Training and Conditioning

A tennis training program has to meet the demands of an all-round physically challenging, individual sport.


For a tennis player to perform at their best, they must have just the right mix of aerobic and anaerobic endurance, explosive strength and power, speed off the mark and agility. In fact, the amount of strength, speed, agility and flexibility conditioning a player is prepared to undertake has been linked to the standard they play at.


A tennis match is characterized by repeated bouts of high-intensity activity. However, a typical rally may last about 6 seconds and not much more than 10 seconds even on a clay court. Between points there is the luxury of up to 25 seconds rest – 90 seconds if it’s a changeover. Hence, the overall physical demand is closer to prolonged moderate-intensity exercise (such as distance running) than a true multisprint sport (such as soccer).


A tennis training program must be based on solid aerobic endurance to sustain a high work rate for the duration of a game that may last several hours. Anaerobic endurance is also an essential component so that power over each rally, and in each shot within a rally can be maintained to same high level.


On average a tennis player will move just 3 meters per shot and 8-12 meters during a point. It becomes obvious that good speed and quickness around the court is essential in order to reach the majority of these shots. During a match 48% of a players movement is sideways so agility, or the ability to change direction rapidly and under control becomes equally as important.


Finally, a balanced tennis training program should help to prevent injury and over training. For example, a preventative program of wrist extensor strengthening and stretching exercises can help to prevent tennis elbow. Specific exercises can also be prescribed to reduce the risk of rotator cuff damage.

Strategies To Play Well On Clay Tennis Surfaces

If you’re an active tennis player and you’ve never played on red clay, this is a surface that you’ll surely appreciate. There’s a ton of history behind red clay, and playing on it is a truly magical experience.

Playing on clay can be an extremely enjoyable experience, though anyone living in North America may have a hard time finding a court. Regardless, it’s a surface that many lovers of the sport truly cherish.


If you’ve never played on red clay courts before, I’d like to share a few pieces of knowledge that you may find informative about them.

First of all, the most effective strategy on this surface has always been one from the baseline. Players traditionally rely on powerful ground strokes as a means of winning their matches.


Unfortunately, players with big serves and proficient net games simply won’t find as much success on clay courts. The impact of a hard hit serve or a quick rush to the net simply doesn’t have the same effectiveness.

You might be wondering why it would matter, but there’s a good reason for this. The makeup of the clay lends itself to a ball that bounces high and slowly off the ground, giving your opponent a lot of time to get to it.

This is very different from what you’d observe on grass and even hard tennis courts, as the ball almost skids off the ground on these other surfaces. These are faster courts, unlike clay ones.


The ball will bounce higher, giving opponents that much more time to get to the ball during the course of a point. As a result, some of the longest tennis matches in history have been matches played on clay.


This results in very long rallies, since balls that ordinarily couldn’t be returned are gotten to on this surface. This makes things interesting, but they’re also more challenging.


If you’re a fast runner, you’ll certainly enjoy this aspect of the courts. It should come as no surprise that some of the best clay court players are the fastest ones.