Top Poster: antoni
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Strengthen your base and your footwork
After having an extended layoff from the game of tennis due to severe burnout, I had to get myself back into playing mode. After playing on the challenger circuit and getting to such a high level, I expected it to come right back with ease. Yeah right! After a 4 year hiatus, I had to retrain my eyes, my feet, and my fitness level. The strokes were fine, but getting into position to hit them time and time again was quite challenging. Many of you here wonder what is wrong with you strokes when you are off and having a bad day. I say that nearly all of your issues will be footwork and fitness related. You must strengthen your core as well as your whole body in order to stay balanced throughout a match and be able to do it time and time again so that you don't get tired under demanding situations. Once you tire, your footwork goes and then your strokes are thrown off due to the fact that you are not getting the ball into your perfect contact point due to the fact that you aren't getting to the ball. It isn't your stroke. It's your feet! If you want to become a better player, you must work on staying down on your shots. It is okay to come up naturally with the swing and let it lift you off the ground, but when you get tired, you don't bend as much and if you still come up with the swing, you end up hitting over the ball and thus hitting it in the net. When you get tired and mentally unfocused always, always, always go back to basics and use perfect form so that you can give yourself a chance to get that second wind. Relax your movement and slow things down. Pretend as though you are in practice having balls fed to you just like a drill. It's all in the feet, the movement of the feet, and the strength of the core that will make your game skyrocket to new levels.......
Do you guys follow a particular tennis specific strength/conditioning and footwork program that is published anywhere or do you have any you would recommend? Or is that S.S. proprietary information?
All of the coaches here have extremely high backgrounds in high level tennis. I tend to work things on my court according to how I feel about things that day, but our after camp fitness is run by Ricky Gonzalez who played for Georgia and has a national championship ring. Good friends with John Isner. He does a fine job, but it usually is up to the individual coach when the kids are being tennis specific and are on the court. We also have a personal trainer that does a SUPER job in the gym working players in circuit training. After camp fitness is Mon-Fri. and last 45 minutes. If you want to read up on such things, look at Pat Etcheberry fitness and strength techniques.
Originally Posted by Architeuthis
Will do. That sounds the best place to start given his reputation.
Originally Posted by tennisking1
I highly recommend Pat Etcheberry, as I was Elite Certified from Pat in 2008. Just like in life there is not one way that works for everyone. I would suggest that you evaluate your own individual strenghts and weaknesses and tailor your training accordingly.