Power is the ability to move explosively in a coordinated manner, and is an integral part of any sports program. If you can throw well and you can replicate those mechanics with a racquet in your hand, then you’re naturally creating racquet head speed. Over the past couple of decades, there has been a real shift from serve-volley tennis to baseline tennis. Thus, including strength training in your off-court workout is a smart move. Here are some other ways in which power is prevalent in the modern game. The more spin on the ball, the slower the ball travels through the air. Some of them play all sorts of shots with sometimes awkward, sometimes funny movements and yet they win matches. Slightly heavier. by Matt Kuzdub. Or at least get the right grip. The fitness test batteries assist in examining tennis players’ capabilities for performance at different levels in the laboratory as well as in the field, in the junior or elite level. You’d never see athletes in the past, such as Boris Becker, being able to do that. In fact, a 2015 study (Kara et al) used throws in a med ball circuit routine - these elite players saw significant increases in serve speed after 6 weeks of training. You can still create significant power through your upper half. Your first encounter with tennis strategy and tactics probably happened early in your tennis career. In tennis, an athlete needs to serve a ball with as much velocity as possible, react to an opponent's serve, and return it with the same amount or more velocity. Many coaches and players often speak of the importance of power in tennis. From movement characteristics to its development during the execution of groundstrokes, serves and so forth. If you create tension in a whip, that whip is not going to travel as fast. Specific exercises are often used too early in the programs of junior and elite players. These days, players can take huge cuts at the ball, so the ball is faster off the racquet. June 29, 2017 If you’ve got long levers and you’re more linear through the ball, it’s OK to go slightly heavier with your racquet. Note that the lesser the player, the harder it is to incorporate legs in the swing, especially the serve. The distance between point A and B when finishing the point has changed in today’s game –slugging several ground strokes in to the corners to force a short ball (which is typically put away), is most common. In a tennis match, each player or team … Look at the dotted line - generally, max power is achieved when both force and velocity are moderate. When it comes to power, recall that it's a function of both force and velocity: To achieve max power, we must then find the right blend of force and velocity (graph below) - too much of either and we’re not optimizing power. There are local, state, regional, national and international age group competitions for age 8 & under to age 90 and over. You can really take some cuts at the ball and be offensive off the return. That said, it's the principles that matter - max intent, appropriate loads, sets, reps and rest. 2. But power in and of itself simply means the rate at which work is performed. Flexibility: The sit and reach test can be done for lower back and hamstring flexibility. Body shapes in the men’s game are a lot leaner – as Djokovic, Andy Murray, Nadal and Federer all demonstrate at the top of the game. Many tennis matches can exceed three hours in length and require frequent repetitions hitting groundstrokes and serves and running the court. The ball is fast off the racquet and jumps off the court at the other end – this is what’s known as today’s ‘heavy ball’. Racquets and strings have taken tennis to a new place. A ball is designed by the rules of tennis to lose 45-47% of the energy that goes into deforming it when it bounces (off the court or strings). If you’re trying to bazooka the ball and hit it out three times in a row, then it’s not going to be very enjoyable for an opponent or your friend. Doing NO MORE than 6 reps per exercise is usually ideal. You need muscle to matter in the modern game. ). The power racket is suitable for players more concerned with adequately getting the ball over the net, rather than with the nuances of advanced tennis like spin and placement. Why Tennis? Having power generating capabilities within a large bandwidth of angles and planes will provide better transfer to unpredictable scenarios. It will give you a nice platform for your tennis journey. Each player uses a strung racket to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt (most of the time colored Optic Yellow.) You can actually make the ball travel out of your hand at speed. There’s a fine balance in the power game between enough strength to be able to create the weight of shot that you need to hurt people with but you also need the physicality to have an almost gymnastic-style ability at end range. Overall, this is more demanding than simply throwing against a wall. Coordination In Tennis … Backhand benefits In tennis, sport-specific technical skills are predominant factors, although a complex profile of physical performance factors is also required. Scott Draper explains the place of power and some ways you can achieve it. They can be on the dead run, and you’ll see players nearly doing the splits and creating incredible power from the back of the court. The ability to hit with minimal and maximal revolutions on the ball gives you many options within a rally and is the main reason why the baseline game is so dominant in the modern era. This fact cannot be disputed; we need the ground to push off from to achieve power. This isn’t surprising as using 1 arm is more specific to tennis - and science has proven that specificity is important - this is based on the SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demands) principle. That’s unbelievably heavy. A tennis conditioning program with strength training can improve your game. In this post, we'll briefly outline max power and it's relationship to force output and velocity. See Answer. Players tend to become too focused on stroke technique and look for explanations of inconsistent play in technical flaws of the stroke. And we’re not talking gentle taps. Elements of power Power: a ball that has no spin on it, is the most e ffective and fastest way of getting the ball to travel from point A to point B. “Increasing your muscle power is useless if you can’t get your body to hit all at once.” In all … A drill for hitting with spin is to try and hit the ball as hard as you can whilst keeping it inside the service line. The more spin on the ball, the slower the ball travels through the air. Perform Few RepsThe aim is to have MAX INTENT on every throw - this will provide better assurance that power is being maximized. Likewise, if a player has a 2 handed backhand, then using 2 hands to throw a med ball would be more realistic and would theoretically have a better transfer to performance. Reasons why Speed, Strength and Power is important for the game of soccer. The more flexible your body is, the greater effective range of motion (ROM) it will have. The results - 1-arm MB forehand throws were significantly correlated with higher forehand speeds in elite players. It's not simply a matter of hitting the ball with the racket, but which spot on the racket is used to hit the ball. Power: a ball that has no spin on it, is the most effective and fastest way of getting the ball to travel from point A to point B. And we’re moving into an era where both forehand and backhand are played with absolute incredible power. To withstand this force you need both upper and lower body strength. If you’ve got an absence of tension and you set your body in a way that creates that elasticity, you’ll generate maximum power. The ability to pass is far easier than before. As you would probably suspect, this quality is quite important for tennis players - every time a player initiates movement, they are attempting to be explosive. Don’t add weight or reps, just perform more sets. Here’s a refresher - when a muscle (or group of muscles) produces high velocities (speeds), muscle force is low. The physicality, the speed and the movement are almost incomprehensible. The flexibility tests should be specific to the actions of tennis. 3) Movements that recruit type 2 muscles fibers increase testosterone - this hormone is associated with improvement benefits across the board (increased strength, concentration, alertness and so on). Consider that elastic band effect, players like Djokovic hitting the ball at ridiculous speeds in the splits position. Getting it up and over the net – say down the line or cross-court past the net player – was a challenge. Tennis can be played as a sport or as a recreational activity with friends and family. Tennis is a game of strategy, strength, and fast reflexes. Starting with the serve Success in the game largely comes down to how the racket is wielded. or via traditional plyometric activities (jumps, bounds, sprints etc. We'll also provide video examples of a number of general & specific exercises for the development of max power in tennis and to conclude, a general framework will be outlined so that coaches and players can program/implement med ball exercises into their training regimes. 4) This is exactly why the level of intensity of your game is judged more or less with the amount of times you’ve broken, or been broken. Like I said, keep it free-flowing. Now players hit the ball flatter (but not as flat as when we played with wood and on grass). Since many med ball exercises were performed, we cannot attribute the results solely to throwing. Proper tennis technique allows you to hit the ball faster, with more control and less effort. Tennis has been blessed with singular champions who have transformed and transcended the game; power players who have changed the way the game is played, or perceived, or both. Strength is needed and it plays a very important role.But the main physical qualities needed by tennis players are speed and quickness. This is a worthy goal, but before endurance can be optimized, players should strive to improve the high end of power output and build capacity on top of that. June 12, 2012: Nike Tennis Camps sits down with Jay Lapidus, former head men's tennis coach at Duke University to discuss the importance of balance while hitting the ball. Take the time to research his site with excellent articles on tennis … As artistry evolves so too do players hard-hitting weapons. You’d try and get inside to tactically manouevure your opponent around; you’d use a lot more variety because that’s what you had to use to break through. Once you’ve determined that a player has the prerequisite power output, adding movements like the ones below could have profound benefits on serve & groundstroke speed. One of the most common mistakes tennis players make when they’re about to hit the ball is completely extending their legs too early. This deceleration component requires a high amount of eccentric strength, balance and stability to control a max effort throw. Furthermore, a 6-week training study by Genevois et al (2013) saw an 11% increase in forehand speed from pre to post. If you let gravity work, there’s an absence of tension. We’re not able to use the speed component of the force-velocity curve, which limits power output - the goal of this type of training. At the same time, there are also some simple steps that can help you build a bigger game. There are basically 2 ways to determine an athlete's so called 'optimal' max power range. I’ve seen many players (and I’ve been victim to this in the past) using med balls that are just too heavy. At beginner and intermediate level then surely the enjoyment in the game is to have a rally, especially if you’re hitting with a mate. This results in a split-second pause between the legs extending (which adds power and lift to your stroke) and the actual moment of hitting the ball. Other flexibility tests should also be performed. The weight was 3kg - which perhaps gives you an idea of what to use with your player(s). If you’re just going through the motions OR performing too many reps OR performing reps very quickly (one after the other) this is not developing max power but rather working on power endurance. People love you one minute and then want to drop you the next;... More, As artistry evolves so too do players hard-hitting weapons. Tennis originally was known as lawn tennis, and formally still is in Britain, because it was played on grass courts by Victorian gentlemen and ladies. It is much easier to develop power after you have developed placement as opposed to developing placement after you have developed power. This is ideal. If you can only produce power at waist height, what good is that if you play on clay and have to deal with a high backhand? Initiating your legs start a kinetic chain, from which your technique basically unravels. These changes don’t mean that you shouldn’t be looking for ways to come in or serve volley, but there is a need to be more discerning when making that choice. Get a grip You quickly realized that there is more to tennis than just fancy technique. When it comes to training max power for tennis players, we have 2 basic options - general exercises and specific exercises. Simple steps for power Performing power exercises the day before (or even the day of) competition, can have tremendous performance enhancing benefits because of hormonal factors. when catching the ball). Children, teens, parents, grandparents and great grandparents play. In tennis today, however, there’s no real need for the average punter to use anything heavier than what’s on the shelf. The ability of modern players is that they not only hit the ball heavy but they can also hit it with a lot of pace and they can hit it flat. Tennis is a sport where hand-eye coordination is important so that your hand and the other parts of your body quickly react to do the right moves. Don’t Rush, RESTTake a few seconds between reps and take sufficient time between exercises. Some researchers then, theorize that throws may benefit the serve as well. To achieve both requires massive cuts at the ball. Partner Throws Add Another DimensionWhen performing side throws with a partner, there is a greater demand eccentrically (i.e. Let’s briefly explore both types of movements and provide examples. Do you recall the force-velocity curve? It is now played on a variety of surfaces. Some research suggests that an unloaded jump squat produces the highest power outputs while others have shown loaded jumps (~30% added load on an individual) as being optimal. Throwing med balls from a variety of angles and in a variety of directions will help cover more variability with respect to power production. Where players like Albert Costa or Sergi Bruguera – clay court specialists of the 1990s – had a lot more shape in their strokes. Developed between 1859 and 1865, tennis is a sport played between two players (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Explosive strength is generally trained using lighter resistances (barbell jump squats, power snatch/clean etc.) You are able to generate more acceleration of your mass. So how do you win a point considering that the distance between hitting point A and hitting point B is so much greater? As a double-hander, you start with both backhand and forehand grips ready. if power not then not good game play. In other words, once you develop placement your power will follow. Add strength training to your arsenal. Think of cracking a whip. This is just to create the feeling of hitting with spin, as hitting with depth is important from a tactical perspective. You need to create a torque in your body that in turn allows for an elastic band effect. 4) This is exactly why the level of intensity of your game is judged more or less with the amount of times you’ve broken, or been broken. Actually, you realized that technique doesn’t mean anything against experienced players. This is only achievable if you give it plenty of rip. It’s an especially difficult question given that you’re playing on slower surfaces and with slower balls. The player on the left is more efficient and coordinated with his throw - you can see his lower body loading first and then releasing this energy into the throw. Don’t have tension in your upper body (only a strong core) – the arms come along for the ride, Practice hitting with different speeds/spins/ trajectories to see where your balance point is between hitting it hard and hitting it in. Although the mechanisms for this are not fully understood, many elite coaches believe this is due to both neuromuscular and hormonal factors. Think about it. The player that can do this in the most efficient manner will be the player that has the overall athletic advantage in the match. Its width is 27 feet (8.23 m… In order to paint a clearer picture of this max power topic we should quickly review the science. For example, a soccer ball, volleyball, basketball etc could all be appropriate depending on the age and power/strength level of your athlete(s). Second, because more musculature is generally involved, these exercises require greater recruitment and activation of type 2 muscle fibers - those that are linked to explosive actions. Insufficient training will lead to a player’s inability to return the ball on the opponent’s court. With the return of serve featuring more dominantly in today’s game – keeping the opponent from attacking the serve is critical to preventing one of the modern weapons from surfacing. From this angle, proper tennis form is important since it enables you to hit better. After all, we derive most of our power from the ground. Agility Training For Tennis A racquet sport training programme has to meet the demands of an all-round physically challenging sport. Research on the topic agrees. It is a racquet that is the jack of all trades. There are countless others that can be used effectively to increase max power output. "Ideally you want your upper body to remain rather straight, your head very still, and then you rotate around this axis which does not move." This ‘put away’ ball is usually struck somewhere between the baseline and service line. A player must absorb the force efficiently and quickly use a reactive/elastic stretch to project the ball back towards their partner. You can either use high-tech devices - like the PUSH Band (an accelerometer based device that can extract power & velocity metrics from a variety of strength/power movements) - OR, a coach’s eye. First, general med ball exercises are usually multi-joint and therefore have a high coordinative demand. Comparing tennis today to the game of the past is like comparing a boxer and fencer. He's unable to coordinate the throw effectively, forcing him to 'muscle' the throw. Lets talk about why. Players will grip too tight; they’ll force too much. 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