Get fit for
Tennis is a complex sport and players involved need to perform well
at whatever level of competition in which they are involved.
Owing to the nature of the game of tennis, the different physical fitness components of local muscular endurance, agility, flexibility,
speed (i.e. fast and varied footwork), muscle strength and power are in continuous demand.
A tennis player needs to do fitness training in addition to
learning strokes , technique and tactics, and hitting lots of balls in practice
and competition. By the means of fitness training a player possess greater strength and power to hit harder for winners; they will
become faster and more agile, they will benefit by being more mentally alert and will be far less prone to injury.
Any improvement to endurance will enable a player to maintain their
technique in long rallies and stay the course, without losing
concentration and control, thus they will survive matches of a long duration. This gives an advantage over the opponent. This will
form a sound basis for success at any level; including the highest level; of competition, whilst enjoying this great game of tennis.
It is necessary to understand the complexities of tennis in order
to get the maximum benefit from a fitness programme. A match can
last as long as a marathon race, this requires aerobic conditioning; but each point played lasts only a short time (often as little as
7 seconds), and requires the conditioning of a sprinter, i.e. anaerobic conditioning. Equally important is recovery time. The average
period between points is 20 - 25 seconds, and the fit player will use this time efficiently to replenish energy stores.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC FITNESS.
Aerobic fitness is the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver
oxygen to the muscle being used to produce nergy. The better
conditioned tennis player will be able to play for longer without becoming fatigued and will also recover quicker between rallies etc.
High intensity work are mostly fuelled by the anaerobic system
(without oxygen), and this allows players to produce very powerful
fast movements during rallies.
HOW CAN THESE BE IMPROVED?
1/. Work to optimum intensity.
2/. Match your training programme specifically to the needs of tennis.
1/. Optimum intensity:
To develope aerobic fitness you need to work at 60-90% of your maximum predicted
heart rate (MHR) i.e.
within your aerobic training zone MHR can be calculated by subtracting your age in years from the number 220. This method has
been used for years, however there is now a more accurate system to ascertain this, but is more complex.
AGE 35 MHR 220 - 35 = 185
60% = 111
90% = 166
pulse rate should therefore be between 28-41 every 15 seconds.
2/. Simulate match conditions. Tennis training should be specific to tennis - i.e. Interval Training.
Interval training copies the stop/start nature ot tennis. It
develops the anaerobic condition (sprinting) while improving your aerobic
Each month the newsletter will introduce an on court fitness workout.
Further information concerning actually how to do interval training will be added to this page, so keep looking to learn more.