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Training Programs and Structure

by Graeme Brimblecombe, on Jun 28, 2019 2:49:19 PM

In my last blog I talked about the competition aspects of the sport and the requirements to get to a reasonably high level in the Sport.
In this article I’d like to share what I think some of the tennis training requirements are to reach those levels.
First of all, let’s have a look at what training components are necessary to be able to play at a high national level.

These tennis training components include

  1. On Court
  2. Physical
  3. Psychological / Competitiveness.

When thinking ON COURT work, this can be broken into many different sub components

Squad
Should be the single most important sessions of your week.
Set the tone for your tactical/ technic development (Decision Making)
Help with the development of the skills that are the fundamentals for all tactical/technical development.
Bring intensity and competitiveness into training
Groups of like-minded players working together to better each other (contribution)

Private Tennis Lessons
Technical development around the tactics you are wanting to apply
Time with your coach to prioritise what you’re are working on over the next period of time

Hitting Sessions
Grooving a particular shot – working on specific areas or techniques within a shot
Consistency type work
Volume of balls

Point Play / Set Play/ Match Play
Players do not do near enough practice points /sets/ matches in their weekly training load
Practice patterns of play under pressure
Practice your favourite plays in certain points /score situations
Learn how to structure your points

Spanish Style (hand fed / ball fed) drills.
  • High intensity / high volume
  • Practice movement / footwork drills
  • Work on specific shots or patterns of play
  • Very physical – can be aerobic training
  • Can be used for technical development
Serving and Return of Serve (ROS)
These are the 2 most important aspects of the game but receive the smallest amount of player attention.
Players should build up to 60 serves at one time but do this 4 – 6 times over a week (300-400 serves weekly)
Need to train all different spins into all different areas of the court – flat / slice and spin -wide, body and centre. That’s 18 different serves to master.
Players need to hit multiple ROS many times per week

Learning your Trade

Players should watch 100 – 200 matches a year
Matches on TV or media outlets and live matches of quality players
Players should engage in the tactical / competitiveness aspects of the game and not individual strokes / shots.

Physical Development
  • Movement skills
  • Speed / Agility
  • Tennis Specific Footwork
Core strength and Flexibility
Stretching for flexibility and increase range of motion around joints
Functional Core Work /strength

Anticipation / perception and reaction
Tennis has a large amount of reactionary time to it, meaning that you often have to move or be in preparation motion prior to your opponent hitting their shot
Improving here requires reading information from your opponent and responding to that information before the ball is hit.

Strength / Power
Tennis is not a sport that requires large amounts of Strength but requires copious amounts of power. Power = speed x strength. In tennis speed is the important thing but you can’t have power without enough strength.
Specific gym work is required here.

Aerobic

While tennis is not a particularly big aerobic sport to train with intensity for long periods of time does require some aerobic work. I suggest some aerobic work be done in the earlier weeks of a training phase. This should increase as players get older and work at higher levels.

Body Management

  • Testing / Assessment / Screening
  • Prehab – generally stretching and specific work given via physio or exercise physiologist (injury prevention)
  • Rehab – generally stretching and specific work given via physio or exercise physiologist (recovery exercises from past injury)
  • Massage – generally for older players with large volumes of work to prevent muscle tightness which is a precursor to injury.

Volumes – How much work should each player be doing at what age.

Below is a guide for the volume of on court and off court work players should be doing if they wish to enjoy a reasonable amount of success in tennis.
Additional things to consider should include:
Training Age – how many years has a player been training in the past
Biological Age – players biological age and chronological ages are often different. For example a small player for their age may not do as much as a larger player of the same age. They are physically more developed.
The volumes and intensities should be managed well throughout a weekly load.
Should be part of a periodised development model. (training blocks and peaking for important events).

As always if you found this information interesting or helpful please share!

10 - 11 Year Olds
ON COURT WORK OFF COURT WORK
SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS
Squads 3 - 5 Speed/Agility/Footwork 1 - 1.5 hrs
Private (Weekly / Fortnightly 45 mins Core Stability 30 - 60 mins
Points / Sets / Matches 1 - 2 hrs Cross Training / Other Sports 2 hrs
Watching Matches 1 Stretching / Flexibility 1 - 1.5 hrs
Serving / Returning 30 mins    
Competition Matches / Year 1 - 2 hrs    
Total 7.25 - 11.25 hrs Total 4.5 - 6 hrs

12 - 13 Year Olds
ON COURT WORK OFF COURT WORK
SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS
Squads 4.5 - 6 hrs Speed/Agility/Footwork 2 hrs
Privates (Week / Fortnightly) 45 - 60 mins Core Stability 1 - 2 hrs
Points / Sets / Match Play 1 - 3 hrs Cross Training / Other Sports 2 hrs
Watching Matches 1 Stretching / Flexibility 3 hrs
Serving / Returning 45 mins Body Resistance / Strength 30 mins
Competition Matches 3 - 4 hrs Body Management 2 hrs
Hitting Sessions 1 - 1.5    
Total  12 - 17 hrs Total  10.5 - 11.5 hrs

14 - 15 Year Olds
ON COURT WORK OFF COURT WORK
SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS
Squads 4.5 - 6 hrs Speed/Agility/Footwork 3 hrs
Privates (Week / Fortnightly) 45 - 60 mins Core Stability 2 hrs
Points / Sets / Match Play 2 - 3 hrs Cross Training / Other Sports 1 hrs
Watching Matches 2 Stretching / Flexibility 2 hrs
Serving / Returning 1 - 1.5 hrs Gym / Strength 1.5 hrs
Competition Matches 4 - 6 hrs Body Management 3 hrs
Hitting Sessions 2 - 3 hrs Aerobic 1 hr
Total  16.25 - 22.5 hrs Total  10.5 - 11.5 hrs

16 - 17 Year Olds
ON COURT WORK OFF COURT WORK
SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS SESSION TYPE WEEKLY HOURS
Squads 6 - 8 hrs Speed/Agility/Footwork 3 hrs
Privates (Week / Fortnightly) 45 - 60 mins Core Stability 2 hrs
Points / Sets / Match Play 3 - 5 hrs Cross Training / Other Sports 1 hrs
Watching Matches 2 Stretching / Flexibility 2 hrs
Serving / Returning 2 - 3 hrs Gym / Strength 2.5 hrs
Competition Matches 4 - 6 hrs Body Management 3 hrs
Hitting Sessions 3 - 4 hrs Aerobic 1.5 hr
Total  20.75 - 29 hrs Total  15 hrs
Topics:Training

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