Coaching

Best Training Methods To Improve Your Power In Tennis

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Power, especially dynamic and explosive power is considered one of the most important factors affecting tennis performance (Schönborn, 1984; Elliott, 1989; 1990).

The influence of power on the tennis performance becomes more and more dominant with age.

Players need to learn to generate good power from as early as 12 years old and their training program should start including power-speed and explosive power.

At this phase, power becomes a motor ability as important as agility and speed regarding their correlation to the tennis performance.

Maximal strength and maximal power training has to be developed around the age of 16-17.

However, one must take his precautions during the puberty period and avoid overloads.

 

POWER TRAINING METHODS

 

There’s 3 type of methods to get your power on another stage;

All-round (AR), semi-specific (SS), and tennis specific (TS).

 

1/All-round “Repetitive” Method (AR)

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This method includes power, strength and injury prevention and is designed for less trained tennis players.

It’s usually organized as circuit training that is beneficial to form a base for tennis-specific power.

Its task comes with performing a few reps with the same intensity while the rest ratio is unspecified and can be up to full recovery.

Make sure you include versatility in the exercises to develop all muscle groups and be consistent with the training.

 

à Exercises examples;

* Against own body resistance.

* With partner resistance.

* Medicine ball throws.

* With dumbbells.

* Isometric exercises.

* Against resistance.

 

2/ Semi-specific “Moderate Load” Method (SS)

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This method develops dynamic power, muscular coordination and represents a good base for dynamic and explosive power training besides developing endurance (injury prevention).

It’s usually organized as circuit training with 9-12 exercises with 50 % of the maximal possible load, 15 -20 reps with no rest between exercises. This method must be maintained for a period of at least a month and a half to generate good outcomes.

 

à It can be performed with sessions such as;

* Jogging 6 minutes for the warm-up.

* Push-ups.

* Broad jumps.

* Weight lifting (e.g. Stone or woodenbranch).

* Brandishes left-right when hanging on a tree branch.

* Multi-jumps up the hill.

* Pulls up on tree branch.

* In laying position raising legs and trunk.

 

3/ Fartlek Designed for Power (AR or SS)

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The Fartlek method is used more often during the transition & preparation periods and also between competitions to maintain power abilities. Versatile exercises are integrated to touch all the muscle groups (e.g. Arms, trunk, and legs).

It can be used at an early age (11-12 years) or with less prepared players and can be more or less tennis specific according to the needs.

 

à An example session would be like the following;

1. Warm up:

* Jogging, stretching, co-ordination and jumping drills.

2. Main part:

* Medicine ball throws (both arms).

* Exercises against own body resistance (jumps, stands on tiptoe, etc.).

* Exercises performed against partner’s resistance.

* Wrestling exercises.

* Abdominal exercises.

*Competitions or games using above mentioned drills.

3. Cool down:

* Jogging, stretching and breathing exercises.

 

 

4/ Model Interval Training Designed for Power (SS or TS)

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The interval training designed for power is implemented at the end of the preparation phase or during tournaments. It is designed to boost specific power through exercises including specific movements like medicine ball throws and multi jumps.

The drills must be performed with maximum high intensity speed for around 5-15 sec or 4-8 repetitions with 1-2 min rest between sets. The frequency should be 2 times a week during pre-competition period or once a week during competition.

 

à Example session;

1. Warm up.

2. Main part:

*Medicine ball throws (service motion both hands) – 6 sets of 6-10 throws, rest 10-15 sec.

* Skipping over obstacles – 6-8 sets, rest 20 sec.

* Medicine ball throws (2-3 kg) forehand and/or backhand motion – 6 sets of 15 sec, rest 20 sec.

*Skips left-right over a rope or obstacles or low wall- 6 sets lasting 8 sec each, rest 15 sec.

* Medicine ball throws (2-3 kg) forehand and/or backhand motion – 6 sets of 15 sec, rest 20 sec.

* 4-6 multi-jumps with short sprints (5 meters) – 6 sets (can be up the hill) 20 sec rest.

3. Cool down.

 

5/ Tennis Specific Power Training (TS)

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This type of training has the main objective of transferring the dynamic power to the tennis specific movements with the proper technique required. The drills should be performed at maximal speed with full recovery and so the hydra anaerobic alactic energy system should be activated in combination with technical-tactical approaches.

 

Examples of drills

– Power with co-ordination theme (e.g. Stroke – turn/changes of direction- stroke.)

– Power with technical goal (e.g. Tough volleys and smashes).

– Feeding drills (topspin, slice, winner)

– Power with tactical theme (decision hit or not to hit).

– Practice games (e.g. winning shot: 3 points; drive volley winner: 5 points).

These drills can be mixed with light weights drills (e.g. forehand shadow swing ) or medicine ball throws.

 

Final Recommendations

  • Stretching and co-ordination exercises should be applied between sets of interval training.

  • Power is so important to maintain during the competition phase;

–  To be able to hold the level attained and even improve it.

–  To not to risk its regression especially when it’s most needed.

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