There is no magical formula guaranteeing that a player will become a professional tennis player. However, there are vital areas that must be addressed if they want to give themself their best chance at success.
Many of us are pretty aware of what we need to be doing when developing players on the court. Some of these areas include:
- Sound technique
- Correct footwork patterns
- Efficient movement
- Patterns of play
- Serve + 1 and Return +1
But an area in which coaches frequently lack knowledge is the off-court stuff. How to help their player build a foundation and make sure they are strong enough to perform that drill they are asking them to do.
If we take a closer look at the off-court training, our expert partner Tennis Fitness says that the three most important areas to focus on as a player are; Flexibility/Mobility, Strength, and Stability.
If we are hitting these areas with the correct tennis-specific programming and structure, everything will improve (tennis footwork, balance, power, and endurance).
These are what we call the foundation areas. When we combine training in these three areas with effective on-court tennis drills, we are well on our way to solid progress!
When we get them right and work in the areas consistently, we create a solid foundation to build on (increased power, dynamic movement, and stamina).
If you try and bypass these areas, you are bound to come unstuck (get injured, burn out, or get minimal results).
It is like learning to drive and going from having a handful of driving lessons, then straight onto the racetrack, screaming around at top speed.
The same applies to on-court with practice. Every player needs to learn how to control their body and hit the ball straight with control before they get complicated. Learn “The basics” build the foundation that will be there long term.
Even the top pros do basic drills all the time. They go back to their foundation and work on essential, basic effective drills that they can build on.
Coach Sarah Stone
Not sure how to combine on-court and off-court drills? CLICK HERE to check out a course I put together with Tennis Fitness; it will change the way you go about your coaching.