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futuratennis
01-10-2009, 05:50 PM
hey guys/girls... im quite a fit, young bloke who plays tennis 1-3 times a week (most weeks, competitively and coaching) and sometimes i play every day for 2 hours or so... im currently playing tennis australia tournaments, like national opens, junior developments, and will try my luck at an AMT this year (money tournaments) and i take tennis very seriously... i do at least 40 minutes of exercise each day (exercise bike, sport at school, tennis etc.) i work out 2-3 times a week with dumbells and other equipment, and im quite built for my age (16) ive been playing sport for ages now, and am used to running long distances for long periods of time... (e.g. soccer, centre mid, without getting tired).. however with tennis, it seems to tire me out really easily, i played a 3 setter against my dad yesterday whos been playing for 40 years and is a really, really good player... the first set was 7-5 his way, however in the second he won it 6-1, i just dropped off, he makes me run alot as hes really good at placing shots.. i mean in that second set i felt like i hadnt eaten for a day or two, my legs were almost jelly and i was basically worn out... i still played some good tennis overall, but nowhere near my peak... i now have to take food whenever i go to the courts, to keep my energy levels up, i have a really good diet, i eat lots of fruit and veggies, dairy, fibre etc. so i should be able to run and sustain myself for that period of time... so whats the best way to sustain my energy levels, even though im already really fit, and eat healthily.. it doesnt happen all the time, but sometimes it does, and in the important matches, it could make the difference between winning a tourney, trophy, and 5 grand... and losing... any advice please, and what are your thoughts? :) :D cheers, sorry for the wall of text

Ballinbob
01-10-2009, 05:55 PM
If your legs felt like jelly while playing, then you are not as fit as you should be. I never feel like that even when playing with 4.5 players (i'm a 3.5). Granted I run track, but I still never feel like that because I'm fit. Before I go any further, do you know any of your times for the mile,100-200-400-800m runs? Any of these times will give me an idea on how fit/fast you are. The more times you have the better of course.

edit-you also shouldn't need energy bars while playing....

futuratennis
01-10-2009, 05:59 PM
for 100 i get about 12 seconds.. but im pretty damn fit, and i dont get tired from anything else except tennis basically.. anyway cheers for replying lol, im gonna play tennis now, ill read these when i get back :)

Ballinbob
01-10-2009, 06:06 PM
12 seconds isn't bad at all for a 100m. But that still doesn't make sense why your getting tired while playing and your legs feeling like jelly. Maybe your endurance isn't so great and you need start running a couple miles everyday. It's important to have a good balance of speed/endurance for tennis. Looks like the speed is there, now just work on endurance. There are alot of guys I know who are fit and can run sprints fast, but when it comes to long distance they just can't do it. Maybe this is what's happening to you?

If you have a good mile time already then I don't know what to tell you. That makes absolutely no sense then....

TonLars
01-10-2009, 09:04 PM
From the sound of it you are pretty active and fit. Of course, you can always improve and make progress. I have a feeling you just arent getting enough rest. Do you take a day off ever, get enough sleep, missing something from your diet? Evaluate those things. Youll need more than fruits and vegetables in your diet im sure you know; carbs, proteins and some fats are the main suppliers. It doesnt have to be an issue of fitness; theres definitely been times when I have had the tired legs feeling, and its due to simply over-training over a period of time. Eventually youre going to get worn down, just like the pros with their grueling schedules, and most of them are fitter than any of us. Its tough to avoid as a tennis player because one can often be playing, working out and doing tournaments every day for several months. Try to make sure youre getting what you need in what I asked of you above.

naylor
01-10-2009, 10:17 PM
When I was playing semi-pro squash, I got my endurance through playing 2-3 hrs. non-stop against top-league club players, quite often playing "handicap" games - all my balls would have to bounce past the service line (so no drops or short angles), or I could only play one side of the court (so, all balls to his forehand or backhand), or I'd give him a 7-point start (in first to nine, so I could not afford to make any mistakes). That taught me to practice points at matchplay pace (rather than just at hitting pace), and also to work to a consistent placement pretty much from any part of the court - and to do the latter you must take the ball as early as you can and dictate the pace of the rally (because if the ball is dying in one back corner, it's not easy to play it to the other back corner - so, you volley it before it gets there and dies). Yes, I wish I could do the same in tennis!

Anyhow, to really get match-fit, we use to do on-court sprints. From the T, there are 6 points (front and back corner and middle nick) on each side of the court. With my training partner and coach, we used to play 90/30 - 90 seconds on (the coach calls at random the number for the corner / middle nick you have to touch next with your racket, you recover to the T and when you're just about getting back there he calls the next number), and 30 seconds recovery. After a little while, you ease down to play 60/60. Then we'd do some other practice or handicap games and later in the session (when we'd been working for a while at match rally speed) we'd go back for more corner sprints. The competition would be who'd get the most corners in a 90 or 60 second spell, and who'd get the best aggregate in 5 spells / the whole session (with "penalties" - more of the same!) if you didn't manage a minimum, and with the minimum rising as the pre-season training programme advanced.

Anyway, my point is that this type of training is also very relevant and good for tennis. You may be cruising for most of the point, but suddenly you get out of position and for a few shots you have to chase the game till you regain it - sprint 5 yards to a corner, stop in balance, nearly always recover back to the T on the baseline, split-step, next dash of between 5 and 15 yards (to the other corner, or to the side of the servicebox or a front corner to pick up a shorter, sharper angle or a dropshot) and more of the same.

This is what your father is doing to you. And when you're not fit for tennis played this way, your legs turn to jelly pretty quickly and you need a quick sugar rush to give you a (very short-lived) energy boost. But you still drop a few points quickly while you stabilise and recover. And a couple of games after you think you've regained balance (if he's kind enough to give you that long a breather), suddenly you have another group of points where you're "doing the corners" again - and you think you're doing well because you get some back and stay in the rally, but the reality is that he played the shot so you could just get it back, to torture you a little bit more with a longer rally.

futuratennis
01-10-2009, 11:22 PM
If your legs felt like jelly while playing, then you are not as fit as you should be. I never feel like that even when playing with 4.5 players (i'm a 3.5). Granted I run track, but I still never feel like that because I'm fit. Before I go any further, do you know any of your times for the mile,100-200-400-800m runs? Any of these times will give me an idea on how fit/fast you are. The more times you have the better of course.

edit-you also shouldn't need energy bars while playing....

12 seconds isn't bad at all for a 100m. But that still doesn't make sense why your getting tired while playing and your legs feeling like jelly. Maybe your endurance isn't so great and you need start running a couple miles everyday. It's important to have a good balance of speed/endurance for tennis. Looks like the speed is there, now just work on endurance. There are alot of guys I know who are fit and can run sprints fast, but when it comes to long distance they just can't do it. Maybe this is what's happening to you?

If you have a good mile time already then I don't know what to tell you. That makes absolutely no sense then....

From the sound of it you are pretty active and fit. Of course, you can always improve and make progress. I have a feeling you just arent getting enough rest. Do you take a day off ever, get enough sleep, missing something from your diet? Evaluate those things. Youll need more than fruits and vegetables in your diet im sure you know; carbs, proteins and some fats are the main suppliers. It doesnt have to be an issue of fitness; theres definitely been times when I have had the tired legs feeling, and its due to simply over-training over a period of time. Eventually youre going to get worn down, just like the pros with their grueling schedules, and most of them are fitter than any of us. Its tough to avoid as a tennis player because one can often be playing, working out and doing tournaments every day for several months. Try to make sure youre getting what you need in what I asked of you above.

When I was playing semi-pro squash, I got my endurance through playing 2-3 hrs. non-stop against top-league club players, quite often playing "handicap" games - all my balls would have to bounce past the service line (so no drops or short angles), or I could only play one side of the court (so, all balls to his forehand or backhand), or I'd give him a 7-point start (in first to nine, so I could not afford to make any mistakes). That taught me to practice points at matchplay pace (rather than just at hitting pace), and also to work to a consistent placement pretty much from any part of the court - and to do the latter you must take the ball as early as you can and dictate the pace of the rally (because if the ball is dying in one back corner, it's not easy to play it to the other back corner - so, you volley it before it gets there and dies). Yes, I wish I could do the same in tennis!

Anyhow, to really get match-fit, we use to do on-court sprints. From the T, there are 6 points (front and back corner and middle nick) on each side of the court. With my training partner and coach, we used to play 90/30 - 90 seconds on (the coach calls at random the number for the corner / middle nick you have to touch next with your racket, you recover to the T and when you're just about getting back there he calls the next number), and 30 seconds recovery. After a little while, you ease down to play 60/60. Then we'd do some other practice or handicap games and later in the session (when we'd been working for a while at match rally speed) we'd go back for more corner sprints. The competition would be who'd get the most corners in a 90 or 60 second spell, and who'd get the best aggregate in 5 spells / the whole session (with "penalties" - more of the same!) if you didn't manage a minimum, and with the minimum rising as the pre-season training programme advanced.

Anyway, my point is that this type of training is also very relevant and good for tennis. You may be cruising for most of the point, but suddenly you get out of position and for a few shots you have to chase the game till you regain it - sprint 5 yards to a corner, stop in balance, nearly always recover back to the T on the baseline, split-step, next dash of between 5 and 15 yards (to the other corner, or to the side of the servicebox or a front corner to pick up a shorter, sharper angle or a dropshot) and more of the same.

This is what your father is doing to you. And when you're not fit for tennis played this way, your legs turn to jelly pretty quickly and you need a quick sugar rush to give you a (very short-lived) energy boost. But you still drop a few points quickly while you stabilise and recover. And a couple of games after you think you've regained balance (if he's kind enough to give you that long a breather), suddenly you have another group of points where you're "doing the corners" again - and you think you're doing well because you get some back and stay in the rally, but the reality is that he played the shot so you could just get it back, to torture you a little bit more with a longer rally.

cheers guys, u all make valid points...

alright, so basically i played today... for 3 hours.. and i didnt even feel tired, i dont get it.. i played against my mate whos reasonably good, beat him 6-2 6-0 so i didn't have to put in much work... then i played another guy who ive met before, and i thought he was pretty good (hes 35, been playing for 30 years) i beat him 6-4 though in just one set.. and i didnt feel any of the things mentioned before, it only happens sometimes, but when it happens it makes me feel kinda helpless, like once, i played someone i beat them 6-0 in the first set, then the second set i was up 5-1 and i got that feeling again, and he won it 7-6.. well one thing ballinbob, is that ive never had good endurance, i once ran a 2-3k cross country, i was coming first till the last 200-500 metres or so and i ended up coming sixth, also my dad has never had good endurance, maybe something to do with my genes lol? and also when that cross country was on, that was when i was 9-10 and all i did was play sport, that was the fittest ive ever been in my life.

however when i do go running (1-2 miles) not very often though, i can last easily with a simple jog (not sure what the time is though) i also have good balance ballinbob, i also have incredible hand-eye coordination.. ie. been able to play any sport reasonably well without practicing, im sure alot of you are like that. also i play at a reasonably high level of tennis (for my age at least) id regard myself as a 4.5-5.5 based on videos posted up by you guys, im also gonna post a vid of myself soon..

tonlars i always take days off... e.g. i might train hard for a week or so, then the next week ill play once or twice, i always get enough sleep, i go to bed at 10:30/11 and get up at 7 for school and on the weekends/holidays i get up at 8-9:30 or so... i also have a reasonably balanced diet, with lots of proteins, a crapload of carbs.. bread etc. and fats of course, i am half vegetarian, i only eat chicken and fish, i take iron tablets, and eat foods high in protein.. trust me, my diet should suffice with my tennis.


and naylor, good advice mate, sounds like i gotta do what you said...ie. court sprints etc. that program sounds very relevant to tennis, as squash and tennis are quite similar, i just gotta keep practicing, and maybe tell my dad (for practice) to just keep hitting the ball in one corner then the next and so on.. to get better at it.. really good advice, ill start doing some on court sprints, like i have to run and touch the baseline then to the net etc. which will help with my endurance that way :)

just weird, because today i didnt even feel like that? :(

Ballinbob
01-11-2009, 07:57 AM
Naylor, no you don't run a 100m during tennis I agree. But someone who runs an 11.5s 100m dash will move faster than someone who runs a 13.5s. That's all I was getting at there, I wanted to see how fast he could move.

I don't know what to tell you though, that's weird. TonLars made a good point with resting, but it looks like you can do that too. And if you can run a couple miles pretty easily that's great, but it doesn't make our job of helping you any easier lol. I guess just keep playing but notice when you feel tired. Make notes of what you were doing/eating/and even thinking about when you felt like this.

Good luck though, and looking forward to the vids:)

futuratennis
01-11-2009, 10:01 PM
mm yea, im looking forward to posting my vids up to, prob wont be for maybe 4-5 weeks though, gotta get a camera lol :)
i didnt play my best today but lol :( and once again i didnt feel like i mentioned.. lol

mikaelkoh
01-11-2009, 10:51 PM
suggest u check out the jan-feb magazine issue of tennis.com. It has some very good articles on nadal n his uncle toni.

well, based on what i read, some days u get bad balls, bad courts, bad bounce, or some player who hit top form that day. Sometimes we play good, sometimes we play not so good. We are only humans, not machines. We cannot be peaking everyday for every set on every point 365 days a year.

Remember that Nadal was burnt out during end 2007? And he lost the semi in AO 2008 to Tsonga in a way unimaginable (utterly crushed & outplayed). But he still went on to create his most historic season to date in 2008. Sometimes we play good, sometimes we play not so good.

U can eat better or run better or condition yourself better for tennis but its all physical. Sometimes we play good, sometimes we play not so good. Being able to accept this and having the mental power to ignore all the excuses when things are not so good..... ... Well, its still a long way for you & most of us. I'm sure u'll beat your dad someday. Nadal took 3 years to beat Fed in a Wimbledon final. And Fed took even more years to start his streak at Wimby. Most things take time. So, be inspired and ... good luck!

albino smurf
01-12-2009, 04:29 AM
OP something is causing it and you rlast post sounds like you are dismissing some very good possible causes. Sounds like you were worn out to me. It happens. Also, your workout sounds decent but not so mind blowing that you woudn't get tired against a stronger more experienced player that runs you around. A slow jog of 1-2 miles is nothing. That is a cool down. Run as hard as you can for 30 minutes multiple times a week if you are not playing.

TheOverlord
01-12-2009, 05:35 AM
being "built" is a disadvantage in tennis, its better to be of a lean and thin, and dare i say, even skinny. unless you are above 6'0, consider that being any weight above 180lbs might hinder your court speed. also, explosive exercises (anaerobic exercise) is better than doing aerobic/endurance (long jogs, 2+ mile runs) drills. i weigh 109 and prefer not to play anyone that looks especially heavy or fat since the advantage i have in speed is very apparent. the lower the body fat % you have, the faster you will move on the court.

albino smurf
01-12-2009, 06:23 AM
How tall and old at 109 lbs?

origmarm
01-12-2009, 06:43 AM
I haven't got any great advice to offer here as I don't know much about the subject but a thought occurred to me. Could you possibly have been ill/fighting off a minor illness?

This sort of thing happens to me sometimes also when I feel much more tired than usual during a game and I put it down to all the bugs around here. Even if I don't necessarily feel ill I notice a drop in my "peak" performance that I can't attribute to anything else.

Just a thought...

Orig

SystemicAnomaly
01-12-2009, 07:54 AM
How are you blood sugar levels during tennis? If this is an glycogen/blood sugar issue, you might want to try a bit of pasta/carb loading (perhaps even the the night before).

Note that you body recruits several different energy systems while playing tennis. You first need a good aerobic base -- cardio workouts should help toward this end. Because tennis includes a fair amount of "burst" activity you also need to develop a couple of your anearobic energy systems -- the immediate (ATP-CP) system and the short-term (glycolysis) system. Some rope skipping (short duration), wind sprints and interval training should help with this. For more about the energy systems refer to the USTA document that I reference in the following posts:

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2850487 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2850487)
tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2185965 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2185965)

.

SFrazeur
01-12-2009, 02:41 PM
Well, don't drink a lot of caffeine, don't "do it" for yourself beforehand, and. . .oh sorry you're talking about something completely different.

-SF

futuratennis
01-12-2009, 11:19 PM
i think i might know what was wrong.. see i visit my dad, and when i do i play alot of tennis, seeing as the courts are basically 1$ for unlimited, and i dont usually bring iron tablets up.. but this time i did, and ive been taking them everyday (dont eat red meat) and my performance seems to have been alot better (since i remembered i brought them) i also believe that its just me being not fit enough as well.. need to start doing some drills you guys mentioned, and nah im not fighting off sickness

jasoncho92
01-13-2009, 02:32 AM
being "built" is a disadvantage in tennis, its better to be of a lean and thin, and dare i say, even skinny. unless you are above 6'0, consider that being any weight above 180lbs might hinder your court speed. also, explosive exercises (anaerobic exercise) is better than doing aerobic/endurance (long jogs, 2+ mile runs) drills. i weigh 109 and prefer not to play anyone that looks especially heavy or fat since the advantage i have in speed is very apparent. the lower the body fat % you have, the faster you will move on the court.
Unless you are shorter than 5' 5", that weight is alarmingly low. Being built isnt a problem at all in the way average people (im assuming the OP), use it. Built for most people just means you have a decent amount of muscle, which will help you in tennis to a certain degree. Its having muscle and the muscle you have being unfit for tennis that makes being built a disadvantage.

SystemicAnomaly
01-13-2009, 07:41 AM
... i weigh 109 and prefer not to play anyone that looks especially heavy or fat since the advantage i have in speed is very apparent. the lower the body fat % you have, the faster you will move on the court.

109, really!!!

Lower body fat does not necessarily equate to faster court speed. Marathon & other long distance runners can have extremely low body fat % but are probably not very good sprinter at all. It has more to do with muscle fiber types -- marathon runners have a very high percentage of type I (slow-twitch) muscle fibers in their legs whereas sprinters have a higher % of type II-a and type II-x (fast-twitch) fibers in their legs for explosive movement.

futuratennis
01-13-2009, 01:46 PM
i weight about 72kg and im 16 years old, donno about lbs, we dont even use them in australia lol

Kevo
01-13-2009, 08:30 PM
I agree with the others who suggested sprints. I can make my legs burn by running several sets of lines one after the other. The other day I jogged 6 miles for the first time in my life, and my legs weren't sore hardly at all. My feet were a little sore, my knees were a little sore, my achilles were sore, but my legs probably could have gone another 6.

The other thing to consider is your first step reaction. People who are fast can get away with being slow on the first step to the ball. They just catch up. The problem though is that first step saves an unbelievable amount of time. So if you were catching up a lot when playing your dad, you may have been wearing yourself out a lot faster than your really needed to. Just make sure that you are off your feet when the ball is struck. This allows you to come down already moving in the direction you need to go.

SystemicAnomaly
01-14-2009, 07:31 AM
i weight about 72kg and im 16 years old, donno about lbs, we dont even use them in australia lol

I believe that puts you close to 160 lbs (2.2 lbs/kg). We had been told more than half a century ago that the US would switch to metric -- has not happened yet (except in science classes).

And 16 yrs old is also 16 yrs old in our system.

futuratennis
01-15-2009, 02:17 AM
I believe that puts you close to 160 lbs (2.2 lbs/kg). We had been told more than half a century ago that the US would switch to metric -- has not happened yet (except in science classes).

And 16 yrs old is also 16 yrs old in our system.

ahah :) lol