View from the court.
Do you test your player’s fitness levels regularly?
An integral part of any serious tennis programme, is the physical fitness
level of the students who are involved in that programme..
It is my belief that there should be a fully structured fitness programme and this would entail work
on the court and in the gym etc., if you are not fully conversant with the gym aspect of training, then
it is very important to talk this over with an expert in that field; but, the training must be suited to the
requirements in the area of tennis; this should be checked out carefully and the advisor should also
be aware of the stage of the overall training that is being catered for.
I am therefore giving below a tennis specific testing exercise and in my opinion this should be
carried out every 6 weeks, although the actual drill can be varied at different stages of the fitness
The Anne Quinn fitness test is absolutely top notch for specific tennis testing and this can be found
The U.S. Open is now under way and it will be interesting to see whether there are any new emerging
players coming on to the scene and also who has improved since the last hard court arena.
AGFW2505 – Agility/Fitness drill - Corner to corner
This drill is for intermediate and advanced athletes, although
by making the field smaller, it could be used for beginners.
Player starts by sprinting to the centre cone, go round the
cone and sprint to the side cone etc.
Player must go round all of the cones.
This drill is very tennis specific.
To increase difficulty – can introduce back-peddles and side-steps.
Encourage the player to stay low to the ground and go round the cone, not step or jump over them.
Exert maximum effort throughout
Can be timed to view progress and can be done in repetitions.
A view of how the pros hit a forehand
Playing the Short Ball.
When faced with the possibly tricky short ball, it is important to know the opportunities available.
After having worked hard to get the short ball, what do you do to make the most use of it! A top player
will approach short balls with a high degree of confidence, club players are often apprehensible about
the best way to despatch the ball and usually with good reason. Hitting a short ball is not easy and you
will have a lot to think about . It could arrive in many different spots on the court, it could stay low or
bounce high and have a fair amount of spin. Also where you are positioned can have a lot to do with
how you handle the shot.
It is important that you do not go for this short ball with a pre conceived idea that you are going to put
the ball away for a winner. You should first pick a spot to where you are going to hit the ball, then move
in to the net for a winning volley. Good players do not react to their opponent’s movement, they
concentrate on the shot selection and then dictate the play.
When obtaining a short ball you will probably have to move several steps to get yourself in to a good
position, you need to be balanced and have complete control of your body and also have your racquet
back and in position when you reach the ball. It is OK to move quickly at first, but then slow down so that
you do not overrun the ball.
The height of the ball together with your balance will dictate what you are able to do with the ball, but no
matter what, do not try to smash it. This is the problem many club players have and many balls go down
into the net. All you have to do is relax, be confident and just generate a little extra racquet head speed
as you make contact.
The short ball is in general a two step process and should set up an easier second shot. So where
should you hit the ball? If your opponent is well behind the baseline, think about a drop shot or a short
cross court angle. If your opponent is close to the baseline. You can either hit the ball deep cross court,
deep down the line or deep down the middle. The decision will depend on your own strengths, your
position on the court and the position of your opponent and finally your opponent’s weaknesses.
Finally remember, you are not trying to hit a winner, you are trying to win the point. There’s a big
difference between the two.
SDGS1111 Hit the box Triples
Good warm-up drill.
Set-up: Divide the court in half at the end where the single
player is. The pair of players can only hit into the half where
the singles player stays.
One player starts at the baseline and plays in half the court -
two players start the opposite end just behind the service line.
A feeds the ball in, and the object is for this player A to try to
hit the court in the boxes. i.e to land the ball on the ground in
front of the two players.
Players B & C endeavour to volley the ball back, however, after
each volley they must recover back to the service line.
Only the singles player can score by hitting the ground in the
Play to a set number of points. Then move round one place.
Play to a set time and
After three rounds the player with the highest score wins.