Tennis Training Tips to Prepare For the Pro Season
January 14th, 2016 by Do It Tennis
The pro tennis season is starting up and so are many recreational leagues and school teams. So, to get you prepared for the pro season, or whatever level you will be playing, here are some tennis training tips.
Dynamic Warm Up:
When training begins it is important to stay loose and limber to prevent injuries. The best way to do that is through a warm up. The best warm-ups are dynamic. Keep moving throughout these warm-ups. Do each exercise to the half-court, then switch sides when you turn around.
- Lunge with a twist
- High knees
- Butt kickers
- High kicks
- Side steps
Running and Agility Drills
Once you complete the warm-up drills, here are a few more to get your legs moving and prepare you for speed on the tennis court. You can incorporate these at any time during your tennis workout.
- Laps (shuffle the baselines, jog the alleys)
- Sprint to the net, and back-pedal back
- Line touches
- Ladder drill
Form and Repetition Drills
Next, grab your tennis racquet and focus on form with these different repetition drills targeting the following areas:
Serve: Set up cones for target practice to help with placement. Serve the whole basket of tennis balls before switching to the next drill.
Volleys: Have volleys fed to both your forehand and backhand. Have your tennis partner volley to you and then you volley back, for a volley-to-volley drill. You can even incorporate those pesky overheads with your volley drills to mix it up a bit. Start at the baseline and work your way up to the net while volleying; on your last ball your partner can feed you an overhead, requiring you to back up all the way back to the baseline. Repeat this as many times as you want. Or, do a forehand volley then a backhand volley 4 times, and on the fifth time hit an overhead.
Overheads: Overheads are tricky to master. You can do some of these overhead drills to help with that.
- Start in the doubles alley and have your partner or tennis ball machine feed you overheads further and further out so you have to run to the ball then do an overhead.
- For repetition, have your partner feed you 10 overheads in a row and see how many out of 10 you are able to hit.
- Be fed 3 overheads, each being hit in a different part of the court such as 1)left service box 2)down the line 3) right service box. This way you can also work on your placement and aim.
Forehands and backhands: Have the ball fed to your forehand, then backhand, then forehand again, repeatedly, so you can work on running down the ball. To work on form, have the forehand fed 10 times in a row, then switch to the backhand side. You can even practice running around the ball. Have a ball fed to the backhand side, but run around the ball to make it a forehand shot instead of a backhand shot. You can also work on passing shots by starting at the baseline and working your way up to the net to end with a volley. To keep things interesting, you can have balls fed to you at random which will help keep you on your toes.
NOTE: It will be helpful to have a tennis ball hopper handy during these drills. It will make your tennis training smoother, more fun and most importantly, you’ll be able to focus more on your technique and less on collecting tennis balls.
Plenty of Rally and Match Play:
Of course, drills don’t mean a thing if you can’t hold up a rally on the tennis court. Start with a goal of rallying to a certain number; perhaps you want to rally 20 balls back-and-forth without hitting the ball out or into the net. Raise this number as you progress. You can also play a game to 21 where you rally for the point until 21. You can either feed the ball or opt to serve the ball. Finally, play some real matches. This is crucial to improving your game. Try playing with different people and make it as close to a tournament so you are as ready as possible when the real game day comes.
Cool Down and Recovery:
To end your practices, be sure to stretch and cool down. You can do this with a simple stretch series where you start at your head and work your way down to your toes. For different stretches check out our helpful stretching article. You should also do a very light jog. A proper cool down helps reduce the amount of lactic acid in your muscles and makes you less sore the next day. If needed, ice any muscles that are extra sore, or treat yourself to a massage. You’ve earned it!
For more tennis workouts and how-to’s, check out our Tennis Training Tips blog section.
Give this pro tennis workout a try, then visit our Facebook page to let us know how it goes!