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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    My training schedule as a professional tennis player.

    I saw a post about how awesome it would be to become a pro. It truly can be great, but the work to get there is pretty unfathomable for most. I thought I would give you a day in my life from 1993 to 1995 when I was on tour. I was a top 400 player and made very little money. It was not as beautiful a picture as most would dream. Here was a typical training day:

    I trained with a guy named Lawson Duncan for a while and here is what we did. Lawson was a top 50 player in the world who fought injuries and should have been a top 20 player. His work ethic was crazy.

    -Wake up at 6:30 and have enough oatmeal and bananas to kill a cow.
    -7:30: I would run the length of a golf course. Usually around 5 or 6 miles.
    -9:00: On the court for intense hitting drills. 100 balls forehand to forehand.
    Same thing on the backhand and volleys the same. If a ball was
    missed, we started over at 0. HIGH INTENSITY!
    -11:30 Lunch and relaxation.
    -1:00 Matchplay. Tiebreak after tiebreak as well. Losses had a penalty.
    Usually running or push-ups (Funny, I was playing a guy who could
    outhit nearly anyone on the tour from the baseline. I sure did a lot
    of penalty running and push-ups.)
    -4:00 Hit the gym. I spent 1 hour on the stair-climber and 45 minutes on
    exercise bike. I then lifted weights.
    This was the non-tournament workout. During tournaments, I was a tie-break playing maniac during my off days.

    I experienced some burnout and we backed the schedule off, but I was in such serious shape, it was incredible. Those six mile morning runs soon felt like absolutely nothing. I found out that this was the workout that Lawson and Ivan Lendl followed when training for big tournaments. They would bike together instead of doing the exercise bike at the gym. That was just a training day in my life. Not so glorious huh?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
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    1,109
    i thoroughly enjoy exercise - especially in the form of tennis, but i can't say i couldve stuck to such a strict routine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    i thoroughly enjoy exercise - especially in the form of tennis, but i can't say i couldve stuck to such a strict routine.
    I never even questioned it. I just wanted to be that good. You don't even think about how tough it is when your mind is set on being the best. That is what the champions truly have. They will do anything to be the best. It truly comes from inside. You can't force someone to have that desire. That's why I tell parents that if there child truly wants a career in professional tennis, they have to let the child decide. If that kid puts forth more effort than others and really has a hunger and desire to be great, they will do it without having to be pushed. That is only half of it though. The other half is athletic ability, skill, and mental power. There are a whole lot of factors that go into being a true tennis professional. I think most coaches will agree that they can only take a player as far as that player wants to go. Even then, it takes a little more. But hey, what's wrong with striving to be a pro early on and then realizing you can't and getting a college scholarship? The one thing that I have seen in the greats of the past twenty or twenty five years is this.....Lendl, Becker, Sampras, Agassi to a degree, Courier, Muster, Federer, and the same on the women's side is that they all tend to be loaners to a degree. They get along fine with people most of the time, but they tend to spend a great deal of time with a small group or by themselves. They aren't worried about the newest fashion or what is in or about going to the mall. They want to focus on tennis and that tends to be good enough for them. But again, that is a decision that the player has to make, not parents or coaches.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    132
    I know this thread is a bit old but what kind of weight lifting did you do?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    San Antonio, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    I know this thread is a bit old but what kind of weight lifting did you do?
    i'm going to guess that he used free weights with squats and presses.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    132
    I've been a weight lifter for a long time, and I actually found this forum because of this page. I tried tacking the running and stair stepper on to my usual cycling and 5 day split weight lifting and I've needed to take a few hours between the bike and the weight lifting or I see a drastic drop in strength, so I was curious what you did in the way of reps and specific exercises.

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