Tennis careers are often cut short due to injury or physical ailments. Tennis is an extremely demanding sport. Players are presented with the task of constantly stopping and starting on hard surfaces. They are forced to change directions and make sudden moves. They must put themselves in awkward positions that constantly put their joints and ligaments at risk. It is essential for any player hoping to have a successful tennis career to prevent injuries altogether. Tennis training is critical for young players to develop the stamina and the strength needed to protect their knees, hips, ankles, back, and rest of the body.
Throughout many years of tennis coaching, I have always given instruction and tips stressing the importance of proper training and technique. At CoachUp, we feel this is the key for any player interested in being recruited for college tennis or considering playing tennis as a career.
Tennis Players need to be involved, either practicing or playing a minimum of four to six days a week in order to be truly competitive. They need to incorporate strength, agility, and interval training on top of this. While young players are less likely to get injured, it is imperative that they develop good routines and good habits at a young age in order to maintain their flexibility and agility as they mature.
Every lesson, training session, or match should begin with a dynamic warm-up to loosen the muscles and ligaments. Once the athlete is warmed up, whether it is a hitting session or a strength training session, variety is critical for not overworking any one area of the body. Players should listen to their bodies and avoid stressing any one area too much. Over-exerting one muscle group is a common mistake made by young players.
Tennis players of all shapes and sizes have the potential to be successful, and should work to maximize their strengths. While this will decrease their vulnerability, people’s bodies are like chains: they are only as strong as their weakest link. Players need to strengthen any weak areas to protect themselves from injury. Smaller players need to emphasize power, long strides, and extension in their training, while larger players should work on quick movements and their ability to change directions rapidly. By working hard on these aspects, a players body is more likely to hold up and withstand the challenges and stresses when put to the test in a match situation.
All tennis lessons or training sessions should end with a warm-down and a nice long, slow stretch. This should be almost meditative, allowing the muscles to lengthen as the body slows down and cools. This is imperative for the player to maintain flexibility, enabling a longer more sustainable and successful career.
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