Tennis training and fitness are linked at every level and cannot be dissociated in order to become a good tennis player. Tennis training will teach players the right technique for the ground strokes, volleys, serves, but without a good fitness level, players will always be limited.
Tennis training and fitness have to be done together in order to maximize the training results. At every level fitness training needs to be incorporated. For beginners and young players, fitness training will mostly be coordination and balance drills that will help the player to be more efficient on the tennis court.
Once the level becomes higher fitness training will be more specific with agility training. Agility training will work on the specific movements and on the quickness on the court. Moving well and being quick are fundamental if a player wishes to be able to compete at a good tennis level. Agility training can be incorporated on the court, before, after or during the tennis training. During this time, the player can really focus on his footwork technique and intensity and once he understands it he will use it during the tennis drills and will be a lot more efficient while executing his strokes.
Another important part of fitness training for tennis is strength training. This is very important to prevent injuries at any level. Strength training will also help the players to become more powerful and explosive on the court which could make a huge difference with others players of the same level. Beginner players will follow a really light strength training schedule, but advanced players will have to incorporate this completely in their schedule. Shots on the tennis court are more and more powerful, it you want to keep up with your opponents good strength training has to be done on a consistent basis.
Of course tennis training and fitness both work on aerobic capacity of the player. Specific cardio training done on the side will help the players to improve their endurance and even more and this will make them a lot better on match situation. A good aerobic capacity allows players to be more intense through all the duration of a match and also it will help them to recover better between points and after the match.
Flexibility training is another important part that should be done every day at least after practice. A good flexibility level allows the players to reach balls in extreme positions but also helps them to prevent injuries that could occur on the court.
Fitness training means the training of all those capacities, strength, agility, aerobic, flexibility. All this needs to be part of a tennis training program and it needs to be done on a consistent basis. At a high level fitness training should represent at least 1/3 of the total practice time during the week. Fitness training needs to be maintained while players are on tournament because the complexity is to keep improving all the time and one of the biggest mistake is to work on the fitness part and then to stop while the players are on tournaments. This will lead the players to come back from their tournaments with a lower fitness level. When the players are practicing, tennis training and fitness has to be done as consistent as possible and with high intensity. When the players are playing on tournaments, of course they will do less fitness but it is very important to do a minimum in order to maintain their level and to be able to improve even more once they are back from their tournament.
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