Why not just kill 2 birds with 1 stone?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Zachol82, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

    Dec 8, 2007
    I see a lot of posts here as well as live discussions about training off the courts. I understand that some of us do not have court availability 24/7 and all so those are the people that this post wont apply to. However, for the rest of us...

    Why can't you just practice on the court itself?

    For example, there are discussions on training at a local gym or fitness center to improve one's stamina, endurance, speed and explosiveness. Why can't these things be practiced on the court itself?

    Obviously, I'm not going to talk about every single scenario so I'll just go ahead and select "speed and explosiveness" or just "movements" in general.

    Why go through the hassle of training for movements at the gym or someplace else just to go through the step of translating all that hard work onto the Tennis court for it to be applicable?

    If you want to improve your lateral movements, can you not just simply be fed from corner to corner very rapidly by a hitting buddy? This way, you can actually work on your lateral movement as well as your strokes once you get there, since you will have the racquet in your hand.
  2. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

    Jun 10, 2010
    I can think of three reasons.

    1. Some useful exercises can't be done in the context of tennis. E.g., lifting weights, doing lunges, crunches or box jumps. These exercises help strengthen you by putting certain muscles under more stress than you will (or can) face on a tennis court.

    2. Partner limitations. Maybe your buddy may not want to feed you balls while you run endlessly coast to coast. Maybe he'll just want to play a set or do a lot of mini tennis. This will put a damper on your exercise

    3. Time efficiency. You may have limited court time, in which case playing/practicing tennis will be insufficient exercise. Or it could be that you want to spend your time focusing on an aspect of your game (like, say, practicing serving) that won't meet your exercise goals.
  3. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    Excellent post. Although I think all your points are excellent, availability of court time is one that effects a lot of players. In some instances clubs discourage practice when others are playing - never really understood this but for various reasons some players get upset when practice sessions are going on.
  4. jonestim

    jonestim Hall of Fame

    May 30, 2011
    Bend, OR
    Daylight is also a limiter this time of year. If your courts aren't lit, head to the gym. Where I am the temps are also a concern. I don't care for playing when it is in the low 30s. 40 and sunny is fine, otherwise I'll do something else.
  5. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    You've gotten some good answers already.

    But perhaps the most important reason is injury prevention.

    Tennis players suffer from overuse injuries of the shoulders, elbows and wrists.
    The problem is that their "hitting" muscles keep getting stronger from all that tennis bashing, but their "stopping" muscles stay the same, or get "stretched out". Therefore
    too much stress is placed on the non-elastic ligaments and tendons at the joints.
    Don't let this happen to you.
    Balance out the strength of your "hitting" and "stopping" muscles by doing the Thrower's Ten Exercises: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/athletics/athletic_training/throwers10.pdf

    Do you have enough core and leg strength and balance to toss into an agressive trophy pose, with your heels off the ground, leaning back from the knees, with a deep knee bend, full coil, and your body in bow shape with your "chest pointed up at the ball"?
    Or could getting some leg and core strength and balance from doing squats help in getting into this postion, then exploding out of it?
    Could getting that core and back strength prevent a back injury like the one that drove Agassi from the game, or periodically bothers Fed?

    As for on court agility and conditioning, many become too involved in ball tracking and setting up to hit a shot to really reach their quickness/change in direction maximal potential. Practicing these skills separately emphasizes them and a stop watch verifies improvement. The improved movement then is transferrable to the court.

    But I must say I like your practice philosophy of mazimizing your hitting sessions and play on the court. Great going!
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Actually, lots of better tennis players work on their court movement ON A COURT!.
    I see most start at the baseline, work on moving alley to center to alley a couple times, then up to service line, mid service line, then backpeddling to baseline. Footwork can be natural for some players, but for most, it's a learned experience, and learning on a court with the painted lines is the most realistic method of learning to move on a court.
    Every movement ends with footwork in hitting position.
    They all get tired and sweaty in less than 10 minutes, if they're working.
    "better"....better than me.
  7. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Oct 4, 2004
    Mostly, because if I am on the court, I want to play and have fun, and I workout off the court when I cannot be on the court.
  8. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

    Dec 8, 2007
    Great post! I definitely understand what you're saying.
  9. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    The old adage is 'get fit to play tennis, don't play tennis to get fit'.

    Tennis is so stop/start that you really need to spend time exercising off-court in order to optimise your fitness for the game.
  10. rst

    rst Rookie

    Jan 23, 2012
    northern nv
    Why go through the hassle of training for movements at the gym or someplace else just to go through the step of translating all that hard work onto the Tennis court for it to be applicable?

    i guess over the years excercise theory and implemantion has helped tennis players improve better than they would have without weights. otherwisw i guess they wouldnt do it.

    weight resistaance for many can improve their speed and agility on the court better than just doing it on the court.

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