As the years go by and the game keeps changing, the players face a constant challenge to adapt to the new technologies and the way it’s played. If we take a look back about 30 years ago, the speed tennis was being played wasn’t the same as what we see today in the circuit. Players then were more characterized and known for having consistent shots and a good strategy of where to hit the ball. Today however, the speed is the factor that is controlling the games and making players succeed.
It is becoming normal to see players that don’t have such a “pretty” or “sophisticated” technique but with very powerfull shots. What the new era of players are bringing to the circuit is an urgent call of attention to the coaches to start focusing more on footwork, speed and strength. As I have the chance to travel with some of my players or even see the ones at the Academy I work, I can feel how the rising era of Juniors are lacking the so appreciated fitness work off the court. There are several skills such as coordination, reaction, speed, strength or even the practice of explosive movements, that have to be part of the practice plan from a young age while the players are developing what is going to be their base on a tennis court, their bodies.
Working on those factors will be a key for the future not only of their game but also to protect their bodies from injuries. There is not a “perfect” age to start to work on them, but it is good to keep in mind that the kids develop their coordination since a very early age. Giving them a soccer ball to control or kick, or even a tennis ball to have in their hands are very useful exercises for them to start to have a cognitive sense of movement and balance. Playing several sports from early ages is also a factor that will show a huge difference on their growth path. Always remember to encourage your kids to have fun, and do not put any pressure on them. They will be as good as they want to be!
Soon we are going to upload tutorials on our You Tube channel with the exercises that are a MUST in your fitness preparation as a Tennis Player!