Tiring quickly when playing aggressive at net

Toronto11

New User
I get more exhausted at the net then I do running down balls at the baseline. Overheads in particular take lot out of me.

I was wondering if this could be because my legs are weak and the bending on the volleys and even some overheads are draining me. if so would that cause me to lose energy much faster than a player with stronger legs?
 

socallefty

Legend
Serve and volley or aggressive net play including overheads involves explosive movements which are anaerobic and take up more energy. If you plan to play this way, you need to train in the gym at high intensity to improve your anaerobic conditioning. Check out this article.

 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
This is the problem with today's players. they don't know how to play the net. I want you to ONLY play serve and volley on every serve you hit. for next 3 months. then you will learn how to serve and volley in singles. i don't care if this causes you to lose to 3.0 player. just suck it up and you will like the results after 3 month and you will learn the Wonders of playing serve and volley game and how it can make you at least 0.5 level better
 

socallefty

Legend
This is the problem with today's players. they don't know how to play the net. I want you to ONLY play serve and volley on every serve you hit. for next 3 months. then you will learn how to serve and volley in singles. i don't care if this causes you to lose to 3.0 player. just suck it up and you will like the results after 3 month and you will learn the Wonders of playing serve and volley game and how it can make you at least 0.5 level better
This might be true if you have a good serve including hitting to precise locations and volley technique. Then, practicing serve and volley hopefully teaches you how to use your shots and also make transition volleys on the move. You still need to learn how to hit good approach shots also like slicing low or hitting to the corners. And a good overhead to smash away all the lobs you will definitely get.

If you don’t have good technique for location serves, volleys, transition volleys, approach shots and overheads, you are not suddenly going to get better after playing three months of serve and volley in matches. Plus, you had better be fit with the ability to make explosive anaerobic movements repeatedly or you are going to tire yourself out faster.

Just trying something in match situations without underlying fundamental technique and footwork skills will not lead to sustainable improvement.
 

Vanhalen

Professional
This is precisely why I try to bring better opponents up to the net and back vs side to side. I’ve beat much better players by taking the risk, losing early points and the first set just to wear them down. Then bash the ball on the second set.

I beat a 6’3 baseline basher with a huge serve a few weeks ago with this strategy. He won the first set easily 6-2, but I totally took out his legs. His serve was totally neutralized by the second set and he was gassed.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
When I have used net rushing style tennis I thought it was less tiring than baseline play. The point is over quickly when you play SnV compared to back court tennis.
 
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WNB93

Rookie
Do interval training. 30 seconds 80% effort, 30 seconds minimum effort. I can see results after 2 weeks of not very hard training like that.
 
I get more exhausted at the net then I do running down balls at the baseline. Overheads in particular take lot out of me.

I was wondering if this could be because my legs are weak and the bending on the volleys and even some overheads are draining me. if so would that cause me to lose energy much faster than a player with stronger legs?
I do a lot of net play [obviously] and I get winded also: net points definitely can cause you to expend more energy, not because of the duration but because of the much larger amount of fast twitch muscle energy expenditure when you lunge. One or two lunges can be more tiring than a 20 shot rally where you use more slow twitch muscle.

So it could be that your legs are weak or just that your ratio of fast to slow twitch muscle composition is too low. HIIT, plyometrics, etc. will help you build fast twitch. Running on the treadmill or biking flats will build endurance but not explosiveness to the same extent as sprints, block jumps, etc.
 

RiverRat

Professional
Just trying something in match situations without underlying fundamental technique and footwork skills will not lead to sustainable improvement.
Although I agree that technique is essential and should be practiced in isolation, I also think there is no substitute for learning to serve and volley without serving and volleying. I'm not suggesting that one has to do this in tournaments (I wasn't sure that was what the previous poster was suggesting either) but practice matches against lesser opponents is a good idea. People too often feel they need to play against better competition to get better. In some cases, like this one, working on this aspect of the game against lesser opponents is a great idea. Heck, taking a little off your serve or only hitting second serves to get more reps at net would work too.
 
Just trying something in match situations without underlying fundamental technique and footwork skills will not lead to sustainable improvement.
Some people don't want to leave their comfort zone: if they wait until they've developed all of the prerequisites to S&V, they'll wait forever. There's something to be said for throwing comfort to the wind and just plunging in and learning and refining as you go.
 

tomato123

Professional
Some people don't want to leave their comfort zone: if they wait until they've developed all of the prerequisites to S&V, they'll wait forever. There's something to be said for throwing comfort to the wind and just plunging in and learning and refining as you go.
At the 4.0 level, I find that in general, my lack of refined skill in serve and volley are about equal to my opponent's lack of refined skill in responding to it consistently, so it's more or less a zero sum result. Except now I have an additional tool to utilize that can only get better over time.

But to the OP's dilemma - do you find yourself exerting more adrenaline when you approach the net? Being calmer when serve and volleying and approaching the net was something I had to work through since the net usually means an impending finish to the point, so getting a bit more tense, holding your breath longer in the process, and that small extra bit of adrenaline can be a contributing cause for you to tire more easily.
 
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RiverRat

Professional
But to the OP's dilemma - do you find yourself exerting more adrenaline when you approach the net? Being calmer when serve and volleying and approaching the net was something I had to work through since the net usually means an impending finish to the point, so getting a bit more tense, holding your breath longer in the process, and that small extra bit of adrenaline can be a contributing cause for you to tire more easily.
This is an excellent point. Anxiety can sap our energy. Each year, when I plunge into the pool or start skiing, I burn lots of anxious energy until I sink into a comfort zone. When I used to box, the adrenaline dump was unbelievably exhausting. There are plyometrics for explosive training and exercises to strengthen your legs for the squatting that comes with net play but continual net play is an excellent conditioning exercise too. There might be a couple of muscles you haven't routinely used elsewhere on the court that are a little weak, but they'll catch-up.
 

Toronto11

New User
This is an excellent point. Anxiety can sap our energy. Each year, when I plunge into the pool or start skiing, I burn lots of anxious energy until I sink into a comfort zone. When I used to box, the adrenaline dump was unbelievably exhausting. There are plyometrics for explosive training and exercises to strengthen your legs for the squatting that comes with net play but continual net play is an excellent conditioning exercise too. There might be a couple of muscles you haven't routinely used elsewhere on the court that are a little weak, but they'll catch-up.
I think that is one of the problems
 

Toronto11

New User
Are you unconsciously holding your breath?
I could be. I’ve been trying to figure out my breathing for a while but it’s really tough to tell if I’m breathing properly or not. Even in practice all of my focus is on striking the ball as per monitoring my breath.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I could be. I’ve been trying to figure out my breathing for a while but it’s really tough to tell if I’m breathing properly or not. Even in practice all of my focus is on striking the ball as per monitoring my breath.
Practice a proper breathing pattern with shadow swings. Dozens or hundreds of shadow swings. And also do the same with easy feeds or self-feeds.

When you're at the baseline, inhale as you complete your unit turn -- just after the ball has crossed the net or as the ball is bouncing (assuming it doesn't bounce very deep in NML). Exhale after you have started your forward swing into contact.

If you're at the net of volleying, the sequence will be quicker. Your inhale will probably be after you've landed your split step (right after the ball has left your opponent's racket) and as you are turning and lining up your racket to the incoming ball. Again, exhale as you punch or as you squeeze and move the racket forward to meet the ball.

I suspect, however, that your issue might be a matter of the proper type of fitness as suggested previously. You need a good mix of aerobic and anaerobic fitness / endurance for tennis. A competitive player will often have their heart rate in the aerobic target range for much of a match.

But they will also need to quickly tap into 1 or both of their anaerobic systems for "burst mode" activity. Elite players will employ something like a 60/40 to a 40/60 mix of aerobic and anaerobic.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I didn't realize there were 2: how do they differ and under what circumstances do they get tapped?
The ATP-CP (anaerobic) system provides immediate energy for instantaneous bursts such as throws, sprints or jumps and will provide quick energy lasting up to 10 seconds. The other anaerobic system, the lactic acid system, provides energy for very hard efforts of durations of 10+ seconds up to 2 minutes or so.
 
The ATP-CP (anaerobic) system provides immediate energy for instantaneous bursts such as throws, sprints or jumps and will provide quick energy lasting up to 10 seconds. The other anaerobic system, the lactic acid system, provides energy for very hard efforts of durations of 10+ seconds up to 2 minutes or so.
OK. ATP = Adenosine Tri-Phosphate? [one of the only things I remember from HS biology; that and the ACGT building blocks of DNA]

I must only be tapping into ATP-CP because I get winded when I have to lunge a lot. Even sprinting from the net to the back fence to run down a lob might take only 5 seconds.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@socallefty
OK. ATP = Adenosine Tri-Phosphate? [one of the only things I remember from HS biology; that and the ACGT building blocks of DNA]

I must only be tapping into ATP-CP because I get winded when I have to lunge a lot. Even sprinting from the net to the back fence to run down a lob might take only 5 seconds.
You may need to change your intervals on your interval training, assuming you do any at all. One guy that I know was a top badminton player in the US and also played soccer competitively. He used to perform telephone pole sprints. He would sprint from one pole to the next one and then walk to the pole after that. Alternating sprinting and walking between poles. Other interval variations can be employed. I'll have students sprint from BL to BL and walk across the back of the court from doubles sideline to sideline. And then sprint again along the other side (BL to BL).

The ATP-CP Energy Pathway is aka the Immediate Energy System. The longer anaerobic system is known as the Short-term Energy System and aka the Fast-Glycolysis Pathway.

Check out pages 40 thru 47 of this USTA high performance manual:

 
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You may need to change your intervals on your interval training, assuming you do any at all. One guy that I know was a top badminton player in the US and also played soccer competitively. He used to perform telephone pole sprints. He would sprint from one pole to the next one and then walk to the pole after that. Alternating sprinting and walking between poles. Other interval variations can be employed. I'll have students sprint from BL to BL and walk across the back of the court from doubles sideline to sideline. And then sprint again along the other side (BL to BL).

The ATP-CP Energy Pathway is aka the Immediate Energy System. The longer anaerobic system is known as the Short-term Energy System and aka the Fast-Glycolysis Pathway.

Check out pages 40 thru 47 of this USTA high performance manual:

When I do stairs, I alternate between sprints and walking. If I jog a hill, I try to sprint at the top.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
At the 4.0 level, I find that in general, my lack of refined skill in serve and volley are about equal to my opponent's lack of refined skill in responding to it consistently, so it's more or less a zero sum result. Except now I have an additional tool to utilize that can only get better over time.

But to the OP's dilemma - do you find yourself exerting more adrenaline when you approach the net? Being calmer when serve and volleying and approaching the net was something I had to work through since the net usually means an impending finish to the point, so getting a bit more tense, holding your breath longer in the process, and that small extra bit of adrenaline can be a contributing cause for you to tire more easily.
Yes that is a great point and you beat me to it! For me S& V is mentally more tiring. Its more aggressive. You have to set up everything as best you can an execute...in many ways its a go for broke strategy. You have to keep pushing it and hit aggressive shots (not necessarily hard or fast but in terms of TIME its very agressive). This is tiring not just physically. Also you have less time to react so the effort to hit a shot is often more intense. On the back court you can chill and have more time to react and can win by just pushing and getting everything back. Said another way you might cover the same distance at the baseline but you have alot more time to do it so its not a strenuous...
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
The ATP-CP Energy Pathway is aka the Immediate Energy System
Isn't it ATP-PC? adenosine triphosphate - phosphocreatine system which is essentially just stored ATP in muscles from prior energy conversion. ATP storage is pretty limited so I agree it only provides immediate energy.

Likely provides little beyond the first few steps in a match. After that you are constantly making new ATP through a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic mechanisms and then using it up as it's made. I guess it will re-store a bit during changeovers. But the pace of tennis typically means you are relying on active glycolysis throughout a match.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Isn't it ATP-PC? adenosine triphosphate - phosphocreatine system which is essentially just stored ATP in muscles from prior energy conversion. ATP storage is pretty limited so I agree it only provides immediate energy.

Likely provides little beyond the first few steps in a match. After that you are constantly making new ATP through a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic mechanisms and then using it up as it's made. I guess it will re-store a bit during changeovers. But the pace of tennis typically means you are relying on active glycolysis throughout a match.
CP = Creatine Phosphate
PC = Phosphocreatine

Good catch. I learned it as ATP-CP. It's called out that way in my previous link(s). I didn't even notice that some sources referred to it as PC rather than CP. In doing a quick Google search now, I can't really tell which designation is more common or if one predates the other.

From what I've read (and posted), I assume that tennis uses both anaerobic systems. Some very short activities use the ATP-CP system predominantly. I believe I saw one source that indicated that a javelin throw employed something like 80% of energy needs from ATP-CP. Many activities use both anaerobic systems from what I glean. I'll see if I can dig up that table.

The following source indicates that ATP-CP is the primary source for burst activities up to 10 seconds. From 10-45 seconds, a mix of both systems are used. After 45 seconds (or 30 s), it's primarily, the lactic acid system. After 2 minutes or so, both The aerobic system and lactic acid are both employed. After 4 minutes it's primarily the aerobic system.


The USTA High Performance Manual I linked in post #20, appears to indicate that all three systems are used for tennis. The following link on tennis conditioning also shows that ATP-CP is important for tennis.

 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
The USTA High Performance Manual I linked in post #20, appears to indicate that all three systems are used for tennis.
I imagine things like the serve and return are going to be immediate system. But once things get started, points are going to be a mix of glycolysis and Kreb's cycle depending on how much oxygen you are getting. The heart largely will use Kreb's (lots of blood flow, big mitochondria), the fast twitch muscles will use glycolysis and the slower twitch muscles will burn both.
 
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