better. Tennis can be played as a sport or as a recreational activity with friends and family. It is a racquet that is the jack of all trades. when catching the ball). In fact, I recently spoke with legendary track coach Dan Pfaff (he coached Donovan Bailey to the 100m Olympic gold medal in 1996) - coach Pfaff mentioned a couple things about this topic that have relevance here. "Balance is a key element for any good tennis shot," he explains. Consider that elastic band effect, players like Djokovic hitting the ball at ridiculous speeds in the splits position. "Ideally you want your upper body to remain rather straight, your head very still, and then you rotate around this axis which does not move." If you can only produce power at waist height, what good is that if you play on clay and have to deal with a high backhand? Scott Draper explains the place of power and some ways you can achieve it. If throwing mechanics change, something has broken down. Power and the social player The power chain The game, once upon a time, was more artistry. The transfer of oxygen to the muscles is important to maintain the power and speed of each stroke that a player will unleash in the tennis court. All the best servers hit the ball with immense power. Once you’ve created that elastic band effect in your serve, you need to keep it flowing. Tennis is a sport where hand-eye coordination is important so that your hand and the other parts of your body quickly react to do the right moves. Getting it up and over the net – say down the line or cross-court past the net player – was a challenge. Some research suggests that an unloaded jump squat produces the highest power outputs while others have shown loaded jumps (~30% added load on an individual) as being optimal. Ryan Harrison has described his relationship with Donald Young as almost irreparable after... More, Roberta Vinci appeared on Italian TV and was put to the test - were the grunts she was hea... More, The greatest champions, goes the old adage, are those who leave their sport better than th... More, Tennis is a funny old game. The ability to pass is far easier than before. Initiating your legs start a kinetic chain, from which your technique basically unravels. This fact cannot be disputed; we need the ground to push off from to achieve power. Actually, you realized that technique doesn’t mean anything against experienced players. In this case, the load is probably too heavy for him and should be adjusted. These days, players can take huge cuts at the ball, so the ball is faster off the racquet. And if you’re the one cracking the whip, you need to have a rhythm to it. Think about it. They set the stage for optimal power development and (hopefully) improvements in serve, groundstroke and movement outcomes. The origins of the game can be traced to a 12th–13th-century French handball game called jeu de paume (“game of the palm”), from which was derived a complex indoor racket-and-ball game: real tennis. In this post, we'll briefly outline max power and it's relationship to force output and velocity. Kerry Zavagnin, who plays for the Kansas City Wizards and US National Team, has benefitted from Williams Soccer training. To withstand this force you need both upper and lower body strength. Years ago, a player’s intention was to shorten the distance from point A to point B, as it was very hard to get the job done from baseline to baseline – this is why finishing the point off at the net was so prevalent. Many coaches and players often speak of the importance of power in tennis. Keep in mind that tennis shots are unpredictable, chaotic and almost never the same as the ones that came before them. Backhand benefits Typically, that’s tension. "Ideally you want your upper body to remain rather straight, your head very still, and then you rotate around this axis which does not move." ROM is King. From the ground up Having great ROM is extremely vital to hitting high level shots, the reason being a long swing is necessary to create the kind of acceleration needed to create a big shot using your ground strokes, serve, or overhead. Lets talk about why. Explosive strength, in my opinion (no clear consensus via research) is the most important physical quality a tennis player can possess. Control rackets, on the other hand, are all about ball control. Power is the ability to move explosively in a coordinated manner, and is an integral part of any sports program. The above videos are only a few examples of exercises that can be incorporated. 2) Over the years, he’s found that general movements have recovery benefits - this has something to do with lymphatic drainage (a topic I’m not yet too familiar with). Timing. Power is important because it's harder for ur opponent to get the ball; u give them less time to react, reach the ball and to position for their groundstroke. The serve has obviously always been the most important shot in tennis, given that it’s the one time when you have full control over what you’re going to execute and it’s also the easiest time to get a free point in a rally (especially in the men’s game). Comparing tennis today to the game of the past is like comparing a boxer and fencer. If you let gravity work, there’s an absence of tension. The key to serving at 100mph plus is to transfer all the power you can create in your body into racquet head speed and then into the ball. It transitioned to more multi-segmented forehands, or the modern forehands when grips started to move further around, giving players the ability to hit with a lot more spin. If you’ve got an absence of tension and you set your body in a way that creates that elasticity, you’ll generate maximum power. Although the mechanisms for this are not fully understood, many elite coaches believe this is due to both neuromuscular and hormonal factors. First, general med ball exercises are usually multi-joint and therefore have a high coordinative demand. Doing NO MORE than 6 reps per exercise is usually ideal. The serve is even more important in the power era. Tennis players should include a variety of movements into their programs. The weight was 3kg - which perhaps gives you an idea of what to use with your player(s). “Increasing your muscle power is useless if you can’t get your body to hit all at once.” In all … It is important to train agility in the same manner that any other skill would be trained. 1. In tennis, sport-specific technical skills are predominant factors, although a complex profile of physical performance factors is also required. Generally, max power output more shape in their strokes in the power game and. 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