Why you should NOT be playing so much tennis!

‘It’s a long journey’ – Why it is important tennis players complete physical training blocks.

 

Below is a letter explaining to our academy parents the importance of our physical block completed across the first few weeks in September:

 

The average age of the Top 20 players in the world are 26 and 25 years old for men and women respectively. That is a 15-20 year development period, from starting at mini-red to playing at the top level. In order to achieve this, it is vitally important the players’ programmes are balanced between technical, tactical, psychological and physical.

 

To be successful in achieving the required athletic development required, consecutive and consistent physical trainings needed. Additionally, best results will be achieved without the conflicting energy and recovery demands of tennis training.

 

To that end, in the month of September we place more emphasis on physical development. This simply means that tennis training will be reduced in order to achieve the above mentioned required athletic development.

 

• The primary purpose of this block is to reduce the risk of injury to your players.

 

• Secondly, it gives an opportunity to educate on the why behind our Physical, Nutrition and Mindset training.

 

• Thirdly, we can provide the coach a more robust athlete that can be trained at higher intensities, thus enhancing their performance.

 

Within the block you will see players taking part in multi-sport and coordination activities. ‘Multi-sport participation can lead to better performance, less burnout, less social isolation, and, most importantly, more lifelong enjoyment in sports’ (Project Play http://youthreport.projectplay.us/ )

 

Within the block you will also see players taking part in FUNdamental fitness (Avery Faigenbaum) and age-appropriate strength training. It is vitally important that players are first and foremost strong and robust; this will greatly reduce their risk of injury.

 

Strength is the foundation of athletic development for all aspiring young athletes:

 

• At the youngest ages this will be discovering primal strength movements (squats, lunges, bracing) through FUN games.

 

• As the athlete progresses bodyweight strength exercises will continue with the addition of ‘soft resistance’ (bands, balls and sticks).

 

• Further progression will see the introduction to more traditional strength training via dumbbells, barbells and cables.

 

 Below are links to multiple position statements on the use of resistance training with youth athletes:

 

http://www.proformance.pro/…/UKSCA-Position-Statement-Final…

 

http://www.uni.edu/…/Position-statement-on-youth-Resistance…

 

http://www.athensacademy.net/str…/Youth_Pos_Paper_200902.pdf

 

Some of the key points from the statements:

 

• A purposely designed programme can enhance neuromuscular fitness plus –agility, balance, coordination, reaction time and speed.

 

• Stronger youth athletes will be better prepared to learn complex movements, master sport tactics and withstand the demands of long-term sports training and competition.

 

• Improved health and reduced risk of injury.

 

• Correct techniques should start early in life to enhance learning and optimise potential.

 

• It must be an ongoing commitment and improvement do not last – ‘use it or lose it’.

 

• TRADITIONAL FEAR REGARDING THE EFFECTS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING ON THE IMMATURE SKELETON HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT INDICATES CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE MAY BE THE BEST TIME FOR THE BONE REMODELLING PROCESS TO RESPOND TO THE TENSILE AND COMPRESSIVE FORCES ASSOCIATED WITH RESISTANCE TRAINING.

 

So, what will this look like?

 

For each the squads there will be an increased focus on physical training, the key aims will be:

 

• Introduce new elements to academy warms ups, including regressions for younger players, improve standard of execution, enhance education on why we warm up and why we complete the chosen exercises.

 

• Complete motor-sports and fundamental movement skills.

 

• Complete performance testing.

 

• Review summer away programme adherence (relevant players)

 

 

I hope the above information has been informative , if you would like any further information or ask any questions you can contact me via social media:

 

Twitter: @hgreentennisfit

 

Facebook Page: Hgreen Tennis Fit