View Full Version : Training for high school tennis!

02-24-2004, 03:54 AM
Hey guys!

Our coaches want us to be in condition for high school tennis this year. I played number 1 last year and have improved a lot. I've been to some clinics and at them they have some very high level players. I have a question about what we should be doing to get in condition. My coaches are having us run miles, distance. On ths first day of official practice, they want everyone to be able to run three miles. And then on the second day, another three miles again. This is very difficult for me because I have really tight hamstrings and my lower back always starts to hurt after about 1 mile. I say that we should be doing more sprints than distance. I don't think we need endurance running, but rather the stamina to run in between points. Most points don't last for more than 30 seconds. I think it would be more beneficial to the team if we sprint for 30 seconds, then jog or walk, then sprint again, instead of continuous running? We do some steps, but I read in tennis magazine, that sprinting down hill is good. No doubt that the run of distance such as 2 or 3 miles helps, but I think this discourages kids and we could benefit more from other types of activity such as sprinting, etc. What do you guys think?



02-24-2004, 10:14 AM
Well Matt, you do what the coach tells you to do,sadly. Yes, long distance running is fairly pointless for tennis unless it's a broken run in which you sprint a portion and then jog,etc. But if the coach wants you to be able to run 3 miles, it's not that tough at all when you consider the conditioning other sports have to deal with. I'd suggest you do a sprint work-out on your own time to stay ahead of the pacl

To alleviate your pain, take a warm-up jog to loosen up a bit, then do a very good stretch warm-up. You sound like you don't stretch very often. I also have a bad back. You wouldn't happen to have a whippy western forehand?

02-24-2004, 11:23 AM
hahahaahh i have a semi-western, its not too whippy, but not as good as my backhand either :)

02-24-2004, 11:24 AM
The thing is, our coaches really don't know that much either, so they would be open to suggestions. It might just benefit me more by playing usta, instead of the season too.

02-25-2004, 09:48 AM
running is very beneficial for tennis, it keeps your back and legs flexible. one of the reasons you do have problems with hamstring tightness is your muscles are poorly conditioned and developed that running will actually improve that condition

02-25-2004, 09:53 AM
people say the same thing about lifting for tennis that you shouldn't lift weights or you'll get to big and won't be able to swing a racquet, thats a bunch of baloney i lift everyday day, day 1 upper, day 2 legs, Day 3 abs and back, with an intense flexibility program.

02-27-2004, 06:16 AM
Workout Schedule:

5 days a week

2 days in the gym: pullups, wrist curls, lunges, leg press, abs
(core muscle groups used in tennis: shoulders, chest, abs, legs, forearms)

3 days cardio

Suicides, interval runs (sprint, jog, sprint, jog, sprint etc.) lateral movements

All of these should be done with high repetitions, and low weight. the goal is to get toned up, not become a muscle head. whens the last time you saw a jacked up person be nible and quick on a tennis court?

Hope this helps, you should see some results rather quickly with this method

02-27-2004, 10:22 AM
college and pro football players are huge 200-250-300+ pounds yet their as agile as a mouse, they could beat most pro tennis players in sprints, distance, agility, speed, quickness drills, and if you could teach them tennis mechanics they'd be half descent, but they would need the other half of the equation a BRAIN, being big and bulky muscle doesn't mean you can't play tennis its if you fat and you can't move,

Eric Matuszewski
02-27-2004, 01:05 PM
Dear Mattlicovich, sounds like your a pretty smart guy and care about getting something out of all you've obviously put into being a tennis player. I think your beginning to see the wrighting on the wall about High School tennis.

It's time take a real critical look at EXACTLY what you want to do with tennis. Get a real clear, honest picture in your head of what you want to accomplish in 6 months. This is a LONG TERM goal.

If you want to play college. Spending 2hrs a day for the next couple months trying to get rallies going with some kids that may still be trying to figure out what a forehand is, will kill alot of your enthusiasm and may even mess up your timing and technique.

Maybe playing decent H.S. tennis is all you want, I don't know, but get clear now so you can make a plan.

If you do want a chance at college, you MUST get ranked and you must keep up your grades.

This takes long term and short term goal setting and consistently working to reach those short term goals.

Create a close relationship with a MENTOR who has actually played at the level you want to attain or higher.

Make sure your mentor is someone who cares about YOU. You will probably have to pay a professional coach at least at first, don't be cheap, these are your dreams. If you need help financially I can give you lots of specific ways to come up with the money.

Just be honest with yourself when deciding what the coaches motivations are. Most kids can tell if someone is just out for $$$$, if you get this sense move on quickly and don't be timid. This is your life.

Finally, your only gonna get out of this what you put into it. Work hard but work SMART. It's not enough just to sweat your brains out everyday, you have to make good choices. GET A MENTOR.

03-01-2004, 05:58 PM
i play football at school as well as tennis, so the weight training is very beneficial (squats, bench, and power cleans for explosiveness). the are other aux. lifts you can do like curls and nosebreakers. instead of running distance, i run "levees".

my house is near a major river, so the levees are really high. running up and down them 10 times every day is a good way to stay in shape.

Kaptain Karl
05-11-2005, 11:14 PM
I am a HS Tennis Coach. IMO, you get plenty of sprinting and interval-like training during drills and playing challenges and matches. I like my kids to have endurance so when they are in Third Set situations, they'll be tougher and fitter than the competition. (So I *like* the long distance running.)

If your hams and back are hurting from running, I'm betting you don't stretch as part of your cool down AFTER practice. Get to practice a few minutes early. Run lines at about half speed to warm up. (Or skip rope ... a great warm up.) Then s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Then run your three miles and do the rest of the drills/etc the Coaches ask. When practice is over, STRETCH again to cool down.

Do you have sufficient competition from the #1's from other schools? If not, USTA "may be" the way to go. (But, as Eric posts, that depends on what your goals are....)

- KK

05-15-2005, 09:00 AM
im also in high school tennis, #1 singles, the way i practice is, i get the heaviest racquet i have which is a Pro Kennex Black Ace( 14.1oz!!) and i go up against my friend, #2 singles, and i just play, sure my arm feels like its going to fall off, but when im in an actual match, and im with my lighter racquet, i outlast everyone

05-15-2005, 10:01 AM
Your coach is right dude. You're never going to have a favorable end to a third set if you don't have the endurance built up by distance running. In theory though, you really should be doing both sprints AND distance. Sprints will help you quicken you darts for short shots and serve and volley tactics.

Try stretching before and AFTER your distance running and when you stretch before make sure you're not cold. (Like your muscles) For example, jog a lap and then stretch. The following is an extreme measure only to be used if you're desperately tight. Try *cringe* yoga. It'll lengthen your muscles rather than shorten them, which is was running does. The countering actions, lengthening vs shortening will keep your muscles at a happy medium, if you will, and you wont feel as tight and sore afterwards.

05-15-2005, 11:18 AM
Take a page out of Agassi's book, he runs miles, but not flat, uphill back in vegas. Look how fit he is for someone 35 years old. Recently ive herd that he'd rather work on fitness then strokes.

05-15-2005, 12:55 PM
long distance running is definitly needed... according to your philosophy then no sport should use long distance training. i mean, QBs never run, WRs run 20 yards and takes a 30 second break, soccer players sprint and stop sprint and stop, and boxers dont run period but these long distanceis for your endurance. as u wear down physically, you loose mental focus as well and your game is down the drain. especially on those hot summer days with points lasting 5-6 rallies each. but maybe at your level, endurance doesnt play a huge factor yet but it will.