I’ve always said that I would take someone that has been trained to move well (soccer and basketball players are great examples) than someone with pretty strokes. Movement is the most important thing of tennis and we tend to worry more about our strokes than our moment. Are your training the right way?
Is Your Conditioning On Point?
Moving laterally is an essential part of tennis. This side to side movement allows you to cover the majority of tennis shots as they go to your right and left. Being able to get to the ball and set up so that you’re still is crucial in building a strong ground stroke game. Do you train for this movement? Side to side sprints, lunges and shuffles all are great ideas to help you change direction quickly. Doing these on or off the court (I prefer a turf field to lower the stress put on the knees) will help you get to more balls and put pressure on your opponent.
Equally as important, forward and back movement is crucial to put pressure on short balls your opponent hits as well as lobs they will tend to use against you when you are at the net. This is a neglected part of many player’s training but just as important as side to side movement. Try wind sprints and working on turning your toes back as you are facing the net but moving away from it. This will allow you to put a tremendous amount of pressure on your opponent as they know they cannot get away with hitting weak (short) shots to you.
Lastly, are you training your cardio to be on point with tennis? Points often consist of short bursts of effort along with 15 seconds of time to rest. I highly recommend interval training to do just that, Regardless of your workouts, try to have a ratio of 20 – 30 seconds of intensity followed by 10-15 seconds of rest. You can use an online program that works well with this at: http://fitlb.com/tabata-timer.